New data released today by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has revealed that Australia’s recorded music revenue reached a 16-year high in 2022, growing for the fourth consecutive year.
Wholesale revenue from recorded music reached $609.6 million in 2022, an increase of 7.4% from 2021’s figures. According to ARIA, that growth figure also exceeds “leading markets like the USA, UK and France.”
ARIA CEO: “There is work to be done to ensure new Australian artists are discovered”
The main drivers of growth for the industry were streaming and vinyl, with subscription streaming services rising 8.9% to $410.7 million – making up 67% of recorded music revenue. Streaming subscriptions accounted for nearly three-quarters of total digital sales in 2022, with download sales falling 17.7% to $19.2 million. Total digital sales were up 7.8% to $551.3 million, making up around 90% of all music sales.
Vinyl sales jumped nearly 23% to $36.9 million in 2022, making up 63.4% of physical sales by dollar value. CDs suffered a 17% decrease from 2021 figures.
In a statement, ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd said it was “thrilling” to see the growth reflected in the figures. “Music plays such an important role in the every day lives of Australians,” she said. “It has helped us through a number of difficult years and more recently, played an integral role in reconnecting communities in the wake of the pandemic as artists reunited with fans across the country.”
Herd acknowledged there was “work to be done” to ensure “new Australian artists are being discovered and their stories heard.” She continued: “The continued growth of subscription services is a great indicator that more Australians are listening to more music than ever, but it also highlights the significant role these platforms play in driving discoverability, given they account for substantially more than half of overall consumption.”
Herd pointed to the total lack of Australian albums in last week’s ARIA Top 10 to emphasise that an urgent strategy must be developed “to ensure that the growing number of Australian music lovers can connect with Australian artists.”
Lack of Australian representation in the ARIA Charts has been a source of widespread frustration in recent years. When ARIA released its year-end charts for 2022, it revealed that, of the top 100 singles and albums, there were only 11 Australian artists on each list.
Midnight Oil called attention to the problem in February 2022 when their album Resist debuted at number one on the ARIA Albums chart – the only Australian album in the top 10 when it did so. In a statement shared at the time, the band expressed shock that themselves and INXS were among only five Australian artists with top 40 albums that week.
“What year is it again?” they wrote. In their statement, the Oils suggested the lack of Australian representation could be a structural problem, and called for change.