Australia, New Zealand Music Sectors Enjoying Growth

Figures issued separately on April 11 by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and Recorded Music New Zealand found that the recorded music sectors in both countries showed growth in 2015.  

It was Australia’s first growth since 2012, and New Zealand’s after 15 years. Both attributed the massive take-up of streaming services and the huge sales of Adele’s 25. Australia’s sector grew 5 percent to a value of A$333.8 million ($253.9 million). Digital sales doubled from 2014 to A$46 million ($35 million) and now represent 62 percent of total revenue.

CD sales were down to A$110.5 million ($84 million) but the decline slowed to just 3 percent after an 18 percent drop the year before.

This was attributed to the sales of Adele’s 25 album, which has sold eight times platinum (560,000 here), with retailers reporting that the record, which is not on streaming services, was drawing new customers to their stores where they discovered other music. Vinyl also grew by 38 percent to A$8.9 million ($6.7 million) ARIA’s Sydney-based CEO, Dan Rosen, stated, “Australian music fans are consuming more music than ever before and did so across an unprecedented number of formats from streaming and downloading on mobile devices, to buying CDs and vinyl at local record stores.”

New Zealand’s 200 percent increase of streaming pushed total wholesale revenue up 12 percent to NZ$74.4 million ($51 million). Streaming revenue, valued at NZ$25.7 million ($17.6 million), now accounts for 35 percent.

CD sales slipped 10 percent to NZ$19.3 million ($13.2 million) but still make up 26 percent of the market. The fast ascent of streaming was hailed by artist managers, whose global touring budgets are larger because their acts have to travel further to hit the North American and European markets. Craig Pearce, whose international touring acts include The Phoenix Foundation and The Black Seeds, said that not only did streaming create new fans but allowed him to track which countries were buying music and route his acts’ international tours accordingly.