Independent artists make 30% of music sales


Australians independent musicians have been given an insight into their contribution in an industry-first report.

The study, published last week by Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), found independent music accounted for 30 per cent of the $400 million market, with an approximate value of $154.8 million.

The report estimated that over 6,000 singles and albums were released in 2014/15, with 95 per cent of those being new material.

More than two thirds of the independent artists working with AIR are Australian.

The Murlocs
Independent artist The Murlocs, lead singer Ambrose Kenny-Smith performing at Gizzfest 2016. Photo: Nic Huntington – @blessupnico on Instagram

MINOR//MAJOR publicist Nicholas Price who works with local independent artists such as Asha Jefferies, Mecha Mecha and The Lyrical, says this is a big step forward for Australian independent music.

“It’s a really important, and well overdue view into our contribution to the wider music industry,” Mr Price said.

“It legitimises what we do, and most importantly it shows that we do have power to leverage against major labels. $154 million is no small sum.”

Independent artist and lead singer for He Danced Ivy, David Cheney, believes this report will encourage artists to pursue work in the creative industry without judgement.

“These are the numbers young artist need to see,” Mr Cheney said.

“Australia prides itself on a diverse wealth of small business owners and the phrase ‘Music isn’t a real job’ is fast being recognised as the joke of a sentence it is.

“With sites such as Bigcartel for merchandise, Gofundme for crowd funding and Bandcamp for digital downloads, artists have more control than ever to guide their creative vision to financial viability.”

The report is available to view on the AIR Website.


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