Music Bodies RIANZ And PPNZ Merge

The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand is merging with PPNZ Music Licensing so that both organisation’s activites can be streamlined. The move will reflect a similar arrangement here in Australia where ARIA and the PPCA are aligned.

Before the merger, RIANZ represented the music labels and acted as an industry lobby group, whereas PPNZ collected royalties for the public performance and broadcast of music on behalf of the labels and their artists. The new body is called Recorded Music NZ and former APRA licensing manager Damian Vaughan will be assuming the role of CEO. RIANZ managing director Chris Caddick is the new chair of the board.

“Having the licensing and industry representation activities previously in two different organisations created some confusion and inefficiency,” says Mr Vaughan.
“Under the new structure, we can be really clear about all the services we offer to the recording artists and labels we represent and also more clearly engage with the music-buying public.”

Only time will tell whether the new structure will actually deliver better results for musicians and the public. PPNZ’s licensing fees for the moment are well below that of their Australian counterpart, but now with label involvement don’t be too surprised if aggressive tactics such as those employed by the PPCA suddenly make a leap across the pond.

Pandora Takes Aim At Radio Dollars In Australia

Music streaming service Pandora, no doubt worried about the arrival of technology giant Apple into the internet radio space, has set its eyes on the advertising dollars spent on traditional radio.

Pandora Australia head Jane Huxley told B&T that the popular internet radio service would be launching its commerical model by the end of the year, and is now hiring sales staff. According to Huxley, the ad-funded model could be fully operational in a matter of months.

“The way I’ve rolled out Pandora here is first and foremost to grow its audience and the brand,” said Huxley, who made no allusions as to who their crosshairs were trained on. “We’re looking to disrupt the traditional radio stations,” she said. “We’re primarily an ad funded model, so over 90 per cent of our revenue will come from ads.I’ m hiring now, looking for sales people for Australia and New Zealand, and I will be looking to turn the commercial model on this calendar year,” added Huxley.

In the US, Pandora enjoys a huge market share of radio listenership and it has cemented itself as one of the most popular streaming services in the world, last month accumulating over 200 million users worldwide. But with the recent entry of Apple, who are better funded and better resourced into the market, all bets are off.

Ticketmaster Set To Launch Analytics Service In Australia

Following the successful roll out of an analytics service in North America in 2011 and the UK last week, Ticketmaster have announced plans to launch the service here in Australia sometime this year. According to The Music Network, Australia will be part of the first-phase of a global roll-out of LiveAnalytics that will include Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and New Zealand.

LiveAnalytics will usedata from Ticketmaster’s local databases in each country of music fans who have attended a concert.

Overlaid with in-house and licensed demographic data, the solution will offer information on fan preferences, ticketing trends, industry benchmarks and other customised data to give artists, venues and teams unrivalled insight into how, where and to whom they can sell tickets and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in order to optimise future campaigns.

The tools can also be used when brokering sponsorship opportunities and for providing insight into existing partnerships which proves valuable for brands that need to constantly justify a return on investment.

“We are really excited to be launching LiveAnalytics and look forward to showing our clients how they can better connect with their fans and ultimately sell more tickets. By providing access to our rich and unique fan insight, LiveAnalytics brings a new level of service and knowledge to our UK client base,” commented Sophie Crosby, VP of Insight, Ticketmaster International.

Strange Talk Sign Woldwide Deals

Another Aussie act has inked a worldwide deal outside of the tradtional territories of Australia and New Zealand, with electronic band Strange Talk singing on with American-based Wind-Up Records.

The band had already released their album Cast Away digitally on iTunes and through Spotify but have recently pulled them from the American market in anticipation of its re-release on 20th August under the new deal.

“After months of secret negotiations we can finally announce that we have signed an international recording deal with Wind-Up Records,” the band said in a statement. “We are extremely happy to be working with the fantastic team at Wind Up and look forward to a very exciting future with them.”

The Griswolds signed a similar international deal with Wind-Up back in May. Vance Joy also signed onto a five record deal internationally with Atlantic.

The Trouble With Templeton Chased By Four Overseas Agencies

Another Aussie act making waves, The Trouble With Templeton have release to TheMusic that four North American agencies have been chasing them since they play SXSW and Canadian Music Week earlier this year.

For the United States the group decided to go with High Road’s founder and Managing Director Frank Riley who also works with The Temper Trap. In Canada the group have joined The Agency Group, joining Adam Countryman’s roster which includes Half Moon Run who were here in Australia earlier this year.

The group have also revealed that they will be releasing an album on 2nd August through MGM. “We couldn’t be more proud or excited with Rookie and can’t wait to share share it with everyone,” the band said. “The album is a result of months of hard work and an unrelenting dedication to only making music we love and believe in.”

Introducing Higher Plains, The Online-Only, Internationally-Focused Independent Australian Publicity Company

Higher Plains is an online-exclusive, internationally-partnered independent music publicity group launching on June 19, 2013. An initiative of Ashley Sambrooks (Show off Services), Higher Plains will focus on digital publicity and marketing for both international and local artists, servicing their music to online sites, music blogs, online magazines, internet radio and online newspapers. Ash has been in music PR for five years and hopes that by focusing Higher Plains on the most influential and cutting-edge sites, it will be a refreshing experience for both label and artist clients.

On top of Ashʼs five years of solid local experience, Higher Plains will work closely with two notable parties across the seas – Whiteboard Publicity, a unique digital publicity outlet based inLondon, and The Planetary Group, an artist development group based in Los Angeles with a satellite office in Boston.

Apart from running online publicity campaigns, the Higher Plains in-house team and partnered friends can also handle online media buying, social media strategy, content creation, web development and online planning and consulting – which should be more than enough to firmly establish quality bands in the lands of cyberspace.

Higher Plains will also handle online tour publicity campaigns, making sure that your shows appear in all the best social media feeds, blogs and culture sites.

The first act to enlist their services is New Zealandʼs Sheʼs So Rad, a pop-leaning dream-pop act who have been making waves in NZ, Australian and the UK with their album In Circles.
For now, check out the spiffy new Higher Plains website for more details about their services and vibe.

Hellions Sign with UNFD

UNFD have announced the addition of Sydney hardcore act Hellions to their already booming roster. Formed from the ashes of The Bride, Hellions is the latest band to come from the vibrant Sydney heavy music scene that gave birth to bands like Northlane, Thy Art Is Murder and Buried In Verona.

Hellions debut album will be called “Die Young” and has a tentative release timeframe of September 2013.

The first single from the album is “Infamita”, which features Adrian Fitipaldes from Northlane on guest vocals. The music video for the track is currently viewable on the UNFD YouTube Channel, watch it now.

“This one is a no brainer,” said UNFD A&R Luke Logemann on the signing. “The Bride were a big part of the UNFD family, and Hellions is exactly the same for us. Looking forward to the next chapter in the career of these legends!”

But as one acts joins another leaves. Overnight UNFD announced that Melbourne post-hardcore band House Vs Hurricane have decided that they’re splitting up after seven years and three records.

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