Home Deals Hostworks chimes in to deliver new portal for Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition
Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition winners Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition winners

Melbourne singer/songwriter Gretta Ray has won the top prize in the 2016 Vanda & Young  Songwriting Competition with her song Drive.

Courtesy of the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) and music label Alberts, Ray received received $50,000, the biggest first prize for any songwriting competition in the world at a special presentation in Sydney.

Award-winning Queensland songwriter Emma Louise claimed second place with Underflow and received $10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association).

And, third place was a tie between Sydney’s Tigertown for Lonely Cities and American songwriter Tia P. for 4 Seats From Beyoncé, with each receiving $5000 provided by AEG Ogden and APRA AMCOS.

APRA AMCOS recently partnered with online and digital media solutions provider Hostworks to rebuild the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition’s operating platform,ultimately improving the user, judge, and backend experience.

“The change was necessary to grow the portal’s capabilities in line with the increased reach of the competition”, said APRA AMCOS director of member relations, Milly Petriella.

“Prior to the partnership, the competition ran on an internally built platform with little room for movement. This made the process tricky to manage for our almost entirely volunteer-led crew. We needed to upgrade the portal to ensure that the competition continued to grow and deliver a stellar user experience. Now that we have this new technology in play, we’ve got our eyes on the global songwriting market and we’re already seeing great success.”

Petriella said the sophistication of the upgraded portal has allowed a true global focus for the competition.

The platform upgrade Hostworks implemented included:

•    Migration of the existing portal into a cloud-environment providing the business with significantly improved usability and scalability;

•    Behind the scenes development of a comprehensive online audio platform that supports the uploading of multiple tracks via a drag and drop interface; and

•    UX optimisation and platform integration into the existing APRA AMCOS payment gateway, meaning there was no need for a new financial application.

The new system also allowed the competition’s 80 judges, many of whom are geographically dispersed, to assess hundreds of entries online through their own devices across mobile anddesktop – a first for the competition, which had previously relied on a judging process that often failed to stream properly or work when accessed from a remote location.

“Each highly-esteemed judge volunteers their time and expertise to the competition. A system that worked with their busy schedules, not against them, was critical if the completion wasto expand and reach new markets,” Petriella said.

Will Berryman, managing director, Hostworks, said the upgraded portal needed a “new level of support to grow and seek out new artists from new markets – a classic blend of technologyand creativity to create a platform for innovation. What we’ve implemented for them will carry the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition and the incredible work done for both the artists and associated charity well into the future".

“Many of us in the Hostworks team are big music fans – we are known as the ‘Digital Roadies’ for a reason! It was an absolute joy to take this iconic competition to its next phase of life.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).


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