SWOT: Money, Money, Money

Among the articles about this year’s ‘Winners’ and ‘Losers’ from the NSW Budget, there are a few key music headlines which are worth taking a look at.
SWOT: Money, Money, Money
Photo by Windows / Unsplash

Welcome to SWOT by Sound Story, your inside track on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats looming for the creative industries.

If you're not already subscribed, you can join SWOT here.

Trending: Jessica Ducrou Exits Secret Sounds Group. Words by Lars Brandle. Source: The Music Network.

🎵 Music: Chris Dalla Riva lifts the lid on 14 annoyances, scams and loopholes that are holding the music industry back. Words by Chris Dalla Riva. Source: The Music.

📰 Media: The public has voted on the next Media Watch host, and you’re in for a shock. Words by Antoinette Lattouf. Source: The SMH

💰 Advertising: MAGNA has just released an optimistic outlook, driven by digital channels, for advertising spend in Australia for the rest of the year. Words by Chris Pash. Source: AdNews.

📲 Tech: US sues Adobe for ‘deceiving’ subscriptions that are too hard to cancel. Words by Emma Roth. Source: The Verge

📜 Government: Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan says a proposed year-long pill-testing trial would help avoid the “unimaginable” horror of parents losing their children to overdoses at music festivals. The trial would probably include mobile teams attending music festivals to test illicit drugs for potency and contaminants. Patrons would be provided advice on safer drug use at the site. Words by Annika Smethurst & Ashleigh McMillan. Source: The Age

🌶️ Spicy: Scooter Braun announced he is retiring from music management nearly a year after parting ways with some of his biggest clients, including Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. Words by Leah Bitsky. Source: News.com.au.

Strength: Coming Together

Music, media and marketing events appear to be back in full swing, with conferences, celebrations and crocodiles all getting their groove back. 

👉 Mediaweek hosted its Next of the Best Awards, which celebrated the advertising, media and marketing industry’s leaders of tomorrow.

👉 As you can see here, winners and attendees alike were thrilled to get together, celebrate emerging talent and have a dance with Drag Queen Renee Saunts.

👉 B&T also recently hosted its inaugural Cains Crocodiles Awards as part of its yearly Cannes in Cairns event, with Sound Story client The Brag Media taking home a Silver in the Print and Publishing Campaign Category for the Rolling Stone Australia Movember Zine.

👉 Variety Australia also hosted its inaugural Live Business Breakfast, with a panel discussion about the future of music festivals, and a handful of awards celebrating excellence in live entertainment.

👉 The music industry also came together recently for the Ricochet Ball – an (allegedly) friendly netball comp to raise money for various deserving charities. This year’s event set a fundraising record and saw Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) take home the trophy. Scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter to see which Sound Story team members got in on the action.

👉 There were fears that with big international players like SXSW coming to Sydney, smaller, local events may not be able to sustain themselves – but that certainly doesn’t appear to be the vibe at the moment.

Weakness: Media Malaise

The media has… a lot going on at the moment. 

👉 More managers at Nine have reportedly been accused of sexual harassment and bullying, with the media conglomerate saying the “allegations would be taken seriously”.

👉 CEO Mike Sneesby sent an email to staff saying he and the leadership team are committed to “driving cultural change”.

👉 “We are committed to ensuring that Nine’s culture is one where everyone feels respected, valued and included. That culture can only be delivered by acknowledging the issues of the past, recognising the changes in our present, and focusing on an energising future. We all have a role to play in making Nine the organisation we want it to be,” Sneesby’s email said.

👉 Nine is also facing scrutiny from SafeWork NSW over the allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

👉 Plus, Lisa Wilkinson is seeking to overturn the negative findings against her in Bruce Lehrmann’s failed defamation case, the media union has blasted News Corp for its “total lack of information and consultation” as it rolls out its latest round of redundancies, and new ABC Chair Kim Williams is trying to fix what he calls decades of fragmentation and dislocation at the national broadcaster.

Opportunity: Money, Money, Money

In amongst the stock standard (and the bizarre) articles about this year’s ‘Winners’ and ‘Losers’ from the NSW Budget, there are a few key music headlines which are worth taking a look at. 

👉 The arts and night-time economy in NSW will get a boost, with $1.66 billion allocated to support free museum entry, events and festivals, and a range of arts and cultural institutions, according to the Minister for the Arts, Minister for Jobs, Minister for Music and the Night-Time Economy and Minister for Tourism (that’s a lot of job titles), John Graham.

