Shaping the music recording industry

Australia is a net importer of cultural trade, and Australian music is no different. Research is required to properly plan how governments can best assist the local recording industry, and to identify current challenges in rapidly changing global music markets.

Associate Professor Shane Homan’s research examines the music industries, with a particular interest in how governments encourage music activity within broader arts and cultural policies. He has advised NSW and Victorian governments on live music regulation; and is the co-author of Vanishing Acts (2003), a study that examined obstacles to music venues in NSW.

Shane was a consultant to the Victorian government on its 2016 Music Works package of popular music initiatives; and is currently part of an Australian Research Council project examining the viability of Australian music exports.  He is a current advisor to the International Music Management Forum on copyright reform in the EU.

In 2013, Associate Professor Homan completed The music recording sector in Australia: strategic initiatives report for the Australia Council. The report sought to assess the financial, promotional and cultural challenges facing Australian recording companies in an era of global, digital connectivity. Shane interviewed managers of classical, pop, rock, country and hip hop labels, including larger multinational and smaller ‘indie’ recording companies.

Changes to policy settings

The music recording sector in Australia report found that more assistance was required to stimulate small recording labels across Australia.

The Australia Council created a new ‘indie’ label category of funding for small labels and recordings by new artists (such as Courtney Barnett). The subsequent federal government’s 2013 Creative Australiapolicy also acted on the report’s recommendation to increase funding for Sounds Australia, the nation’s music export scheme.

The third, central recommendation – to investigate offset tax relief for Australian sound recordings in similar ways provided for Australian films – provoked a report by music copyright body APRA-AMCOS, Investment initiative to cultivate the Australian contemporary music industry in 2016, which was presented to the federal Arts Minister for consideration.

Chief Investigator Associate Professor Shane Homan

Funder Australia Council for the Arts

Other Partners Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA), Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), Australian Independent Recording labels (AIR)

Date of Award 2013