Culture

May 14, 2018

How do you get Australians to stream Australian music?

Like the shift to streaming television, more and more Australians are listening to music through streaming services. But are they listening to Australian songs?

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

Australian singer-songwriter Alex Lahey

This is the second instalment in a two-part series. Read part one, "Should Netflix be forced to screen more Australian content?".

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “How do you get Australians to stream Australian music?

  1. roger

    It’s interesting that when Netflix was faced with quotas on content in Canada, it immediately countered with a guarantee of $500 million in Canadian production. WIth more than half its subscriber base now outside the US, yet only a modest per centage of non-US content in its library, Netflix would not take too much prompting to make a similar scale undertaking in Australia. It’s currently earning well in excess of $10mill/week from Australian customers- so why not get involved in local production which always rates better than imports? It’s a no-brainer for the Government to do a little gentle persuasion, but so far such complexities seem to have illuded Mitch Fifield, who seems much more focused on bucketing the ABC

  2. Citizen K

    Ben – thank you for your clear pieces on matters of cultural importance, albeit of some complexity. My comment is that revenues from Spotify and other streaming services may be increasing, but consumer awareness of Australian music is still largely driven by radio. Commercial radio is regulated to broadcast 25% Oz content between 6pm and midnight – even though some stations apparently fail to meet the requirement. It’s an example that, like that of television, shows how old and new media work hand in hand – at least in an age in which we are transitioning from one to another. Without regulation of Australian television, the screen sector will not survive in any form that is meaningful in terms of its Australian-ness. Even if Netflix commissioned more Oz content, it’s unlikely to have much cultural specificity (in terms of stories, locations, talent, relevance or perspectives) as it would have to be made for a globalised English speaking audience. Regulation for Australian content underpinned the renaissance of Australian film and television. Nowadays we’ve been hoodwinked into believing that without foreign production in Australia (and the handouts necessary to secure the dubious privilege of having the latest franchise pictures partially produced here), there would be no Oz industry. This is of course nonsense. With adequate local content regulation of tv, streaming services and even cinema, and with those aforeme
    ntioned handouts diverted to cultural subsidy, the Oz sector and Australian audiences would be far better off than under the current arrangements. Someone please do the modelling!

  3. tinman_au

    “How do you get Australians to stream Australian music?”

    Easy, make music Australians want to listen to.

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