This week, the AU review officially turns 10 years old, following its humble beginnings on Wednesday, 6th August 2008, when Founding Editor Larry Heath reviewed Vampire Weekend and Little Red at the Metro Theatre in Sydney.
This was a project designed as a personal portfolio for its creator that went on to fill a gap in the market, helping launch the careers of its writers and photographers, as well as the artists the site – then just focusing on music – was covering. Over the years we were the first to jump on board for local acts like Chet Faker, Flume, Vance Joy, Amy Shark, Gang of Youths and even international artists like Bombay Bicycle Club, Grouplove, Twenty One Pilots, Half Moon Run and Royal Blood; the site having published their first Australian interviews on ground at events like SXSW.
To celebrate this milestone, the site is moving into its second decade with completely new branding, a new beta website, and the restructuring of its team as the site bids a bittersweet farewell to Editor-in-Chief Sosefina Fuamoli, after taking on a new role at triple j. Sose had been with the site for over 7 years; having been in her current role since January 2016.
The anniversary also marks the end of sister publication The Iris, the home entertainment brand of the AU network. which launched in 2013. The site’s Film, TV, Gaming and Tech content will continue, merging back with The AU. See the site for yourself, which launched yesterday, here: http://launch.theaurevie
Once the beta period of the site is completed, the last 10 years of content will join this new site, to create one incredible destination of content; an archive of Australian entertainment.
What else you will see on the new AU:
- The daily “Track of the Day” – it won’t always be a single; we will be delving into all releases to find the music we love most. But you still can’t pay to be placed here.
- Spotify Integration: All tracks of the day will be added to our new Spotify Discovery Playlist, and we might sneak in a few extra ones too. The playlist is permanently embedded on the right hand side of the website. And you can’t pay to be placed here either!
- Travel will be taking a larger focus on the site, with the section merging with Food and Lifestyle to bring forth exciting new content opportunities.
- Better navigation & integration of all our content: music, travel, arts, film, gaming, books and more.
- Easy to quote (OUT OF FIVE) STAR reviews for almost all of our review content.
- More features and opinion pieces.
- More guides (e.g. “Gig Guides”) to help support local events around the country.
- 35% less ads.
- The site will be more mobile friendly
- And introduce better photo galleries!
Sosefina’s role will not be filled at this time by an individual, but rather an editorial team who will run the site moving forward.
Anyone looking to get in touch with the new editorial team is being asked to connect with email@example.com. Press releases meanwhile should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The full list of contacts can be found at http://launch.theaureview.c
The site will also be launching new “Pitching Hours” giving anyone with a story to pitch – be it a publicist, a manager of a band with a killer new track, or someone about to launch their first event – the ability to connect directly and pitch to the site’s editorial team. The details on the hours will be revealed soon, after the website has finished assembling its new editorial team. In the meantime, all are welcome to call and leave a message on the line – (02) 4017 12AU (1228) – which will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The site will also endeavour for more transparency about what sort of content it’s looking for and how you might be able to get certain stories over the line. More details about this can be found at this page: http://launch.theaurevie
Founding Editor & Publisher Larry Heath, says of the changes, “over the past few months we’ve reached out to the industry for their feedback of the site, and many of these changes are the result of those conversations. Thank you to all those who took the time to deliver it. We hope you’ll like what you see!”
“It’s exciting to be moving the site forward, but certainly bittersweet as we say goodbye to Sosefina Fuamoli, who is leaving the AU for a new gig at triple j, after over 7 years with the publication, and two and a half years as Editor-in-Chief. It’s also the end of our sister publication The Iris, just shy of its fifth birthday – though its content will live on under the AU name.”
“Running a website in this day and age is not easy. Budgets are tight and sites like ours become an afterthought to traditional marketing and of course, Facebook. A lot of these changes have come about in order to help streamline the site to make it able to survive these conditions – but the byproduct is a site which we believe is better than anything that’s come before it. We’re very excited to be moving the site forward.”
“I personally believe that in a period where a lot of sites are going down a more tabloid news route, or have set themselves up in the pay for play space, a site like ours with nourishes new talent is more important than ever. We still have a lot of changes in store so keep your eyes on this space!”
To celebrate its achievements, the website will soon be announcing its next 10th Birthday Event, a massive two stage party set to be held during BIGSOUND in Brisbane on Friday, 7th September – following on from its packed out event at Rocket Bar in Adelaide last month.
Regular readers of the AU will also look forward to retrospective pieces, looking back at the bands they helped break, the stories they loved the most, and some of the most interesting interviews they’ve done over the last decade.