What constitutes artist success in the Australian music industries?

Diane Hughes, Sarah Keith, Guy Morrow, Mark Evans, Denis Crowdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contemporary artists embarking on a musical career enter into a highly competitive and complex environment. Whereas the pre-digital music industries consisted of definable 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 Yourself" (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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-80
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of music business research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Music industry
  • DIY
  • artist success
  • Australia


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