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News April 30, 2024

Billboard’s 2024 International Power Players List Recognises Matt Gudinski, Van Picken & More

Billboard’s 2024 International Power Players List Recognises Matt Gudinski, Van Picken & More

Mushroom Group’s 50th anniversary celebrations continue as several executives from the independent music goliath bust into Billboard’s 2024 International Power Players list.

Matt Gudinski, chairman and CEO of Mushroom Group, leads the Australian contingent in the list, published late Monday, April 29, less than six months after the Melbourne music company capped its half-century celebrations with the all-star Mushroom 50 Live concert at Rod Laver Arena.

The standout moment of the past year, notes Gudinski, was the second of Ed Sheeran’s record-smashing The Mathematics Tour concerts at the MCG, with 112,000 in the stadium.

Susan Heymann

Also, Dion Brant and Susan Heymann, the respective CEO and COO of Frontier Touring, the leading concerts affiliate of Mushroom Group, head up the international “Live” power players.

“Our approach is different from other promoters,” Brant tells Billboard. “Our priorities are the artist, the fans and the show, ahead of the net profit or the quarterly market update.”

They appear alongside Brisbane-based Peter Loxton, COO of commercial, ASM Global; veteran live music professional Brett Murrihy, partner/head of music Asia Pacific, WME;  experienced Kiwi exec Mark Kneebone, VP of talent, Live Nation Australasia and managing director, Live Nation New Zealand; and colleague Wenona Lok, a promoter and expert in the Asian touring market.

Vanessa Picken

Nathan McLay, managing director of Virgin Music Group ANZ, the founder of Future Classic, and member of the council for Music Australia, appears on the list, as do the leaders of the three multi-national major music companies in these parts: Vanessa Picken, chair/CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand; Dan Rosen, president of Warner Music Australia; and Sean Warner, president Universal Music Australia and New Zealand.

Among publishers, veteran Australian-born music publisher Kim Frankiewicz, executive VP of worldwide A&R, Concord Music Publishing, and Jaime Gough, managing director, Concord Australia and New Zealand, make the cut.

Jaime Gough

Also name-checked is Tony Harlow, British-born CEO of Warner Music U.K., who, for a time, led EMI and Warner Music’s affiliates in Australia, as does another Brit familiar to the Australian music industry, Hazel Savage, VP of music intelligence at SoundCloud.

The executives listed by Billboard are nominated by their companies and peers and chosen by the New York-based trade publication’s editors from selected industry sectors.

All have primary responsibility for markets outside the United States, Billboard notes, which account for nearly 60% of the world’s recorded-music sales.

Powered by streaming platforms, global revenue marched to US$28.6 billion in 2023, up 10.2% from the 2022 result, according to the IFPI’s Global Music Report, presented last month.

According to IFPI, growth accelerated in Australia where revenue lifted by 11.3% year-on-year, as the territory locked in another global top 10 spot, at No. 10.

Last year, the number of paid subscriptions for DSPs passed 500 million for the first time, the trade body reports, generating almost half (48.9%) of total revenue for a 11.2% year-on-year improvement.

Read Billboard’s 2024 International Power Player’s list here

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