Bandcamp purchased by Songtradr, YouTube Create unveiled, Jebediah release new single

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Bandcamp purchased by Songtradr, YouTube Create unveiled, Jebediah release new single

Words by Chris Eliezer

Catch up on everything happening in our industry! From label aquisitions, industry reports and new releases.

Bandcamp Now In Aussie Hands

Bandcamp, the U.S. based online store and direct-to-fan platform, is now in Aussie hands. Australian-made Los Angeles-based B2B music licensing company Songtradr bought it from Epic Games, the makers of video game Fortnite and Unreal Engine, who had it for 18 months.

 “(This) acquisition will help Songtradr continue to grow its suite of services for artists,” said co-founder and hit songwriter Paul Wiltshire. 

Under Songtradr which has accumulated diverse companies around the world, Bandcamp artists can plug into these to get “the ability and choice to have their music licensed to all forms of media including content creators, game and app developers and brands”.

When a fan buys something on Bandcamp, about 82% of the purchase goes to the artist or label. Fans have paid artists and their labels US$1.19 billion using Bandcamp. 

In the past year alone, they’ve spent $192 million on 14.1 million digital albums, 9.75 million tracks, 1.75 million vinyl records, 800,000 CDs, 350,000 cassettes, and 100,000 t-shirts. Bandcamp has 5 million artists and labels around the world, 25% of them in the U.S. 

Aussies on the platform include Future Classic, Dinosaur City Records, Milk Records, Alex Lahey, Gordi, Luca Brasi, Bakelite Radio, Nat Vazer, Hatchie, Bakelite Radio, Solitaire Recordings, Jack Colwell, sleepmakeswaves, Ninajirachi, Rinse, and Shiva and The Hazards.

Epic Games will remain involved in Bandcamp, through Fortnite Radio and in finding ways for artists to find opportunities in its games.

Read all the latest product & music industry news here.

New Signings: Jet, Karise Eden, Liberation, Waves

BMG acquired the Australian and NZ rights to Jet’s first two albums, Get Born and Shine On, and the global rights to their third album Shaka Rock. Jet have had their publishing with BMG since 2017 including rights to ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’, ‘ ‘Cold Hard Bitch’, ‘Rollover DJ’.

Singer-songwriter Karise Eden has new management with Joel Heywood’s Melbourne-based August MGMT (Stiff Gins, Thndo, The Merindas, Kristal West, Microwave Jenny) as she hits the road for summer and has new releases in the pipeline.

Liberation Records brought triple j Unearthed High 2023 finalist, 17-year-old singer/songwriter Lotte Gallagher, into its roster and released her debut single “Adam”.  She’s also with Mushroom Management and Mushroom Music Publishing, as well as Lonely Lands Agency.

In Wollongong, Yours and Owls will now provide acts for Waves, the bandroom for Towradgi Beach Hotel, which offers total capacity of 1,450 and half capacity of 500.

“Waves is very close to our heart,” says Yours and Owls co-founder Ben Tillman. “It hosted one of the first shows we ever promoted.”

The return to action by Melbourne post-punk act The Wreckery –  first with single “Smack Me Down” penned by Hugo Race and Alannah Hill, and then in November with the album Fake Is Forever – is through Golden Robot Records.

Report: More Than Half of Producers & Engineers Claim Mental Issues

The inaugural survey by the Music Producer & Engineering Guild of Australia had sobering figures about the sector. For instance, 51% of respondents rated their mental health as average to poor, and 40.6% reported average to poor physical health.

Financial stress and self-employed, unregulated working conditions contributed to poor mental health among 19.8% of respondents.

31.1% reported being underemployed, while 13.3% work more than 60 hours per week. 85.8% identified as male, with 11.3% as female, and 1.9% as non-binary. 

There were no specific identifications as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, with 2.8% opting not to disclose or indicating uncertainty.

A significant 50% worked for free at times, while another 17% engaged in speculative work for larger projects.  Financial instability was a pressing concern, especially as 47.2% cited music production or engineering as their primary income, and 23.5% supplemented their income through other audio-related work.

The workforce is highly skilled: 50% of respondents offered six different services in their fee structure, as engineering, mixing, mix revisions, production, pre-production, stems for various purposes, and mastering.

29.2% possessed a bachelor’s degree, and 38.8% held accredited or non-accredited education, “indicating a move away from the traditional assistant/apprentice model,” the report pointed out. The research was commissioned by the MPEG board, with help from Dr. Lachlan Goold (Magoo) from University of the Sunshine Coast.

MPEG was established in 2022 by award-winning producer Anna Laverty, alongside directors Cath Haridy and Tom Larkin. Its 300+ members include Mark Opitz, Nick Launay, Eric J Dubowsky, Nina Las Vegas, Uncle Kevin Starkey, Virginia Read, Aroha Harawira and Alice Ivy.

Anna Laverty

Laverty said: “I consider this report the first major achievement of MPEG. We have worked for months to ensure we asked the right questions so that we could find out what issues our members, and indeed all music producers and sound engineers in Australia, face.”

“We hope to use the information in this report to help support and create opportunities for our members to aim higher and achieve more in their careers. We can now also see the massive gaps in our community and hope to nurture new talent into the space.”

“This report will help individual producers and engineers realize that they are not alone in their feelings and experiences and will encourage them to discuss them more freely.”

