Michael Gudinski is coming off the hottest of summers. The Mushroom Group chairman had a record-busting year with his Frontier Touring company, which shifted more than 2 million tickets, an all-time high.

One tour in particular, Ed Sheeran’s Divide, did astonishing business at the box office, setting the all-time sales record for a single tour in these parts (more than 1 million, consigning Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms tours to No. 2) and smashing venue records (18 stadiums, ousting AC/DC’s Black Ice tour).

“Ed was a freak,” Gudinski admits. “But with or without Ed, this would have been a top 5 summer.”

Frontier is one of more than 20 Mushroom businesses, which cover just about every aspect of the business, from publishing to booking agencies, labels, merch, management, creative services and more. Its big year saw Gudinski recognised last month as one of Billboard’s international Power Players.

Mushroom is an evolving, growing indie business and its Melbourne-born and bred boss isn’t resting on recent successes. TIO caught up with the music industry legend to test the pulse of his company and the wider industry.

What’s your take on the record business right now?

Labels in general have become much more profitable. The majors have obviously received a lot of money out of Spotify.