The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) are set to assess the practices and regulations of the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) as it applies for a new 6 year term for the acquisition and licensing of the performing rights in its music repertoire. A document was issued to live music venue operators and APRA licensees overnight calling for comments and submissions on the public benefits, or conversely detriments, of APRA. The document reads “The ACCC is primarily focused on the impacts caused by lack of competition and the impact this has on both industry and consumers.”

Current licensees, including many music venues, have numerous concerns surrounding APRA including the proposed increases in licensing fees, especially in comparison to overseas collecting bodies, which the Association of Liquor Licensees assert can be significantly less than what APRA already charge. There are also concerns over the lack of transparency on how the money collected is distributed. The ACCC is asking for public submissions from licensess, with the cut-off being this Friday 24th May with a draft determination to be made sometime in June/July with a public consultation on the draft taking place July/August before a final determination is made in September/October.

UNFD Announce Partnership With Equal Vision Records

Australian hardcore label We Are Unified (UNFD) has announced a new partnership with legendary US label Equal Vision Records. The new deal will see UNFD handle distributing, marketing, and promotion for Equal Vision titles in Australia and New Zealand, as well as relaunching the label’s iconic back catalogue of punk and hardcore releases. The US label’s artist roster includes Converge, Saves The Day, Give Up The Ghost, Coheed And Cambria, We Came As Romans, Circa Survive, and Pierce The Veil, plus many more. Equal Vision label manager, Dan Sandshaw, said of the deal: It’s rare to find a label with as much passion and dedication to our diverse roster of alternative, indie, and hardcore artists – but we have found that with We Are Unified and we are excited to have our releases represented by their team.”

Future releases for the newly forged partnership in the next quarter include albums from Eisley and We Came As Romans’ Tracing Back Roots, out 26th July via UNFD/EVR. We Are Unified are also making a number of Equal Vision vinyl titles available on their online store and selected music outlets. We Came As Romans – Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be, The Fall Of Troy  – In The Unlikely Event, Give Up The Ghost – Back Ground Music, and Converge’s Jane Doe will be available in the coming weeks.

Spunk, Popfrenzy, Resist & More Join New Universal Division

Universal Music Australia has announced the formation of a new division, Caroline Label Services, which has been created as a local, flexible solution for both artists and labels. Australia’s leading record label major will pool Spunk, Popfrenzy, Dine Alone, Cooking Vinyl, Resist and Spinefarm as initial label partners, kicking off with the local release of She & Him’s Volume 3 (Spunk), and the May release of Laura Marling’s Once I Was An Eagle (Virgin) and City And Colour’s The Hurry And The Harm (Dine Alone). The Melbourne-based Caroline will tie-in with offices in North America and Europe, and will be headed by General Manager Tim James, Label Manager George Dalziel, and Sydney-based Caroline/Spunk National Publicist Gabrielle Ryan. “[This] launch marks the start of a great new independent label with a formidable heritage not only in independent music but also in market leading label services,” said George Ash, Chairman of Universal Australia.

Boy & Bear, Grinspoon Management Company Announces New Marketing GM

Long-term Universal employee, Michele Porto, will be joining Wonderlick Entertainment – who provide management to Boy & Bear, Grinspoon, Josh Pyke, Airbourne and more – as the company’s new General Manager Marketing & Promotion. Porto’s role is effective Monday 27th May, and sees her leaving her current position as Marketing Manager at Universal Music Australia, where she’s spent more than 15 years working with labels such as Dew Process, Modular, and Ministry Of Sound. “Wonderlick is a great home for Australian artists and I am thrilled to be joining them,” said porto of her new position, where she will also handle aspects of Wonderlick Recording Company, a joint venture with Sony. Following the iTunes topping release of Airbourne’s Black Dog Barking, Wonderlick are gearing up fro new releases from Boy & Bear, Josh Pyke, Grinspoon, The Paper Kites, Marvin Priest, Max & Bianca, and Jackson McLaren, along with a number of new signings to be announced shortly.

Nominations Are Open For The 2013 Deadlys

The National Indigenous Music, Sprot, Arts and Community Awards, better known as the Deadlys, have opened nominations for this year’s awards. Now in its 19th year, the Deadlys recognises the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country and organisers are already planning this year’s ceremony, taking place on 10th September at the Sydney Opera House.

