Export Research


This project has been funded by The Australian Research Council: LP150100709.

The project aimed to investigate the cultural and economic value of Australian music exports. It was the first methodical study on how Australian artists are developed internationally through government and industry programs. It intended to provide a detailed picture of entrepreneurial activity within and between industries, not-for-profit sectors and governments.

The project aimed to assess the effects of globalisation and digitisation in the creation of a music export, and the impact of cultural and economic value chains on an Australian music export. The intended outcomes are strategies for improving the audibility and visibility of Australian music within increasingly complex international networks and systems of music production, consumption and governance.

Download the full report here.

Download the summary here.

  • The export value of the Australia music industry is estimated to be approximately $195 million. This includes the combined export income of Australian artists, music publishers and record labels.
  • Digital platforms are providing new business models for artists to reach global audiences. However, professional networks and spending time in a target market remain key factors in achieving international success.
  • Government grants provided the largest source of export support among surveyed artists. Those with support from both government and industry reported the greatest export success.
  • Live performance remains the top source of international income for Australian musicians.
  • The biggest markets for Australian music are the US, UK and Germany, and there is further potential to tap in to growing interest in Australian music from other regions.


Richard Vella is Chair and Professor of Music at the University of Newcastle, Conservatorium of Music.  He has composed music for a wide variety of genres and forms.  Significant works have been The A to Z of Spiritual Music: a user’s guide, (see http://www.abc.net.au/classic/spiritual/) produced by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (2006) and his co-production of the Warners international release Larger than Life (2003). He received the nomination ‘Best Music for a Feature Film’ by the Australian Film Institute for his score to the feature film Travelling Light (2003). His book Musical Environments (Currency Press 2000), was republished in 2003 as Sounds in Space Sounds in Time by Boosey & Hawkes, UK. Vella directs the interdisciplinary research group Collaborative Environments for Creative Arts Research (CeCAR).  http://www.newcastle.edu.au/cecar.


Stephen is Professor of International Business at the University of Newcastle. He has been involved in research on creative industries since his PhD research on the emerging multimedia industry over twenty years ago. His research specialises in the interplay between technology, innovation and entrepreneurial strategies in the creation of novel global business models.


Associate Professor Shane Homan teaches in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University, Melbourne. He has published five books on the popular music industries, including the 2015 Routledge publication Popular Music and the State: Policy Notes (with Martin Cloonan and Jen Cattermole). He has been involved in 15 commissioned projects working with local, state and federal governments on popular music and the cultural industries. He is a member of the Contemporary Music National Roundtable and the Victoria Live Music Roundtable. Shane is also currently starting an Australian Research Council project, Interrogating the music city: Cultural economy and popular music with Seamus O’Hanlon, John Tebbutt (Monash) and Cath Strong (RMIT).


Tracy is a musician, composer and researcher. Her last solo Album received 4 stars in the Sydney Morning Herald and single “Where it Fits” received 10,000+ downloads. She completed a Master of Arts by Research in 2013 where she designed her own interactive music app to investigate how audiences might interact. In 2014 she was awarded a PhD APA scholarship to compose and produce contemporary music that explores interactive technologies. Now based in Linz Austria, she recently received a European Commission funded Music Bricks Incubation Award. She has worked on various projects including The International Space Time Concerto and was the founder of VROOM (Venue Resource of Original Music). She has held positions as Lecturer in Music Technology and Creative Industries, Executive officer for the MMF (Music Managers Forum) and NACTMUS (National Council of Tertiary Music Schools), Administrator for Melody Management (Hoodoo Gurus) and Project Manager at MusicNSW.


Scott Saunders has had a successful career in music spanning over three decades as; composer, performer, musical director, producer and educator. He is best known as the founder of dig (aka: Direction in Groove), a band that remains highly respected for their unique contribution to Australian musical culture. Dig recently performed at the 2016 APRA awards. He has composed and produced many scores for screen, music and sound design for theatre productions and been Composer/Musical Director on Large-scale community works for the Queensland Music Festival and Festival of Sydney.

Scott teaches The Australian Institute of Music, The University of Western Sydney and University of Technology Sydney. Currently he is developing a music project with DJ and Producer Peret Mako. He is a Master of Philosophy (Music) University of Newcastle with his thesis on the topic of “The Aesthetics of Groove” and is now a PhD candidate.


