About The Event

Virtual Event | October 13, 2020

Tune in for the soundest audio insights around


As 2020 can attest, the audio medium is invaluable in connecting people in times of crisis. From radio's vital updates during Australia’s bushfires to podcasts keeping us entertained during COVID-19 lockdowns, it’s the industry that has the power to engage and deliver like never before.

Ensure you are up-to-date with the growth in audio, whether it is in music streaming platforms, developments in AI and voice recognition technology, commercial creativity or any of the other myriad aspects of the medium.

Mumbrella Audioland will get you closer to the leading industry experts. Join our experienced speakers online to discover the power and potential for audio in Australia, and be at the frontline to hear what lies ahead.


Venessa Hunt

Chief Digital Strategy Officer, GroupM

Venessa Hunt is Digital Strategy and Investment Officer for GroupM Australia, the leading global media investment management company serving as the parent to WPP media agencies including Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker and Essence as well the programmatic digital platform Xaxis and addressable TV platform Finecast. It is responsible for one out of every three ads bought globally.

She is one of Australia’s most experienced digital strategists working within the media landscape. She’s a digital obsessive, passionate about emerging media. A passionate change manager, highly skilled in launching and developing new businesses, nurturing key relationships and driving change.

Venessa prides herself on approaching digital media with creative thinking and adapting quickly as the landscape changes.

After joining GroupM in 2015 as Head of Mobile, she took on the role of Head of Digital Investment in 2017 and was promoted to Digital Strategy and Investment Officer in December 2018 to lead the group’s digital direction.

She adores the speed of change in the media industry and is constantly learning about the next big thing to help develop strategies that are innovative, but really work. She has a strong background in mobile with senior digital roles at Yahoo7, Exponential and Nine Entertainment Co. on her resume as well as launching one of Australia’s first mobile agencies over 10 years ago.

Venessa is a vocal and passionate voice in the Australian media industry, and an expert in digital trends and behaviours.

She’s not afraid of personal challenges as well as professional ones and is driven by the opportunity to give everyone a chance at a better life with her commitment to charity work in the industry.  She was appointed to the board of social change organisation UnLtd in September 2019.

International Speaker

Sam Crowther

Executive Creative Director, A Million Ads

Sam is a pioneer in the understanding and application of sound in media, marketing and advertising. An experienced Creative Director in broadcast radio with both Global Radio - the UK’s largest commercial group and Bauer Media - Europe’s largest. He is now leading the creative development of the World’s first dynamic, personalized, digital audio campaigns with ad-tech start-up, A Million Ads.

Since launch in 2015, A Million Ads have revolutionised audio advertising with dynamic poems, songs, DCO, listener name, dynamic music, accents and binaural mixing across dozens of international markets with direct music streaming, radio, podcast and programmatic integrations.

International Speaker

Travis Johnson

Global CEO, Podean

Australian native, but based in New York since 2015, Travis is the Global CEO of marketplace marketing specialist, Podean. Prior Podean he led Dentsu's e-commerce consultancy, Sellwin, and before that was Global CEO of mobile and innovation agency, Ansible.

Earlier in his career he led media agencies UM and Initiative in Australia and worked at Austereo. During his career he has won numerous global awards including Cannes Lions, Mobile Marketing Association, Festival of Media and Mumbrella among the accolades. He has a passion for exploring new consumer engagement opportunities and is a firm believer that audio will play an increasingly prominent role in how we interact with brands and purchase goods and services.


Elissa Ratliff

Head of Podcasts, Mamamia

Elissa Ratliff is the Head of Podcasts at Mamamia. She's a passionate audio lover and is responsible for Mamamia's audio offering, which includes over 30 podcasts. She's also the Executive Producer of the award-winning podcast, No Filter with Mia Freedman, a show that she has worked on since it's launch in 2015.


Scott Simonelli

CEO and Co-Founder, Veritonic

He built the company to fill a critical gap in marketing: the ability for businesses to make the same kind of data-driven decisions about audio creative as they do about everything else, so they can maximise the growing opportunity around audio.

A pioneer in online testing and optimisation, Scott led business development at OrderGroove as the company grew from its earliest stage to working with brands like Walmart, P&G, L’Oreal and CVS.

He helped start online testing pioneer Optimost and was instrumental in leading the company from its inception through its acquisition by Interwoven/HP (NYSE: HPQ). Prior to Optimost, Scott held positions at Sony Music, Boosey & Hawkes and even taught elementary school music.

Scott is a summa cum laude graduate of The Catholic University of America with a degree in music education and composition, and he is also a working composer.


