Aussie Made: How you can support homegrown artists
It's time to add locally produced music, television and film to your list of Australian-made goods and services to support during the COVID-19 shutdown.
The entertainment industry launches their AUSSIE MADE campaign this week to call on television and radio networks and streaming services to play more homegrown content, whether new or heritage.
APRA AMCOS, ARIA and Screen Producers Australia (SPA) are hoping consumers will also get behind supporting artists, songwriters, production business and associated employees by requesting more Australian songs on radio and streaming local artists, TV series and films during their pandemic hibernation.
ARIA CEO Dan Rosen said "every little bit helps" when it comes to streaming platforms and commercial radio stations playing and promoting more Australian content.
"We are all in this together and we are looking for levers we can pull to help put money into artists' pockets," he said.
Indie pop artist Kira Puru challenged radio stations via social media on March 17 to play more homegrown music "to jack up our royalties while we wait for our gigs to pick up again. One small, literally free way to aid local artists," she posted.
Triple M's Jane Gazzo and HIT network's Ash London heeded the call, with Gazzo throwing the baton to The Project to play only Aussie artists leading into and out of ad breaks.
Foxtel music channels [V], Max and CMC today announced they will go all-Australian every Monday from April 6.
But other streaming services or radio stations have yet to come to the Aussie Made party, despite the Hot 100 airplay chart reflecting a strong appetite for homegrown music, particularly the latest songs by Tones and I, Birds of Tokyo, 5 Seconds of Summer, Guy Sebastian, The Rubens, Sam Fischer, Kita Alexander, Flume and Spacey Jane.
A boost in royalties courtesy of more airplay and streaming will have a flow-on effect as performers scramble not only to pay the rent but support their teams which include sole traders or contractors such as managers, sound and lighting technicians, hair and make-up artists.
APRA AMCOS CEO Deam Ormston said upping Australian content would also boost the wider economy by keeping royalties here instead of flowing overseas.
"The whole thrust of this campaign is to say "OK radio, OK TV, OK streaming services, you all pay us an amount of money in your areas to play music, so if you could extend where you can and play more Australian artists, then that's all dollars staying in that pie in Australia," he said.
"It's a really, really simple thing to do."
Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner said the AUSSIE MADE campaign was another clarion call to unite the country behind hundreds of thousands of entertainment workers who are now unemployed.
The ilostmygig website reports losses of $316 million from those who live gig to gig since cancellations and postponement of concerts began when mass gatherings were banned.
Promoters Live Nation, TEG and Frontier Touring/Chugg Entertainment have written to the Prime Minister backing a submission for a $650 industry support package which would assist everyone from performers to truck drivers.
"Australian content has the ability to bring people together during this crisis, provide comfort and a strong sense of community," said Matthew Deaner, CEO of Screen Producers Australia. "With AUSSIE MADE there's a huge opportunity for Australians all around the country to renew their love of Australian music, TV shows and movies."
Originally published as Aussie Made: How you can support homegrown artists