SWOT: Music Publishers Go Back to the Future

The local music press are looking both forwards and backwards with their initiatives and innovations this week.
SWOT: Music Publishers Go Back to the Future
Source: themusic.com.au

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

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

Trending: If you haven’t been keeping up with rebooted Aussie soap Neighbours, you might be horrified to learn what’s going on in Ramsay Street nowadays. Words by Nick Bond. Source: News.com.au

🎵 Music: Nominations in 19 award categories are now open for the 2024 Australian Women in Music Awards, set for Wednesday, Oct. 2 in Meanjin/Brisbane. Words by Lars Brandle. Source: The Music Network

📰 Media: Supporters of veteran broadcaster Lisa Wilkinson have slammed claims about her circulating in the television industry and believe an apparent white-anting operation is being orchestrated within Channel Ten. Words by Shannon Molloy. Source: News.com.au

💰 Advertising: Dear Bluey, I’ve got a bone to pick with you. Your partnerships and licensing are not aligned to your purpose, and they’re hurting your brand. Words by Timothy O’Brien. Source: Mediaweek.

📲 Tech: Yes… Udio’s output resembles copyrighted music, too. Words by Ed Newton-Rex. Source: Music Business Worldwide

📜 Government: eSafety commissioner orders X and Meta to remove violent videos following Sydney church stabbing. Words by Josh Taylor, Mostafa Rachwani & Jordyn Beazley. Source: The Guardian

🌶️ Spicy: Kyle Sandilands was not impressed when he heard a rumour doing the rounds about his radio show, insisting it was “not true”. Words by Andrew Bucklow. Source: News.com.au

Strength: Music Publishers Go Back to the Future

The local music press are looking both forwards and backwards with their initiatives and innovations this week. 

The Music has launched an expansive street press archive to honour Australian music history.

👉 In addition to The Music’s 10-year print archive, readers can browse titles including Drum Media, Inpress, 3D World, Rave Magazine, and more, with the archive stretching back to the 1970s.

👉 SGC Media Publisher and CEO, Stephen Green, said “it’s the respect for our past that’s the guiding force for our future”.

👉 “It’s not just the stories, but also the ads and gig guides of the times that remind us of how strong the music industry has been at various points of the last 40 years,” he added.

👉 Stephen also revealed The Music is going to continue to track down the gaps in the collection to bolster the archive’s offering.

👉 And over at Rolling Stone AU/NZ, they’re looking to the future, revealing the 25 local acts they think are set to take the global stage by storm.

👉 Along with their global Rolling Stone partners, they’re getting behind the likes of Budjerah, Dom Dolla, Peach PRC, G Flip, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, and more. 

Weakness: Angry Arj

Well, it was hard to escape this news story this week, but if you somehow missed it: a woman and a baby went to a comedy show. After maybe some crying, maybe some gurgling, but definitely some argy-bargy, the woman and the baby were told to leave. What followed was a series of communications and crisis missteps by…. basically everyone.

👉 A quick summary of what happened: Arj Barker told a woman with a baby that she could not remain in the audience for his show, as the baby was (allegedly) disrupting his focus.

👉 The woman, Trish Faranda, then did a series of media appearances in a bid to defend her right to be out and about with her baby. She told 3AW she felt “humiliated” and that Arj was “intimidating”.

👉 The story was given new life when Trish went on The Project, and the baby was a bit… disruptive. Host Sarah Harris accidentally scored a goal for comedian Arj by suggesting that “Maybe [the baby] can go to dad just for a quick second”, so that the interview could continue.

👉 Arj and Trish then had overlapping media commitments, facing off on 2Day FM’s Sydney breakfast show Hughesy, Ed & Erin.

👉 In the “conversation” Arj accidentally gave the story another breath of life by clashing with host Erin Molan.

👉 Unmade’s Tim Burrowes broke down just why this story had all the right ingredients to capture, and maintain, the media’s interest.

Opportunity: Someone Might Actually Be Listening

There is still time to have your voice heard on the challenges and opportunities within the Australian live music industry.

👉 The ‘Inquiry into the challenges and opportunities within the Australian live music industry’ is taking submissions until Tuesday, 30 April.

