Mastering the ever-expanding worlds of streaming and social media are essential skills in today’s music business – but don’t lose sight of the more traditional media platforms either.

That was one of the messages from Australian delegates at seminar at the Going Global Music Summit in Auckland at the weekend.

At a session devoted to the Australian online market, delegates advised their New Zealand compatriots that while getting playlisted on the major streaming platforms was vital, radio still had a big role to play in promoting new acts.

Henry Compton, director of sales and operations for The Orchard, said that as well as Triple J, the state based community radio networks were important platforms for groups looking to break into the Australian market. NZ acts heading to across Tasman should research what sort of music the key community stations are playing and then pitch their music directly to most relevant programs and stations, he said.

Henry Compton, director of sales and operations for The Orchard,
Henry Compton, The Orchard

Rick Butterworth, head of INgrooves Music Group’s Australasian operations agreed. “Even though everyone’s been talking about the decline [or radio], the stuff that sits in the community-based space and Triple J is where people are getting influenced by and discovering [new music] still.”

Matty Newton, senior label relations manager for Amazon Music, added that it important for newcomers to the Australian market to be specific with their targeting of new audiences. He said people are “getting far less used to hearing things they don’t want to hear”, so it’s no use just trying reach, say, a broad cross-section of Triple J listeners.

“I would recommend for anyone from NZ who wants to break into Australia to find where that community is and where it lies on each service, and target that specifically,” he said.

The panelists agreed that programs such as Spotify For Artists were making it easier for artists to gain access to the all important playlists, but they should also working social media in their own right to build up their own communities.

Our own Poppy Reid, managing editor of Seventh Street Media, said even if an emerging artist doesn’t have the funding to book their own content campaigns or hire a publicist, they can definitely start on the ground level by building their own community on social media and the streaming platforms.

Compton added: “I think you can tell the same story on YouTube as you by Spotify, so if you are spending the time to make a playlist then I suggest you curate it across a few different channels. Your fans will consume how they want to across different access points.”

When it came to media, Compton and Butterworth leaned more towards social media campaigns, but said it depends on who the artist was and what they were looking to achieve. Reid cited the case of Seventh Street Media coverage for The Presets, which was designed to show that the band was still relevant for young audiences; Compton believed that worked well in that particular instant.

“It depends on the artist and what they are trying to do,” he said. “I think The Presets example is a great one. You’ve got an artist that is still writing great dance music but wanting to stay relevant – I think that’s a really interesting story. But traditionally I think you get more bang for your buck looking at social media advertising.”

Butterworth concurred. “It’s so important to get your message directly to the people that actually give a shit about it because they’re the first ones that are going to champion it.

“That doesn’t by any means dismiss the traditional media outlets – that’s got to be a part of your campaign as well. But I think first and foremost, it’s about what spend is going to go into social and who are we going to spend it with.”