2015 Spotlight on Australia

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Australia, with a population of 22m, has long been considered the natural trading partner for Canada’s music industry. Australia is currently ranked by IFPI’s latest Recording Industry in Numbers (RIN) report as sixth behind the U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, and France.  It represents three percent of the world music market. CAAMA has worked hand-in-hand with Australia’s music export team to test the market. The initial forays have resulted in solid business opportunities for Canadian SMEs and CAAMA members for both licensing of recorded music and live concerts for festivals and tours. A stronger, concerted effort is required to yield greater results and maximize on the potential for Canadian success stories.

Australia’s live music industry contributes $1.2 billion to the Australian economy. Live entertainment in Australia is booming, generating $1.88 billion in revenue in 2008 and making it a bigger industry than film and video production, sports, book publishing and horse racing. Contemporary music was the most significant contributor by event category, comprising 40 percent of the industry’s total earnings. The amount of profitable festivals and music venues remains the highest in the world. The continent is an excellent outlet for traveling bands to remain active in otherwise down seasons, and better yet, Australian fans are willing to pay and pay big. The economy is motivated, the Australian dollar is climbing and somewhat stable so people can part with discretionary spending. This coupled with successful venues and festivals leads to profitable and multi-dated tours.

Australia has a unique musical ecosystem which does not have to rely upon global sales, global distribution or artist success abroad in order to be successful. Australia is cluttered with successful promoters. Their labels are successful, distribution foundation is strong, and the overall infrastructure is prepared for growth.

2012 saw the launch of Vevo in Australia as well as the expansion of Pandora and Spotify – both services contributing to the creation of revenues that did not previously exist. The latest IFPI standings show that Australia was one of only nine countries that saw growth in global revenues – +6.8% over 2011.

Ranking fifth worldwide for digital sales, Australia was one of the top 5 major download markets in the world with single tracks growing 76% and albums growing 42% over 2011 – the most for each category of all 5 markets. It is also one of few markets where digital surpasses physical, accounting for 47% (vs. 45%) of recorded music sales. All of these factors point to an infrastructure well primed for continued digital growth.

As Canadian music flourishes in international markets, CAAMA continues to lead the charge in bringing international business to Canada. After a series of successful spotlights on India, China, France, Spain, SE Asia, Latin America, Japan, Brazil, Korea, The Nordic Regions, and most recently Germany, Austria and Switzerland, next year will see the burgeoning region of Australia take the international focus at Canadian Music Week in Toronto (May 5-9, 2015).

MISSION PARTICIPANTS

Graham Ashton | Footstomp Music

Asho left home and school at an early age to sing in punk rock bands. He realized quickly that it was better for everybody that he stayed on the other side of the stage. In the 90’s he managed bands and started up the indie punk label Emily Records.

Asho annoyed everyone in the Brisbane music scene for a few years before getting a start in the call centre at Polygram Records in 1991. He spent the next two decades working at independent and major records labels in Brisbane and Sydney and has held positions in A&R, Marketing, Promotions, Publicity, International Licensing and Sales.

2010 started with Footstomp Music taking shape. Footstomp is a Music Services Company specializing in artist, project and event management, label services and artist development. Footstomp manage MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA, NICKY BOMBA, EDEN MULHOLLAND and co-manage BUSBY MAROU.

Asho scored the great coup as Executive Programmer for BIGSOUND and was part of the team that delivered the most successful events in BIGSOUND’s twelve year history. He has since found himself speaking at events such as SXSW, CMJ, Canadian Music Week and the New Zealand Global Music Summit and takes great pleasure in sharing his passion for music. Footstomp are also taking care of the music programming at Bleach and Teneriffe Festivals and booking Brisbane’s most exciting new venue The Triffid.

2011 started with Footstomp signing a label deal with Warner Music Australia. Footstomp Records have signed BUSBY MAROU, THE MEDICS, THELMA PLUM and KARL S WILLIAMS. All of whom have well and truly found their way into the consciousness of the Australian music community including the debut BUSBY MAROU album recently going gold.

Asho is proud to have worked closely with hundreds of artists including the likes of ROBBIE WILLIAMS, POWDERFINGER, THE LIVING END, PAUL KELLY, THE GO-BETWEENS and MUMFORD & SONS. He fell in love with Music and Surfing at 10 years old is getting more obsessed about each of these passions with age.