👉 Chair of the Committee, Brian Mitchell MP, said the Committee would like to hear about barriers to industry growth including to export, the impact of current grant and support programs, and capacity building in the sector.

👉 The impacts of emerging audience behaviours and mechanisms for audience development will also be explored, along with the suitability and location of venues and artist development and career pathways.

👉 He said: “Australia’s live music industry is currently facing considerable operational challenges. In the last couple of years, after the reopening of live music venues and festivals post COVID lockdowns, we have seen the sector face new and unprecedented issues.”

👉 Adding: “The industry sits on the cusp of transformation, and it is important that opportunities are harnessed while the traditional community nature of experiencing a live event is retained.”

👉 If you need inspiration, you can read the submissions which have been received by the Committee here – a list which we expect will grow significantly as we race towards the deadline.

👉 And there’s official advice here on how to prepare a submission for an inquiry.

👉 We expect this conclusion from Adelaide Fringe’s submission to be a consistent theme: “The live music industry including venues and festivals is a cornerstone of Australia’s cultural identity and economic prosperity. The challenges it faces are significant but not insurmountable. With targeted Government funding, which will constitute only a minor fraction of overall operational costs, we can provide a major incentive and confidence boost for industry stakeholders. This investment will safeguard the industry’s future, supporting venues and festivals that are crucial for career development of artists and the economic and cultural enrichment of Australia. We urge the Government to commit to securing the future of live music venues and festivals, ensuring that this vibrant industry not only survives but thrives in the years to come.” 

Threat: Just Because We Can, Doesn’t Mean We Should

How to summarise the week in tech tantrums – which spanned everything from “arrogant” billionaire Elon Musk clashing with our PM, to people getting a “virtual veteran” AI chatbot to act out of character? 

👉 Let’s start with the virtual veteran

👉 To mark Anzac Day this year, the Queensland Government released a “virtual veteran”, Charlie, who could ostensibly answer people’s questions about being on the frontline of WWI.

👉 “Virtual Veterans is an AI-driven chatbot that, when interacted with, assumes the persona of a World War I soldier, named ‘Charlie’. It uses AI techniques and algorithms to provide a guide to rich collections of resources from State Library of Queensland, Trove (Queensland digitised newspapers) and the Australian War Memorial,” the guide declared.

👉 It wasn’t long though before people were seemingly “jailbreaking through its guardrails” to make it say things well beyond its initial scope, as Cameron Wilson reported.

👉 AI was also causing problems for Netflix this week, with the streaming giant accused of using (and not acknowledging) AI-altered images in a hugely popular crime doco.

👉 Serial SWOT subject Elon Musk was also testing the limits of acceptability this week, in a battle with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

👉 And in an extraordinary escalation of tech tensions – and another test of what one country can impose on a multinational tech giant – the US Senate passed legislation to force TikTok’s China-based parent company to sell the social media platform.

👉 Per The Sydney Morning Herald: “The passage of the legislation is a culmination of long-held bipartisan fears in Washington over Chinese threats and the ownership of TikTok, which is used by 170 million Americans. For years, Congress members and administration officials have expressed concerns that Chinese authorities could force ByteDance to hand over US user data, or influence Americans by suppressing or promoting certain content on TikTok.”

The Fun Stuff

Quote of the Week: “Well, this is a bloke who's chosen ego and showing violence over common sense. I think that Australians will shake their head when they think that this billionaire is prepared to go to court fighting for the right to sow division and to show violent videos which are very distressing. He is in social media, but he has a social responsibility in order to have that social licence,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaking on Sky News this week about “arrogant” billionaire Elon Musk.

🎙 Podcast of the Week: Airline crises. Labour relations. Working through the opening moments of a crisis on social media. All of these events require skills to protect brands, and each was discussed during PRWeek’s Crisis Comms Conference last week. This podcast includes insights from top communications executives at UPS and Southwest Airlines as they discuss how their brands navigate "tricky situations". You can listen here.

🏆 Win of the Week: The Brag Media has extended its exclusive ANZ commercial partnership with Playwire, a global ad tech provider that reaches more than 10 million people in Australia and New Zealand every month. (Via Mediaweek).

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.