Gudinski: 'I Could Have Sold To Live Nation'

3 July 2012 | 4:07 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

Meanwhile, Chugg wants to start a record label.

Following the announcement of the AMID Power 50, a list of the top 50 most powerful people in the Australian music industry, today some of the top-ranked individuals have given their thoughts on the current music industry.

Top ranked Michael Gudinski, second ranked Paul Piticco (alongside Jessica Ducrou), third-ranked Michael Chugg and fifth-ranked Millie Millgate spoke to The Drum Media in an article today, with Gudinski, who runs the Mushroom Group of companies, claiming that he has been a pioneer of the '360 deal' concept.

"I was definitely a leader," he said. "I look at all these 360 deals the last ten years and I most probably came up with that whole format but the difference was we had the companies to handle each part of the rights. I think it's pretty unfair for people to grab rights that they're just going to farm off to other people. Seriously, it's about having patience, nurturing and letting artists find their feet. It's really all about the music."

Chugg, who famously worked alongside Gudinski at Frontier before splintering off, enjoys a healthy rivalry with his fellow promoter and admitted that he's looking to branch out into signing emerging acts on indie deals. "We've probably been the main promoter of young indie acts," he said.

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"We're also looking at getting involved with young Australian artists on a world basis. The first one we've actually signed – we haven't made a big noise about it yet – is Lime Cordiale, a Sydney band. Obviously we've got lots of contacts worldwide and if we believe in a young Aussie act we can certainly get 'em placed in the right places.

"Of course, touring will always be the mainstay but we'd like to start getting involved in releasing records – we've released a few acts' records over the years, but in the next 12 to 18 months we'll certainly be concentrating a lot more on that. We also want to keep developing our Singapore office we've had open for about three years, and doing a lot more acts in that part of the world and Australia, and tour Australian acts, to expand Australian music really.”

Gudinski also claimed that he could have sold the business to global touring - and music in general - juggernaut Live Nation, but said he enjoyed being independent. Michael Coppel's touring business was acquired by Live Nation and Coppel promoted to CEO and President of the Australian interests.

"You can't take for granted owning your own company. There aren't many people in the world that own their own companies, and sure, I could have sold to Live Nation, from a Frontier point of view," he said. "But for myself to be committed and active because I've got a son and so many key staff that have been with me so long, I just thought, can you imagine me going to a worldwide meeting going, 'I'm Mr Live Nation Australia, can I speak?'

"I can understand why Michael Coppel's done that but there's always going to be, in all fields of the music business, there's always going to be independents and that's something I'm really enjoying because, when you're doing it yourself, you sometimes forget."