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Music Industry calls for federal music development agency

Media Published Wednesday 7 September 2022

The creation of a new national music development agency to oversee strategic investment and policy development for the Australian music industry is at the centre of a music industry proposal put to the Australian Government's National Cultural Policy consultation.


Eighteen music industry bodies have united under a plan to supercharge Australian music by leveraging considered structural support and investment from government.

With the advent of the next digital revolution and as the global appetite for music continues to grow, the vision for the Australian contemporary music industry is to move from a music nation to a global music powerhouse that can fully realise the cultural, social and economic benefits of a vibrant, healthy and sustainable music industry accessible to all Australians.

A Goldman Sachs report into the international music market estimates a booming decade for the music industry, with direct financial revenue alone projected to double to about $131 billion by 2030. The Australian music industry has the potential to earn between 5-10 per cent market share of this, but the policy, investment and industry settings must be right.

As well as live music gigs, concerts, festivals and events, the contemporary music industry has potential growth as a key part of booming technology trends, streaming and digital social platforms, and adjacent creative and tech industries such as interactive games, design and future Web3 platforms fuelling the development of local jobs and skills that would benefit from our multi-disciplinary industry.

The proposal of a national music development agency from industry bodies who represent songwriters, musicians, recording artists. screen composers, managers, technicians, crew, labels, publishers, promoters, venues, small businesses and thousands of music industry workers also articulates priorities for urgent support for the industry, including funding for Support Act as well as partnering with stakeholders to address the findings and implement the recommendations of the Music Industry Review Report into sexual harm, sexual harassment, and systemic discrimination.

This step change will seek direct investment in First Nations music which would be central to and prioritised throughout all new programs and activity, support for the creation of great new and diverse Australian music, skills development and global exports, incentives for the use of local content on streaming and broadcast platforms, insurance to provide certainty for local audiences, a new tax offset for live music and programs to build industry sustainability through strong intellectual property, national mentorship programs and youth music investment.

Despite the enormous contribution of Australian contemporary music to national identity, to education, community and GDP, no national government has developed a long-term vision for the industry.

The Australian Government has a centralised strategic investment model for the development of the screen industry through policy and investment (Screen Australia and the Australian Children's Television Foundation) with direct investment of $92 million per annum as well as investment in export (Ausfilm), tax offsets (producer, location, post-production) and skills and training (Australian Film Television & Radio School, the National Institute of Dramatic Arts). The Australian music industry seeks commensurate investment given the industry's scale and global opportunity of Australian music. The Australian Government also provides investment models for other major industries including transport, tourism, higher education and agri-business.

Contemporary music is vital to multiple portfolios including the arts, education, health, communications, Indigenous Australians, innovation, small business, export, youth affairs, regional, trade, tourism, the night-time and visitor economy and foreign affairs. Currently there is no governmental structure or support to recognise this.

The joint statement from the united music industry states: "Whether it is a young songwriter in their bedroom writing the next global hit, a recording artist, producer and sound engineer in the studio working on a streaming smash, a composer creating a soundtrack to the next great film or game, artists and musicians performing for a festival, concert or local gig, from Bankstown to Brunswick, Bundaberg to Broome, there is a massive pipeline of music talent coming from across the nation.

"This plan will ensure sustainability of the entire music ecosystem, from artists through to managers, crew, promoters, and small music businesses at the heart of the local industry."

Read the full music industry submission developed by Association of Artist Managers, Australian Festival Association, Australian Guild of Screen Composers, Australian Independent Record Labels Association, Australian Live Music Business Council, Australian Music Centre, Australian Music Industry Network, Australasian Music Publishers Association, APRA AMCOS, ARIA, PPCA, Crew Care, Live Music Office, Live Performance Australia, National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music Office, Sounds Australia, Support Act, The Push.