The Brag Media
News November 9, 2017

Streaming is now the dominant source of music sales revenue in Australia

Music streamingrevenue in Australia grew a staggering 90.5% in 2016, and now makes up 38.5% of the overall market by revenue, making it the dominant format for the first time. That’s the major takeaway from the 2016 wholesale figures, which ARIA released today.

Streaming has grown by over $100 million in value since 2014, and was worth $135.5 million in 2016.

“To think that the dominant form of our revenue is now derived from a category that did not exist five years ago demonstrates the innovative nature of the Australian music business,” said ARIA CEO Dan Rosen.

The Aussie market overall grew 5.5% in 2016, building on a 5% growth the year before, and ARIA says the streaming surge is what’s driving that growth.

The near-doubling of streaming revenue fuelled an overall 17.6% increase in the digital market as a whole, though streaming’s boom came at the expense of digital download sales, which were the dominant source of revenue in the last two years but dropped by nearly $30 million in 2016.

Physical continues to decline, but is still making up over 30% of the market share, with CDs accounting for $87.2 million.

Vinyl enjoyed another massive boost, with market value jumping 70% – from over $8.9 million in 2015 to over $15 million last year. It’s the sixth consecutive year of growth in the Aussie market for the format.

ARIA does not break out sales figures for cassettes, which have had a nostalgic resurgence in certain markets in recent years – tape sales jumped 74% in the US last year, for instance – but catch-all category “OtherPhysical” dropped by a smaller amount between 2015 and 2016 than in the 2014-15 period (by a bit under $1.2 million, compared to over $1.5 million the previous year).

ARIA Total Market Value 2014-2016

“Record labels have done a great job in supporting their artists while embracing the multitude of ways consumers can legally access the music they love,” said Rosen.

“It is truly exciting times for our local industry, with 2017 already seeing four Australian acts already having Number One Albums, multiple ARIA award winner Flume winning a Grammy, and a growing number of our local artists having success on the international stage.”

ARIA Chairman and Chairman and Sony exec Denis Handlin also praised the industry’s innovative approach and artist support networks, saying he was “delighted” by the news, but warned that there were still challenges ahead for the industry.

“Although our industry is now on a pathway to recovery, it is absolutely critical that Australia retains a strong copyright framework to ensure that artists and labels can continue to invest, innovate and protect their work and earn their fair share in the growing digital market.”

The federal government recently shelved the proposed changes to “safe harbour”, which would have seen the controversial legal principle protecting ISPs against prosecution for facilitating piracy expanded to digital platforms such as YouTube. The industry has spoken out against safe harbour in a number of markets, saying it would do further, irreparable damage to creators’ ability to maintain control over and earn from their work as it’s consumed and shared digitally.


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