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Music Distribution and Income: A Survey

Since 2009, Arts Victoria has partnered with the Box Hill Institute to examine the ways that Victorian contemporary musicians format, distribute and sell their music.

The research, conducted by students of Box Hill Institute’s Bachelor of Applied Business - Music Industry, included an online survey and a focus group comprising musicians across a wide variety of genres.

2011 results

Key findings from the 2011 research included: 

  • 70% of musicians surveyed identified ‘live performance’ as their primary source of income from music activities (73% in 2010);
  • 81% reported that the majority of their physical music sales come from selling at gigs;
  • 56% of musicians who perform live reported that they do not get paid or are paid for less than a quarter of their performances.
  • 66% of respondents believed that giving away music either encouraged listeners to purchase a product or attend a performance.
  • The focus group and the survey revealed a lack of knowledge of distribution methods and insufficient funds are common issues for most artists when it comes to distributing music.

View the full research findings

Download the Music Distribution and Income survey findings  (PDF, 215KB)
Download the Music Distribution and Income survey findings  (DOC, 370KB)