Australian artists are being disadvantaged with an estimated 75% of the Australian public performance market, which includes pubs, clubs, fashion stores, cafes and other businesses that play music, not legitimately licensed.
That’s according to evidence presented today to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Australian Music Industry.
Nightlife Music, Australian’s largest background music company also called for a tightening of regulation around the country’s music collection agencies and the implementation of play data metrics to ensure artists are paid when their songs are played.
Fronting the Federal Inquiry today Nightlife co-founder Tim de Souza said Australia is out of step with the rest of the world and the current model is not set up to administer and balance the interests of all invested in the Australian music industry including innovators, creators and consumers.
“The collection agencies don’t represent Australian music rather their charter is to represent music in Australia,” Mr de Souza said.
“With reciprocal agreements in place, a key role of the collection agencies is to get money out of Australia and back to global music rights holders.
“What they cannot do is represent the interests of Australian artists exclusively.”
The Inquiry also heard in contrast to a global growth trend, the Australian background music sector is shrinking due to improper use of personal streaming sources in a public setting.
‘It is critical for the committee to understand that consumer streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube are not licensed or legitimate sources for playing recorded music in public,” Mr de Souza said.
“We are asking for a level playing field so that we can maximise growth and revenue opportunities for Australian artists.”
“The collection societies are swallowing up the revenue, but you hear very little about how and where the income is distributed.
“In Europe the problem was identified and solved with legislation implemented to enable rights holders to see how and where the money flows.”
Nightlife’s submission, which was backed by its peers in the background sector, highlighted legitimate operators already support Australian artists, maximizing their opportunities to carve out long term careers in the industry and further urged the Australian Government to review the code of conduct for the collection societies and the ACCC authorisation process to support greater transparency.