Nightlife Music, the Australian background music specialist, has created a labelling system to help music fans identify homegrown tunes on its bespoke on-demand platform, TIO can exclusively reveal.

The Australian Played campaign launches today in crowdDJ, its in-venue music request app which features a licensed catalogue of more than 52,000 works and serves more than 5,000 sites around the country.

Its ambition is to remove the mystery around a track’s origins and boost exposure for local acts, in much the same way Australian-made goods are (sometimes) clearly labelled on supermarket shelves.

There’s no mistaking the new true-blue design: a map of Australia rendered in green and gold, accompanying the slogan Australian Played.

nightlife australian played
Australian Played logo

The initiative rises out of raging debate from across the industry and artist circles on content quotas and whether commercial networks are dodging their obligations.

Earlier this year, ARIA, APRA AMCOS and CRA agreed to work together to determine if non-compliance on quotas was the problem many say it is. Music stations are required to play 25 percent local content under the Commercial Radio Code of Practice, though some industry professional are adamant these targets are often missed.
Nightlife’s Australian Played effort goes live as the second annual Indie-Con kicks off in Adelaide.

“There’s so much talk of quotas at the moment and we certainly support them. We really need the industry to adopt these sorts of approaches,” explains Nightlife director Matt Lymbury, who will present the campaign to the indie music community on a tech panel session.

Speaking with TIO ahead of the summit, Lymbury says his company’s research reveals Australian businesses want to play support local, but confusion reigns.

“Our clients are really parochial. It’s amazing how many people want to know this information,” adds Lymbury, noting users are making “millions” of selections each month. “We now have the power to do is guide those selections and we’ve found we’ve hit so many venues who are saying, we want to showcase Australian music.

“We’ve found a gap in the industry where you can’t just pool together Australian music and search through thousands of tracks. Spotify can’t do that. Nor can the other streaming platforms.”

And what qualifies as ‘Australian’? Would a track by LSD – Britain’s Labrinth, Australia’s Sia, and America’s Diplo – make the cut? Absolutely. “If people are earning money from it that are Australians and the money is coming back to the music industry, then we’re on their side. What we hope is to build out more information down the track.”

Australian-made music stickers have been tried on physical recordings in the past, with no real, lasting traction. This is new turf for the digital world. And it’s so much more than a nation building exercise, says Lymbury.
These green and gold labels, he adds, will “help the Australian music economy and help maintain our unique, Aussie identity.”

Brisbane-based Nightlife gave CrowdDJ its commercial launch back in March 2016. The following year, Nightlife was named among the Top 50 Most Innovative Australian & New Zealand Companies at the Australian Financial Review‘s Innovation Summit.