Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play a boon for Australian music – The Australian Financial Review



Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play are turbo-charging growth for the Australian music industry, with streaming services contributing over half of revenue for the local sector.

In the first six months of 2017, revenue from streaming services for the Australian Recording Industry Association totalled $96.9 million, a 57 per cent increase from the corresponding period in the previous year.

Artists such as Peking Duk, Sia, Tash Sultana, Flume, Bliss N Eso and Dean Lewis were strong performers in the streaming category in the first half.

In total ARIA took in wholesale sales of $184.2 million, up 9.2 per cent compared with the first six months of 2016.

ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen told The Australian Financial Review the businesses have become 80 per cent digital, along with $42.6 million in sales from downloads – which are on the decline as consumers opt in favour of streaming services.
“The competition between Apple, Spotify and Google is a positive for the industry. I think Amazon is likely to be the next entrant into the market,” he said.

Smartphone penetration, the level of choice at prices of around $12 per month for streaming services, other content, such as video, growing via streaming, has led to rapid uptake and renewed growth for the music sector, which spent many years under stress and looking for growth.

“That shift to access rather than ownership is a trend that’s happening across music, TV, and even cars with Uber,” Mr Rosen said.

That access along with other efforts, such as the Turnbull government’s copyright infringement changes which have allowed for the blocking of pirate websites, have helped educate consumers and point them towards legal means of listening to music.

The revenue trends look positive for the local music industry, which returned to growth in 2015, the first time it had done so since 2012.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of innovation to retool the industry for the digital and global age. It’s fantastic to see the growth is sustainable growth. It was something that was quite elusive.”

Among the other sales categories, physical albums on CD brought in $32.9 million in the six months to June 30, a 12.9 per cent fall from the previous year indicative of part of the money flowing to digital.

Vinyl album sales have continued their comeback, with 12 per cent growth year-on-year to $7.4 million.

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