02/11/2016 - 15:18

Contemporary music a nice little earner

02/11/2016 - 15:18

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New research from Edith Cowan University has found that Western Australia’s contemporary music scene is worth nearly $1 billion to the state’s economy. 

Contemporary music a nice little earner
Alan Taylor said there was a need for facts, data and scale in order for the WA industry to be recognised for its worth. Photo: Grant Currall.

New research from Edith Cowan University has found that Western Australia’s contemporary music scene is worth nearly $1 billion to the state’s economy.

The research was undertaken on behalf of West Australian Music (WAM), the peak industry body for contemporary music in WA. In a report released today, the ECU-WAM study found that the total economic impact of the WA contemporary music industry was $985 million.

The report also indicates a WA contribution of $655 million to the $5.9 billion in total revenue generated by contemporary music industry nationally.

It also revealed that the WA sector added $330 million in value to the economy, employed almost 3,000 people, and made $111 million in ticket sales via 1.1 million attendees per annum.

WAM chief executive Mike Harris said the state continued to punch above its weight in both national and international markets, with well-known artists and bands such as Tame Impala.

“The research project came about due to our concern that there is a lack of funding and investment in music in WA,” he said.

“We have our WAM festival happening this week, there’ll be cultural ministers, as well as interstate and international delegates in town, so it’s the perfect time for the debate and dialogue to start.”

The annual WAM festival will showcase more than 160 performances at venues across Perth this weekend, with a conference hosting more than 70 speakers from a pool of local, national and international industry experts across 14 panel discussions.

WAM chair Alan Taylor, who is also the managing director of advertising agency 303MullenLowe, said the next stages of the research program would focus on proving the role the industry played economically, as well as how critical it was to the social and cultural wellbeing of WA.

“WAM’s strategy has been refined to focus more on the business of music,” he said.

“My background is harnessing research to prove the worth of things – you need facts and data and scale, and to get this industry up a number of notches it needs to be recognised for its worth.

“This is not just about money and funding this is about recognition of an industry that has significant contribution.”

Mr Taylor said there was also an unrealised contribution of the industry to ‘brand WA’.

“We have local musicians representing our state all over the world,” he said.

“Just one example is Tame Impala performing to a crowd of over 135,000 as one of the headline acts at this year’s Glastonbury Festival – this puts WA on the map internationally.

“If you have WA bands touring the world, going on talk shows, radio interviews talking about where they are from … that’s all good for the state’s exposure as well.”

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