What would the world be like without music? What would your life be like without your favorite mix? What would a movie be like without a soundtrack? What would a shopping spree or an elevator ride be like without cheesy tunes? Imagine a road trip without the right playlist? Or a night out in a local pub, club, bar, cafe, restaurant insert venue here? What’s one of the first things you plan for your wedding or your event? When you visualize yourself in your special moment what do you hear?
One scientific experiment (McGill College 2001) used brain scans to study the neural mechanics of the goosebumps that great music can sometimes induce. They found that the brain structures activated are the same regions linked to other euphoric stimuli, such as food, sex and drugs. Blood flow in the brain rises and falls to swells of music in areas associated with reward, emotion and arousal. Stimulation for food and sex are important for an organism’s survival, and the fact that similar neural activity is observed in responses to features in music suggests that there could be some evolutionary advantage to the ability to hear — or hum — a good tune.
Really great live music also sells a lot of beer. (Burton 2016) 🙂
The big question is – what is the value of music – recorded or live – to a society, culture or country, to an audience – to an individual?
Let’s get real. Technology has directed and changed our consumer behavior. We download. We stream. We swap and share music. We treat it like an endless free commodity. In our culture, especially in Brisbane, just how many of us go out and buy tickets to see live music? What is the frequency? Or simply just go out to a local pub or club and spend our money on food and drink and enjoy the free entertainment provided by the venue? How much do our individual lifestyle choices drive the music industry? Do the math. Get the picture now?
There is an economic value that our music industry brings to Australia. What is needed here is a multi-faceted approach.
Number One – Government needs to support the industry by investing in real time training for the Business side of the Music Business. There is a massive disconnect in what is being taught in secondary and tertiary institutions and what is actually happening in the marketplace leaving musicians at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to compete. This is a long term cultural challenge as much as it is an educational standard.
Number Two – Survival and Thrival as viable small businesses, can only truly happen when Artists embrace the Business side of the Music Business. So when musicians cut their prices to $100.00 and a meal for a four hour gig – AND YES THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!!! – then they are not only devaluing their own product, they have devalued every other musician in this country.
Number Three – Licensed venues provide the majority of live performance opportunities for musicians in Australia. Government programs designed to better utilize resources and event opportunities for these types of businesses could very easily stimulate the market to provide more performance opportunities. Licensed venues around this country are struggling to get bums on seats. Why is that? They invest in renovations, better food, more local business engagement and more marketing tricks yet audiences prefer to stay at home and watch Game of Thrones. Why is that?
Number Four – What is the big enough WHY for people to buy tickets and attend live shows? What is the big enough WHY for people to pay for downloads, CDs and Albums? (Yes those big black round thingy’s)? Where is the audience? What do THEY want?
This is a conversation that we have every single day as we navigate our way through the market.
When you ask the politicians to support the Music Industry, what exactly are you asking for? You cannot legislate that audiences go out and buy tickets and purchased tunes. In every business the reason for the service is to fill a void – to fix a problem – to provide a solution. What solution does the Music Industry provide? What is the value of that? The old business model for this industry died a decade ago. It is dead, buried and very stinky. Let it go. Get real and work the business according to the real time market needs.
The best way to support Australian Music is to go out, see it live, buy tickets, purchase downloads and celebrate it. I want to hear from my friends who are NOT in the Music Business. Be honest. What value does the Australian Music Industry have in your life? How often do you buy tickets to see a live show? How often do you go out to a Licensed Venue to see a live band play? How often do you buy Australian Music? And if you don’t do any of these things, why not? What would you need to get you to support Australian Music? Does it even matter to you? #supportaustralianmusicbusiness