As Executive Producer of SOUNDS AUSTRALIA, Millie is responsible for the roll out and representation of the Australian music industry at key international music events, including; SXSW, The Great Escape, Canadian Music Week, MIDEM, CMJ, FAI, Americana and Music Matters.

She has been instrumental in the growth of SOUNDS AUSTRALIA worldwide, having overseen the marketing, networking and showcasing activity undertaken at 54 different international events (many multiple times), in 53 cities, across 19 countries since 2009.

In 2012 Millie was honoured by Sydney’s FBi Radio Station with the “SMAC of Year” Award, in recognition of her efforts with Australian musicians internationally, was inducted into the Yearly Music Conference Awards, UK (YMCA) Hall of Fame for Outstanding Achievement: Music Export and has placed in the Top 10 of the AMID ‘POWER 50’ list since its inception in 2012.


Professor Richard Vella, Professor Stephen Chen, Associate Professor Shane Homan


You are invited to participate in the research project identified above which is being conducted by Professors Richard Vella, Stephen Chen from the University of Newcastle and Associate Professor Shane Homan from Monash University, who are the Chief Investigators. Co-investigators will be Ms Millie Millgate, Sounds Australia; Tracy Redhead, Senior Research Assistant, University of Newcastle; and Mr Scott Saunders, PhD student, University of Newcastle. This project has been funded by The Australian Research Council: LP150100709.


Current information on the cultural and economic value of Australian music exports is scarce, which limits the understanding of music industry policy makers and researchers, and possibly underestimates the cultural and economic contributions made by the Australian music industry. The purpose of the research is to fill in the gaps in our knowledge of the industry by

–  assessing the economic and cultural contribution of the Australian music export industry

–  mapping the role of the different participants in the Australian music industry value chain


You are invited to participate as someone who is involved with the production or distribution of Australian music. You do not need to have export experience. We are also interested in responses from people who have not exported in order to understand why some people do not export. Please note that you are ineligible to participate if you are not involved with any part of the Australian music industry either nationally or internationally.


If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete an online survey which asks about:

–        services you provide

–        your employment status

–        the number of your employees

–        your earnings and expenses from music activities in Australia and overseas

–        any financial support you have received for your musical activities

–        your  attendance at international showcase events

–        your education

–        any awards you have received for your musical activities

–        your music and your audience (if you are an artist)


Participation in this research is entirely your choice.  Only those people who give their informed consent will be included in the project.  Whether or not you decide to participate, your decision will not disadvantage you. If you do decide to participate, you may withdraw from the project at any time prior to publication of the research.


The survey should take about 20-30 minutes to complete, depending on how many jobs/roles you have. You may also need to spend some time collecting the necessary information prior to completing the survey.


The survey findings will help policy makers in setting policies and funding for the Australian music industry and further understanding of the music exporting process. As a token of our appreciation, you will receive a 20% Levi’s® discount voucher to use online at www.levis.com.au.

You will also have the chance to enter a prize draw for the following package to one winner comprising:

  • 1 Levi’s® Retail Voucher to the value of $1,000 (redeemable at any Levi’s® mainline retail store nationally)
  • 2 domestic return Eastern Seaboard flights (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide)
  • 2 nights’ accommodation at any TFE Hotel: https://www.tfehotels.com/
  • 2 badges to the BIGSOUND 2017 Conference.

*Terms and conditions apply

You will be asked for your name and email. This information is only used to make sure no answers are counted twice and to contact you in the event you win the prize draw for participating in the survey. Your personal information will never be shared with any third party, except as required by law. The survey responses will be aggregated and you will not be identified in any publications so there are no anticipated risks to you personally associated with participating in this research. However, if you have any concerns, you may withdraw from the project at any time prior to publication of the research.


Upon receipt of the data, the identifying information will be separated from the data and replaced with a participant ID.  The master list linking participant IDs and names will be stored in a separate location from the data.  The collected data will be stored securely (on a password protected computer / in a locked filing cabinet) in the Chief Investigator’s office.  Data will be retained for a minimum of 5 years as per University of Newcastle requirements.


The collected data may be presented in academic publications or conferences.  Non-identifiable data may be also be shared with other parties to encourage scientific scrutiny and to contribute to further research and public knowledge, or as required by law.

