The economic and cultural value of live music in the Northern Territory

15 Nov 2018

Valuing the economic and cultural contribution of live music is a complex task. Live music impacts physical, human, social, and symbolic capital at both an individual and community level. Audiences derive a range of tangible and intangible benefits from experiencing live music that are not easily captured, or expressed, through the price of a ticket. Similarly, the overlapping creative, cultural and commercial concerns that motivate live music producers are not easily reducible to a balance sheet.

This research articulates how some of this complexity is converted by users into a set of economically valuable outputs that impact upon the welfare of society. To do this, we use cost-benefit analysis to estimate the value the cluster of activities, associated with live music making, contribute to the Northern Territory. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is the Australian Government preferred approach to evaluating policy choices and represents best-practice for this type of enquiry (Office of Best Practice Regulation, 2005).

This research builds on our national valuation of live music for the National Live Music Office (2015). A key limitation of this previous report was that response rates from audiences in the Northern Territory were low. Engaging with producers of live music in the Northern Territory was also outside the scope of our previous research. This report addresses both of these issues by providing, for the first time, a detailed examination of the live music sector in the Northern Territory.

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