Australia’s main streaming platforms were thrust under the microscope Friday morning as the NSW Music Inquiry kicked off at Parliament House.
Jane Huxley, managing director of Spotify Australia & New Zealand, was first in the hot seat at the Macquarie Room, as she was pressed on transparency, subscriber numbers and the platform’s commitment to building Australian artists’ careers here and abroad.
During her Q&A with MPs, Huxley was queried on how a new artist can get to the “top of the pile” on Spotify. It’s a complicated mix of human curation, algorithms, search and luck, and she confirmed there’s no pay-to-play (or payola) going on behind the scenes.
Over the past six years, Spotify has “invested heavily” in its Australia business, which now counts 50 staff, she said, and the last year had seen its “largest ever investment in local artist off-platform marketing initiatives.”
Reading from a prepared statement, Huxley noted earlier that 70% of Spotify’s global revenues are paid to rights holders, and that, Spotify has paid out more than 8 billion euros to the music industry globally to-date. On the industry’s streaming led upturn, “we are looking at a good news story,” she enthused.