You can access a summary of the results of the research by visiting our website at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/research-and-innovation/centre/education-arts/cecar/about-us


Please read this Information Statement and be sure you understand its contents before you consent to participate.  If there is anything you do not understand, or you have questions, please contact the researcher.   If you would like to participate, please click the button below to continue to the survey.


If you would like further information please contact:

Professor Stephen Chen

Professor of International Business

Newcastle Business School

University of Newcastle

Callaghan NSW 2308


T:  +61(0) 2 49216680‬

Email: stephen.chen@newcastle.edu.au


Tracy Redhead

Senior Research Assistant

School of Creative Arts

Faculty of Education & Arts

Cnr. Laman and Auckland Street

Newcastle  2300

Email: Tracy.Redhead@newcastle.edu.au


This project has been approved by the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee, Approval No. H-2016-0070.

Should you have concerns about your rights as a participant in this research, or you have a complaint about the manner in which the research is conducted, it may be given to the researcher, or, if an independent person is preferred, to the Human Research Ethics Officer, Research Office, The Chancellery, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia, telephone (02) 49216333, email Human-Ethics@newcastle.edu.au.


I have read the above Information Statement and I agree to participate in the research project.

The Australian Music Exports Survey is open from Wednesday 2 November through to Friday 2 December 2016.


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The winner has been drawn – congratulations to Brayden Becher from Ivanhoe Melbourne and thank you to everyone who completed the survey.

COUPON CODE As a token of our appreciation, you will receive a 20% Levi’s® discount voucher to use online at www.levis.com.au, valid from 2nd November 2016, 5pm to 28th December 2016, 5pm.

20% off storewide (no exclusions).


  • No product exclusions
  • Includes free shipping
  • Not available in conjunction with any other promotion offers


You will also have the chance to enter a prize draw for the following package to one winner comprising:

  • 1 Levi’s® Retail Voucher to the value of $1,000 (redeemable at any Levi’s® mainline retail store nationally)
  • 2 domestic return Eastern Seaboard flights (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide)
  • 2 badges to the BIGSOUND 2017 Conference.


1. These terms and conditions of entry, including information on how to participate and prize details (Terms), apply to the competition and entry into the competition is deemed to be acceptance of these Terms.

2. The promoter of this competition is The University of Newcastle, ABN 15 736 576 735 located at University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308 (University).

3. The competition is free to enter and will be open from 12:00pm Australian Eastern

Daylight Saving Time [AEDST] on 2 November, 2016 until 23:59pm on 2 December, 2016

(Competition Period).

4. Entry in the competition is open to anyone involved in the production and distribution of music, residing in Australia or of Australian nationality, excluding:

a) Persons who have used or attempted to use any more than one name in order to qualify to win a competition run by or on behalf of the University (except in the case of a legal change of name); and b) Persons who have breached the terms and conditions of any competition run by or on behalf of the University.

Note: Eligible Entrant: The University is responsible for determining whether a person is an

Eligible Entrant in its absolute discretion.


5. To enter and be eligible to win, Eligible Entrants must submit an eligible entry during the

Competition Period by:

(a) Providing an eligible email address in the box at the bottom of these terms and conditions; and (b) Completing the survey described in the preceding ‘Information Statement’.


6. A random prize draw will be conducted at the University of Newcastle by a nominated staff member using an online random sequence generator at midday AEDST on 21 December, 2016 from all Eligible Entries received during the competition (Draw).

7. The first Eligible Entrant with a valid Eligible Entry drawn in the Draw will win the following (“the Prize”): 1 Levi’s® Retail Voucher to the value of $1,000 (redeemable at any Levi’s® mainline retail store nationally); 2 domestic return Eastern Seaboard flights (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide); 2 nights’ accommodation at any TFE Hotel: https://www.tfehotels.com; 2 badges to the BIGSOUND 2017 Conference

8. If the Prize remains unclaimed after 3 months (midday (AEST) Tuesday 21st March 2017) a second random redraw will be conducted by a representative of the University, from all remaining Eligible Entries received in the competition, subject to any directions from the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing.)

9. The winner will be notified immediately following the prize draw via the email address provided to the University on entry into the competition.

