Appendix 3: Music export snapshots
Derived from the Export Strategies survey conducted in 2018 (see the Methodology section in Chapter 1), we collated data which provided some insight into individual activities and revenues, based upon one artist and one artist manager snapshot. They support themes discussed elsewhere in the book, particularly the Australian contexts related to strategies, funding, advantages and challenges, and the role of Sounds Australia.
The participant self-nominated as an artist, who also had established an “indie” label and publishing companies, representing one artist at an established international level, and eight domestic artists in the genres of pop and “indie”. The artist had attended four international music market events, with five to ten years of export experience, and considered themselves “very knowledgeable” in relation to exports and had established international contacts.
The artist reported their activities as 70% domestic and 30% international in terms of time/effort. Figure A.l lists the artist’s investments and revenue related to exports; revenue totalled S5.24 million for the nine-year period. Revenue of $1,000,000 was reported from securing a major recording/licensing deal within a 12-month period after an investment of $3,000.
As with the majority of experienced exporters, the artist employed publicists, streaming and tastemakers as tools to export. However, they did not use playlists and digital analytics. Having a local partner in place before showcasing at an international market event was “important”. The artist’s advance planning was shorter than average; we can speculate that the artist received opportunities that required a quick turnaround (that could in turn explain a listing of shorter than average time on a return on investments). For example, when engaging in a major and independent recording/licencing deal, the artist saw a return within 6-12 months.
The artist reported an immediate return from touring or support slot activities, publishing and synchronisation opportunities, brand partnership/sponsorship, product endorsement and international TV and radio appearances.
The artist employed four staff and had received substantial investment from the music industry, including a $400,000 investment from a record label and
Figure A. 1 Artist snapshot: Investment and revenue.
publisher, and $10,000 from a financial institution. The artist’s family invested $50,000 and were acknowledged as being “very important”. The artist received a further $35,000 in government funding (a $30,000 Australia Council grant and $5,000 from State or Territory government funding). Survey participants were also questioned about obstacles to export activities. For this artist, restrictive visa regulations were a significant barrier, as well as travel costs, financing, access to funding and the types of funding available.
The artist acknowledged Sounds Australia’s role as “very important” in their past export strategies, introducing them to networks which enabled attendance at showcase opportunities (resulting in engaging an international record producer
Figure A.2 Artist snapshot: Export activities and advance planning.
and publicist, and perhaps influencing the later success of the major recording deal/licencing opportunity listed earlier).
Established artist manager snapshot
This survey participant provided data over the past nine years, identifying their role as an artist manager who also ran an independent label and was an independent publisher. The manager reported utilising two employees and represents seven art- ists/bands across hip hop, pop, alternative and “indie” genres. Characterised by the methods discussed in Chapter 3, the manager was responsible for two Emerging artists, four Breakthrough artists, four Established artists and one Epic artist.
It is unclear if all seven artists/bands are managed, published and released through the business. However, the manager had established international networks and self-identified as “extremely knowledgeable” about exports, working in the domestic and international markets for 15-20 years and attended over 15 international market events.
Figure A. 3 Artist snapshot: Time and return on activities.
Given their artists’ higher domestic profile, activities were listed as 50% domestic and 50% international. Domestic success was considered “important” but not very important in developing a successful export strategy. Averages and estimates were provided that revealed revenue of over SAUlOm over the past nine years with an approximate investment of $AU6,330,000. Over the past nine years, the manager had undertaken all the export activities listed in the survey (as shown in Figure A.2) except for international management/co-management. This could be an indication that they represent their artists internationally. An estimate of their activities, financial investment and revenue is provided in Figure A.4.
A S20,000 grant was received by the Australia Council for the Arts and S40,000 from other government funding. The manager had borrowed or received financial support from family (SI0,000) and a publisher (520,000) to assist with export costs. Family/peer support was listed as “important” in realising export strategies.
As with other survey participants, the manager used similar tools to other “knowledgeable” exporters, including playlists, tastemakers and digital analytics (see Figure A.3). These were “very important” in affirming the need for “having a local partner in place before showcasing at an international market event”.
Figure A.4 Artist manager snapshot: Investment and revenue.
Figure A.5 shows the longest planning time was for international music market events. This exemplifies the importance of building networks in planning for export activities, and the importance of attending international market events. Research and partnerships take time to develop. Showcase events are also planned up to two years in advance.
The manager listed major and independent recording/licensing deals as taking the longest to see an expected return.
In terms of barriers, the manager listed quicker response times for grant applications, immigration issues, more ground support in foreign countries and the relocation of band/artist to a new market as “very impoi-tant”. They did not
Figure AJ Artist manager snapshot: Export activities and advance planning.
nominate competition of international acts, access to education and information, resources or completing an Export Market and Development Grant (EMDG) application as barriers to their expoxt activities. The EMDG scheme is a government initiative providing financial assistance to small and medium expoxt-ready businesses. Exporters are reimbursed up to 50% of eligible promotion expenses to a maximum of SI 50,000 (Austrade, 2019). However, significant barriers were financing, travel time and costs in following up opportunities.
The manager listed Sounds Australia as “very important” in their export strategies and believed that for Australian musicians to successfully realise profitable export careers, more financial support for Sounds Australia was “very important”. Introductions by a team member of Sounds Australia were listed as being the main reason certain opportunities arose and could be linked to subsequent successful export activities. These included international showcase events, international festivals and publishing or a sub-publishing deal. These introductions resulted in very successful outcomes, including $2 million profit via sub/publishing, and
Figure A. 6 Artist manager snapshot: Export activities time to see expected return.
$200,000 profit from an international festival. One international showcase event was listed as being very successful, even though it resulted in a financial loss that was planned as a future investment into opportunities and/or profile building.
Austrade (2019). Export Market Development Giants (EMDG). Retrieved from: https:// www.austrade.gov.au' Austrahan/Export/Export-Grants