This article describes one of 12 areas listed in Overview of Music Statistics: Other Sources, outlining the potential and actual contribution of sources other than the Australian Bureau of Statistics to knowledge of the music sector.

The first two sections include brief overviews of available statistics quoted in the main ABS arts and culture review (Cat 4172.0). The section on private section support then proceeds to list other sources. Following this is a section on support to international activities, showing both government and private sector sources.

Government Support

Funding by Government and Business refers to comprehensive ABS data on federal, state and territory government funding, while local government is covered in less detail. Written in 2008, it contains a detailed description with accompanying tables and charts. It is due to be updated in 2012 but meanwhile contains much background on the development of these statistics, and tables containing long-term trends.

The only funding excluded by the ABS (Cat 4183.0) relates to arts education in universities and tertiary colleges, libraries in schools and post-secondary establishments, and police and military bands which are integral parts of larger entities.

Private Sector Support

The ABS review of arts and culture (Cat 4172.0) lists the following non-ABS statistical sources for private funding:

  • Businesses and individuals can receive taxation benefits for donations of cash or property such as those listed in the Australian Government’s Register of Cultural Organisations. According to the 2009-10 Annual Report of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), these organisations made 220,884 donations totalling $74.4 million. The distribution of these funds is unknown.1
  • A survey by the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) indicated that arts and cultural organisations received $221 million from the private sector in 2009-10, compared with $212 million in 2008-09.
  • Another survey by the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) found that $54.6m was given to the 28 major opera, music, dance, drama and circus companies in Australia in 2009 (up from $48.7m in 2009). Corporate sponsorship accounted for 49% of total sponsorship and donation revenue, donations 46% and fundraising events 5% in 2010 (compare 54%, 41%, and 5% in 2009).

The Australian Youth Music Council lists three funding sources specifically for Indigenous music. The largest government program is Breakthrough with funding rounds to date in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It would be included in the annual official funding statistics from the ABS. Another program, however, is through the private arts grants fund The Seed in collaboration with the Darwin-based record label, distributor and publisher of Indigenous music Skinnyfish Music. Founded by John Butler and Danielle Caruana and previously known as The JB Seed, The Seed has evolved over six years through 2011 to become an integral part of the Australian music industry, contributing over $533,000 worth of funding to over 200 artists and music managers across the music sector (including Indigenous music).

In 2011, the Seed Fund went into partnership with APRA|AMCOS, in support of that organisation’s Professional Development Awards (PDA). Open to all emerging songwriters and composers, each PDA winner receives a prize package made up of cash, product, travel, education and recognition, valued at over $25,000. The APRA Professional Development Awards are held every two years and is given to eight emerging songwriters and composers across six categories: Popular Contemporary (three awards), Country, Jazz, Classical, Film and Television, and Indigenous.

The APRA Board sets aside 1.75% of distributable revenue each year to fund projects, organisations and events which promote the use and recognition of music by APRA members.2 There is a formal grants assessment procedure in place. The 2011-12 list of recipients consists of 101 names widely spread across the music sector.

APRA|AMCOS presents a list of organisations and authorities which provide “grants & opportunities. Many of these are government authorities but the following are not. Statistical data relating to musical activities may not be available in all cases, but estimates may be possible based on the information supplied.

  • AsiaLink: Performing arts residencies in Asia (University of Melbourne).
  • Big Brother Movement Awards: Opportunities to visit Britain.
  • British Council Accelerate Program: Eight shortlisted applicants will take part in a cultural leadership workshop in Australia, with four applicants subsequently selected to travel to the UK on a formal professional visit.
  • British Council Realise Your Dream Program: Targeted career development programs in Britain; five awards consisting of $8,000 cash, return economy air fare to London, and a tailored professional development program, devised in consultation with the British Council.
  • Carclew Youth Arts: The Dame Ruby Litchfield scholarship to one young South Australian to receive specialist training or professional development in the performing arts.
  • [ Eco Arts Awards: An annual competition in six creative genres including songwriting, to interpret the meaning of ecology. Prize: $1,000.
  • Foundation for Young Australians: FYA has invested more than $30 million into the youth sector over the past twenty years. In 2008 alone FYA supported more than 100 individuals and organisations at a total investment of $4 million. This investment will continue into the future through a variety of grant rounds and initiatives that are focused on supporting talented individuals and youth-led organisations.
  • Ian Potter Cultural Trust: Established by The Ian Potter Foundation in 1993 for the purpose of providing grants to individuals in the early stages of their career as an artist.
  • Indent Partnership Grants: Developed for young people to stage drug and alcohol-free music events across the state. The various grants assist young event promoters and emerging artists by offering support, resources and materials required to get gigs happening in their local area.
  • PPCA Performers’ Trust Foundation: Provides grants to promote and encourage music and the performing arts. Grants are awarded and can be used for tuition fees, travel costs, accommodation, venue/PA hire, investments in recordings, concerts or festival promotions or staging costs, tour support, artist management expenses, equipment purchases.3
  • Queenscliff Music Festival Perpetual Scholarship: Applicants for the QMF Perpetual Scholarship must reside in the Victorian regions of Geelong, Barwon South West and Bellarine Peninsula. The festival has funding available for a grant or grants up to $10,000.
  • The Push: Push Songs, presented by The Push, APRA, Shopfront Songs, Arts Victoria and Australia Council, aims at providing songwriting mentoring, artist support and demo recording facilities to dedicated, enthusiastic and emerging songwriters throughout Victoria.
  • The Seed: already described above.

