Where Are They Now: 25% Of Aussie Independent Music Blogs Disappear In Three Years

11 July 2024 | 3:31 pm | Mary Varvaris

Of 72 publications listed on Purple Sneakers’ Australian Music Blog Directory of 2022, 18 music blogs have disappeared.

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In February 2022, Purple Sneakers shared an up-to-date directory of Australia’s independent music blogs.

On that list were 72 publications platforming Australian music: hip-hop, indie, pop, heavy metal, punk, R&B, and more. The future of music publishing in this country looked positive and was filled to the brim with talented writers, editors, and other media figures.

The difference now is that those same talented writers and editors are still around, but the number of publications that can host their work has dwindled by 25%.

Of the 72 publications listed in Purple Sneakers’ Australian Music Blog Directory of 2022, 18 independent Aussie music blogs have disappeared.

Names including Music JunkeeJunkee is still around and continues to post music features, but the website purely dedicated to music is gone – NME Australia, Cool Accidents, Opinion Police, Kill Your Stereo (Kill Your Stereo’s archive still exists on The Music), Lennox Groove, Deafen County, and, most recently, Pilerats, either no longer exist or have pivoted from being music publications to only existing as Instagram or TikTok accounts.

The decimation of the sector is clear and devastating. Fewer publications give creatives less space to pitch their ideas and gain roles as freelancers or staff writers. There’s less space to platform Aussie music. There’s the risk of the few showcasing a homogenous music culture when the real thing is anything but.

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This week, the Pilerats team informed supporters that it has gone on hiatus as it is “no longer viable” economically.

Pilerats editor Will Backler shared the news on Monday (8 July), writing, “After much deliberation, this difficult decision has been made by parent company Made In The Pile Agency, with the unfortunate outcome that running an independent music and culture platform is no longer viable in our current economic environment.”

Backler stressed that Pilerats “is not shutting down” permanently, with the website remaining active “as an archive of well over 10,000 articles.” The site itself will even receive a visual update in the near future, priming it to be “brought back in the future when the time is right.”

Also this week, news broke that publications Vice, Gizmodo, Refinery29, Kotaku, and Lifehacker will cease publishing in Australia as up to 40 jobs at Pedestrian Group—owned by Nine—have been slashed. 

Last week, former Junkee staff were surprised to find the website receiving a huge redesign, but with one thing missing: a working archive. Writers stressed that their work had been scrubbed from the internet—just like MTV News writers experienced when the website was pulled in late June. The author pages on Junkee are now active.

In April, NME shuttered its local brand, NME Australia, with the brand moving into its global operations.

In an email sent to NME Australia contributors, obtained independently by TheMusic.com.au, a representative of the brand confirmed that NME will “no longer be identifying content as specifically NME Australia,” claiming that all published material “will be represented through our credible and established global channels, delivering increased visibility for all of our stories.”

Take a look below to see just how buzzy the Australian music media landscape was less than three years ago – and remember to support independent Australian music media as much as you can.