Roundtable Shining The Spotlight on Australian Music Innovation

Image Credit: Nightlife Music
Chris Bowen
| July 31, 2017

With innovation the real driver in music sector growth, Music Australia’s 2017 Contemporary Music Roundtable conference explores Australian innovations in a Music Innovation panel.

In an age of start-ups, venture capital and innovation agendas, music can be a notable absentee.  It’s a high-risk business, particularly in music-tech. Internationally Billboard reports that Soundcloud has laid off 40% of its staff, a year after considering a US $1 billion sale.  Streaming is where the current investment action is, taking the lion share of venture capital, mostly to a few large companies. This leaves 25% for other enterprises in areas such as catalogue management, social music platforms and live music. Billboard notes a key obstacle is that few venture capital firms are run by people with music industry experience, and music can find it hard to achieve the 30 percent return expected.

While streaming is clearly the dominant player, industry observer Mark Mulligan predicts the next phase of winners will be those who can “create a user experience renaissance”. With the mechanics of music streaming sorted, Mulligan argues that to thrive it must break out of the “music-collection-as-excel-spreadsheet paradigm”. This means that music must do as apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have done – offering transformative experiences, often centred on video and interactivity.

Over here Music Australia takes the view that innovation is the key to fostering real growth in the Australian music sector. Our Contemporary Music Roundtable conference will showcase five leading examples of Australian music innovation at its third edition in Sydney on Wed 3 August 2017.

This session examine some of the innovations being developed here that are growing the music industry pie, covering breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, new licensing models, and harnessing music and tech for live and recorded music. It will explore the challenges in launching these technologies out of Australia, emphasise the inevitability and importance of innovation and disruption, and broaden industry awareness about the potential for Australian music innovation.

Showcasing companies are:

  • GiggedIn – a new live music subscription service, with a platform designed to encourage more people to experience more gigs and the best their cities have to offer
  • Nightlife Music – an established commercial music and entertainment supplier, offering tech driven music solutions for multiple venue types
  • OneMusicAustralia – a joint venture by APRA AMCOS & PPCA designed to simplify public performance music licensing and due to start in 2018
  • Popgun – a music AI system under development with investors in place, whose principals previously developed a platform we are hunted, sold to Twitter Music.

Also in Australia, our collection society APRA AMCOS is a champion of the role intellectual property plays in driving innovation, citing companies such as Vampr whose app “helps artists discover, connect and collaborate with musicians, industry and music lovers alike.”

And two music companies were in the top three winners at Australia’s first start up weekend hosted by QUT’s Creative Enterprise Australia in March 2016. Brisbane based CEA runs a range of programs in which music companies can participate, as does South Australian Industry Cluster Organisation Musitec.

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