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ARIA Releases 2009 Wholesale Sales Figures February 9, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Airplay Charts, Australian Record Industry, Music, Music News, Music News Updates, Record Industy, Uncategorized.
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For the first time since 2003, the Australian record industry is growing. After six years of decline, the market has turned a corner and appears to be returning to growth.

In line with the trends observed in the middle of 2009, the wholesale sales of sound recordings and music videos for the full year 2009 have demonstrated the Australian market’s first annual period of growth since revenues peaked in 2003. Specifically, wholesale revenues over the full year increased almost 5% when compared to 2008. An increase in overall digital revenues was the key contributing factor to this growth, with digital albums demonstrating an increase of over 60% by revenue, more than offsetting the relatively modest decline in physical CD sales

Mr Ed St John, ARIA Chairman and President and CEO of Warner Music Australasia, commenting on the figures, said, “Today’s results prove beyond doubt that the Australian music industry is experiencing a healthy state of growth. The physical retail sector that sells CDs and DVDs has stabilized and sharpened its focus, whilst the digital retail sector continues to grow strongly. Music sales were very strong during the period of Christmas 2009 and they prove that music remains a key priority for many Australian consumers.”

Sales of physical product continued to decline across last year, although the decline in the volume of CD album sales was slight (less than 1%) and was more than offset by the increase in digital album sales. Two of the year’s biggest sellers, Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed A Dream” and Michael Buble’s “Crazy Love”, achieved the greater majority of their sales via traditional physical retail outlets, making a significant contribution to the volume of CD albums sold through the year.

Unlike the CD album market, sales of CD singles were down over 60% in both volume and value. However, this decline was more than offset by the substantial growth in digital track sales, now up to almost 36m in volume, an increase of nearly 44% on the previous year.

Consumers continued to demonstrate their growing adoption and acceptance of the digital music format, producing overall digital revenue growth of 46.23%. Digital track sales were up 42% in value and digital albums up over 66%. In addition, digital albums now account for 7.5% of overall album sales by volume, up from 4.35% across the same period last year.

However, with respect to some artists, a substantially higher percentage of overall album sales are now occurring in the digital format. Examples during 2009 include La Roux’s self- titled debut, Mumford and Sons’ “Sigh No More” and Lisa Mitchell’s “Wonder” (with more than 20% of their sales being generated in the digital format), and The Temper Trap’s “Conditions”, The Script’s self-titled album, Paul Dempsey’s “Everything Is True”, Ladyhawke’s self-titled release and Gossip’s “Music For Men”, all in excess of 15%.

The ARIA 2009 Top 100 Singles and Album Charts proved a boon for local artists, with 18 local artists making the top 100 singles chart for the year, and an incredible 26 local titles in the top 100 album chart, lead by Hilltop Hoods at #12 with “State Of The Art”. The ARIA End Of Decade Charts featured Australian artists at the top of both the Top 100 Singles and Top 100 Album Charts, with Guy Sebastian’s “Angels Brought Me Here” and Delta Goodrem’s “Innocent Eyes” the highest selling releases respectively through the 2000’s.

Commenting on what 2010 holds for the business, Ed St John was cautiously optimistic, saying “We’re pleased with the figures that we’ve seen today, but have a tremendous amount of work to do to stem the tide of illegal file sharing, which continues to erode profits and hamper investment into the local industry. We remain hopeful that the ISPs will work with us to address this pressing problem and help the growth of the legitimate market, something that will, of course, also be to their benefit. In the meantime, music fans can look forward to many exciting new releases this year from established artists and new names. As an industry, we have a lot to look forward to across the year.”

Most Australian & New Zealand Artists Ever To Perform In US In 2010 At SxSW January 14, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Out of close to 75 OZ & NZ bands or solo artists who were invited to showcase at the world’s largest, longest-running and most prestigious music festival and global industry conference, 36 Australian and 15 New Zealand artists have accepted their invitations to rock out at South by Southwest Music Festival & Conferences in Austin, Texas March 17-21 2010.

Over 300 bands from the two AustralAsian countries applied as did more than 10,000 from 49 countries, all vying for 1800 individual one-hour showcase slots at 88 venues in “The Live Music Capital of The World”. More than 250 OZ & NZ delegates will also attend among 15,000 music industry professionals from around the world. It will be the largest number of artists and also music business pros in the US from both countries at any one time.

Through export strategies of AUSTRADE and the New Zealand Music Commission over the past eight years–with trade fair stands, special parties and barbecues, advertising and marketing assistance as well as travel subsidies–the outcomes have been hugely successful in export impact of bands playing before major and indie record labels, agents, promoters, film music scouts and over 1200 media–all hungry to find the ‘Next New Thing’.

Here’s the next wave of the Antipodean Invasion in just two months time.

