New push for living wage for musicians + all the biggest industry headlines

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New push for living wage for musicians + all the biggest industry headlines

Words by Christie Eliezer

Sales rep position open at Audio-Technica, YouTube licensing hub for creators, 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:

  • Push for musicians’ living wage, sick pay.
  • YouTube licensing hub for creators.
  • Sales rep position open at Audio-Technica.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

Push for musicians’ living wage, sick pay

With Victoria’s state elections on November 26, the Greens are pushing for a living wage and sick pay for musicians and artists in crisis.

A pilot program will support two thousand artists with a living wage of $42,200 per year. It would cost $252 million over three years and be open to musicians as well as artists, dancers, theatre makers, filmmakers, and writers.

The sick pay idea will give artists and arts workers (who are 8.8 per cent of Victoria’s work force) the same rights as 150 thousand other casual and contract workers in hospitality, food trades and food preparation, supermarket and retail sales, aged care and disability workers, cleaners and laundry workers, and security guards.

It would provide five days of sick or carer payments at the national minimum wage of $20.33/hour or $772.54/week.

It would cost the Vic government $10 million. But given that the government’s own figures show that the arts sector provides $34.5 billion to the economy and $1.5 billion towards exports, it’s more than a decent trade-off.

It also addresses the misconception that artists should be “taken for granted in the amount of work they do and that they will continue to do it even if they are sick,” said Gabrielle de Vietri, Greens candidate for the seat of Richmond.

Earlier this month, the government of Ireland announced a pilot scheme where two thousand creatives would receive a basic income of €325 (AU$ 537.50) per week for three years.

The Basic Income for the Arts scheme had nine thousand applications. 584 musicians were picked along with 707 visual artists, 204 artists working in film, 184 writers, 173 theatre actors and artists, 32 dancers and choreographers, 13 circus artists, and 10 architects.

The government said that such a scheme would have a broader impact, including Ireland’s greater global impact and reputation.

Catherine Martin, Ireland’s Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and the Media, outlined, “It makes a strong statement about the value Ireland places on the arts and artistic practice, both for its intrinsic value and in terms of our personal and collective wellbeing, and also in terms of its importance to our identity and cultural distinctiveness on the global stage.”

A pilot scheme for a weekly wage would be an important part of the Australian music industry’s concerted push to achieve greater international presence and a five per cent world market share.

YouTube licensing hub for creators

YouTube is introducing two new features in Australia in 2023 as part of a global roll-out – a Creator Music licensing hub, and a new revenue sharing model for its short form video Shorts.

The company calls Creator Music (which is beta in the US) “a new destination that gives creators easy access to an ever-growing catalogue of music for use in their videos, while providing artists and music rights holders with a new revenue stream for their music on YouTube”.

Those who license music through the hub “will keep the same revenue share they’d usually make on videos without any music”.

Creators who don’t want to buy a license up front can use songs and share revenue with the track’s artist and associated rights holders.

Shorts revenue will move from a fixed fund. Each month, revenue from ads that run between videos, will be added together and used to “reward Shorts creators and help cover costs of music licensing”.

SA Music Awards back in November

The South Australian Music Awards (SAMIs) return on November 17 at Adelaide’s new Hindley Street Music Hall.

Nominations open until October 3 for Industry Voted and People’s Choice categories.

Last year’s awards saw a record breaking 11,600 public votes  for their fave SA acts, and emerging pop-punk duo Teenage Joans winning an astounding seven trophies.

More here.

Sales rep position open at Audio-Technica

Technical Audio Group (TAG), leading audio products importer and national wholesaler with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, has a sales rep vacancy in Victoria.

It’s for Japanese audio brand Audio-Technica who manufactures headphones, microphones, turntables, and cartridges.

It wants a salesperson with 3-5 years experience in an audio setting and proficiency with sales management software and CRM to visit customers and sell products into the Hi-Fi, independent record, and musical instrument retail markets.

Full requirements at here. Send a cover letter and resume to [email protected], or phone 02 9519 0900.

Ocean Alley buy property with studio

Sydney band Ocean Alley bought a $2.35 million property 22 km from Byron Bay which comes with a music studio, the Daily Tele reported.

The 8ha commune-type place has seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, with a creek and waterhole which attracts native wildlife.

In the meantime, Silverchair’s Chris Joannou and wife Karissa paid $3.2 million for a four-hectare place in Sapphire Beach north of Coffs Harbour, near musician Wendy Matthews.

The four-bedroom place has a guest house, a garage for 10 cars, and an “ultimate man cave”.

This year they sold their Newcastle home in riverside Carrington for over $1.6 million and the Edwards pub/restaurant for $4 million.

2023 Robert Stigwood Fellowship Returns

Applications for the 2023 Robert Stigwood Fellowship are open until Sunday October 16. It is for SA artists ($25,000) and industry entrepreneurs ($5,000) with mentoring and professional development from Stu MacQueen and Dan Crannitch of Wonderlick Entertainment (Amy Shark, Japanese Wallpaper, Holy Holy, and Montaigne).

Previous Stigwood Fellows include: Teenage Joans, TOWNS, Tkay Maidza, George Alice, Electric Fields, Kanada The Loop and West Thebarton Full details here.


“Larger than life” Tasmanian music photographer Anne Ponsonby last Friday after a heart attack aged 57.

The body of Bobby Barnes, former member of Fraser Coast band Red Betty was discovered after his family reported him missing.

App to alleviate public liability crisis

The Australian Live Music Business Council (ALMBC) is launching a new app on October 1 to help alleviate the live sector’s public liability crisis.

It estimates 300 music venues can’t get cover or face a 300 per cent hike in premiums, while 100 other firms have premiums to one thousand per cent.

The ALMBC Insurance Gateway app allows members to collect the information insurers need to assess applications.

Once submitted, ALMBC’s brokers will use the data to match the business with underwriters willing to insure live music companies.

At the same time, ALMBC is holding discussions with overseas insurers, as well as with federal and state governments to change the law to make Public Liability Insurance affordable.

Venues update

Adelaide’s Colonel Light Hotel has closed its doors again, nine months after drag queen Tullula Bright relaunched it as an artist showcase under the name Tullula Bright. It had been closed for five years before.

The Cairns Post reported that Gilligan’s nightclub in Cairns is facing multiple investigations by Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation. Most recently, the family of a man who fell over and cracked his head alleged he was served 50 beers from 11am to 10.30pm.

Geelong winery Mt Duneed Estate applied to increase audience size from 20 thousand to 25 thousand, and the number of annual concerts from six to 10.

The White Horse Hotel in St Peters in Sydney’s inner-west has launched as a live music venue called The House of Music and Booze.

Unibar in Adelaide is being inducted into the SA Music Hall of Fame for its 50-year support for live music, and celebrating with a mini-festival on Saturday November 5.

The City of Gold Coast is looking at the possibility of a new boutique stadium of eight thousand to 12 thousand seats for regular smaller concerts.

More on ALMBC here.