Lyrics by Christie Eliezer
The Australian live industry is rebounding, artist managers are getting their own awards, and more!
Not up to date with all the recent happenings in the music industry? We don’t blame you. Here’s a roundup of all the biggest Australian music industry news from the past fortnight.
- The Australian live industry is rebounding.
- Artist managers receive their own rewards.
- Streaming makes it easier for Australian artists to break down global barriers.
Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.
How streaming makes it easier for Aussies to take action to break down global barriers
Spotify for Artists second Fan Study shows how it’s never been easier for artists to build a global fan base.
- Musical tastes are wider than ever. The proportion of tracks reaching the global weekly top charts outside of North America and Europe more than doubled.
- International collaborations continue to increase: 84% come from outside the main artist’s country of origin.
- Australian artists can take advantage of the super fan obsession. For example, those who repeatedly stream their favorite act are 63% higher than the global average in Germany and 46% higher in South Korea. Those in Thailand share songs at over 80% more than the global rate, with an average of 7.9 shares per listener each month.
- Music listeners no longer see borders. Those in Asia-Pacific stream artists from 11 different countries per month. These are 12 artists for streamers based in the Middle East/Africa, 14 in North America, 14 in Latin America and 16 in Europe.
- Australian artists need to realize that most of their early listens don’t happen in Australia. On average, 66% of new artist discoveries occur outside of an artist’s home country.
However, that said, data from Spotify suggests that an Australian act should focus on the Australian market with its first release.
More than half of new subscribers will come from Australia. But after 12 months, 57% of them will come from outside the border.
The live sector goes back, waving the “Love” flag
There are still bumps in the road, but the Australian live industry is coming back with (more) confidence.
In March and April, over a thousand acts played in over 500 venues as part of the NSW Government/ARIA’s Great Southern Nights initiative.
Early figures did not indicate the number of punters in attendance (the last round attracted 75,000), nor the amount of work generated for booking agents, venues and the production team.
Missy Higgins said: “It’s so good to finally have the ability to play live music again.
“Great Southern Nights is a much-needed injection of life into an industry that has suffered greatly of late.
“Not only do they put on great shows, but more importantly, they support hundreds of smaller venues and artists trying to grow their fan base from scratch.
“These places are their lifeline. I hope there will be more initiatives like this in the future.
George Sheppard of Sheppard, who played in the flood-ravaged Northern Rivers region, commented: “Thanks to Great Southern Nights, we were delighted to be playing our first NSW flagship show in years at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel.
“Thanks to this, we were able to provide much needed music and positivity to an area that has recently been decimated by flooding.”
Flooding and the community were front and center when two major Easter festivals finally returned after repeated delays.
The Bluesfest, which drew 25,000 people daily and is expected to inject $100,000 into the local economy, offered free admission to volunteers helping flood victims.
“They are heroes and should be honoured,” said festival director Peter Noble.
Canberra’s National Folk Festival, also back after a hiatus (38,291 attended in 2019), had its opening show themed around the Archie Roach song “Let Love Rule”.
Roach sang his song, joined by 13-year-old Queenslander Layla Barnett. A thousand artists applied for the 200 places.
All was not love. Fake YouTube and Facebook pages sold streaming tickets for the opening and closing concerts, with proceeds going to the Ukraine Emergency Appeal.
The festivals keep coming back. Tasmania’s Unconformity, forced to close in October after a NSW guest escaped hotel quarantine and lost $600,000 to the local economy, is confirmed to return to Queenstown in October 2023 .
The first Winter Sounds, after two trips, takes place in Daylesford, Victoria in July.
National hip hop/EDM festival Listen Out and Listen In return in September and October after a two-year hiatus, featuring international artists.
Artist managers get their own rewards
Artist managers receive their own awards, with the Association of Artist Managers (AAM) hosting its inaugural event on Tuesday, May 3. It is held at lunchtime on the same day as the APRA awards when most of the industry is in Melbourne.
Brought to you by Oztix, there are four categories – Breakthrough Manager (success in the last 12 months), Manager of the Year (outstanding achievement), Community Involvement and Legacy Award for someone in the game for over 10 years . Find more information here.
ValeDJ Daniel Webber
Byron Bay DJ Daniel Webber, 37, was found dead days after his disappearance.
By the age of 17, the former champion swimmer was considered an influential figure and mentor in Northern Rivers’ underground EDM scene.
DJs Brad King and Louis Emile posted how he was promoting their early gigs, with King calling him “a super humble guy and the life of the party”.
Musical chairs: WAM, Support Act & more
- Due to less funding during COVID, WAM Western Australia has laid off four of its eight core staff – Regional Officer Nigel Bird, Regional Assistant Izzy Bartlett, Industry Development Officer Claire Hodgson and Administrator Honor Gleadow.
- Support Act’s new fundraising manager, Jemma Arundel, has 18 years of experience in non-profit organizations such as the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Youngcare and Alzheimer’s Australia.
- The new members of the Melbourne Fringe board are theater director Michael Kantor and strategic communications expert Feyi Akindoyeni.
- Next Wave’s newest staff members are Rhen Soggee (Senior Creative Producer) and Emma McManus (Creative Producer – Public Programs).
- Hobart’s Theater Royal’s new program director is Steve Mayhew who has worked at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and the Adelaide Fringe.
Crowdfunding Listen Up
At a time when the music industry puts well-being at the top of its priority list, the music charity for mental health was forced to turn to crowdfunding.
Two years ago the charity’s funds were in good stead, co-founder Ali Taylor explains that “now with design, development, promotion, staff, travel, accommodation, what we cannot recover, the well is almost exhausted”.
The charity was to stage 10 regional iterations of its Songwriting Prize semi-finals and two grand finals, as well as the first, second and third years of Torch Fest.
“The reality is that we had 11 postponements and 16 venue changes during this period, and of the events we were able to run (approximately 40%) they were severely restricted, modified or canceled entirely.”
In recent weeks, three of the four scheduled Torch Fest shows have taken place “but under tight deadlines and low consumer confidence.”
“Attendance was below expectations in all areas and despite some amazing shows, we don’t know what the future holds.”
Study to assess the impact of community radio
Work will soon begin at Monash University in Melbourne on a three-year study to map and assess the economic and socio-cultural impact of community music radio and its relationship to the wider music industry.
The Australian Research Council approved the project, Community music radio: Building the music-media ecosystemin collaboration with the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, the Community Broadcasting Foundation and APRA AMCOS.
Andrew Khedoori, CBAA’s Amrap Director, said, “We know that community radio plays a fundamental role in the success of our local artists and this will help us value that role.
Learn more here.