Queensland Music Industry Value Web: From the Margins to the Mainstream
Rogers, Ian K., Ninan, Abraham, Hearn, Gregory N., Cunningham, Stuart D., & Luckman, Susan H. (2004) Queensland Music Industry Value Web: From the Margins to the Mainstream. Mapping Queensland’s Creative Industries series. CIRAC, Creative Industries Faculty, QUT.
This report analyses the contemporary music industry in Queensland in cultural,
economic and industry development terms. It is one outcome from an Australian
Research Council funded Linkage Project titled "Creative Industries in
Queensland: Cultural Mapping and Value Chain Analysis". It should be read in
conjunction with the two additional reports: Queensland Music Industry Basics:
People, Businesses and Markets and Queensland Music Industry Trends:
The framework for this report is an adaptation of Michael Porter’s concept of a
value chain. Many aspects of music production and consumption can be
adequately described in terms of a straightforward linear supply chain. However,
in Queensland, a predominance of independent music activity means that a
purely linear value chain analysis (developed for mainstream industry practice)
needs to be modified. The music industry in Queensland is clearly comprised of
two tiers. The first is made up of the activities of major music labels and
commercially successful artists who at times attract significant sales. The second
tier - the "grassroots" - largely consists of independent musicians, production
personnel and producers attracting both niche and at times mainstream
audiences. Characterised by informally networked micro-economies, independent
artists, niche markets, and the exploitation of new technologies, the second tier
creates value through networking and creative entrepreneurialism. The second
tier is also of interest to cultural researchers who have tended to concentrate on
subcultural music communities and music produced outside of the mass market
We use CIRAC’s (Creative Industries Research and Applications Centre) Music
Industry Codes (CMIC) (refer to the accompanying report Queensland Music
Industry Basics) to map and profile the players in each tier and their relationships.
The ‘value web’ is a better descriptor of these relationships than ‘value chain’.
The report demonstrates how second tier practices (such as a reliance on social
networking to achieve recordings and performance opportunities, as well as a
Do-it-Yourself – ‘DIY’ - culture and innovative business approaches) offeralternative methods for "doing music" and generating value in the creative
The advent of affordable recording technologies and online distribution in
particular presents opportunities as well as issues for the independent sector.
Such technologies have enabled a DIY ethos within second tier industry and
culture which plays a significant role in community infrastructure in the
independent sector. Likewise, increasing use by consumers of digital distribution
through downloading services has positive implications for Queensland music,
particularly with the further establishment of an online distribution infrastructure
for the independent sector. This could also increase the likelihood of interaction
between the independent and mainstream sectors. An online portal, which
showcases Queensland music to the rest of Australia and the world, emerges as
a potentially significant advance which aligns with strategic direction currently
being pursued in Queensland through Creativity is Big Business – A Framework
for the Future*.
Queensland’s festival culture is ideally suited to our climate and cultural sense of
self. Festivals like Livid in Brisbane support the sustainability of microcultural
businesses such as promoters, tour managers, graphic designers, publicists and
The artistic and technical needs of aspiring Queensland music workers are, on
the whole, being met in Queensland. In the area of business acumen, the report
argues that specialist skills are further required to get product to the market. The
current mentoring programs within Q-Music are well regarded by music creatives
and could be extended within the music industry.
A central issue is whether Queensland’s independent new entrants are able to
secure sufficient market share to operate profitably. Successful bands,independent labels and performers from the past few years suggest that it is
achievable. Recent technological and cultural change has given new entrants
access to consumer and niche markets. There also seems a greater readiness
on the part of the first tier to work with second tier business, who are being
increasingly seen as "serious players". The stigma of second tier production
lacking in "quality" has largely been removed and opportunities for financial gain
are increasingly opening up.
The report identified that the independent sector in Queensland plays an
important role in the local and national music scene. Further research may well
look at how the independent sector could be "branded" for the further benefit of
Queensland’s creative industries.
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|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000)|
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Musicology and Ethnomusicology (190409)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2004 (The authors)|
|Deposited On:||08 Nov 2005|
|Last Modified:||11 Aug 2011 01:46|
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