How a Tik Tok ban could change the charts + all the biggest Australian music industry headlines

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How a Tik Tok ban could change the charts + all the biggest Australian music industry headlines

Australian music industry news IOHYOU
Words by Christie Eliezer

Read the latest Australian music industry news - from the launch of IOHYOU's publishing division to the latest Aussie signings.

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

Read all the latest product & music industry news here.

The top headlines:

  • The impeding threat of a TikTok ban could have a significant impact on the Australian music industry.
  • Tastemakers IOHYOU launch publishing division.
  • Round 6 of the Federal government’s music sector funding announced for pubs, clubs and other gig spaces which showcase original live music.

How a Tik Tok ban could change the charts

The ban on TikTok extending from government departments (which may include triple j), could have a significant impact on the music charts.

A MRC Data study in November 2021 found that many songs trending on TikTok end up on the official and streaming charts, because 67% of users seek out songs on music-streaming services after hearing them on TikTok.

Radio presenters admit they listen to the app to find music that might expand their following, and TikTok Australia’s collab with the Australian Radio Network on digital radio station TikTok Trending on iHeartRadio has 128,000 weekly listeners.

Billboard magazine also recently identified five ways its Hot 100 would change if the app were banned, venturing that there’d be less old hits being reignited. For instance, Kate Bush‘s 1985 “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” was triggered by Stranger Things but TikTok blew it up.

There’d also be less new acts and one-hit wonders, less remixes and slower movements of albums in the middle and lower reaches of the charts.

Billboard predicts less alt-rock crossovers (Glass Animals, Måneskin, d4vd and Mac DeMarco already had fans, but kicked up dust on the app), and only superstar releases having long stays.

In the meantime, TikTok’s woes have been a boon for YouTube’s Shorts as artists and executives look for an alternative.

In the last few months, Shorts has been racking up 50 billion views a day, and clips made by fans have increased the average artist’s unique viewer total by over 80%. 

Eight latest Aussie signings

As the Australian music industry slow returns to “normal”, there’s been a hive of signings.

Kobalt, who signed Tash Sultana in 2017, re-signed her to a worldwide publishing administration agreement, including global sync and creative services for future songs. 

She currently has 2.7 million monthly Spotify listeners and sold 500,000 concert tickets globally in 2019. 

Kobalt revenues jumped 22% to top $600 million in 12 months to end of June 2022.

Naarm/Melbourne-based BIG WETT has linked with Play It Again Sam (with head of A&R Russell Crank calling her “a superstar in the making”) and released the single “Number 1 Pussy”, produced by Confidence Man’s Reggie Goodchild.

Jordanne Chant’s Naarm/Melbourne–based label Dinosaur City’s latest signing was Eora/Sydney ambient-pop act Hubcaps.

A side project of producer and multi-instrumentalist Ella Mosley, a debut single “Singing & Songing” has just been released.

Punk pups Sophisticated Dingo have joined the FRNDS MGMT (Sydney, LA, London) roster, alongside DMA’s, Pacific Avenue, Crooked Colours and Alison Wonderland.

The news arrives as the Triple j darlings from Melbourne released a new single “Radio On” in the wake of a national tour opening for TOWNS. The band will also be joining The Terrys on the road as well as playing their own shows from April 21.

Melbourne deathcore group Mélancolia, who established themselves with their debut single “Horror_Ethereal” last year are now signed to Greyscale Records in Australia and New Zealand and Nuclear Blast for rest of the world.

They also fly under the wing of Future History Management (Sleep Token, Loathe).

One of Ireland’s biggest-selling artists, Daniel O’Donnell signed a new deal for the Australian and New Zealand markets with Brisbane-based label Ambition Entertainment.

GAUCI, the pop project of Antonia Gauci (engineer for Kesha, Troye Sivan and Lil Yachty), David Gauci (Flowertruck) and Felix Lush have found two new business partners. They’ve shaken hands with 23 MGMT and expanded their relationship with Gaga Music, previously independent bar booking agency Collective Artists.

Funding for venues

While Round 5 of the Federal Government’s  $20 million Live Australia Music program was for festivals, round 6 is for pubs, clubs and other gig spaces which showcase original live music.

To apply by Wednesday April 26 and for more information, visit:

Federal arts minister Tony Burke continues to keep his ear on the music industry when facilitating its revival.

