The State of Affairs (22nd Apr 2016): The industry mourns Prince, NSW Police crack down on ticket counterfeiting, Kanye gets sued & more!

Prince Dies Aged 57, Industry Mourns A Legend


Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park Studios compound, which included his home, in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen.

“When deputies and medical personnel arrives, they found an unresponsive adult male in the elevator. First responders attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim,” said Sheriff Jim Olson of Carver County Sheriff’s Office.

The music industry and wider audience has since began submitting tributes to the iconic legend.

“I am so saddened to hear of Prince’s passing. Prince was a revolutionary artists, a wonderful musician and composer. Prince was an original lyricist and a startling guitar player. His talent was limitless. Prince was one of the most unique and exciting artists of the last 30 years,” said The Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger.

“Few artists have influenced the sound an trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all,” said US President, Barack Obama.

Dove are crying the world around today.

NSW Police Force Crack Down On Ticket Counterfeiting


Earlier today, three men were charged with fraud offenses, then refused bail after a number of fake music dance party tickets were sold in the Surry Hills area.

Yesterday police officers attached to the Surry Hills Local Area Command were contacted following reports of a number of fraudulent dance party tickets being sold for an event on Saturday, April 23 at the Sydney Showgrounds.

The three men have been charged with the following offenses:

  • Knowingly deriving material to benefit a criminal group;
  • Publishing misleading material to obtain property;
  • Dishonestly obtaining property by deception;
  • Dealing with property suspected to be proceeds of crime; and;
  • Two counts of goods in personal custody suspected of being stolen.

Sydney based, full-service ticketing company Ticketbooth’s Trust and Safety Team identified a series of fraudulent tickets being sold via secondhand sites like Gumtree then contacted local law enforcement agencies.

Ticket buyers can check the validity of their hard tickets by taking a snapshot of their tickets and e-mailing directly to [email protected].

Australian Recording Industry Sees First Growth Since 2012


On April 11th the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) released its wholesale figures for 2015 revealing recorded music in Australia made $333.8 million last year, the industry’s first growth since 2012.

Jumping right into the numbers,  physical sales contributed the most revenue at 33%, despite a 2.94% decrease on last year’s numbers. To break that down a little more; first we see CD albums contributing $110 million at 33.13%, down 4.11% on last year, and vinyl sales up by 38.23% to $8 million. Singles, DVDs and other formats round out physical media’s contribution at $6.7 million for 2.01% of all recorded music revenue.

Streaming continues to follow global trends increasing significantly from $31.9 million to $71.1 million. Broken down; paid subscription revenue doubled to $46.3 million and ad-supported streaming tripled to $24.8 million.

Ad-supported streaming has been under heavy criticism lately for not fairly compensating artists,  however ARIA Chairman and Sony Music Entertainment CEO Denis Handlin says Australians are choosing the more legitimate platforms to consume music.

“While the work with Government, Internet Service Providers and other service providers to ensure artists and record labels are properly rewarded for their creative efforts is far from over, Australian music fans are embracing the many legitimate platforms,” said Handlin.

Handlin also spoke of the industry growth crediting the 5% increase to the high caliber of Australian artists and the savvy business that promotes them.

“This result is a credit to the continued high quality work being produced by our brilliant local artists, as well as to the tenacious approach our local industry takes in marketing and delivering music to fans across the country,” said Handlin.

ARIA CEO, Dan Rosen also spoke about his optimism going forward in the industry noting that more people are listening to music than ever before.

“It is a testament to the on-going innovation and resilience of our local music industry to see a return to growth in 2015. Australian music fans are consuming more music than ever before and did so across an unprecedented number of formats,” said Rosen.

Kanye West Puts $60 Million Foot In Mouth


Disgruntled Tidal user Justin Baker-Rhett is taking Kanye West and Tidal to court, suing the music entrepreneur and streaming service after the two failed to fulfill the exclusivity promised for Kanye’s latest album, The Life of Pablo.

