New funding round for Sydney’s ‘Play the City’ + all the biggest industry headlines from the week

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New funding round for Sydney’s ‘Play the City’ + all the biggest industry headlines from the week

Sydney skyline
Words by Christie Eliezer

Plus free studio time for first nations people in Canberra, Spotify Fan Study data revealed and more.

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 Aussie music industry news stories from the past fortnight.

The top headlines:

  • Spotify releases study detailing how people are spending their time listening on the platform and how that translates between genres and merch sales.
  • KIIS network host unveils mental health app to share your mood with friends.
  • Darwin has huge turnout for festivals, runs dry on beer.

Keep your eyes peeled on our Industry News page to stay updated on all the latest headlines. 

Takeaways From Spotify’s Fan Study

Sydney is the eighth biggest city for discovering new music, artists from the 2000’s are most likely to sell vinyl today, 53% of metal-heads follow hip hop, and merchandise hats are most popular with fans of EDM and country music (don’t ask) while London buys the most hoodies.

These are some nuggets from Spotify’s first Fan Study, put together to provide insights on how fans listen to music and connect with artists.

After a listener adds an artist’s track to their personal playlist, they’ll listen to them 41% more, look at their profile 12% more, and end up making 60% of all their merch purchases.

Lines between genres continue to blur. Aside from the metal/hip hop crossover, 77% of EDM fans listen to pop, 60% to hip hop, 56% to rock, 28% to indie, 27% to R&B, 10% to reggae and 9% to jazz. So tag new tracks with multiple genres when pitching them to playlists.

Latin America is where fans listen most to new music and new artists, with São Paulo, Santiago, and Mexico City the top three cities. Then comes LA, London, Chicago, Paris and Sydney.

Acts can have audiences in places they don’t expect. For example, over 80% of K-Pop, South African house, German techno and reggae listens happen outside of their home country.

A fan that saves your track will listen to it 3x more, and for as long as six months. So keep your campaigns for as long as that, Spotify says.

Superfans rule! The top 5 of your most ardent fans are listening 6x more than the rest. 

Update your profiles before the day of release ‘cos that’s when there’s a huge spike of traffic – up to 77% to Spotify artist profiles, 72% to album page views, 47% in search, and 42% in playlist views. But 50% of artists miss out because they tend to update after the track is out.

A new track tends to give an artist’s catalogue a 15% to 20% lift on day of release, so campaigns should include old and new music.

Read more about Fan Study here.

You Can Leave Your Hat. On

Australia has a new management company, hat. based in Perth and London. It is set up by Murray Curnow, a Brit who worked with Royal Blood and Arctic Monkeys before moving here.

He managed Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, taking them on a sold out debut UK/EU and North American tours. At launch, hat. has on its roster, The Crumps as well as Dulcie, People Taking Pictures and new UK artist Lily Denning.

Deadline For BIGSOUND Showcases

Applications to showcase at BIGSOUND close on June 4 at 11:59pm.They’re held in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley Sept Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9.

Olivia Rodrigo Makes Aussie Chart History

Olivia Rodrigo made Australian chart history last week as first female artist to have first single (‘Drivers License’) and album (Sour) debut at #1 on the ARIA Chart, said Universal Music.

Last week she had four singles simultaneously in the Top 10. The last time was Taylor Swift in August 2020 with five of the critters.

More For Sydney’s ‘Play The City’

An additional 10 were announced in Round 2 of NSW’s ‘Play The City’, set up to bring people back to the Sydney CBD and provide work for independent artists and venues. $363,000 went for the ten, bringing the tally to $1.86 million.

This time around, getting the moolah on the music side were End Notes: Disco Paradiso ($15,000) to showcase funk, afrobeat, jazz and Latin bands; venue operator Music and Booze Company ($50,000) for the King Street Crawl visiting venues in Newtown; world music acts Lolo Lovina, Marsala and the Caravan Stage ($10,000) to perform in The Rocks; and Lower Bar at City Tattersalls Club ($24,000) to showcase young acts across three months.