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The 2012 awards saw the likes of Gurrumul, Troy Cassar-Daley, Yung Warriors, and Jessica Mauboy honoured in front of a capacity crowd at the Sydney Opera House, and this year nominations are open for 28 award categories across music, sport, the arts and the community for the public to vote on, while there are four non-voting categories for the Deadlys Hall Of Fame. Nominations are for contribution and achievements occurring from 1 July 2012 to the nomination cut-off date of 30th June. Finalists will be announced on 19th July 2013. If you know someone ‘Deadly’, nomiate them at

Australia Council Welcomes New CEO

Federal Government fundings body, Australia Council for the Arts, has announced that Tony Grybowski will be the new CEO. The announcement was welcomed Minister For The Arts Tony Burke as well as Rupert Myer, Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts. “Tony has been Executive Director, Arts Organisations at the Australia Council for the past five years and is well known to artists and arts organisations for his passion and commitment to creativity,” enthused Mr. Myer. Tony Grybowski has had experience as a performing musician, arts administration positions with the Sydney Symphony, Musica Viva Australia, and seven years as GM of the Australian Youth Orchestra. He called the new position “the best job in Australia,”

“With the announcement of the new National Cultural Policy, Creative Australia and passage of the legislation to make the Australia Council more flexible and responsive will come great opportunity. I see an even more exciting future for the arts in Australia and for the Council’s role, including the new proposed Sector Strategy Panels, in supporting and developing a more creative and enriched community,” said Mr Grybowski.

Applications For Speakers & Artist For Sound Summit 2013 Now Open

The Sound Summit music conference is taking place in Sydney for the first time ever in its 14 year history and has put the call out for applications from musicians, performers, speakers, and industry figures to be a part of the 2013 Australian edition. Taking place 7th – 10th November, 2013, the festival provides a unique platform for exposing and furthering the work of musicians, producers, composers, labels, promoters and industry personnel working in the Australian independent music scene. Sound Summit are taking applications to take part in the wide variety of showcases, gigs, panels, workshops, Q&As, and other events on a range of innovative ideas. Sound Summit’s press release reads: “Your application could relate to the use of a particular space, a showcase idea, or a relevant topic for discussion; whether the proposal deals with new technologies, politics, theory, the media, or performance – if it relates to independent music or addresses issues that are prevalent to independent music culture, then we want to hear from you!” Speakers can apply here; Artists can apply here. All applications for Sound Summit 2013 close at midnight on Friday 14th June.

Sydney Getting New Music Industry Forum This July

This July sees the launch of Sydney’s first-ever TILT (Tomorrow’s Ideas Leading Today) industry forum, an initiative of the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) and presented by the MusicTelevision personality James Mathison will host a range of industry debates and forums featuring industry figures, including ‘industry speed dating’, one-on-one talks with experts on A&R, touring, marketing, production, and management. The first round of announcements will include National Live Music Coordinator, Dr Ianto Ware of Sounds Australia discussing “Economics and Emo: Music Scenes, Audiences and the Digital Age;” Colin Blake, CEO of streaming service Rdio, featured in “Consumption, ownership, and interaction.”

TILT will also feature Rhys Thomas, Senior Agency Manager of Google, Danny Yau, Foxtel’s independent marketing and digital marketing consultant, Luke Hopwell, Gizmodo Australia Editor, with more additions to be added in June. TILT will take place Friday 5th July at the Australian Institute of Music, Surry Hills. Tickets are $35 full price, or $10 for students.

Sony To Assess Spin-Off Proposal For Entertainment Business

Sony Corp is looking to spin off part of its movie and music business based on a proposal from top shareholder Third Point LLC, reports Yahoo 7 NewsBillionaire hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb has spearheaded the call, which could mean a clash between his activist Wall Street fund and the Japanese electronic maker’s management, who have yet to comment on the proposal. Loeb states his hedge fund has a stake worth $1.1 billion in the company, more than 6% of Sony’s shares, making him the largest stakeholder in the IT giant. Sony’s shares leapt up by 9% following yesterday’s spin-off news, trading at $22.87 on the New York Stock Exchange in the afternoon.

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