Aussie Bits: ARIA's Streaming Chart, Awards Bump; AC/DC Re-Ups With Albert Music
Aussie Bits: ARIA's Streaming Chart, Awards Bump; AC/DC Re-Ups With Albert Music

Australian Recording Industry Association Launches Streaming Chart
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have made chart history Down Under, their alternative radio hit "Thrift Shop" bowing as the first No. 1 on Australia's new weekly official streaming chart.

Trade association ARIA published the first "Streaming Tracks Chart" Sunday, pulling data from Spotify, JB Hi-Fi Now and Samsung Music Hub across the chart week from Friday to Thursday. In time, more streaming services will report data and Billboard.biz understands there are plans for a streaming albums chart to go live in the next 12-18 months.

In a top 10 dominated by international artists, "Thrift Shop" featuring Wanz beats out Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin "Don't You Worry Child" and Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch "Sweet Nothing". Rounding out the top five are tracks from Rihanna ("Diamonds") and Of Monsters And Men ("Little Talks").

The streaming chart comes at an appropriate time, and it follows similar initiatives in the U.S. and Britain. Australia's record market is at a tipping point, where digital revenues are on the verge of outweighing those from physical product. Digital sales are up about 30% year on year, Billboard.biz understands, thanks largely to a wave of streaming models which have swept into Australia over the past year, including the established international brands Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and Rara and a handful of locally-developed rivals.

The digital rush isn't over, it would seem. Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren is in the country this week to unveil the company's imminent arrival here.


Taylor Swift, Guy Sebastian, Nicki Minaj Among ARIA Awards Bump Beneficiaries

In other chart news, there's evidence of a lingering "ARIAs effect", with a string of artists continuing to enjoy impacts following their exposure at the Nov. 29 ARIA Awards.

Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble", a track she performed on the night, is at No. 3 this week behind "Thrift Shop," which is at No. 1 for a second successive week, and Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin "Don't You Worry Child." Swift's latest album "Red" is at No. 2 behind Michael Buble's "Christmas" chart-topper. Another performer on the night, Guy Sebastian, is at No. 22 on the singles chart with "Battle Scars" and No. 3 on the albums chart with "Armageddon,"

This survey represents the first-full week of sales since the flagship national awards ceremony took place in Sydney. Though the sales spikes are somewhat less sharp than record execs would have hoped.

The real action happened on the previous week's chart. In that stretch, just a handful of days after the ARIA Awards, Guy Sebastian's "Armageddon" went 4-1, One Direction's "Take Me Home" slipped 2-1, Taylor Swift's "Red" rose 5-3 and her single "I Knew You Were Trouble" improved 8-4.

Nicki Minaj, a presenter at the awards, saw her "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded Re-Up" open on the chart at No. 53 while Perth newcomers San Cisco arrived at No. 17 with their self-titled debut album. Performers Hilltop Hoods and Matt Corby -- whose "Brother" won the fan-voted song of the year ARIA - saw recordings re-enter the Top 100.

AC/DC Re-Up With Albert Music

AC/DC fans might still be shook all night long with the news that the rockers' catalog had finally come to iTunes. Down Under, however, it's business as usual with Sony Music Australia and AC/DC's label home Albert Music renewing their long-term label deal.

Since the label deal was initially signed in 2006, Sony Music and Alberts have shifted approximately two million units in Australia and New Zealand. Alberts' partnership with Sony Music delivered one of the biggest Australian artist albums of the decade with AC/DC's "Black Ice", which opened at No. 1 on the album sales chart in October 2008 and went on to achieve seven-times platinum (210,000 units) in Australia alone.

While AC/DC has been the monster on its roster, Alberts has delivered an array of international hits over the past four decades, from the likes of The Easybeats, John Paul Young, Ted Mulry Gang, Rose Tattoo and the Angels.

Alberts also manages the music publishing rights of established and developing creatives including Vanda & Young, Gotye, Megan Washington, writer/producer Lee Groves, and of course the works of AC/DC.

"At such a landmark time for AC/DC," comments Alberts Managing Director David Albert in a statement, "it makes perfect sense for us at Alberts to extend our longstanding relationship with Denis Handlin (Chairman/CEO, Australia & New Zealand and President, Asia, Sony Music) and the Sony team. The digital opportunities are huge and Sony is strategically well placed to help us make the most of them."