👉 This includes $26.9 million to support the development of “vibrant, safe and diverse night-time precincts across the state, and the delivery of the refreshed NSW 24-Hour Economy Strategy”.

👉 It also includes $18.5 million for Sound NSW to “deliver programs that drive audience and international market development, strengthen the live music industry, and champion NSW artists”.

👉 The State Government also promised to reform the Arts and Cultural Funding Program to “deliver a simpler, fairer and faster model for arts funding that will drive long-term growth and sustainability for the sector”.

👉 MusicNSW warmly welcomed the support. You can read more about the Budget here.

Threat: Radio Caps 

There was another development in the battle between ARIA / PPCA and the commercial radio industry this week. 

👉 The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has heard both sides of the radio caps debate, and recommended that the Copyright Legislation Amendment (Fair Pay for Radio Play) Bill 2023 not be passed

👉 Those campaigning that the cap be lifted, forcing radio to pay more to music rights holders – such as ARIA and PPCA – have argued that the current state of play is outdated and unfair. 

👉 Chair of Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) and CEO of ARN, Ciaran Davis, claimed the Senate Standing Committee's recommendation as a win, saying that the proposed change would have had dire consequences. 

👉 “CRA expects that the cap debate can now be put to rest, to allow radio to sustain itself as a critical part of Australia’s media landscape and cultural identity. If there is to be further analysis, the focus needs to be on where the money is going, as we remain concerned that multinational record giants are profiting at the expense of Australian artists and industries,” he added. 

👉 PPCA haven't exactly conceded defeat though, and also welcomed the release of the Report, noting that it recommended further research on the issue and a cost-benefit analysis of removing the current caps on licence fees for the broadcast of sound recordings on radio.

👉 PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd, said: “We are pleased that the Committee has recognised that this is a real issue for Australian artists and labels that warrants further consideration, but the recommendation to require yet another review is frustrating. How many reviews will it take to remove these deeply unfair provisions and put Australian artists on a level playing field with all other copyright holders and with profitable commercial radio networks that rely on music to bring in revenue of over $1 billion annually? All six reviews completed to date have found that the caps should be removed so PPCA can negotiate in a fair and free market.” 

👉 With a Federal election on the horizon, politicians aren't really interested in angering powerful broadcasters, but we think there could be more to come here. Ciaran wants the issue “put to rest”, but Annabelle is still urging the Government to act quickly on its recommendations.  

👉 Let’s see who can tell the more powerful story in the months and years ahead.

The Fun Stuff

Quote of the Week: “There’s a reason SCA always come back to play in the Ricochet Ball netball tournament – we get to raise money for a charity of our choice and it’s always such a well-organised event where people across the music industry can come together, have a laugh and can compete for bragging rights.  We were determined to get the win this year and don’t worry… everyone will hear about it! See you next year,” SCA netball team captain, Kiri Martin, on beating Live Nation x Secret Sounds and winning the 2024 Ricochet Ball (via The Music Network).  

📺 Show of the Week: The heavily promoted four-part series “Do you want to Live Forever?” premiered on Channel Nine this week, hosted by TV stalwart Tracy Grimshaw and popular medical expert Dr Nick Coatsworth. The series delves into the science of health and aging, promising insights into reversing the aging process.

Featuring four pairs of Australians from diverse age groups, lifestyles and backgrounds, ensures their circumstances resonate with a wide audience. Participants undergo various health, fitness, and sleep tests to determine their biological age and the results are brutally eye opening. While the impact of diet, exercise, lifestyle choices (smoking and drinking) and stress on health and longevity is well known, the show also provides fresh perspectives and insights.

From uncovering the secrets behind why many in Okinawa, Japan, live past 100, to exploring the extreme measures taken by bio-hackers in pursuit of eternal youth, and providing practical strategies to improve your health and turn back the clock, this series could change how you view your own health or at least offer some intriguing insights - Jane Elliott

Team Tidbit: This year’s Ricochet Ball – organised by publicist Anna Fitzgerald and DJ, songwriter and producer KLP – raised over $40,000 for charity. The yearly music industry netball competition is going from strength to strength, and Sound Story’s Maddie Koczanowski (playing for Spotify) and Vivienne Kelly (Future Classic) were there to try to ensure everyone stuck to all of netball’s many rules at all times (Spoiler alert: they did not). Photo credit: Pat Stevenson.

Written by
Sound Story
Sound Story is Australia’s leading strategic communications consultancy for the creative industries with clients spanning music, media, advertising and technology.
More from Sound Story

How can we help you?

Let's Talk
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Sound Story.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.