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HUB FOCUS: Recent music trends in Australia

Our global Media, Sport & Entertainment Hub provides insights into various legal and commercial issues impacting on this space.

As part of our “HUB FOCUS” series, we provide an extract, focussing on recent trends in the music industry in Australia.

Figures released by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) indicate that the music industry has experienced a steady decrease in physical product sales over the past ten years, while digital product sales have skyrocketed in the past five years with consumers embracing online channels and subscription services such as iTunes, Spotify and Pandora.

However, that significant increase in digital distribution of music is from a very small base and does not make up for the shortfall in physical product sales. The most pressing problem for the music industry in Australia, which mirrors the trend overseas, is the problem of illegal music downloads and a perception among some consumers that accessing music through the internet is, or should be, free.

For record labels, there are now many different channels across which music can be distributed – Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon etc. Further complicating the picture is the increasingly changing face of consumer preferences. The download-to-keep model that Apple created with iTunes is facing stiff competition from streaming services that offer unlimited access to vast digital libraries for low monthly fees.

Overall, revenues in the Australian music industry are expected to continue to increase on average 5 % compounded annually to 2016, which reflects world-wide trends according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, which also expects the Australian digital music industry to achieve a 18% compound annual growth rate to reach $435 million in 2016, or 30% of the overall market. The IBISWorld report (an industry market research report) on ‘Music Publishing in Australia’ states that the music industry generates revenue of $497m per year.

Finally, crowdfunding via the internet and social media is becoming more popular. Artists are funding their production and leveraging the resources of fans to produce music without external assistance of publishers or record labels.”

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Permanent link to this article: https://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2015/02/hub-focus-recent-music-trends-in-australia/