Sounds in the Square got $50,000 for gigs in June in Darling Square; and Jarryd James ($36,800) to play at George St Cinemas in surround sound with 7.1 Dolby Atmos speakers, to create custom visuals to show on screens.

Producer Buys Into The Plutonium

Producer Aidan Hogg bought a stake in Brisbane studio The Plutonium, The Music Network reported. Hogg interned there and was its in-house engineer for four years.

It was set up in 2013 by Luke McDonald and Pete Bernoth. Tame Impala, Violent Soho, Holy Holy, Hatchie, Thelma Plum, G Flip, Eves Karydas and Hope D have used its facilities.

Radio Host Launches Mental Health Check-In App

Will McMahon, of KIIS Network’s drive show Will & Woody created mental health check-in app Share My Mood. It allows folks to communicate their mood without saying anything. 

It rates the user’s mood on a sliding scale and lets them text that to friends. McMahon who lives with depression, created it with a team at Australian Radio Network, clinical psychologist Gus Worland’s mental fitness charity Gotcha4Life and supported by its corporate partner Chemist Warehouse.

Rap Sheet

Jemz of Sydney drillers OneFour pleaded not guilty in Mt Druitt Local Court on May 27 to charges (with three others) of possessing a replica pistol following a police investigation into a 2019 shooting in Sydney’s west when an associate was dropped bleeding at a hospital.

The po-pos made their gun case based on footage they found on a seized mobile phone. Jemz, 23, born Jerome Misa, argued they had no right to seize the phone and couldn’t use anything on it as evidence. The blueys’ lawyer snarled back, “They had every bloody right!”

Meantime, triple j Unearthed Afrobeat/ house act ET Le Createur sweats it out until August 12 to find out what his sentence will be for reckless grievous bodily harm and assault.

While working as a security guard in a Sydney CBD car park he saw an inebriated chap trying to get into a car that was not his. An ensuing argument worsened as the man kept yapping into his phone – which ended, police say, when the guard gave him a whack on the head and sent him and phone to hospital.

We’re Here For The Beer

Darwin was rapt as intestate music fans rolled in over two weekends – a couple of thousand for the Carl Cox Eric Powell Mobile Disco to 7,000 at Gardens Amphitheatre and 8,000 making up the 14,000-strong crowd at BASSINTHEGRASS.

Bars and clubs did roaring businesses, hostels re-opened after 12 months, fans referred to Darwin as “Australia’s Ibiza” and tourism people trumpeted “Darwin’s reawakened!” Then reality set in – the city started to run out of beer!  Frantic calls were made, and huge trucks filled with supplies choofed up the Stuart Highway. This would never have happened in Ibiza…

Unreal Estate

A 3066-square-metre property went for sale in one of Toorak’s best streets, Hopetoun Road, for between $30 million to $33 million. Tennis court, pool, even a master bedroom with its own gym.

The estate agent tried to keep the seller’s identity a secret but it turned out to be Michael Coppel, president of Live Nation Australasia.

An impulse property buy in the Victorian alpine region by Carl Cox and promoter Richie McNeill of Hardware Group as a getaway, sold for $1.95 million. Carl is a motorbike freak and McNeill into dirt bikes. They were riding around the region in 2009 when they noticed an auction with a BBQ. They stopped for sausages but put in a bid.

Eurovision Viewing Goes South

With Australia kicked out in the first semi-final, viewing figures were down for Eurovision. Only 170,000 watched the grand final, including 123,000 who woke at 5 am to see it live. In 2019 when Kate Miller-Heidke was competing, 246,000 watched with 166,000 waking early.

Canberra Studio Free For First Nations Musos

The Australian National University’s recording studio Yil Lull is up and running – and available free to First Nations musicians. The Canberra studio is run by Torres Strait Islander musician Will Kepa. Its name comes from a 1988 track by singer songwriter Uncle Joe Geia. In 2022 it will also be mobile studio.

Executive Moves

QMusic appointed Kris Stewart as new CEO, starting June 14. He was eight years artistic director at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Sydney’s FBi Radio has a new music director (Reg Harris) and head of programming (Tanya Ali).

Read the biggest headlines from last fortnight here.