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The Pack Australia
The Pack Australia

Music-tech start-up issues a social impact challenge to global music streaming giants

The Pack Australia has today publicly released an industry White Paper investigating the impacts of global music streaming on local music economies.

The female founded start-up, established in 2017 as a local, original music advocacy community, sees the rise of major streaming services as a key contributor to the decline in revenues for original, independent artists, and has captured the threats to independent musicians of the globalisation and digitisation of music streaming in this 44 page paper.

Released initially to Western Australian government agencies and select local governments, as well as industry advocacy bodies and research institutions, the paper calls for a collaborative and creative approach to arts policy and funding that captures the need to acknowledge and manage the impacts of digital disruption on local music ecologies.

“With the average song play on most global streaming platforms netting an individual artist less than 0.005 cents, to make back the cost of a $5 coffee in Perth, a song must be streamed 1000 times,” said Melanie Bainbridge, Co-Founder and Director of The Pack Australia.

“Think of this in the context of artist earnings – one million streams on YouTube nets an artist approximately $690. One million streams on Spotify, around $4370. On Apple Music, it’s around $7350. Many artists may not see a million streams per song across their entire career.

“Research shows that the average income for practicing musicians in Australia is less than $8000 per year from their music. Truly, that’s appalling. It also shows that financial instability is a leading cause of mental health issues in musicians and will have increasingly pervasive impacts on the music industry over time. We just can’t keep doing what we’ve always done – unless we want to see our local music industry collapse,” said Bainbridge.

The White Paper comes out swinging and pulls no punches, calling out some of the major threats that global music streaming poses to the Australian music industry and calling on government, industry and business to support its local music community. It posits that music plays a key role in the arts tourism economy, and requires a more strategic policy and funding approach from governments if it is to continue to contribute to a thriving and viable arts economy.

The Pack Australia’s research paper includes contributions from across the arts, sustainability, law, music publishing, music tech and software and academic communities.

Read the full White Paper here.

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