Labour markets for musicians
The superstar effect also has some interesting effects in labour markets for musicians. Firstly, it results in what Frank and Cook (2010) call “winner-take-all” in labour markets, in which a few artists will capture most of the market while the rest struggle to make a living. This seems to be confirmed by data on the jobs and incomes of most musicians. At the lower end of the income scale, several studies have found that artists come out at the top of the list of occupations whose practitioners hold multiple jobs (Menger, 2015, p. 151). Throsby and Zednik (2011) found that the labour market profiles of many artists are characterised by multiple job-holding. They identify three types of jobs that artists engage in, corresponding to three separate labour markets: The market for their creative work (including time spent on all preparation, practice, rehearsal, research related to their creative work, etc.), the market for arts-related work that is not part of their core creative output but that uses their artistic skills in areas such as teaching in their art form and the non-arts labour market (such as working as a taxi driver or a waiter in a restaurant). Throsby (1994) argued that the labour markets for artists do not conform to conventional theories and suggested the following artist-specific model. If the alternative consists of spending time in artistic or non-artistic jobs, when relative wages increase for non-artistic jobs, individuals spend less time on the latter activity, since they have obtained the level of earnings that they need in order to pursue what they consider as their main job.
Our study also highlighted another feanire of jobs in the music industry. Fifty percent of Australian musicians in our survey reported having more than one music-related role in the industry, with some holding four or five roles in the music industry, for example, an artist who is also a manager, a record producer and a publisher (Figure 2.9). Although based on a relatively small sample size of 60, our survey suggests that holding multiple roles appears to be associated with high expoi-t incomes. The two individuals with the highest foreign incomes (above A$20,000 p.a.) also held multiple roles in the industry. Which one leads to the other is unclear.
Barriers to foreign market entry for artists
Some indication of the challenges for artists in competing in international markets can be gleaned from international music charts. Two of the best known are
Figure 2.9 Music roles held by artists. Source: Australian Music Industry Exports Survey.
Figure 2.10 Appearances in United States Billboard Top 100 Songs by country of lead artist 2009-2018. Source: Compiled from Billboards Charts.
the Billboard Top 100 and the Official UK Top 100 charts. Billboard magazine monitors the relative popularity of songs and albums in the United States and elsewhere on a weekly and yearly basis. The charts can be ranked according to sales, streams or airplay, and for main song charts such as the Hot 100, all three pools of data are used. The Official UK Top 100 chart is a similar chart compiled by the Official Charts Company, based on official sales of downloads, CD, vinyl, audio and video streams in the UK. Figures 2.10 and 2.11 show the appearances by
Figure 2.11 Appearances in United Kingdom Music Charts Top 100 by country of artist 2009-2018. Source: Compiled from Officialcharts.
country of the lead artist according to Billboard and the Official Charts Company respectively over the period 2009-2018.
What is immediately noticeable is the greater presence of home country (US) artists in the Billboard Top 100 compared with home country (UK) artists in the UK Official Charts. US artists also feature as frequently or more frequently compared with UK artists in the UK charts. This is consistent with the export figures at the countiy level showing the dominance of the US in music exports and confirms the strong advantages held by US artists in international music export markets. Also noticeable is the relatively low number of appearances of artists from non- English speaking nations such as France and Germany which have relatively large domestic markets, confirming the importance of language in music exports.
The value of music awards
A unique characteristic of cultural industries is that participants are often highly motivated by intrinsic rewards. For example, recent research has highlighted the value of awards. As Frey and Gallus (2017) have noted, awards provide several benefits for recipients that are not always monetary, for example, a sign of appreciation, recognition, a special relationship to the donor and, most importantly, social status. The best-known awards in the English-speaking music industry are the Grammys and BRIT Awards. The Grammys (a term derived from
“gramophone”) was introduced in 1959 and was modelled on award ceremonies in other media industries (viz. the Oscars for motion pictures, the Tonys for theatre and the Emmy Awards for television). The BRIT Awards are the equivalent awards for the British Phonographic Industry.
As well as symbolic value, awards can also have economic value. Anand and Watson (2004) found that emerging artists who won Grammy Awards subsequently sold more records. As a result of the intense media exposure, industry- level attention and interlocking of retailers promoting the Grammy Awards, they found that the Best New Artist winners outsell nominees by nearly a million units per year. However, beyond the economic value, rewards also serve to structure the cultural field. For example, winning a Grammy or BRIT Award can be seen as a signal by the industry that the artist is one that is worth investing in, leading in turn to greater consumer access to the works of winning artists.
For comparison, we show the Grammy and BRIT Awards won by Australian artists over the period 2015-2018 (Figures 2.12 and 2.13 respectively). What is immediately noticeable is the much larger number of BRIT Awards to Australian artists compared with Grammy Awards. This might be due to the much larger number of US artists compared with UK artists and so higher competition in the US compared with the UK. However, it is also interesting that the Grammy Awards are all for international artists whereas none of the BRIT Awards is an award that is specifically for international artists, suggesting perhaps differences in the way international artists are viewed in the US vs. the UK. It is also noticeable that all the Australian artists who have won a Grammy or BRIT Award are all artists who have previously established some success domestically in Australia, suggesting that domestic success is a requisite for international success.