AMP Austin Music Industry Economic Impact Study 2016

Download the full AMP Austin Music Industry Economic Impact Study 2016

  • New study commissioned by AMP shows total music industry economic impact rose from $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion in four years
  • Increase due to strength of festival economy, primarily the addition of a second weekend of ACLFest and the launch of Austin 360 Amphitheater at Circuit of the Americas
  • However, the impact of primary music – year-round economic activity by local artists, venues, and businesses – declined more than 15%, from $856 million in 2010 to $726 million in 2014
  • This is a decrease of $130 million and more than 1,200 local music industry jobs in a four year period



[Monday, February 22, Austin, TX] –  Austin Music People (AMP) today released a new economic impact study commissioned from TXP, Inc.  TXP calculated the economic impact of the Austin music industry based on 2014 data and reported an annual economic impact of over $1.8 billion. However, a deeper look shows a disturbing trend first noted in the June 2015 Austin Music Industry Census.

The previous economic impact study, also prepared by TXP, was commissioned by the City of Austin in 2012 and used 2010 data.  Comparing the two reports, music tourism economic impact significantly increased from $806 million in 2010 to over $1.1 billion in 2014.  However, the economic impact of primary music – that is, year-round economic activity by local artists, venues and businesses – declined more than 15%, from $856 million in 2010 to $726 million in 2014.  This represents a decrease of $130 million and a loss of more than 1,200 local music industry jobs in just a four year period.

“We’ve sounded this alarm before, and we keep coming back with more data that says Austin music needs attention if we are to continue to be an economic driver for this region,” says Bobby Garza, general manager of local company Transmission Events and AMP board chair.  “In any sector, this kind of rapid job loss would be troubling – particularly when struggling businesses point to a chaotic regulatory system and weak public policy as proximate causes, as we saw in the census.  It’s clear that it’s time for city leadership to act.”

“Music tourism is up a bit, which certainly helps some folks. But we’ve lost 1,200 music jobs, affecting real people with real families and real bills,” adds Jennifer Houlihan, AMP executive director.  “We call ourselves a creative and innovative city; our city’s 30-year comprehensive plan declares our commitment to growing and enhancing our entire creative sector, from music to dance to visual arts to film.  So let’s get to it.  It’s long past time that our city’s policies and resources become aligned with our city’s stated values.”

Gavin Garcia, chair of the Austin Music Commission, agrees. “I will do my part to ensure we engage our entire music community to get involved with finding solutions, as well as advocating our elected officials for necessary resources. This new focus for our music policy should range from having the Music Office concentrate less on permitting and more on economic development and initiatives to increase diversity.”

The updated data in the study is yet another confirmation of what the more than 4,000 respondents to the 2015 Austin Music Census already noted: in a town boasting of our live music heritage, many who work in the Austin music industry can’t even make a living doing it and can’t afford to live in our city.

Garza sums up the crisis this way: “If we continue to fail in our support of the local music industry, then being the Live Music Capital means visitors can come here for the weekend, spend a few dollars, see a festival, enjoy a restaurant, maybe visit a gallery or buy some locally-designed clothing – and leave.  But there will be no music left for those who still live here in Austin, no places to perform it, no artists to create it, and no businesses to support them – and as they leave town, the tourists and the festivals will follow. Music is the canary in the coal mine of our growing city, alerting us to a larger crisis in our essential creative sector. AMP stands ready to help city leadership implement a meaningful plan to address household affordability, regulatory problems, and economic development for Austin’s musicians and other creatives.”