Three emerging music industry leaders reveal the big challenges ahead for the sector
The deadline for TMN’s 30 Under 30 Awards has been extended, giving even more future leaders time to submit their entries.
Submissions are now open until March 27, with the program being extended to include a Rising Star Award.
Three people who’ve already submitted their entries are Warner Music’s discovery partnerships manager Ashlee Minto, TikTok’s music content and community specialist Rochelle Flack, and New World Artists’ booking agent Liam Saunders.
They have a realistic understanding of the challenges the music industry is facing as the world emerges from lockdowns and the lingering effects which could be felt for quite some time yet, but believe they have what it takes to make the industry a better place in years to come.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to be selected as a rising star in the business of music, visit the Take 2 Media awards platform and start your submission (you can start it now, and finish it later). It’s free to submit your entry.
The national awards program is supported by AIM, APRA AMCOS, MTV, Sony Music Australia, Universal Music Australia, and Warner Music Australia, and offers future industry leaders the chance to showcase their achievements and propel their careers forward.
Above all, TMN is searching for fresh voices with a clear vision for the future of the music industry and the challenges it faces in the decade ahead.
Ashlee Minto, discovery partnerships manager, Warner Music Australia (25)
What are the biggest challenges facing the music industry, according to Ashlee?
“The music industry doesn’t have the infrastructure to support artists, especially emerging talent. This is on an industry and government level and requires innovative thinkers to provide solutions across digital and live music spaces.
“One of those problems lies in creating major growth, even virality, and maintaining that success in the turbulent and changing digital world. Even more so now that COVID has driven a heightened dependency on digital products. Artists, agencies, and labels need to be responsive to this. Without this, the music industry will deteriorate in quality as deserving talent fails to attain success.
“Artists that aren’t completely surrounded by a team are often left without a paddle when it comes to marketing their own releases. Handing over a strategy, or completely outsourcing the marketing from the artist is never going to cut it for the majority of talent, which is the current standard approach. In a world that is constantly changing they need the resources and support to help them adapt while they focus on music and touring and up until now that challenge has not been addressed. This is an issue I have been seeking to resolve in my career.
“This is why I’m incredibly excited to be joining Warner Music Australia in a new role that speaks to these issues and provides that extra level of support to artists. It’s inspiring to become a part of such an innovative, collaborative and inclusive label who are being responsive to the needs of talent and their team.
“Having launched my free weekly music marketing newsletter The Squeeze, it’s been great to see the response from the community to having a simple social media resource that can demystify the platforms and provide easy insights and tips for creating content. This resource is designed to make social media success more attainable for artists and artist managers which is a small win in my books.”
Rochelle Flack, music content and community specialist, TikTok (26)
What are the biggest challenges facing the music industry, according to Rochelle?
“It would be remiss not to mention how a global pandemic continues to disrupt the live music industry — putting thousands of people out of work, with minimal government support. The impact of COVID will be felt for years to come.
“There are the really immediate and visceral impacts many of us are familiar with — things like venue closures, tour cancellations and endless rescheduling. As our industry rebuilds, learnings on the impact to grassroots music communities will continue to emerge.
“I believe this ties directly into another challenge we as an industry are facing — artists making informed choices about their future. Community, education and resources are pivotal to understanding the ‘business’ of music. I think it’s always been a challenge for artists to access trusted, unbiased and relevant information — but even more so now as the industry continues to pivot, adjust priorities and adapt to the unknown.”
Liam Saunders, booking agent, New World Artists (25)
“The pandemic along with border and capacity restrictions have been a huge challenge, and although these restrictions are, touch wood, beginning to ease in most states for the final time, there is still no certainty which creates a really volatile and unsteady touring world for artists and industry workers such as crew, managers, agents, venues, etc.
“We need more government support with these things, and the support needs to be directed at helping Australians directly – not international imports. We have all the talent we need in our own backyard from the bottom to the top.
“On a similar note, and solely relating to the live industry, the pandemic and restrictions have caused an enormous lack of consumer confidence and we are seeing this across the board in ticket sales for any events with a crowd.
“Comedy and theatre seems to be going relatively well, however indoor live music events seem to be selling slowly and there is often a large percentage of ticket-buyers who don’t show up for various reasons.
“This is a challenge I am not entirely sure how to solve – perhaps it is just going to solve itself in time as people adjust to life post-COVID – but every show an artists plays at 50% capacity immediately hurts their regular ticket sales revenue.
“Pair this with 50% attendance rates which is hurting the bands in terms of merch sales, the venues in terms of bar sales etc., all the while the production costs and overheads for an event remain the same as always.
“Thinking further ahead from this, I see a challenging time ahead for Australian artists in late 2022, 2023 and 2024 where international acts will flood our market. Promoters and event organisers need to also recognise this and ensure they are giving maximum opportunity possible to our local acts who rely so heavily on the Aussie market as their primary source of income.”