Alistair McEwan

Senior Vice President of Commercial Development, BBC Global News

Alistair McEwan is SVP Commercial Development for Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

 In this role, he is responsible for the delivery of advertising sales revenues and profitability goals across the Asia-Pacific region.  He leads an integrated regional advertising team across the BBC Global News media portfolio, including BBC World News TV, BBC.com, BBC World Service, TopGear.com, BBCGoodFood.com, as well as the regional strategic deployment of BBC StoryWorks, the in-house creative agency for BBC Global News.

 Alistair has 20 years’ experience in media spanning several posts across Asia, Europe and Africa.  He joined BBC Worldwide in July 2013 as VP for BBC Advertising ANZ, having moved to Australia in 2010 as National Sales Director Newspaper Magazines with News Ltd.  Previously Alistair was International Advertising Director at The New York Times, with his first 12 years in media being with Paris based newspaper the International Herald Tribune where he worked in various commercial roles in Singapore, Johannesburg, London and Paris. 

 Alistair works across the APAC region based from the Sydney office of BBC Global News.


Ralph van Dijk

Founder & Executive Creative Director, Eardrum

Ralph is a world authority on effective radio and audio branding.

He started his career as an agency writer winning a Clio Award for one of his first radio ads. He got the hint and has specialised in audio ever since.

Ralph founded Eardrum in London in 1990, and launched Eardrum’s Australian agency in 2006. It is now the most awarded audio agency in the world, producing effective campaigns, audio branding and audio content for advertisers and their agencies around the world.

He’s driven by a determination to innovate, subvert and explore new ways for brands to connect to their audience through audio-led campaigns.

Recent highlights include;

Boomtown (multimedia campaign conceived and produced by Eardrum)

DAB+ (multi-media campaign conceived and produced by Eardrum)

Concert In The Clouds (weekly branded radio show co-produced by SCA and Eardrum)

Each year, Eardrum’s work is recognised at the world’s leading award shows including multiple Gold Lions at Cannes, One Show Grand Prix, New York Festival Gold, and being named Radio & Audio Agency of the Year three years in a row by the London International Awards.

In recognition of these accolades, he was selected as one of the ‘advertising legends’ to serve as jury President at the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Lions Festival.

His creative workshops never fail to enthuse advertisers and inspire creatives.


One day his Mother will know what he does for a living.


Matt Dickson

National Head of Creativity – The Studio, SCA

Matt Dickson is the Australian radio industry’s most highly awarded creative.

His work has been recognised at a national and international level, having been awarded many times at the New York Festivals, London International Awards, AWARD, The One Show, PADC, and the Australian Commercial Radio Awards. Matt has also won Gold, Silver and Bronze at the Siren Awards, up against Australia’s top creative agencies.

In 2016 he was selected to sit on the Grand Jury of the New York Festivals Advertising Awards, and in

2017, represented Australia at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on the Radio & Audio jury panel.

Currently, Matt is National Head of Creativity for The Studio at SCA – Southern Cross Austereo’s commercial creative services team – a role which sees him working with clients on the future of audio for brands. He is also a regular guest speaker on the psychology of audio and audio branding, both in Australia and internationally.


Darren Wells

Senior Content Manager, Mumbrella

Darren Wells is the senior content manager at Mumbrella. Most recently a senior sub-editor for News Corp Australia and Pacific Magazines, he has also worked as a journalist primarily in the games and entertainment industry for over 15 years. Previously he was deputy editor of PC PowerPlay and Hyper, editor of Official Xbox Magazine Australia and New Zealand, and has written for Kotaku, T3, Gizmodo, Stellar and IGN.


Nikki Rooke

National Head of Radio Sales, SCA

Nikki Rooke, National Head of Radio Sales made a return to Southern Cross Austereo in November 2017. Nikki first joined Southern Cross Austereo in 2000 as an Account Executive, and subsequently took on roles including Group Sales Manager, and Sydney Agency Sales Director.  

She held the role of Sales Director at Turner Broadcasting before joining Seven West Media in 2011 as Sydney Sales Director. Nikki has a great passion for Radio and leads radio sales teams across SCA’s metro and regional assets, which includes 78 radio stations.


Matt Hayward

Founder, MusicBrief

Speaker bio coming soon...


Kane Reiken

Digital Commercial Director, NOVA Entertainment

Kane Reiken joined NOVA Entertainment as Digital Commercial Director in March 2017. Kane is responsible for designing and mobilising the strategic plan for the successful commercialisation of NOVA Entertainment’s digital audiences, brands and platforms through product innovation and partnerships, to deliver revenue and category growth.

Overseeing revenue growth in key focus products including podcasting, streaming, social, programmatic and millennial news and entertainment platform GOAT.com.au. With over 18 years’ experience working with international digital and broadcast media corporations, Kane has led mobile, video and social campaigns alongside digital projects, product innovation and sponsorship for clients including Disney, Netflix, Carlsberg, Pepsico, McDonalds and Unilever.