Support to International Music Ventures

The Australian Music Office 4 lists the following funding sources available for international music activities:

  • The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) is the Australian Trade Commission’s (Austrade’s) financial assistance scheme for all industries including Music. EMDG is essentially a rebate scheme rather than an advance grant. Applicants meeting the stated eligibility criteria who have marketed their business internationally in the previous financial year (previous two years for first EMDG applications), can lodge an application to claim back a percentage of their promotional investment. The current EMDG fact sheet on arts notes that in 2010-11, 145 businesses in the arts sector received grants totalling $2.8 million and had export earnings of around $18.6 million. There will be more specific data, and successive years, to explore.
  • The Australia Council has a large number of schemes, many of them aimed at supporting artists and industry internationally. Current schemes include “International Pathways” and “Live on Stage”. The latter program provides travel support up to $10,000 for Australian music acts that have been invited to showcase original music at key international music trade fairs or industry events. Applicants are expected to contribute to the cost of the international activity supported. The website contains a non-exclusive list of supported events. Statistically, detailed grants lists are available in the Annual Reports of the Australia Council.
  • State-based music associations provide international support to musicians, including Victoria Rocks (Arts Victoria), QMusic and Trade and Investment Queensland, the West Australian Music Industry Association(WAM), Music NSW, Music NT, and Contemporary Music Services Tasmania (CMST). The national umbrella organisation (AMIN), the Australian Music Industry Network, provides a convenient way to keep up with the state associations.
  • The Australia International Cultural Council (AICC) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is Australia’s key cultural diplomacy body. Cultural diplomacy aims to engage overseas audiences through the delivery of high-quality and innovative arts and cultural promotions to increase their understanding of Australia’s contemporary identity, values, interests and policies. Under this scheme there is a narrow window of opportunity for contemporary artists to obtain an up-front grant if the artist’s objectives match those of the AICC, especially the current focus countries.
  • APRA and Other Schemes – Most of the other grant schemes going focus on the domestic Australian market (as discussed above), however APRA has an annual fund for songwriters which also apply to international opportunities.
  • The JB Seed Fund was discussed above. Its activities, though not specified by the Australian Music Office, are evidently sufficiently oriented beyond Australia to qualify for the list.
  • GrantsLink – Often a music business may be eligible for grant funding by criteria that relate to the business rather than the art, for example digital media issues, human resources, the environment, or health and safety. If so, it may be eligible for one of the many business and industry grants available in the wider network of government authorities and industry associations. The GrantsLink website provides details.


Hans Hoegh-Guldberg. Initial version concluded 28 October 2011 as part of a general overview of statistical sources other than the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Made into independent article 11 February 2012. Substantially updated 15 February 2012.


  1. The philanthropy statistics from DEWHA’s report (pp 234-5) will be further described in the updated version of Public Funding of Music in Australia, due in the first half of 2012. Another program, the Cultural Gifts Program, recorded 34.8 million of donations entered into DEWHA’s database and assessed by the Committee on Taxation Incentives for the Arts.↩︎
  2. The 2011 report shows $160.77 million royalties paid and payable to members and affiliated societies. This suggests that total APRA grants were in the order of $2.8 million for the year (1.75%). The 2010-11 APRA overview document notes that 105 organisations and events were funded by APRA music grants.↩︎
  3. PPCA is the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited, which grants licences for the broadcast, communication or public playing of recorded music or music videos. The collected licence fees are then distributed to the record labels and Australian recording artists registered with PPCA.↩︎
  4. The Australian Music Office is an online resource to help Australian contemporary artists and music organisations pursue international markets and export opportunities. Before it was closed as part of a corporate restructure in 2011, the AMO for six years assisted hundreds of Australian artists and music organisations in finding commercial opportunities abroad, including the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Austrade will continue to maintain the website as a useful reference tool for artists and music organisations seeking information on doing business internationally, providing information on markets, events, visas, grants and music marketing strategies.↩︎

Hans founded his own consulting firm, Economic Strategies Pty Ltd, in 1984, following 25 years with larger organisations. He specialised from the outset in applied cultural economics — one of his first major projects was The Australian Music Industry for the Music Board of the Australia Council (published in 1987), which also marks his first connection with Richard Letts who was the Director of the Music Board in the mid-1980s. Hans first assisted the Music Council of Australia in 2000 and between 2006 and 2008 proposed and developed the Knowledge Base, returning in an active capacity as its editor in 2011. In November 2013 the Knowledge Base was transferred to The Music Trust, with MCA's full cooperation.

Between 2000 and 2010 Hans also authored or co-authored several major domestic and international climate change projects, using scenario planning techniques to develop alternative long-term futures. He has for several years been exploring the similarities between the economics of cultural and ecological change, and their continued lack of political clout which is to a large extent due to conventional GDP data being unable to measure the true value of our cultural and environmental capital. This was announced as a major scenario-planning project for The Music Trust in March 2014 (articles of particular relevance to the project are marked *, below).

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