- At 30 June 1996, there were 541 businesses (comprising record companies, distributors, manufacturers of recorded music, music publishers and sound recording studios) active in the field of music.
- Total employment (including working proprietors) was 3,886 persons of whom 2,283 (59%) were male and 1,603 (41%) female. Full-time employment accounted for 85% (3,317) of the total.
- For 1995-96, the total income of music businesses was $1,064.0m of which sales of goods and services contributed $897.5m (84%). Record companies and distributors generated $725.5m (81%) of these sales while manufacturers of recorded music generated a further $94.5m (11%).
- Publishing and sound recording royalties accounted for $135.6m (13%) of total income. Of these royalties, $93.8m was earned by music publishers and $41.8m by record companies and distributors.
- For 1995-96, the total expenses of music businesses were $994.6m. Of this, $291.4m (29%) was for publishing and sound recording royalties, while $262.2m (26%) went on manufacturing costs and purchases. Labour costs accounted for $139.5m (14%).
- Music businesses recorded an operating profit before tax of $80.1m with record companies and distributors contributing 61% of this. The overall profit margin was 7.5% and business gross product was $255.4m.
- Net capital expenditure was $47.5m, 52% of which was contributed by record companies and distributors.
- Total income of the 153 record companies and distributors was $792.4m. Their overall profit margin was 6.1% and business gross product was $162.1m. Of the total income, $576.2m (73%) was generated by the largest 7 businesses (ranked by gross income) which are known within the music business as 'the majors'. They also accounted for $41.2m (85%) of the total operating profit before tax of $48.5m.
- Total employment of record companies and distributors was 2,324 persons of whom 1,952 were employees employed on a permanent basis. For the majors, employment was 1,301 which was 56% of the total.
- Total expenses of record companies and distributors were $751.5m, of which $216.9m was for manufacturing costs and purchases, and $215.9m for publishing and sound recording royalties. The majors' share of total expenses was 72% ($540.2m).
- Total income of the 23 manufacturers of recorded music was $95.0m, while the operating profit before tax was $15.5m, profit margin was 16.3% and business gross product was $46.2m.
- Total income of the 73 music publishers was $119.9m. Operating profit before tax was $8.3m, profit margin was 6.9% and business gross product was $17.2m. Of total income, 74% ($88.3m) was contributed by the largest 7 businesses (ranked by gross income).
- Total employment of music publishers was 269 persons of whom 44% were employed by the largest 7 businesses.
- Total expenses of music publishers were $112.1m. Publishing royalties accounted for 65% ($72.8m) of this figure and labour costs a further 10% ($11.0m). The largest 7 businesses incurred 73% of the total expenses and 56% of the labour costs.
- Total income of the 292 businesses mainly involved in operating a recording studio was $56.6m. Operating profit before tax was $7.8m, profit margin was 13.8% and business gross product was $29.9m. Of total income, 30% was contributed by the largest 7 businesses (ranked by gross income).
- Total employment of recording studios was 800 persons of which 220 were working proprietors.
- Nearly two-thirds (66%) of the studios received their income mainly from music recording, mixing and mastering. However, they generated only 33% of total income and 13% of operating profit before tax.
- The most profitable studio activity was advertising and jingle composition and production. The 43 studios with this as their main function had an overall profit margin of 21.5%. On the other hand, the equivalent figure for the 193 music studios was only 5.5%.
- The total expenses of studios were $48.8m, the largest component of which was $16.0m of labour costs. The largest 7 businesses incurred 28% of total expenses.
- Total income of the 113 businesses managing one or more musical entities (e.g. solo acts, duos, groups, bands) was $11.3m of which $7.5m was management income. Total employment was 189 persons and total expenses were $10.1m.
- The management businesses managed 248 musical entities and reported musical entity income of $45.0m. Almost two-thirds of this income ($29.0m) was from live performance. The figures presented would understate the income earned by all musical entities because only those which employ managers are included.
ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents detailed data from a census conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) of businesses mainly involved in selected music activities in respect of the financial year 1995-96. This is the first comprehensive study by the ABS of music activity and covers record companies, distributors and manufacturers of recorded music, music publishers and sound recording studios. Some information was also collected about managers of musical artists and the artists which they manage.
This page last updated 29 May 2009