Calls for JobKeeper to be extended for music industry, a new era for ARIA + more: our latest wrap-up of Australian music industry news

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Calls for JobKeeper to be extended for music industry, a new era for ARIA + more: our latest wrap-up of Australian music industry news

Words by Christie Eliezer

Your brief on the biggest industry headlines of the past two weeks.

Been out of the loop with everything that’s been going on in the music industry recently? We don’t blame you. Here’s a wrap-up of all the biggest music industry news stories from the past few weeks.

This week’s big stories:

  • Annabelle Herd has been appointed as the new CEO of ARIA.
  • APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston calls for JobKeeper to be extended.
  • Sydney producer & engineer Rick Wills has passed away.

Don’t miss out on all the latest Australian music industry news – keep your eyes peeled on our Industry News page to stay updated. 

New Era For ARIA

As the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) enters a new era of post-pandemic rebirth, government support for anti-piracy initiatives, a push for radio and streaming quotas and a mission to increase music exports, it’s hired a new CEO Annabelle Herd.

She takes over from February 1 from Dan Rosen who’s joined Warner Music Australia in a senior role. Herd, most recently CEO of Ten Network, has some powerful contacts.

She worked as senior adviser (broadcasting and copyright) and acting chief of staff for former minister for communications and arts Richard Alston, while other roles include government lawyer within the intellectual property branch of the Attorney-General’s Department and executive officer of the Australian Digital Alliance and Australian Libraries Copyright Committee.

She’s also a board member of Save The Children Australia and a council member of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).


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Calls For JobKeeper To Extend For Music Biz

There are calls for ScoMo to extend JobKeeper beyond March for the music industry as it’s “unable to restart trading following a series of COVID-19 outbreaks, quarantine breaches and sudden state border closures.”

APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said, “This doesn’t just make cultural sense, it makes economic sense.”

The arts and entertainment sector contributes $15 billion per year in GDP and hires 200,000 Australians.

“Australia Institute research found that for every million dollars in turnover, arts and entertainment produce 9 jobs while the construction industry only produces around 1 job.”

Vale Rick Will

Tributes came from Jimmy Barnes and Boy & Bear for Rick Will, the Sydney engineer and producer who died of a heart attack in January.

Barnes worked with him on Cold Chisel’s Last Wave of Summer and solo works as Heat and Two Fires. “We made beautiful records together,” the singer said. “He was one of the best sound engineers and the most gentle, sweet guys you’d ever meet.”

Boy & Bear remembered him “the love, talent and humour he brought to the process.”

US born Will worked with the likes of Ziggy Marley, No Doubt, Johnny Cash Nine Inch Nails and Incubus, among 350 records. He was nominated four times for a Grammy. After he relocated to Sydney, he also worked with Grinspoon, Hunters & Collectors, Boom Crash Opera, Diesel, Tim Finn and Scarymother.

Social App Clubhouse Creators To Get Paid

Social app Clubhouse, which launched in March 2020 and worth a billion dollars, will hold tests over the coming months that will see creators paid directly via the likes of tipping, ticketing or subscription fees. It will also launch a Creator Grant Program to support emerging creators on its platform. Clubhouse is an invite-only audio-chat iPhone app which took off post-pandemic.

After a $100 million investment, investors have approached founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth over another funding round. In one week last month, it was used by two million people.

Melbourne Metal Label Octane Joins Ingrooves

Bailey Graham and Chris Maric’s Melbourne metal label Octane Records signed a digital distribution deal with global technology and marketing firm Ingrooves.

Graham said Rick Butterworth, Ingrooves Australian label manager, “and his team have been an immense help since the foundation of Octane Records and I’m thrilled we can take this next step together.” Octane launched last August with a release by Melbourne’s Vanishing Point. New signing The Stranger from Brisbane drop their second album Kaleidoscope through the imprint on April 9.

Fashion Line From The Veronicas

The Veronicas’ Lisa and Jessica Origliasso are this month releasing a fashion collection through Gold Coast “made for bad girls” fashion label, Jagger and Stone, who they’ve been sporting onstage for years. The Two Ronnies’ designs are hand-drawn by a Gold Coast tattoo artist.

Commercial Radio Audience Grows

Figures from Commercial Radio Australia showed how the covid pandemic lock-in increased those who listen to radio at home by 6.4% to 6.4 million. This swelled radio’s total listenership to 11.1 million, an uptick of 2%.

Bright spots included a 2% lift in listeners aged 25-39, which comprised the largest age group at nearly 3 million people, a 5% increase in audiences during mornings (9am to midday, Mon – Fri) and a 13% rise in audiences for DAB+ only stations to 1.6 million.

Commercial radio reached 77% of all people aged 10+ each week in the five major metro markets and was popular across all age groups. It reached 87% of people aged 10 – 17, 75% of those aged 18 – 24, 76% of 25 – 39s, 80% of 40 – 54s, 78% of 55 – 64s and 67% of those aged 65 and over.

Music Biz Folks On Australia Day Honours List

Music folks on the Australia Day honours list were Baker Boy, Little River Band’s Graeham Goble, piano virtuoso David Helfgott, Melbourne master percussionist Ray Pereira, director of the Sydney Academy of Vocal Arts Steven Ostrow, 3RRR presenter and board member Neil Rogers and Four Winds festival director Lindy Hume.


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