AMIN urges political parties to endorse its proposal for a $5 million Contemporary Music Fund

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AMIN urges political parties to endorse its proposal for a $5 million Contemporary Music Fund

The contemporary music sector in Australia is big business. It contributes up to $6 billion in revenue to the Australian economy every year and creates close to 65,000 jobs (source: Music Australia). Recent national research proves that for every $1 million spent on live music, $3 million is returned back into the broader community (source: Live Music Office), and nine new jobs are generated (source WAM/ECU 2016).

Audiences love Australian music. Australia is the sixth biggest music market in the world and more tickets are sold to live music than all the sporting events combined (source: Australia Council). With more than 40 million attendances annually, contemporary music is by far the most popular of all Australian performing arts, and the most accessible to a diverse range of people (source: LPA annual ticketing report).

At a federal level, contemporary music has primarily been funded through the Australia Council for the Arts. However, the funding allocated through this agency does not reflect the value and contribution of music to our community, and this lack of strategic investment in the Australian music industry needs to change.

The Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN) represents all peak state and territory music industry associations of Australia and takes a national view of contemporary music issues. AMIN has witnessed the national arts debate focus on returning funds to the Australia Council for the Arts. Regardless of how arts funding is administered, AMIN believes there must be an additional investment, or redistribution of current funding, that is dedicated to strengthening contemporary music.

AMIN supports the policy work being undertaken by APRA AMCOS and understands that the organisation recently sought a commitment from the Minister to deliver on the following commitments:

  •   Support for Sounds Australia and the Live Music Office
  •   Recording and support for music in gaming, television and film (driven by ARIA)
  •   Education – songwriting programs in schools
  •   Touring

The policy matters currently under consideration here are integral to the ongoing health of the contemporary music sector and we urge you to support these initiatives.

We ask the political parties to also consider our concerns about the future of funding contemporary music in a way that recognises its unique value and benefits all segments of the contemporary music sector. To this end, AMIN advocates for the establishment of a Contemporary Music Fund, to adequately and equitably invest in supporting the Australian music industry.

The Contemporary Music Fund would:

  •   Fund AMIN, along with and state and territory peak music organisations, to deliver national Audience Development Initiatives that increase engagement with music.
  •   Fund Music Australia to deliver a Music Education Program and National Skills Forum.
  •   Establish a Music Export Grant Program to support opportunities for international
  • exchanges and showcasing, complementing the work of Sounds Australia.
  •   Develop a National Regional Touring Circuit and Regional Music Grant Program to support
  • touring contemporary music into regional and remote areas.
  •   Fund a Music Entrepreneurs Internship Program to develop the skills needed to manage
  • music businesses.

AMIN estimates this fund will cost $5 million per year, over and above the current federal funding of contemporary music, through both the Australia Council and Catalyst fund, and in addition to the initiatives proposed by APRA AMCOS. This modest investment in music will generate significant returns to the Australian economy in revenue and jobs growth.

In terms of reach, audience accessibility and economic impact, contemporary music is the nation’s leading artform and a vital contributor to creative industries. It is also a fundamental expression of regional identity, which can deliver important social and community development outcomes. There is not a region in Australia, from our remote communities to urban cities, that does not connect with music and would not benefit from access to, and participation in, the projects generated through a Contemporary Music Fund. This is why it makes sense to position music at the core of an arts and cultural policy.

Research undertaken by APRA AMCOS this month shows that 97% of artists would vote for the party that best supports Australian music. Committing to a Contemporary Music Fund is a timely opportunity to connect with musicians and influence their vote this election.