Australian music exports under the microscope

Associate Professor Shane Homan.
Associate Professor Shane Homan.

Monash University’s Associate Professor Shane Homan will work with Professors Richard Vella and Stephen Chen at Newcastle University to examine the economic and cultural value of Australian music exports.

The four-year ARC Linkage grant of $226,000 will allow the project team to examine the effectiveness of Australia’s primary export scheme, Sounds Australia, compared with similar schemes in Canada, Scandinavia and Europe.

The team will look at strategies for improving the audibility and visibility of Australian music in globalised networks of digital production and consumption.

“Australia is currently experiencing its most successful music export success in its popular music history,” Associate Professor Homan said, who teaches media and cultural studies.

“Acts as diverse as Tame Impala, Sia, Gotye and Courtney Barnett have found willing concert and broadcasting audiences in key international markets. So it’s a good time to properly investigate the role of the state in promotional discourses and strategies.”

Associate Professor Homan said: “We will look at the flows of cultural and economic capital, and the increasingly sophisticated ways in which nations showcase particular genres and artists.”

“Apart from economic modelling of the costs and benefits of investment, we will also adopt particular artists as case studies and follow them through the export scheme process,” he said.

“At a macro level, it’s a good opportunity to compare different strategies and types of cultural nationalism associated with other countries.”

The research team includes the Executive Producer of Sounds Australia, Millie Millgate, with financial and in-kind support from the Australia Council and Australia’s primary copyright body, APRA, the Australasian Performing Right Association.