On February 16, West took to his twitter stating that his album would “never never never be on Apple” and the singer’s anticipated eighth album would only be available on Tidal.

“Please, to all my friends, fans, and music lovers: sign up to Tidal now,” said West.

The exclusivity of The Life of Pablo approximately doubled Tidal’s user-base, going from about 1 million subscribers to 2.5 million.

However a month an a half after West’s twitter tirade the album was made available on other streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music and for download off his personal website.

Leading the case for Baker-Rhett will be Jay Edelson of Edelson PC an American lawyer who’s background covers a history of privacy and banking cases. The music industry will be new territory for Edelson.

“He knew it wasn’t true, he knew his fans were going to rely on it and we think it actually boosted the valuation of his company to the tune of over $60 million,” said Edelson.

“You can’t trick people into paying money and giving up personal information just because the company is struggling,” continued Edelson.

West has stayed uncharacteristically quiet throughout the filings,  Edelson suggests this is because he understands the very real chance of this not ending in the singers favor.

Speaking to Australian lawyers the  ABC asked whether Australians would be able grab their slice of this pie, unfortunately though Australian consumers would only be eligible for a refund from Tidal.

“The ACCC would say these guys have breached Australian Consumer law in a number of ways, including misrepresentation and unfair contracts,” said Australian lawyer, Michael Bradley.

The Goodbye

While the last three months writing this piece weekly have been an incredible time, as I head deeper into my final year at university and take on more responsibilities elsewhere, I have to step down from writing The State of Affairs.

It is not the end though, I will continue writing for you at The AU Review between assessment. I’ll be doing monthly features on some of the more critical issues the music industry faces including The Value Gap detailed in IFPI’s global music report or mental health raised by last years reports by Entertainment Assist. I look forward to taking a deeper dive into the issues I can only graze with 300 words.

In the mean time, you can be kept in the know across my social media;
Twitter – @nickintheknow
Instagram – @nickintheknow
Facebook – /nickintheknow

The Round Up

SUI ZHEN has signed to TWOSYLLABLE in the US and announced a Melbourne going away show as well as spot on Splendour in the Grass.

The Canberra leg of Groovin’ the Moo has sold out in record time, congrats!

ARIA Singles Chart
1. Gnash Feat. Olivia O’Brien – I Hate U, I Love U
2. Alan Walker – Faded
3. The Chainsmokers Feat. Daya – Don’t Let Me  Down
4. Fifth Harmony Feat. Ty Dolla $ign – Work From Home
5. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
6. Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza
7. Disturbed – The Sound of Silence
8. Sia – Cheap Thrills
9. Meghan Trainor – No
10. Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out

ARIA Album Chart
1. Deftones – Gore
2. The Lumineers – Cleopatra
3. Adele – 25
4. Disturbed – Immortalized
5. Molly (Soundtrack from the TV series)
6. Ed Sheeran – X
7. Hilltop Hoods – Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung
8. Lukas Graham – Lukas Graham
9.  Matt Corby – Telluric
10.Justin Bieber – Purpose

AIR 100% Independent Singles Chart
1. Sia – Cheap Thrills
2. Flume Feat. Kai – Never Be Like You
3. Sneaky Sound System – I Ain’t Over You
4. The Rubens – Hoops
5. Sia – Alive
6. Joel Adams – Please Don’t Go
7. Vance Joy – Fire and the Flood
8. The Temper Trap – Thich As Thieves
9. Sia – Chandelier
10. Sia – Elastic Heart

AIR 100% Independent Album Chart
1. Sia – This is Acting
2. The Cat Empire – Rising with the Sun
3. Citipointe Live – Into The Deep
4. Urthboy – The Past Beats Inside Me Like A Second Heartbeat
5. Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
6. Sia – Best Of…
7. Richard Clapton – The House of Orange
8. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
9. The Drones – Feelin Kinda Free
10. Flume – Flume


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