10. Upon being notified, the winner will be asked to provide contact and shipping details for prize fulfilment. The Promoter will deliver the Prize to the winner within 7 days of the Prize being drawn.

11. The Prize does not include cost of delivery outside of Australia.


12. Each Entrant understands that by entering in the Competition, the Promoter will be collecting their personal information, for the purposes of this competition and survey participation. 13. Personal details will remain confidential, in line with the protocol outlined in the Participant Information Statement, accessible only to employees of the Promoter who have the appropriate jurisdiction. Entrant’s details will not be provided to any third party not specified in this documents or the Information Statement for participants. Entrants’ details will be kept on secure servers at the University of Newcastle and will be destroyed as soon as the prize drawing is completed and the prize has been accepted.

14. Each Eligible Entry counts towards one entry only.

15. Prizes are not transferable, exchangeable or redeemable for cash. Prizes must be taken as offered and may not be varied.

16. The University accepts no responsibility for any variation in the value of the Prize.

17. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Promoter makes no representations or warranties in relation to any Prize including but not limited to as to the quality, suitability or merchantability of any Prize or its fitness for any purpose.

18. The Promoter is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by equipment or programming associated with or utilised in this Competition, or by any technical error which may occur in the course of the administration of this Competition.

19. If, for any reason, the competition is not capable of being run as planned, including due to tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud or any other causes beyond the control of the

University, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the competition, the University reserves the right in its absolute discretion to take any action that may be available to it, including cancelling, terminating, modifying or suspending the competition.

20. Any entrant who, in the opinion of the University, tampers or interferes with the entry mechanism or Draw in any way, engages in any unlawful or improper conduct which jeopardises or is likely to jeopardise the fair or proper conduct of the competition, or who does not properly comply with the entry process, will be ineligible to win.

21. Incomplete, illegible, indecipherable or incorrect entries are not eligible to win.

22. The University reserves the right to disqualify entries in the event of noncompliance with these Terms. The University’s decisions in relation to all aspects of the competition are final and binding on each entrant and no correspondence will be entered into.

23. The University, the University’s related entities associated with the competition; shall not be liable for any loss or claim, action, demand, liability, damage, cost, expense or personal injury whatsoever (including but not limited to any direct, indirect or consequential loss), incurred, suffered or sustained by any person or entity (without limitation) in connection with, or arising from, the competition or the acceptance or use of, or participation in, except that which cannot be excluded by law (in which case that liability is limited to the maximum extent allowable by law).

24. The University accepts no responsibility for any tax liabilities that may arise from winning or receiving the benefit of the competition.

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Friday 12 July 2019

New research highlights Australian music’s global export value and strong international success

The Australian music industry makes an estimated $195 million from international markets each year according to a ground-breaking report examining the cultural and economic value of Australian music exports.

Born Global: Australian music exports is the first comprehensive report that calculates the value of the Australian music industry as an international export.

The research was conducted over three years by the University of Newcastle and Monash University, in partnership with Sounds Australia, APRA AMCOS and the Australia Council for the Arts.

The Australia Council has also released a summary report which presents key insights from the broader research and reflects international success stories of artists such as Flume, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Methyl Ethel and Courtney Barnett.

The report examines the key factors underpinning international success for artists. It also looks at how Australia’s support for artists compares to other countries, such as Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, Sweden and the UK, and what we can learn from the various models of support.

Australia Council Arts Practice Director for Music Paul Mason said:

“Music is one of our nation’s most powerful cultural exports. When our artists connect with audiences around the globe, they are sharing culture and perspectives. The increased number, range and diversity of Australian musicians who are achieving international success is promoting a rich and nuanced sense of Australian creativity in a global context.”

“The insights from this research help to paint a clearer picture of the state of Australia’s exporting music industry, as well as the opportunities for its future, including potential avenues to support the continued growth of the industry.”

The research adds to the growing weight of evidence showing the strong success of Australian music overseas including an increase in performances by Australian artists and the number of Australian songwriters earning revenue from overseas. The latest APRA AMCOS figures show overseas royalties to Australian artists doubled over the past five years.

APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said:

“More and more Australian musicians are now globally recognised household names, with music now standing alongside the powerhouses of Australian exports; food, agriculture, wine, tourism. But we are at a critical time for our industry, at a crossroad when the economic models that support music are shifting around the world.”

