Stephen Green’s SGC Group acquires TheMusic.com.au from Melbourne’s Handshake Media, marking the first time the online music title has changed hands.

TheMusic.com.au launched in 2013 as the online arm of Street Press Australia (now Handshake), an amalgamation of the businesses’ four separate magazines, including Drum Media (Sydney and Perth), and Inpress (Melbourne).

SGC and Handshake Media will work closely over the coming months to ensure a “seamless transition,” reads a statement announcing the deal, with new editorial and commercial appointments to be announced in due course.

The new recruits will join existing editorial staffer Daniel Cribb at SGC, while Andrew Mast and Tiana Speter will remain with Handshake Media’s ThePodcasts.com.au.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“When you have spent over 20 years of your lives building a business you hope that, when you do decide to your time is done, that those when take it on have the same ethos as you do,” said Handshake Media CEO Leigh Treweek in the joint statement.

“We are both so happy that The Music is going to Stephen and his team who share the same values to create strong independent quality content.”

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Green’s Brisbane-based media company has been on something of a spree over the past year.

In 2020, SGC acquired indie music site Purple Sneakers and launched Countrytown, described at the time as “the first outlet in Australia targeting young, under 40 country fans.”

In July of this year, the independent group entered into an arrangement with Studio Horizon to license the catalogue of late Australian artist and composer Tony O’Connor, a deal that realised a lifelong dream for Green.

“My entire working life has been about telling Australian music stories, whether it was writing for street press in high school or pitching stories as a publicist,” explains Green.

“Perhaps being in Brisbane and not facing the same lockdowns as the rest of the country has helped my optimism,” he tells TIO, “but I feel that now is the time that people who believe that we need Australian music and Australian stories need to step up and put their money where their mouth is.”

Based in Fortitude Valley, SGC boasts several distinct units including the full-service PR, plugging and marketing company, the heavy-edge label Collision Course and others.

SGC Media also works with the music industry to deliver data, insights and charts via Radio Monitor and The Music Network.

SGC Media last year celebrated its 10th anniversary as a full-service publicity and radio firm. Its past client list includes Sheppard, Lauv, Gurrumul, and events and tours including MJR Presents, BIGSOUND, National Indigenous Music Awards, Australian Music Prize, Fire Fight Australia and Queensland Music Festival.

With the addition of TheMusic.com.au, SGC’s media activities will reach over 400,000 music fans every month across websites, social media, DSP playlists and 100,000 strong direct mailing, according to a company statement.

TheMusic.com.au operates in a growing local space that’s dominated by three music trade titles, the others being The Industry Observer, which The Brag Media (then Seventh Street Media) launched in March 2017, and TMN.

Green believes the future is bright. “The new industry that is going to emerge after the cultural and economic shocks that we have all felt over the last few years will need support and champions and while none of us know what next year will bring,” he says. “I can guarantee that we’ll be approaching it with excitement and a passion for music journalism.”