AMID Power 50 Extract: Those Who Almost Made It

6 July 2012 | 3:48 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

An extract from the 48th Australasian Music Industry Directory

Earlier this week SPA and theMusic presented the inaugural AMID Power 50, the Australasian Music Industry Directory's list of the 50 most powerful people in the music industry as determined by the AMID editorial team in consultation with industry professionals from a number of sectors.

Along with the list, the 48th edition of the AMID also features a number of articles analysing the list - Who just missed out? Why weren't TV and online music distribution represented? Why so few women?

Here's an extract.

Extract From The AMID Power 50 Issue: Those Who Almost Made It

What David Batty has done as manager of The Jezabels is beyond impressive and if the Power 50 was determined by success stories and nice-guys, he'd be challenging for the lead. A Senior Agent with Artist Voice – his Custom Made clients joined AV when the two companies merged – there's every chance that he'll be in the list next time around. The same could be said for Helen Marcou, who was the driving force behind the SLAM Rally and subsequent Victorian government lobbying. This time last year she probably would have made the list and if SLAM's national day manages to reach its potential, she'll be hard to overlook in the future. If Marcou can get a Monday public holiday for music appreciation, we'll dedicate an issue of AMID to her. Staying in Melbourne, Music Victoria's Patrick Donovan is one of the real pillars of their music scene. A strong journalistic background means he understands media and knows how to get music causes onto its radar. Hopefully he can make a big enough impact to be felt all around the country.

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Kylie Minogue and AC/DC only just missed out on the cut and, in fact, they almost made it in as a joint entry – which we hoped would have been really controversial. Two of Australia's biggest acts of all time, when they return to the homeland that nation stops, basically. Minogue single-handedly made the Sydney Mardi Gras headlines this year and the impact she had when she released the track Timebomb was a little surprising to all. But while both of these legendary musicians could turn around to Australia and tell the nation's populace to get naked (and we'd most likely start undressing collectively), neither of them have asked anything of us recently. Gurrumul was also considered, having virtually become the go-to artist for the Australian tourism board, but it's his label Skinnyfish that has the real industry pull. Gotye has everyone's attention but we're not sure if that equates into power, yet. We were more likely to put his public relations star Claire Collins in.

There are undoubtedly some venue owners around the country that have some serious power in their respective cities, but in a national poll none appeared to have the influence that the eventual 50 had – apart from The Hi-Fi's Luke O'Sullivan. Launching a Hi-Fi venue earlier this year in Sydney means that there's now a Hi-Fi in the three major East Coast cities, all of which have a similar aesthetic and capacity. Having to only deal with one venue management and being able to tour Australia's East Coast in three nights is a very tempting proposition for agents, especially international ones. We're keeping an eye on it.

TV had a tough time in this list, but it almost had one representative with Peter Bain-Hogg, the producer of RocKwiz. One of the most enduring music shows on television, the program actually allows a band to play live on air, and supports local musicians, young and old. Such a mentality is apparently considered a strange and unusual approach for the commercial stations at the moment. Even the ABC passed on some music pilots in the last 12 months. On radio, though, the ABC are doing a lot of things right, which is acknowledged with two entries in the inaugural Power 50. They almost had a third in the form of Zan Rowe as well. If everyone in the industry lived in Melbourne, where she's a veritable celebrity, it would have been a no-brainer.

From the touring and promotion side, Penny Drop's Emily York was a strong consideration, given her ability to consistently land the hottest indie It-acts (tUnE-yArDs, Grimes, First Aid Kit). Tim Pittman, director of Feel Presents, did a lot of things right with Dig It Up this year, and there's a feeling that the curated festival tour could develop into a mainstay of the scene. As a result he also made the long-list of powerful individuals. And while we mention long-lists, Scott Murphy of The Australian Music Prize has promoted a lot of Australian music to the world through the award. Part of the beauty of The Amp is the community it builds around Australian music, despite the debate and often heated judges' argument it creates. People argue because they're passionate about the music on offer and at the end of the day that's not really that bad a thing, is it?

Other strong considerations included – in no particular order – manager Catherine Haridy; another manager, Gregg Donovan; promoter Kris Keogh; publishing guru Damien Trotter; Eddy Current Suppression Ring's Melbourne tastemaker Mikey Young; one of Darwin's best recent musical offerings that we can remember, Sietta; musician, TV star and Prime Minister interviewer Clare Bowditch; cooler-than-thou Melbourne artist-collective label 2 Bright Lakes; charity football match captain Dan Sultan; journalists Lars Brandle, Kathy McCabe and/or Iain Shedden; and – in all seriousness – the entertaining, cynical and often trend-setting collective that is the Mess+Noise forum community.