A new study commissioned by The Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) has resulted in the most accurate insight to date in regards to the value of independent music in the Australian market, with the sector occupying a 30% market share.

Launched today at BIGSOUND, AIR’s report, titled AIR Share: Australian Independent Music Market Report, outlines the highly important role of the independent music sector. With analysis from Deloitte Access Economics, data was collected from independent record labels and distributors in Australia in regards to their operations in 2014-15, with the report’s findings painting a brilliant picture for the Australian music economy.

Findings from the report include the fact that in the year 2014-15, the Australian recording industry had a revenue of just under $400 million, while the independent recording sector makes up 30% of that revenue. While 44% of revenue from the independent sector comes from digital channels, 57% comes from Australian artists. Using the figures from this research, it is estimated that the independent sector had revenue of $154.8 million, while releasing over 6,000 singles and albums.

Artist Manager for The Cat Empire, Corenne Wilkie, spoke in regards to how important independent labels are for Australian artists in terms of control and profitability. “Establishing an independent label has meant that we have central control around how to best spend every dollar to maximise both the touring and record business units,” Corenne said. “It also makes for global consistency of the brand. This structure has reaped enormous rewards in terms of sales numbers of both tickets and recordings, and of overall profitability.”

Mushroom Group’s Chris Maund also stated how important the independent music sector is for the Australian community as a whole. “We sign a lot more Australian artists then the majors, creating funding and opportunities for local talent,” he said. “Also indie labels can afford to take more risks, and so ensure the diversity of music. Almost every new music genre in history, from hip-hop, grunge to trance, were launched from indie labels – with the passion and low overheads to take such risks.”

The Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) will be launching their AIR Share: Australian Independent Music Market Report at BIGSOUND today in the Theatre Rehearsal Space, Level 4 of the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. The report will also be available in print and from the AIR website from 11am.