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December 1, 2005

The Australian Industry in America

Great to read the article by Tony George in themusic.com.au about government assistance for Australian musicians into the US market. This is a great boon and I'm sure Tony will do a huge job and have a heap of fun at it. The following passage is of most interest to me:

With the advent of the internet, it's never been more cost effective with a wider reach (read: global) than now. We intend on advising and helping a larger group of artists develop those tools to get them to the next level, and to further develop that all important 'story'. Ideas for internet marketing include online street teams, ringtones, Myspace.com, electronic epks, and podcasting. Strategy for radio, press, showcasing and touring will also be addressed. The key is to get the tools into the artist's hands, stand back, and see what develops.

This is exactly the process I intend to research in my PhD, which will be based around this website and project. This is absolutely the way of the future and a vital component of any act's marketing strategy.

However, I must confess that the parochialism of this approach still bugs me - from both the Australian and the American angles. I can't help but feel that the nationalism of this program is artificial and not helpful. For example, my darling and I were discussing the other night two bands: The Killers and Franz Ferdinand. We were trying to decide where these bands came from and couldn't. (Their websites both have UK URLs.)

The great thing about them is that they are both fresh, interesting and completely global in their approach to pop music. Of course, not every act is or wants to be like that - I'd like to see more Australian stories told by Australian acts - but if you market yourself as "Australian" but are indistinguishable from US or UK acts (like, say, Deltra Goodrem), then you're letting yourself and your fans down.

Still, this model allows the music to stand on its own regardless of where it comes from. I just hope it can have great benefits for Australian music (whatever that is) and musicians all over the world.

Posted by Huge at December 1, 2005 9:23 AM

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