Australia's Music Industry Posts Solid Growth
Australia’s music industry is on the up, with labels trade body ARIA and authors’ rights society APRA both reporting strong gains.
Wholesale figures published this week by ARIA show total music sales in the market leaped by 6% to A$195.6 million ($140 million) in the first half, ignited by a digital sector which saw a 14.2% bump during the period, to A$162.5 million ($116 million).
It’s another confident result, coming off the back of double-digit full-year growth for 2017, which represented the greatest spike Australia’s industry had experienced since 1996.
Streaming is, once more, a big part of the revival. In the first six months, subscription revenue exploded by 35.1% to A$105 million ($75 million) while ad-supporting streaming revenue grew to $12.7 million ($9.1 million), up 31.9%.
There were continued sharp falls for CD albums and singles, and digital track and album sales are, apparently, on the way out. The CD albums market was the Australian industry’s engine-room until recently, but today generates less than 20% of total revenue. In the six months to June, CD albums accounted for just A$32 million ($23 million) in sales, down 30% from the year-before period.
With streaming brands Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and others connecting with Australian consumers, execs are confident of more growth in the years to come. “If we compare our penetration with markets around the world where streaming is more mature, for example Sweden, there is still considerable room for growth in the Australian market,” ARIA CEO Dan Rosen tells Billboard. “It is also expected that new devices such as smart home speakers will drive the next phase of growth.”
Last year, revenue from streaming services topped A$213 million ($165 million) in Australia, up 55% from A$137 million ($106 million) the previous year, and generated the largest slice of the overall market (54%) for the first time.
In other news, APRA AMCOS is on the verge of posting its own solid set of results. During a breakfast meeting at the Bigsound conference last week in Brisbane, Australia, the organization’s CEO Dean Ormston said Australia’s music market is in great shape.
Full year revenue should come to about A$420 million ($301 million), up by 8.7% on last year, with a record high foreign revenue of $43.7 million ($31 million) for the reporting period. “It is fair to say we are a very strong growing, healthy music industry,” Ormston said.