Kane joined NOVA Entertainment from Daily Mail where, over a two year period, he was Mobile Product and Innovation Specialist in the UK and then Head of Product in Australia. Previously Kane spent almost five years with OMD UK in various social media and mobile roles including two years as Mobile Associate Director. Kane reports directly to Peter Charlton, NOVA Entertainment’s Chief Commercial Officer, and leads the digital team.


Carrie Bickmore

, The Hit Network

Carrie is no stranger to radio, having started her career on Perth Hit 92.9 and working as a broadcaster for almost 10 years before joining Channel 10’s The Project and picking up a TV WEEK Gold Logie along the way. One of the country’s most-loved media identities, Carrie has endeared herself to Australians with her real mix of vulnerability, candour and humour.


Tommy Little

, The Hit Group

Tommy Little is the most exciting comedian of his generation – selling out live shows at festivals and comedy clubs across the country on top of his regular spot on The Project. Tommy’s energy is infectious; an engaging, mischievous storyteller who draws audiences in.


Gemma Fordham

Head, The Hit Network

Gemma Fordham’s experience in the entertainment industry spans over 20 years having first set out in radio when she landed a job at 2DayFM Sydney. Eventually, she ventured into producing for Ugly Phil & Jackie O and became EP for the incredibly successful Morning Crew with Wendy Harmer and Peter Moon. Four years later she headed across to the UK to produce Jonathan Coleman’s breakfast show in London.

Returning to Australia, for a very brief stint, as Content Director for Channel V with XYZ Music Channels, Gemma was offered a role in the US with Nicole Kidman. Gemma worked with Ms Kidman for 8 years, initially as her EA and Chief of Staff and then developing films as a Producer and Creative Officer for Blossom Films, Ms Kidman’s production company.

Eventually, she returned to Australia and was Content Manager and Executive Producer for the Kyle and Jackie O Show, during this time the duo received their highest ratings to date. Three years later, Gemma moved to New Zealand as Chief Content Officer for NZME, running six national radio networks and entertainment properties for the group.

Returning to Australia in 2015 as Head of Content for the Hit Network, Gemma has become known for her ability to attract new talent and implement content strategies for audience growth. Now as Head of the Hit Network, the supportive environments she crafts for her on-air shows and programming teams across the country is what’s attracted some of the best in the business to the Hit Network. Gemma has won several ACRA awards, is a recipient of the Telstra Victorian Corporate Business Woman of the Year (2017) and holds her Masters in Business Administration from Melbourne University. Gemma is a Non- Executive Director for Carrie Bickmore’s charity ‘Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer’.

Gemma loves travel and is a mother of two young boys.


Hannah Blackiston

Managing Editor – Events & Branded Content, Mumbrella

Hannah is the managing editor – events & branded content of Mumbrella. Throughout her career, she has worked across a number of titles in the business and real estate sectors. She has also spent time on consumer titles writing lifestyle and travel content.


Damian Francis

Head of Content, Mumbrella

Damian is the head of content at Mumbrella, overseeing all content and editorial within the business. He has worked as a journalist and communications consultant across a number of industries for over 15 years. He has been with Mumbrella for more than three years, initially running event content. Damian was previously print editor of AdNews.


Watch it live or replay it later


OCTOBER 13, 2020

Check out the full program

Well done Mumbrella on the first Audioland conference. It provided great food-for-thought in getting audio channels back on track in the marketing mix.
A great event that had a genuine interest of sharing knowledge from both a publisher and agency point of view.
Great panels and speakers all throughout the day. Never a dull moment in Audio.
Very well curated line up and sessions! Careful thought went into each session and the panel participants that contributed were on point and very interesting!

October 13, 2020

About the event

The audio industry is experiencing a new golden era of growth. Major radio networks continue to grow and diversify their services, music streaming services are expanding in popularity, the medium of podcasting shows no signs of slowing, and smart technology is changing the way people are consuming audio.

Together, it presents brands with new and exciting opportunities to grow their share of ear. Mumbrella’s Audioland conference will feature experts from across the audio industry, including technology specialists, content creators, agencies, and thought leaders in radio.


The biggest library of media and marketing audio, video, presentations and people.


Become a sponsor

Mumbrella Audioland brings together leading experts across all facets of audio to share strategies, insights, case studies and more that are specifically applicable to anyone working with audio, whether they are brand, agency, content producer or beyond. The event offers businesses the chance to get their branding in front of key decision makers across the industry. Raise your brand awareness to a highly targeted audience and speak with us about creating a bespoke sponsorship that fulfils your marketing objectives and catches the attention of a variety of professionals with a deep interest in audio.