Parliamentary inquiry into the Australian music industry

In 2018, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts launched an inquiry into the music industry to examine the potential for continued growth and the factors affecting the success of the Australian music industry, both domestically and internationally.

Music Tasmania provided a submission to this inquiry outlining the barriers to growth for our regional sector.

Some of the challenges we identified were:

  • Geographic isolation, which acts as both a tangible barrier to touring and an intangible DIY mentality;
  • Music infrastructure; such as recording studios, rehearsal spaces, and venues;
  • Lack of ‘industry’, such as managers, labels, and publicists; national distribution channels, including radio airplay and touring networks.

The key opportunities identified to support the development of Tasmania’s music sector were:
Skills and industry development;

  • Festivals, tourism and hospitality;
  • Networking, connecting and exchange;
  • Touring, export and showcasing

You can download Music Tasmania's submission here:

 

Report and recommendations

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts released a report in 2019 on the Australian music industry and made 16 recommendations to ensure the future growth and sustainability of this sector.

The Chair, Luke Howarth MP, stated that ‘investment in the support and promotion of Australian artists and other industry careers is essential to the retention of talent and, ultimately, the sustainability and growth of the Australian music industry.’ ‘The music industry has experienced significant disruption as a result of technological advances and the rapid digitisation of the distribution of music; however, the industry’s recent return to growth and decrease in the number of consumers downloading music illegally is evidence of the industry’s successful adaption to the digital disruption,’ added Mr Howarth.

Key recommendations include:

  • Removing the pricing cap on license fees for the radio broadcast of sound recordings;
  • investing in supporting artists to tour in Australia, both in major cities and regional areas;
  • investing in the Live Music Office, to continue its work advising and supporting state and local governments to develop regulation that encourages and celebrates live music;
  • changing the application and monitoring of Australian music content quotas for commercial radio;
  • investing in Sounds Australia’s music exports program;
  • prioritising and supporting Australian music at government activities and events;
  • developing mutually beneficial visa arrangements with the United States of America to allow artists from both countries to more easily showcase and tour;
  • encouraging states and territories to improve access to music education for public primary and secondary school students; • investing in initiatives aimed at training and supporting Australian artists and industry professionals to grow and develop their businesses;
  • investing in grants and industry partnerships that support artists in the creation of new music and new recordings; and
  • investing in Support Act to enable it to expand its services and deliver crisis support for artists and others working in the Australian music industry.

The report can be accessed from the Committee’s website here: 
https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Communications/Australianmusicindustry/Report

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