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News April 4, 2019

Australia’s recorded music biz enjoys ‘very healthy’ gains, posts fourth year of growth

Senior Journalist, B2B
Australia’s recorded music biz enjoys ‘very healthy’ gains, posts fourth year of growth

It’s official: Australia’s recorded music market is flying. And it’s tracking well ahead of global trends.

Earlier today, ARIA published its 2018 wholesale results with revenue blowing past $526 million during the period, up 12.26%, for the fourth successive year of growth.

In a week which saw Josh Frydenberg unveil the federal budget and the IFPI issue its Global Music Report, ARIA provides arguably the cheeriest news.

The ace in the market is, of course, music streaming platforms which generated total, combined gains of 41.2% in revenue over the previous year.

Without the likes of subscription services Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play and Spotify, and on-demand platforms such as YouTube, there is no growth. Zip.

With app-based music brands now de rigueur, streaming accounts for more than two thirds (71.4%) of the overall market, or a cool $304 million.

The end of the line is in sight for CDs, which not so long ago were the bread and butter of Australia’s record business. In 2018, CD albums accounted for just $53 million, down 31% year on year.

RIAA mid-year report says CDs are dying three times as fast as vinyl is growing


The digital tipping point, where downloads and streaming revenue eclipsed sales from CDs, occurred sometime around 2014. Now, physical products account for just 15% of the total market. Vinyl continues to spin a success story, posting $21 million, up 15.2% for the eight consecutive year of growth.

Vinyl, however, is small beer. The real hero in this picture is streaming. During the presentation of the IFPI’s Global Music Report on Tuesday, the international trade body’s CEO Frances Moore was enthusiastic about the Australian market and its “very healthy level of growth.”

hilltop-hoods-2019 press shot

Hilltop Hoods’ latest album The Great Expanse reached #1 on the ARIA charts in March

On the same conference call, Stu Bergen, Warner Music Group’s CEO, International and Global Commercial Services, noted Australia is “growing significantly” and “continues to be a good place for creative expression and creative talent.”

Speaking in today’s statement announcing the upbeat ARIA numbers, Denis Handlin, chairman of the trade body and chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and President, Asia, noted:

“This result is a testament to the great music that is being produced by our outstanding local artists, as well as the tenacious approach that our local industry takes in marketing and delivering music from all around the world to fans across the country.”

dan-rosen-isabella manfredi at parliament house

Dan Rosen with The Preatures’ Isabella Manfredi at Parliament House in support of Labor’s Live Music Policy

Dan Rosen, CEO of ARIA, was equality optimistic. The opportunities for homegrown artists to build international careers was “immense,” he remarked.

ARIA, added Rosen, “will continue to work with both Federal and State governments to establish the necessary policy settings to support and sustain our vibrant local music industry so we can ensure these unique Australian voices are heard around our country and around the world.”

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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