The music sector in Austria accounts for 3% of companies in the Austrian creative industry. It is a rather small sector, with around 1 170 companies and just over 3 000 employees. Not just in Austria, but also throughout Europe the digitalisation of music distribution has led to a sharp decline in the retail trade in recorded audio and video media. Some companies that can be categorised in the music industry, such as independent musicians and composers, concert organisers, cultural and entertainment institutions for music, however, are statistically included in the market for performing arts.
Music traditionally plays an important role in Austrian cultural life. In recent years, Austrian productions/musicians who position themselves outside classical music have gained a higher profile and are successfully represented on the market. Some initiatives as listed below support them. The Music Information Centre Mica – Music Austria was founded in 1994 on the initiative of the Austrian government as an independent, voluntary association. The objectives of the association are the preparation of information on live music in Austria as well as research into the field of contemporary music; the support of contemporary musicians living in Austria through counselling and information; the dissemination of domestic music-making through promotion at home and abroad; and the improvement of the general conditions for music making in Austria. Mica is supported by the Arts and Culture Division of the BMKOES and by the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna.
Austrian Music Export is a service and resource centre for exporters of contemporary Austrian music in all genres and aspects (recordings, live, sync, etc.). This includes providing access to information on Austrian artists and companies, building a substantial network of industry professionals and media, providing travel support and representing Austrian music at international trade shows, conferences and festivals. Austrian Music Export is a joint initiative of Mica – Music Austria and the Austrian Music Fund in close cooperation with the organisers of the Austrian booths at international music trade fairs and go international – an initiative of WKO and the Federal Ministries of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) and for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA), the Arts and Culture Division of the BMKOES, the AUME/SKE Fund and the Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna.
The New Austrian Sound of Music (NASOM) is a long-term sponsorship program by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA), promoting young emerging Austrian and Austria-based bands and musicians performing abroad. The aim of NASOM is to offer biennial support for international performances of promising young talents with the help of a global network of embassies, cultural forums and consulates. A further objective of NASOM is to draw more attention to the fact that Austrian music creation – beyond the traditional – is as vibrant, modern and culturally diverse as ever. Every two years, the young artists accepted for this programme are selected in cooperation with the organisation Mica – Music Austria and local music universities. Participants of this sponsorship programme are chosen from the genres of classical, jazz, world, contemporary and pop music.