Strong Start For NSW Summer Festival Season 

NSW’s summer music festival season had a strong start. Three were held over the long weekend— 53,000 went to Knockout in Olympic Park, 27,000 to Listen Out in Centennial Park and about 4,000 were at Dragon Dreaming which returned to Wee Jasper this year.

Alas two patrons in their 20s didn’t make it home, most possibly due to drugs.

Creators Get AI Tools From YouTube

YouTube unveiled a slate of A1 tools for creators at a Made on YouTube event in New York City. Some will be available immediately, others over the next 18 months.

Creators of its short-video format Shorts (70 billion views a day from 2 billion signed-in users), can generate video or backgrounds for video with a typed idea into a search engine.

The New York demo showed images of a dragon flying over a photo of the city, and a dog driving a car.

New mobile app YouTube Create will expand video editing tools as “precision editing and trimming, automatic captioning, voiceover capabilities and access to a library of filters, effects, transitions and royalty-free music with beat matching technology.”

AI-powered instant dubbing tool Aloud will be brought on board enabling creators to offer users versions of their videos dubbed into various languages.

It is currently “available to select users” and tested in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Golden Stave Offers Iva, Oils, Kelly Guitars

The music, entertainment, travel and freight industries’ annual Golden Stave luncheon in Sydney has raised $15 million over 45 years for more than 50 children’s charities.

Part of its success is that it’s boozy and fun (it can last up to 12 hours) where feisty execs outbid each other for outrageous sums for auction items in the spirit of the event.

This year, there are three guitars looking for homes – Fender Stratocasters from Iva Davies and Midnight Oil, and an Epiphone Casino from Paul Kelly.

See the website for more info. It’s held on Friday October 6 at the Four Seasons Hotel with live sets from The Radiators, Dave Faulkner, Little Quirks and Chris Ryan.

A single lunch ticket is $250, a table of ten is $2500.

Beyoncé Beats Madonna With Highest-Grossing Tour By Woman

Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour is now highest-grossing tour by a woman, Billboard reported, beating Madonna. Renaissance has so far generated US$560 million, leaving behind Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008-09)’s $408 million.

That puts it in the Top 10 highest grossing tours of all time. Bey-Bey is the only woman, only Black artist, and only American solo act on it.

Jebediah Inducted

Jebediah will be inducted into the WAM Hall of Fame, at the WA Music Awards on November 16 at the Regal Theatre.

They released their first single in a decade, “Gum Up The Bearings” and will play on November 17, at The Rechabite, Northbridge. 

Screen Music Awards In Naarm/Melbourne

APRA AMCOS and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC) bring the Screen Music Awards back to Melbourne/Naarm.

These are held November 9 at the Forum with new musical director Erkki Veltheim, comedian and actor Susie Youssef hosting for the first time, and 13 gongs to be presented including the prestigious Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen Award.

Hunting Ground Studios On The Prowl

New recording studio, Hunting Ground Studios, is set up 7km out from the Meanjin/Brisbane CBD in the suburb of Moorooka. The in-house team is made up of producers, engineers and songwriters Guy Webster, Joel Myles, Cody McWaters, Shayne Cook, Chrispy Lait and Dan Sugars.

Hunting Ground offers spaces for writing and rehearsal, filming, editing and podcasting. 

Kylie Minogue Lands 8th #1 Album in Australia

Over the weekend, Kylie Minogue landed her 8th chart topping album in Australia with Tension, also her 4th consecutive long player here.

ARIA reported she has released 16 albums since 1988, and vaulting to the top were Light Years in 2000, Fever in 2001, X in 2007, Kiss Me Once in 2014, Golden in 2018, Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection in 2019 and Disco in 2020.

The 16-time ARIA winner has also had ten #1 singles in Australia, from “Locomotion” in 1987 to “2 Hearts” in 2007. Tension’s lead single “Padam Padam” is nominated for Best Solo Artist, Best Pop Release, Best Independent Release and Song of the Year at this year’s ARIA Awards. 

In the UK, Tension outsold the rest of the Top 20 combined midweek, heading for her 9th No.1 album there.

Vale: Paul Woseen, Andrew Scally, Lachlan Buggy

Screaming Jets are holding a private memorial service for “family, closest friends and musical inner circle” in Melbourne on October 4 for bassist and songwriter Paul Woseen, who died unexpectedly on September 15 aged 56 years.

A recording of the memorial will be made available on the Jets’ socials for fans.

Woseen and singer Dave Gleeson were the last of the lineup which formed in Newcastle in 1989 and went on to sell 500,000 albums. Woseen, who penned 30 songs over seven albums, including new single “Second Chance”, told this writer he made it a point to appreciate every moment with the band.

“We’d all been in bands previously which hardly drew a crowd. But with the Jets it was a full house from the start – and the fans were so passionate. There were so many highs. One was these was us bunch of bogans from Newcastle playing the Marquee club in London where our heroes had played.”

Screaming Jets embark on a lengthy tour behind the October 6-due Professional Misconduct, with Woseen’s nephew, Seth, on bass.

Perth based EDM promoter, manager and mentor Andrew Scally has died at 51.

He ran nightlife company Limelite Events, co-founded Stereosonic festival and booked at Darwin’s Discovery nightclub and Fremantle’s Metropolis. Police found Scally dying at a home in Kensington after an alleged violent altercation and arrested a 39-year old man.

Lachlan Buggy, bassist with Tweed Heads rock trio Fat Albert, was heading home after a gig when he was said to have been struck by a car. He was 32.