Digital music sales drive growth, outsell discs

March 4, 2013

Digital music sales drive 4% growth
Recorded music sales are up for the first time since 1999. For more than a decade, the music industry has been blaming piracy for eroding its profits, but now online sales and streaming services are responsible for the industry’s growth. Thanks to digital sales, the Australian market for the recorded music industry grew four percent last year – from $382.7 million in 2011 to $398.1 million in 2012, according to a digital music report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Dan Rosen, CEO of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), said the resurgence of the local industry in Australia shows no sign of abating and predicted continued rollout of the NBN should further spur sales. However he added: “Local rights organisations, including ARIA, are concerned that – while the new NBN opens up endless possibilities for local content industries – if more action isn’t taken by the Government and ISPs to curb piracy levels, the NBN could have disastrous results for the local industry.”

Australian crowdsourcing startup designcrowd hits 100,000 designers; doubles in size
Australian online graphic design marketplace, DesignCrowd, now has over 100,000 designers and the business has doubled in size in the last year. The startup revealed some interesting figures that show crowdsourcing continues to disrupt and is showing no signs of slowing down:

  • Top countries that crowdsource are the USA , Australia, and the UK, with strong growth in 2013 in the US and Brazil, Singapore and Germany.
  • The top 3 design types requested by volume are logo designweb design, and graphic design. The fastest growth is in app design (driven by the iOS and Android boom), Facebook page design (now with 1 billion users, the best way for brands to connect with consumers), and book cover design (driven by the rise in eBook publishing).
  • Designer demand for crowdsourcing has doubled in the last 12 months – with registered designers now at 100,000 on DesignCrowd.
  • Small business demand for crowdsourcing has doubled since late 2012 and is booming in early 2013 – DesignCrowd has seen more than 50% growth in posted projects already in 2013.
  • The top designer countries by volume are the USA, India, UK, and Australia with Indonesia, the Philippines, and Pakistan the top emerging countries.

Report evidence of coalition plans to can NBN says Conroy
Stephen Conroy has said last week’s Dissenting Report of the Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network confirms that the Coalition will demolish the NBN if elected. “The report states that NBN Co and its board should be clearly mindful ‘of the need to alter contracts’ in the event of a change in Government,” Conroy said. “This clearly demonstrates that the Coalition plans to demolish the NBN if it is elected. “Mr Abbott told the Committee for Economic Development in Australia (CEDA) that: ‘If we don’t go ahead with the National Broadband Network in its current form, that’s about $50 billion less that the Commonwealth will need to borrow. Mr Turnbull has also stated that NBN Co should not be entering into any further contracts,” Conroy added.

Adapt or die – CeBIT Australia 2013
The largest business technology event in the Asia Pacific celebrates twelve years in Sydney from 28th – 30th May 2013. CeBIT Australia 2013 will focus on helping the Australian business community embrace and understand the fast-changing world of digital technology from around the world. Hannover Fairs Australia Managing Director Jackie Taranto, said the line-up of conferences and show floor themes had been carefully defined through active engagement with industry and government. They aim to deliver insights into new business technology and innovations essential for organisations to remain competitive in a challenging economic environment and fast-changing business landscape. “With technology advancing and changing at such a rapid pace, it really is a case of adapt or die, now or never. Businesses need to be agile and constantly addressing the needs of their customers. CeBIT Australia 2013 will help them stay competitive.”

Telstra ends silent number fee for victims of domestic violence
Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins MP, has welcomed Telstra’s decision to waive its silent line fees for victims of domestic and family violence.“I am pleased that Telstra has listened to their customers and taken this important step in protecting the privacy of some of Australia’s most vulnerable people,” Ms Collins said. “I expect other providers who charge silent number fees to do the same to protect victims of domestic and family violence.” The issue of fees for silent or unlisted numbers was considered as part of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) review of Australian privacy laws. The ALRC noted that victims of domestic and family violence had a particular need for free access to silent lines.

Flood-proof radio network dials up Ergon’s disaster response
The QLD government has paid tribute to Ergon Energy’s Toowoomba staff for their outstanding work during the recent weather events, made possible by Airwave Solutions Australia ‘Ubinet’ P25 network technology, which continued to function during the worst of the floods. Working with Ergon Energy, Airwave Solutions Australia developed the P25 digital voice radio and narrowband data communications system – the first Trunked P25 network to be implemented in Queensland. The Toowoomba communications network covers an area of 100,000km² with 350 users and 170 vehicles connected via mobile radio handsets and GPS technology. Airwave Solutions Australia CEO Malcolm Keys said that the new network was put to the ultimate test during the flooding aftermath of Cyclone Oswald and had passed with flying colours. “Not only was this the first trunked P25 network to be implemented in Queensland, but also the first in Australia to be tested under such extreme conditions,” Mr Keys said. “Throughout the duration of the devastating storms the system did not fail once – enabling Ergon staff to communicate with the Control Centre when all the other systems failed. This in turn made it possible for them to target areas of extreme need and get the electricity switched back on where it was needed most.Ergon Energy Group Manager (Telecommunications) Andrew Deme said that the radio network’s durability and resilience was crucial to the flood recovery effort. “Ergon’s Control Centre is operated out of Rockhampton and when the commercial carrier network failed, the only communication between the Control Centre and the field staff was the P25 radio network,” Mr Deme said.

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Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland