Andy Irvine Interview - A One Stop Shop

Meet Andy Irvine, the General Manager at Australia's brand new digital distribution company, GYROstream. We spoke to Andy about his history, the launch of GYROstream, how it compares to competitors and the services the platform can provide to independent artists, labels, and the industry as a whole. 

Futuremag Music: Hey Andy, congratulations on the launch of GYROstream! For those unfamiliar with who you are, could you give us a brief history of your relationship with music and the music industry over the years?

Andy Irvine: Like many of us in the industry, I started out in an indie band in the early 2000s releasing a few EPs and touring up and down the east coast (and having fun!). This was in the midst of the Napster era prior to iTunes launching when CD was still 'the thing'. Since then I've held positions at Universal Music in London and Sydney, managing the digital supply chain for thousands of releases, and more recently in Brisbane at Dew Process and Create Control. I've seen the industry progress from CD to Download and then to Streaming during those years, and experienced first-hand the transitions in consumption habits as they've happened. 

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Futuremag Music: Can you give us some insight to what sparked the concept to launch GYROstream? What does it mean to the local industry have an all Aussie digital distribution platform?

Andy Irvine: It's one of those concepts that sat in the back of my mind for quite a while. I've been delivering music to Apple, Spotify and others, in my label roles for a long time, but particularly now with the recorded music industry growing substantially for the first time in a decade, it is a very exciting time. Up to now Aussie independent musicians have had to rely on overseas aggregators on different timezones for service and support, and I thought it was about time we had an Aussie-owned version for musicians here. The feedback from the industry has been incredibly positive and we've been humbled by the support from peers who have been looking for a local alternative for getting their music out. 

Futuremag Music: How does GYROstream differ from your competitors? What supplementary support services does GYROstream offer?

Andy Irvine: The most obvious one is that we are local. You can pick up the phone and speak to us, and if something goes wrong on the morning of your release, we can take care of it that day. But much more than that, it was important for us to build a hub of other services that were relevant to Australian and New Zealand artists. We can offer vinyl & CD manufacture (no other digital distributor offer this in their core service), affordable PR packages for independent musicians, grant writing services, gear and public liability insurance, and we are working with sync partners to promote our catalogue for other commercial opportunities. And we have a big list of other services we'd like to add over the coming months. Our pricing is competitive with international aggregators and our distribution network matches or exceeds many other services (we even deliver to emerging markets like China). 

Futuremag Music: How do you think the Australian music industry is going to change in the next five years? Where do you see GYROstream progress in that same time period? 

Andy Irvine: I truly believe the Aussie industry is in a strong position. The standard of our music is world class, and music fans here are quick to get on board with new technologies in the music space. Streaming has a long way to run yet (I don't expect to see any 'new' form of music consumption), notwithstanding the issues around profitability for some of the big services. There are some interesting things going on in music tech around blockchain technology, but the music industry isn't well known for being on the front foot with implementing brand new tech. Our aim for GYROstream is to be the no.1 trusted services hub for independent music in Australia and New Zealand, offering world class distribution as our core platform, but continually expanding our services to help local music reach the world stage. Getting your music to 'cut through' the noise will continue to be the greatest challenge, so it's an important part of our strategy to educate and equip artists with the tools to help reach their potential. 

Check out GYROstream, HERE, or by the graphic below!