The music industry’s winners and losers of 2018

The music industry’s winners and losers of 2018



– Far more lesser-known artists found fame quicker. In Australia, as new names nudge the mainstream, a second generation is already waiting for their pass-ins. Streaming playlists are attributed to this, but let’s not discount that as major acts’ fees fly north, festival promoters are turning to more niche acts.

– #MeToo’s impact on the Australian music industry included associations officially declaring programs of gender equality and diversity, an impetus to create more safe spaces in venues and a push for 50:50 festival bills.

– Following changes in directors and cast and a myriad of other delays, Bohemian Rhapsody had all the makings of A Day At The Train Wreckers. But with worldwide grosses of $600 million, it became the biggest music biopic of all-time, and made the ‘70s fashionable again. Can a Uriah Heep flick be far behind.

– Road crews finally got their recognition, with a big-selling book (Stuart Coupe’s Roadies: The Secret History of Australian Rock’n’Roll), media stories about their mental, medical and physical issues, and plans by an Australian filmmaker to revive his movie on crews.

– For a bunch of reasons, blockchain technology and lower advances from majors among them, more musicians were drawn to the indie sector. As a result, it’s growing faster than every other sector (up 10.9% last time we looked) to a global value of US$6.9 billion and a 39.9% market share based on ownership.


– Australians’ enthusiasm for festivals raised overseas brands’ antennas. Alas, for every successful transplant (Ultra), China’s Storm and America’s HangOut missed their flights.

– Sydney nightlife remained a robo-corpse. Rallies, debates, parliamentary inquiries all moved to kick-start things in 2019. But Sydney-siders were embarrassed when research by tech firm Traveloka found the Harbour City second in earliest average closing time (12.20am) to London (12.09am).

– Which was the most pathetic celeb love affair, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson or Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan? Three weeks after Grande and Davidson  started143-ing, they got matching tattoos, adopted a pig together, and moved into a $16 million NYC apartment. Grande’s ex Mac Miller died, she went to pieces and he started covering her tattoo. Cyrus & Lil Xan cut a romantic track and made their deep and spiritual love official at the MTV awards. It went instantly downhill from there. He accused her on every social media of cheating on him, she responded on every social media that he had done her wrong. Apparently she noticed a hickey on his neck that he couldn’t explain.

– Spotify went public on the NY stock exchange to a resounding start, and made millions of dollars for the major labels who were stockholders. Two of them took their money and ran. Spotify’s stocks in recent weeks, alas, were down to the lowest ever, which meant that financial investors now regard tech stocks with the same enthusiasm (not) as they did the music industry before streaming made it cool again.