Yesterday afternoon saw the most recent ARIA charts released, and if anything, it proves that now more than ever, it is time for Australians to help support their local acts.
While the last year has seen a few big Aussie releases top the charts, including Gang Of Youths’ Go Farther In Lightness, and Paul Kelly’s Life Is Fine, this week’s charts seem to paint a completely different picture for Australian talent.
Looking at the most recent singles chart, a total of four Australian acts make the cut, with Vance Joy’s ‘We’re Going Home’ at #28, Pnau’s ‘Go Bang’ at #29, Troye Sivan’s ‘My My My!’ at #41, and Angus & Julia Stone’s ‘Chateau’ at #50.
While we do manage to see at least two Australians credited as co-writers this week (Natalie Dunn for Marshmello & Anne-Marie’s ‘FRIENDS’ at #4, and Sarah Aarons for ‘The Middle’ by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey at #7), this 8% representation of Australian artists is awfully low for a country who takes pride in celebrating their homegrown talent.
Over on the albums chart, things are a little bit better, but not by much. While Dami Im’s I Hear A Song debuts at #3 and The Wolfe Brothers’ Country Heart appears at #9, only six more Aussie acts appear in the top 50 this week, making the chart comprised of only 16% Australian acts.
Back in November of 2017, the ABC also brought this issue to light, noting that only three Australian acts made the top 50 that week.
“As the streaming market has become a global, not a local, market, in our view Australian artists may be disadvantaged as they may not be as well-known internationally,” said the Australian Independent Record Labels Association’s CEO, Maria Amato.
“I think the concern most people have at the moment about the complete lack of Australian music in the charts is whether it’s actually a systemic, structural thing,” noted music publicist Stephen Green.
“It’s the chicken and the egg situation,” he continued. “How do you have a hit if no-one is playing your song?”
This week’s charts come only a matter of days after APRA AMCOS’ incoming CEO and Head of Member Services Dean Ormston called for a minimum of 25% Australian content from local streaming services in the playlists they curate.
“For an artist to be picked up and profiled on commercial radio is hugely important to their career, whatever stage they’re at,” Ormston said. “If they’re touring it adds weight; people might go and buy tickets to the show.”
“It has a kick-on effect to other potential revenue streams. So for a whole variety of reasons, radio is still critically important to everyone in the music industry,” he added.
APRA AMCOS have stated that they are in ongoing discussions with the major streaming services, so maybe this is just one step in a long road to helping Australian music get back into the spotlight it deserves.