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Economic and Cultural Value of Live Music

Key Message

In 2014 live music contributed $15.7 billion worth of economic, social and cultural benefits to the Australian community. 


University of Tasmania, City of Sydney, City of Melbourne, The Government of South Australia, and the Live Music Office. (2014). The Economic and Cultural Value of Live Music in Australia 2014. Sydney, NSW: Live Music Office. 81 pp.


The original contribution of this study is to locate the discrete values of live music activity and, for the first time, illustrate the dynamic ways in which they interact.

We depict how producers and consumers use their time and money to enable live music making in Australia. This affects individual and community states of physical, human, social, and symbolic capital, which is converted by users into a set of economically valuable outputs that impact upon the welfare of society.

Our model adopts the best-practice principles of cost and benefit analysis to estimate the value of the unique cluster of activities associated with live music making in Australia. As this report includes the first known valuation of live music as an economic, social and cultural ecosystem within a defined region, we also identify several new directions for future research.


Commercial benefits

Using the Australian Regional Input-Output Matrix (RIOM) model, it is estimated that the impact of consumers’ expenditure on live music was to increase output in the Australian economy by $9.7 billion. The increase in wages, rents, profits and taxes associated with the increase in production is estimated to have delivered $1.2 billion of additional value, or profit, to all Australian producers (compared to an alternative case in which all the expenditure enabled by live music ceased). Taken together with an employer enjoyed productivity premium of $884.3 million, the sum of benefits returned to businesses as a result of live music making in Australia in 2014 was estimated to be $2.1 billion.

Civic benefits 

The expenditure associated with live music making in Australia is also estimated to have enabled in the order of nearly 65,000 full-time and part-time jobs to the value of $2.2 billion, and taxation revenue to all tiers of government of $950.6 million. Civic benefits acknowledged but not quantified by this study include the significant levels of volunteering that occur within live music making in Australia, as well as the costs potentially avoided by our civil systems of health, criminal and social justice.

Individual benefits

Patrons of live music making in Australia revealed through statements the value of their satisfaction with their purchases to be worth $10.4 billion. The extent to which non-consumers identify a level of well-being with having live music making in Australia, even though they may are not actually engaging with it, is commended a direction for future research.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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