We spotted him at the Sydney reunion of roadies organised by the Australian Road Crew Association, which pitched to him, among other things, federal help to provide legal and medical aid for members, its impending alliance with war vets (many crews served in the forces) and an aged care home for music industry workers to finish off their lives “with their own kind”.

New owner for Marshall

British amp brand Marshall Amplification has been acquired by Swedish headphones and speakers maker Zound Industries for A$598 million.

The deal includes subsidiaries Natal Drums, Marshall Records and Marshall Live Agency.

Both brands will trade as the Marshall Group, with Aqipa remaining its Australian distributor and a new speaker set to arrive soon.

It’s the end of over 60 years of Marshall family ownership, but it still remains the largest shareholder, with a 24% stake in the Marshall Group.

New era for Sydney’s Selinas

One of the great Sydney music venues, Selinas in Coogee Bay Hotel, returns on Monday April 24, after a $111 million renovation which gives it a scalable capacity of between 400 and 1,750.

Owner C-INC has upgraded concert-level audio and visual production supply, giant rear-of-stage mobile LED screen, all-new flooring, improved access points, branded architectural design installations and renovated stage facilities.

Its new creative team is Frame Creative and Grand North, publicity by Scrabble PR, marketing by Throwback Socials, ticketing by Moshtix and a new partnership with Balter Beer.

I OH YOU Launches Publishing Division

Tastemaker record label I OH YOU, who celebrated its first Top 3 UK album with the DMAs, have set up a publishing division in partnership with Mushroom Music.

Label founder Johann Ponniah always wanted to get into the field, but waited for the right opportunity.

That opportunity came with Melbourne-based Kiwi multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter Caleb Doe, discovered via his cousin Mandeep, and Sam Windley whom he found online and has an EP set for release through Eric J Dubowski and James Roberts’ Major Minor label.

Salvi’s fine guitars caught in scam

Salvi’s Fine Guitars in Thebarton, Adelaide, was caught in a scam involving five vintage axes worth $20,000 “bought” over four days with stolen credit cards.

Owner Steve Salvi became suspicious and alerted police. Thanks to 500 social media posts, the guitars were found at a Cash Convertors.

The three alleged thieves were caught on CCTV.

Hot Metal & Loud Merge

Aussie heavy music mastheads, Hot Metal and Loud Online website have merged.

Mascord founded Hot Metal in the ‘90s when he was just out of high school and metal was underground, and Brian Giffin was among its arch-readers inspired to set up Loud.

Six takeaways from 2022 Victorian live music census

The first two Live Music Census studies, in 2012 and 2017, highlighted the strength of Melbourne and the state’s live sector.

The 2022 edition – compiled by project manager Dobe Newton with a team of students enrolled in entertainment degree courses at Collarts (Australian College of the Arts) and released through Music Victoria – was more about the impact of COVID and the slow but sure recovery.

(1) Due to COVID, 75% of Victorian events were either cancelled or rescheduled, 69% of event revenue lost, 71% of audience and visitor spending lost, 72% of music related income lost by performers and 46% of performers considering leaving the industry.

(2) COVID also impacted 77% of mental health of performers and 66% of venue/ event managers, with 49% of the latter contemplating leaving.

(3) In 2019, regional festivals attracted 405,000 paying patrons and generated $52.8 million in revenue and metro festivals turned over $49.5 million after drawing 388,000 paying patrons with an additional 500,000 attending free components.

(4) Concert revenue in 2019 totalled $992.4 million of which $363.2 million were from metro areas and  $32.1 million from country Victoria.

(5) 48,120 shows in small venues attracted 15.1 million patrons and generated total revenue of $1,189 million.

(6) In 2020/ 21, festivals made up 1,059 of the equivalent of full time jobs (down 65% from before COVID), concerts made up 642 FTE jobs (down 63%) and small venues hired 2,802 which was a sharp 75% decline.

Venues Go Belly-Up

HiWay Enmore in Sydney’s inner west went into liquidation owing $160,000 to 15 creditors.

They included between $10,000 and $20,000 to the Australian Taxation Office, and $20,000 to the landlord who has taken back the building.

Mt. Gambier’s Shadows nightclub closed after the building’s owner changed the locks claiming Shadows’ owner, Dean Gentile, failed to pay $9,000 in rent for February and March 2023.

Read more about IOHYOU’s brand new publishing division here.