“The opportunity now is to build on the work in the North America and European markets and to explore the full potential of Australian music exports and people-to-people links in the Asia-Pacific rim and South America.”

Lead researcher and University of Newcastle conjoint Professor Richard Vella said:

“Australian music has always punched above its weight on an international stage. The internet means musicians today operate in a ‘born global’ environment. They can digitally release their music at the same time in multiple countries without always having to begin by promoting their work locally,” Professor Vella said.

“This first-of-its-kind study unpacks the structures, support and international strategies Australia needs to have in place to ensure its artists are export ready.”

Fellow researcher Associate Professor Shane Homan from Monash University said:

“Australia is well placed to build upon recent successes and establish long term goals and infrastructure that rewards governments, artists, managers and recording labels for sustained effort.”

“There is substantial scope to support Australian artists who have shown that they are innovators, and where live performance remains a key component of global success”.

Key insights:

  • The export value of the Australia music industry is estimated to be approximately $195 million. This includes the combined export income of Australian artists, music publishers and record labels.
  • Digital platforms are providing new business models for artists to reach global audiences. However, professional networks and spending time in a target market remain key factors in achieving international success.Government grants provided the largest source of export support among surveyed artists. Those with support from both government and industry reported the greatest export success.
  • Live performance remains the top source of international income for Australian musicians.
  • The biggest markets for Australian music are the US, UK and Germany, and there is further potential to tap in to growing interest in Australian music from other regions.
  • The research has been funded by the Australian Research Council as an Industry Linkage project.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Value of Australian music export
goes under the microscope with new research

The economic and cultural value of Australian music export will be determined in a new study that is the first of its kind.

Funded by the Australian Research Council, APRA AMCOS and the Australia Council for the Arts, the research project is an exciting collaboration between the music industry and academics from the University of Newcastle and Monash University.

The research will be completed over three years and arrives at a time when Australian artists like Sia, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, Flume, Vance Joy, Troye Sivan and 5 Seconds of Summer are dominating the world stage.

Field work and interviews for The Economic and Cultural Value of Australian Music Exports project commenced in May this year at music events The Great Escape (UK), Classical:NEXT (the Netherlands), MIDEM (France) and A2IM Indie Week (USA).

The project intends to measure the economic contribution Australian music export makes to GDP; the impact and return on investment of Sounds Australia; and less tangible elements of music export such as cultural experience, practice and identity and their integration with public policy.

“This is a great opportunity to study the workings of a global industry which has been neglected by most international business and management researchers,” says one of the chief investigators, Professor Stephen Chen of the University of Newcastle.

It promises to bring a fresh perspective on exporting in the creative industries, and should be useful for artists, companies in the industry as well as policy makers.”

APRA AMCOS Head of Member Services, Dean Ormston, expects the data to highlight Australia’s music export potential:

“With the right investment, Australia could set its sights on becoming a net music exporter. This research will seek to provide evidence of the far-reaching economic and cultural benefits generated by Australian music export.”

Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Practice Director, Music, Paul Mason, says the research will demonstrate the impact of cultural funding on music export:

“The project will deliver empirical results that can be used by government and industry to plan and support the Australian music sector well into the future.”

The research team is led by chief investigators Professor Richard Vella (The University of Newcastle), Professor Stephen Chen (The University of Newcastle), Associate Professor Shane Homan (Monash University), Tracy Redhead senior research assistant (The University of Newcastle) and partner investigator Millie Millgate (Executive Producer, Sounds Australia).

They are calling on Australian artists and businesses (including managers, record labels, publishers, booking agents, music producers and promoters) to complete a detailed survey that canvases the full scope of the Australian music export ecosystem resulting in a definitive study.

In appreciation, all respondents who complete the survey will enter a draw to win a prize pack kindly donated by Showgroup, BIGSOUND and Levi’s® comprising flights, accommodation, passes to BIGSOUND 2017 and a Levi’s® voucher*.

The Australian Music Exports Survey is open from today, Wednesday 2 November through to Friday 2 December 2016 and can be found here.

*Terms and conditions apply to prize pack. Please visit the project page for full details.

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Media Enquiries:

APRA AMCOS Communications

Karen Tinman 02 9935 7623 comms@apra.com.au | www.apraamcos.com.au