The Melbourne Music Strategy 2014-17’s vision of Melbourne becoming our nation’s music capital will present immense pressure for Australia’s music industry.
Will this redefine Australian music and finally recognize amazing talent Melbourne has to offer, or, will it be a disguise for what already exists? In truth, Aussie musicians seeking recognition are giving up on the music industry and are moving overseas.
Some actions include the addition of live music programs around the city as well as working with hospitality and retail sectors to promote Melbourne music. For musicians, the chance to be offered a weekly spot at a venue is low with reasons being next to no pay, or the spot has been filled with musicians with a large support base.
The sad reality is; Australian musicians have the lowest weekly salary than any other creative industry. Only 6% of musicians in 2011 were earning $2000 or more per week and 52% had to get a second job outside of music to survive.
Another theme of the strategy is to promote Melbourne’s music scene across Australia and all over the world. This will involve collaborations with music, marketing and tourism partners to highlight Melbourne as the music capital. But can Melbourne compete with UK and USA’s recording industry?
Wholesale figures from Australian Recording Industry Association, (ARIA) show that in 2005, a total of $528,174,000 records, (digital and physical), were sold. Today, figures have dropped with last year’s grand total of sales coming to only $351,619,000.
Meanwhile, the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) saw a total of 7.4 billion songs streamed in the UK just last year, double the total of 2012. This powerful result also showed that the UK recorded music trade revenue rose to a total of €730 million, more than 1 billion Aussie dollars.
No wonder why Aussie hopefuls are travelling overseas, there’s more hope for them.
Take this artist for example. Has anyone heard of Iggy Azalea, hip-hop artist before 2014? I didn’t. Will it shock you to know that the ‘Fancy’ artist is not American but infact Australian? The Sydney born artist decided to move to the States at the age of sixteen in order to make a new life for herself.
Her career flourished in 2011 when she was asked by a member of Interscope Records to move to Los Angeles to begin releasing her music. Since then, her singles went viral all over YouTube and now Australia has just joined the bandwagon and is now promoting her as Australia’s ‘newest’ talent.
She joins The Beatles in US chart records with the single, ‘Fancy’, topping the Billboard 100 chart and Ariana Grande’s single ‘Problem’ placing second in which Azalea features.
If the Melbourne Music Strategy wants to turn Melbourne into Australia’s music capital, then help emerging Melbourne artists gain recognition in their hometown before they turn their back.
Find out more about the Melbourne Music Strategy on www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/music