What the Federal Budget means for music + all the biggest industry headlines

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What the Federal Budget means for music + all the biggest industry headlines

Words by Christie Eliezer

APRA AMCOS hits record royalties, Bakehouse Studios brings back its bursaries for a second year, 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:

  • What the Federal Budget had for music biz.
  • APRA AMCOS hits record royalties.
  • RØDE launches new Streaming & Gaming division.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

What the Federal Budget had for music biz

This week’s cautious (read: ho-hum) Federal Budget had no surprises for the music and arts sectors (from a government led by the artist PKA DJ Albo) but we should be waiting for the National Cultural Policy by end of the year.

The Budget offered:

  • $22 million for the Live Performance Support Fund for promoters hit by the pandemic.
  • Community broadcasting received an extra $4 million per year for the Community Broadcasting Program from 2023-24, taking its annual funding to over $20 million per year and $88 million over the next four years.
  • Funding for a feasibility study into expanding Double J on radio, with more airplay for Aussie acts, especially in regional areas.
  • Transfer Creative Partnerships Australia’s functions and funding to the Australia Council, so Council can work closer with philanthropists, corporate and commercial sectors. This will give the Council projected savings of $15.3 million over three years, but in reality no new moolah for funding programs.
  • The Temporary Interruption Fund extended for the live sector until June 30, 2023.
  • $13 million to Tasmania’s Burnie Cultural Precinct for regional arts and cultural institutions.

APRA AMCOS hits record royalties

APRA AMCOS broke the half a billion dollar barrier in royalties for the first time earned on behalf of songwriters, publishers, affiliated societies, and other rights holders. It reached $616.5 million, a 21.6 per cent increase in 2021-22 financial year’s $506.9 million.

Net distributable revenue also increased by more than 20 per cent to $534.3 million, beating last year’s $442.6 million of royalties.

The growth was primarily due to a 40.2 per cent rise in digital business locally and overseas. FY22 marks the first time digital represents more than half of total revenue, accounting for $338 million.

International income (from the performance of Australian and NZ songs and compositions globally) has grown, with the number of members who earned international royalties increased to 23,532, an uplift of 18.4 per cent.

Income from television and radio remained strong but public performance dropped obviously as gigs stopped over the last few years.

However when that happened, APRA gave $1.5 million to over 3,000 songwriters and composers in Australia and NZ to cover lost live income.

RØDE’s new Streaming & Gaming division

After more than three years in development, RØDE has set up RØDE X, its high audio solution for streamers and gamers.

The first three products arrived worldwide this week: UNIFY, a virtual mixing solution custom-designed for streaming and gaming, and two professional USB microphones – the XDM-100 dynamic USB and XCM-50 condenser USB.

RØDE CEO Damien Wilson said “for more than three decades, RØDE has been the go-to audio brand for the world’s creators.

“We have made it our mission to provide professional audio solutions to musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and broadcasters.

“Listening to and learning from creators is what we do and has led to the development of groundbreaking products like the VideoMic, RØDECaster Pro and Wireless GO.

“Now we’re doing the same for streamers and gamers.”

Today Tix expands to Brisbane

Today Tix, which launched in Melbourne and Sydney in 2019, is now in Brisbane providing affordable tickets to in-demand shows with partners such as QPAC and Michael Cassel Group.

Spotify nudges 195m subscribers, 456m users

In Q3 2022, Spotify added another seven million net Premium subscribers to its user base, taking its total global paying subs audience to 195 million.

Seven million came on board during Q3 (the three months to end of September) and 15 million during 2022.

Spotify’s monthly active users (MAUs) at the close of Q3 hit 456 million – up 23 million on the prior quarter, mostly due to uptake in India.

In the quarter, Spotify generated €3.036 billion (AU$4.69 billion), up 12 per cent, subscriber/premium was up 13 per cent to €2.651 billion ($4.10 billion), and ad-supported revenues at €385 million ($595.7 million) led by podcasting.

Gross profit was €750 million ($1.16 billion) but operating losses in the quarter were €228 million ($352.8 million). 

Helping Hand #1: Bakehouse Studios

Melbourne’s Bakehouse Studios brings back its bursaries for a second year.

They aim to invest in greater participation of women and gender-diverse practitioners – solo artists, women-led or GD-led bands included – in live performance, creation of new work, collaboration, and skill development.

The response to the 2021 round found many are primary caregivers, endure unstable casual and part-time work, or live with disability.

To assist them, Bakehouse is introducing 25 bursaries for fully-supported studio rehearsals. Each pack consists of two off-peak sessions and one on-peak session, with full backline in the best available room at its Richmond complex.

The 2022 relaunch is possible due to co-funding from the Punter’s Club Reunion, Playking Foundation, and the Myer Foundation.

Applications close February 28 – head to Bakehouse Studios for more.

Helping Hand #2: Good Loco

Over Aus Music Month in November, Eora /Sydney-based photography and videography studio Good Loco will provide complimentary dry hire of the studio to indie artists on weekdays.

You bring your photographer or hire one of the studio’s contacts.

It comes with lighting gear, a make-up and dressing room, vocal booth, props on standby, bathroom, kitchen, green room with recreational facilities, and a bar stocked with ATOMIC Beer.

Studio manager Rick Bridgman explains, “It’s still real tough out there. (We) hope that with these comp sessions, artists can create some incredible, meaningful content and save funds for other parts of their career.”

Head to the Good Loco website, click the ‘Book Now’ tab, select booking type, preferred weekday date, follow prompts and at the final booking stage redeem the coupon ‘INDIE2022’.

More EMC10 speakers & sessions

The latest sessions and speakers for Electronic Music Conference are: Championing First Nations EDM artists, with Emily Nichol (NITV), Dr.Alethea Beetson (Digi Youth Arts), artists Moss and DJ PGZ.

Gen Z And End of Creative Gatekeeping, with Clare Holland (Red Bull), Deepa Alam (FBi Radio/  Bypass), Huw Arianiego-Ellis (Warner Music), Oliver Hall (Bolster) and Felix Ryan & Charlie Smith (Scenes Collective).

Can Web3 De-Risk the Business of Promoting with Iqba Ameer and Marvin Das of All Access Anonymous.

Eco-Anxiety and Climate Emergency with Ancestress (BirriGubba & Gagulu poet and musician),Christie Wilson (Psychology For A Safe Climate) and Edwina Floch (Environmental Music Prize). 

Nominations open for MusicACT Awards

Nominations have opened for the MusicACT Music Awards here. The winning artist or industry worker is unveiled on December 13 at an invite-only event in Canberra.

Sunshine Coast conference returns

The TurnUp Sunshine Coast conference returns November 15 to 18 at the Nambour Entertainment Precinct.

Bill Hauritz of Woodford Folk Festival does a keynote while panels and workshops cover diversifying your music income, music as a career, competition vs collective, and ways to get grants.

Find out more here.