Hopes Music Body Could Take Fans From Beyoncé to Briggs

Less Beyoncé, more Adam Briggs. Less SZA, more Sampa the Great.

How to make the music streaming giants play more Australian songs?

The new industry body Music Australia should have the answers, according to the boss of the Australia Council, soon to be renamed Creative Australia.

“This whole notion of discoverability is such a big issue for the contemporary music industry,” CEO Adrian Collette told AAP.

The national cultural policy, announced on Monday, included $69.4 million to establish Music Australia, with the aim of growing the local industry.

The policy also set a deadline to impose local content quotas on video streaming giants and Arts Minister Tony Burke has suggested services such as Spotify and Apple Music could face measures to increase their Australian content too.

“Getting inside those algorithms and getting a better deal for Australian music will make a huge difference for Australian artists,” he said at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

The cultural policy does not deal with music streaming directly and there is so far no suggestion music fans might find a quota of Aussie tunes in their earbuds.

Burke said his personal experience of music streaming was that algorithms favoured United States artists.

“Play an Australian album on one of those and have the feature on that it keeps choosing music for you after and by the third or fourth song, if you haven’t gone to North America in the choices it’s taken you to, then you’re getting a different experience to what I get,” he said.

Adrian Collette admitted he didn’t know how to stop Australian musicians from being disadvantaged by streaming algorithms but said Music Australia, once established, should have the answers.

Music licensing body APRA AMCOS says it wants to work with the government on discoverability across various platforms, with the aim of Australia becoming a music exporter.


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