Survey finds growth in indie label revenue over the past four years

The independent recording sector made $183million in revenue last financial year

Independent record labels in Australia grew in revenue by 18 per cent over the past four financial years, according to a new report released by Deloitte Access Economics.

The report from the Australian independent music market was released today (June 17) and commissioned by the Australian Independent Records Association. Researchers collected survey data from 34 labels and distributors in order to produce the report.

Last financial year, it is estimated the independent recording sector made $183million in revenue. This is an 18 per cent increase from Deloitte’s previous estimate of $155million in 2014-15.

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Even though revenue had grown in the independent sector it also did among major labels, so indie labels continued to hold a market share of roughly 31 per cent. Just under two-thirds of survey respondents said they made less than $125,000 in annual revenue.

According to Deloitte, “the typical independent record label in Australia represented 24 artists, and sold over 2.5 million albums in 2018-19”. Seventy-three per cent of these album sales were digital, compared to 2014-15 where physical sales held the majority at 68 per cent.

Artists represented by independent labels responding to the survey played 2,500 headline and 800 support shows last year, in addition to more than 1,000 international shows.

Read the full report here.

In April, ARIA published findings that showed the Australian music industry grew for the fifth consecutive year in a row, recording a 5.5 per cent growth in revenue last year. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected the industry this year, with live entertainment coming to a halt.

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“2020 will be a year like no other due to the impact of COVID-19, but Australian artists and the music industry have faced numerous challenges over the years and have consistently adapted and innovated,” ARIA CEO Dan Rosen said at the time.

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