'What Constitutes Artist Success in the Australian Music Industries?'

International Association of Music Business Research
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Journal Article
International Journal of Music Business Research (IJMBR), 2013, 2 (2), pp. 61 - 80
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Contemporary artists embarking on a musical career enter into a highly competitive and complex environment. Whereas the pre-digital music industries consisted of de-finable streams of income and markers of achievement, such as live performance opportunities, record deals, royalties, and radio play, today's music industries involve multiple platforms and strategies that artists need to engage with. Defining "success" in this new environment goes beyond standard definitions of financial independence or peer respect (Letts 2013). Success is contingent on planning for and leveraging numerous smaller successes in areas including developing "Do It Your-self" (DIY) and management skills and engaging in funding opportunities such as government grants. Artists may also employ crowdfunding or alternate means for raising capital, engaging with fans via social media, managing their online identities and personas, utilising online music video, and expanding into overseas markets in order to maintain financial viability. This research draws on a series of focus groups with artists and industry practitioners within the Australian music industries, and considers the diverse contemporary approaches that artists take in order to achieve success in their careers. 1 Diane Hughes is Senior Lecturer in Vocal Studies. She has an extensive background in contemporary singing and pedagogy. Her work within the industry has involved artist development and recording. Research interests include vocal artistry, vocal processing, expressive techniques and performance, and career development in the music industries (diane.hughes@mq.edu.au). Sarah Keith is Lecturer in Music Production. Her research includes: contemporary music production, particularly of the voice; East Asian pop music performance and music video; Australian popular music culture and media; developing musical industries; and documentary film and sound (sarah.keith@mq.edu.au). Guy Morrow is Lecturer in Arts Practice and Management. His research includes: music, design and innovation in the music industry; managing creativity; entrepreneurship, start up management and collaborative creativity; and music video production (guy.morrow@mq.edu.au). Mark Evans is Associate Professor. He is series editor for Genre, Music and Sound series (Equinox Publishing), considering the role of sound in various genres of feature films, and has research interests in film and television sound, religious music, spatiality and popular music (mark.evans@mq.edu.au). Denis Crowdy is Senior Lecturer in Music. His research interests encompass popular and commercial music in Melanesia, particularly Papua New Guinea; music production aesthetics; virtual home studio practices; critical eco-musicology; cross-cultural and hybrid musics; and copyright and musical ownership (denis.crowdy@mq.edu.au).
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