An Horse
Art vs Science
Bliss N Eso
Cassette Kids
Children Collide
City Riots
Crayon Fields
Dappled Cities
Darren Hanlon
Dash & Will
Dead Letter Circus
Goons of Doom
Grand Atlantic
Kate Miller-Heidke
Love Of Diagrams
Marty Willson-Piper
Nathan Gaunt
Oh Mercy
Paul Dempsey
Pets With Pets
Philadelphia Grand Jury
Shannon Bourne
Sherlock’s Daughter
Summer Cats
The Blow Waves
The Chevelles
The John Steel Singers
The Middle East
The Vasco Era
Thirsty Merc
Via Tania

Bang Bang Eche
David Dallas
Die! Die! Die!
Gin Wigmore
Kidz In Space
Lawrence Arabia
Miho Wada
Mr Sicc
Surf City
The Brunettes
The Ruby Suns
Young Sid

Website: http://www.themusic.com.au/sxsw

MySpace Music Australia Launches Without Leading Local & Global Independent Content–F=ck You Very Much Rupert Murdoch October 10, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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MySpace’s disregard for the value of independent music has been exposed by yesterday’s Australian launch of MySpace Music prior to having finalized a license with Australia’s leading independent labels and artists.

MySpace Music Australia launched with the support of the four major record labels (Warner, EMI, Sony Music and Universal) all of whom are venture partners in the service.

The inequity of this situation is clear:

* 40% of the equity in MySpace Music is owned by major labels, the rest by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and its US launch was beset by criticism from leading US and European labels who are still not present on the service.

* In not finalising an equitable deal with the most important independents in the world, including Australia’s leading companies such as Shock, Inertia, MGM and Liberation/Mushroom, MySpace Music have shown, as they did with the launch of their US service, scant regard for the value of independent rights.

* Approximately 30% of Australia’s market share is independent. This includes artists like The John Butler Trio, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, The Temper Trap, Urthboy, The Herd, Midnight Juggernauts, Bertie Blackman, Adam Brand, Birds of Tokyo, The Getaway Plan, Nick Cave, Sia, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Drones and thousands of others. NONE OF WHOM ARE AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING ON MYSPACE MUSIC.

While it is acknowledged that MySpace has immeasurably changed the music landscape, it cannot be forgotten that its success was built on the back of millions of independent artists.

At the launch of their US service in 2008[1] , Chris DeWolfe’s (Founder and CEO of MySpace) comments that “indie bands are really the heart of MySpace” took on an air of hypocrisy when MySpace launched without the major independents represented by independents global licensing agency Merlin – which collectively represents 10% of all music sales , including the world’s largest indies such as Beggars Group, Epitaph Records, PIAS, Koch/E1, Cooking Vinyl and Domino and Australia’s leading independent labels Shock, Inertia and Liberation.

Since then the venture has attracted much criticism in the USA for its lack of commercial success, including comments by its venture partners such as Warner Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr who branded the service “Disappointing”[2].

The deal offered to independents means the venture’s major label partners, who together dominate the market, would profit from independent repertoire without giving independents an equivalent opportunity to share in the venture’s success. The implication being that MySpace considers independent music to be of inherently less value than music owned by the major labels.

Said Charles Caldas, Merlin’s CEO “MySpace Music’s ongoing disregard for the value of independent repertoire is underlined again with this Australian MySpace Music launch. For MySpace, which has build its brand on the breadth and diversity of its music, to launch a service without the valuable global independent repertoire Merlin represents is disappointing enough, but to launch without offering the repertoire of any of the major Australian independents shows an enormous arrogance towards the Australian independent community.

“As a result, Australian consumers are being presented with a significantly inferior offering via this launch, with a gaping hole left by the local and international companies that have been excluded. For MySpace Music Australia to be successful, the artists we and our Australian members represent must be onboard, and their absence will be instrumental in turning the most active music fans away from the service”

Commented Marcus Seal, Managing Director of Shock Group of Companies “Whilst MySpace: has played a role in providing access to a diverse range of Australian artists’ music, it has generated huge advertising revenue without any recompense to those from whom it has profited. Shock has worked with thousands of emerging Australian artists and we’re deeply affronted at MySpace’s appalling attitude to this most creative sector of the artistic community”.

Ashley Sellers, PPCA Board Member, Founder of Inertia Records said “Inertia is a proud supporter of Australian independent music and we are extremely disappointed with the disrespect with which MySpace has treated our local independent sector”

David Vodicka, Chairman of The Australian Independent Record Labels Association and Owner of Rubber Records, referring to the fact that the ALP’s Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Peter Garret as well as the oppositions Malcom Turnbul and Julie Bishop have provided personal playlists on the service: “It is extremely disappointing that Australia’s leading politicians have provided their tacit endorsement of this new service, without regard to the rights of Australian independent creators and content owners. Small business within the Australian music industry is the big loser here”

Hunting the Digital Buzz August 11, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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We Are Hunted is a rapidly thriving website on the mission of becoming the epicenter of music buzz charts.

We Are Hunted is a collaboration between Australian news aggregation site WotNews and digital music marketers Native Digital.

In times where more music hunters are relying on blogs with unknown credentials (or intentions) rather than long-standing music magazines or respected music critics, We Are Hunted poses an interesting situation of musical collective intelligence.

Utilizing blogs, social networks, P2P networks, forums and message boards to create these playlists, many are touting it as a chart ‘for the P2P generation’.

Type in any artist or song and a profile shows up, listing articles mentioning them as well as charts measuring “volume” and “sentiment” for media coverage. Tracks on the charts are streamed through the site via blogs and YouTube, artists are linked to Spotify, and buy-to links are supplied for iTunes, Amazon and InSound.

Clients can login anytime and track the real time buzz about their artists”.

Is it a service for fans to discover and recommend new music or a metrics service for the industry to keep an eagle eye on its artists’ online presence? Maybe both.