Dave Batty | Artist Voice

Sydney born Dave Batty has nearly two decades’ experience in the music industry. Beginning his career as Export Product Manager at Australia’s then-biggest independent label, the now defunct Mushroom Records, he founded Custom Made Touring and Artist Representation in 1998.

For almost 15 years, Custom-Made Touring was responsible for bringing acts as diverse as Isis, These Arms Are Snakes, Tegan and Sara, Skinlab, Brant Bjork, Hot Snakes, Mariachi El Bronx and their punk rock alter egos, The Bronx, to Australia (the latter performing their first ever sold out show in the world at Sydney’s Annandale Hotel in 2004).

In 2011, Batty merged the agency side of the business with Sydney based talent agency Artist Voice. As an agent, he currently represents acts such as Neil Finn, CW Stoneking, Sarah Blasko, Tegan & Sara, Trailer Park Boys, Lemonheads, Hard-Ons, Jen Cloher and many others.

Batty has also enjoyed success as a manager, first guiding Sydney act Henry’s Anger to an ARIA nomination in 1999, then steering the career of legendary punk act the Hard-Ons. Since 2009 he has managed Sydney quartet The Jezabels, establishing them initially as a successful touring and recording act in Australia, and now as an internationally-renowned outfit with sell-out shows in Britain, Europe, America and Canada to their name. In Australia, The Jezabels have achieved Gold status for two of their three EPs, Platinum status for the other, as well as Gold status for their debut album, Prisoner, which debuted at Number Two on the Australian charts. Prisoner was also released around the world via separate territory deals. The Jezabels’ follow up, The Brink, also debuted at #2 and the band are currently entrenched in international touring in support of this album.

Michael Chugg | Chugg Entertainment

After co-founding the Frontier Touring Company in the mid 1970s Michael Chugg went out on his own in 2000 and founded Chugg Entertainment, from there going on to garner a reputation both internationally and on home soil as one of Australia’s most prominent rock promoters. From club shows to stadiums, festivals, special events and everything in between, Michael Chugg and his business partner Matthew Lazarus-Hall have worked with some of the world’s biggest acts from Elton John, Robbie Williams, Pearl Jam, AC/DC, Bette Midler, Prince, Coldplay and Radiohead. The company has also co-promoted some of the biggest charity events Australia has seen including Wave Aid (2005), Live Earth (2007) and Sound Relief (2009).

Michael Chugg is a well known public figure in his own right, running the PR machine for many of his tours and often being the media’s ‘go to man’ for opinion on the music industry or the state of the nation.

Many of Michael Chugg’s achievements have been recognised with a plethora of awards over the years including Pollstar’s International Promoter Of The Year (1999, 2008 & 2010), CMA International Talent Buyer/Promoter Award (2006), ILMC Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), International Music Person of the Year (Musexpo 2012) and Festival Promoter of the Year (Musexpo 2014).
The Australian Music Industry Directly has recently named Michael Chugg as the third most powerful person in the Australian music industry, for the second year in a row.

Chugg Entertainment is a big supporter of Australian music and has recently started an indie music arm, looking after five of the hottest young acts in Australia. One of these acts – Sheppard – have recently made it to #1 on the Australian charts with their new single Geronimo and will soon release the song in the UK and Europe through Decca UK.

Ian James | Mushroom Music Publishing

Ian James has been the Managing Director of Mushroom Music Publishing for the past 28 years. Mushroom Music Publishing is the most successful independent music publisher in Australia and represents many of the most prominent songwriters in Australia and New Zealand. He is also the Deputy Chairman of Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Chairman of the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). In 2014 he was appointed as the Adjunct Professor at the Victoria University College of Business. Prior to joining Mushroom Music, he was at APRA for 10 years, managing the Licensing Department and the Southern Region office. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Applied Psychology) from the University of New South Wales.

Brett Murrihy | Artist Voice

With a background in psychology, Brett Murrihy is a booking agent and CEO of Artist Voice, a full service talent agency based in Sydney.

With over 10 years experience as a senior agent with The Harbour Agency Brett ventured out in partnership with Mushroom founder Michael Gudinski and Illusive Entertainment CEO, Matt Gudinski, to create Artist Voice.

With a stable ranging from Empire Of The Sun, The Temper Trap, Paul Kelly, Bliss n Eso, Lisa Mitchell, Evermore, Thirsty Merc, and The Panics. Artist Voice represents artists both Nationally and Internationally.

Brett is also a co-founder of posse.com; a innovative web marketing company exploding throughout Australia, US & the UK.