The most important music industry moments of 2018

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The most important music industry moments of 2018


As we edge towards the middle of the year, we’ve collated a few of the key music industry moments of 2018. From developments in steaming to new directions the industry is taking, this is the story so far. 

“Don’t Stream It’s Over”

Figures released in April by ARIA showed streaming accounts for 54% of the Aussie market (worth $213 million) and why it jumped 10.5% to A$391 million, the largest revenue increase since 1996. Australia is the 8th largest music market in the world, down from #7.  Meantime data from the global AFPI trade body shows streaming accounts for 38.4% of the global mark and equivalent of $6.6 billion, and the reason why it grew 8.1% to US$17.3 billion.

Record companies are targeting emerging music markets in the Middle East, Africa, China and India with a collective population of 4 billion. This is a boon to Australian acts, where multi-cultural sounds emerge and where the internet has opened new markets for indie acts. Expect the local industry to remain buoyant, the deal between the music industry and commercial radio to stick to the 25% local airplay quota kicked in on April 1.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Initiatives like the Australian Women’s Music Awards showed a push for gender equality on association boards and festival bills and safe spaces in venues had already started. But one of the most long-awaited social revolutions of our time, via #MeToo and others, gave a global voice, a dialogue and a breaking of the silence to generate a tidal wave.

More music and arts associations to introduce codes of behaviour for members, funding recipients, partners and suppliers, and music firms to be inclusive in their executive ranks and promotions lists. The push for 50:50 bills will get impetus as more festivals report greater female attendance  (56% at Laneway 2018, 70% of 2017 Groovin’ The Moo). Recognition and safety for trans and GNC members is the next battleground.

And Over There is AC/DC’s Party House

Last week, the Australian Music Vault announced it hit the 200,000-attendance mark in four months, many from interstate and abroad. This shows fans are interested in music history, memorabilia, and music tourism.  The Victorian government indicated it will invest in data to find out the role in this played by festivals, to help them grow. It’ll be easier for the industry to push for more music landmarks.

This is My City

The state government and local music industry have generated initiatives as the agent of change. The inaugural Music Cities Convention in Melbourne in April drew ideas from abroad which could be initiated here. These include a night mayor, ways to increase musicians’ incomes (including gigs as Centrelink obligations, cheaper house rentals), and complete music districts with great public transport.

Gimme the Future, Gimme the Future

The staging in Sydney of Europe’s Fast Forward saw small groups of hungry future thinking executives come up with future priorities. These included Australia as a springboard into the growing Asian live market, more inclusive diversity, being ready for greater corporate investment from the financial world (especially in tech startups) and a greater focus on transparency and data collection to empower artists.