Media Release Oct 2017 - Female founders fight for fairness in the Music Industry

Girl power gives the male dominated Australian music industry a shake-up.

Perth, Western Australia, October 17, 2017–The Pack Australia invites the Australian music industry to get behind it’s artists.

It’s somewhat unusual to see a pair of female founders taking on the male dominated tech industry. It’s even more unusual to see them innovating in the highly traditional Australian arts space. However, Melanie Bainbridge and Harry Deluxe, the female founders behind The Pack Australia, see a fabulous future for the Australian music industry – but only if it opens its eyes to some of the failings of current systems.

“We’re hard-working artists”, says Deluxe. “We want to be part of an industry that values that. Right now – with streaming services making it increasingly difficult for us to get our music heard – we’re not feeling it, so we’re fighting to make our industry fair again”

Australia has embraced music streaming services like Spotify, but Bainbridge and Deluxe feel that this has, perhaps unintentionally, created a massive imbalance in the system.

The ladies, who are incidentally partners in their artistic, business and personal lives, want the industry to understand that globalized streaming services provide a platform for music distribution, but do not provide a support network for artists, and that by making music available at low or no cost they have created a kind of musical ‘Darwinism’ – a creative class war not based on talent or skill, but on money, luck and access.

Musicians backed by major labels rise to the top by virtue of the money behind them, while unsigned artists (save for a precious few lucky bands who are ‘discovered’ by popular playlist curators) sink to the bottom of the playlist pile, found only by those dedicated listeners who seek them out.

Coupling this with almost insultingly low per stream income, the slow death of physical and direct digital music sales, and the lack of venues willing to offer original bands paid live performing opportunities – being an original artist in Australia has become incredibly hard work.

Melanie Bainbridge, co-founder, says:

“Our musicians are some of the best qualified, most highly skilled, but most poorly paid workers in Australia – with an average annual income from music totaling around $7500.
Recording and marketing music costs money, which local, original bands are clearly struggling to make back through gigs or album sales - so most musicians have a ‘day job’ to make ends meet - which doesn’t leave them much time to be creatively productive.
If our musicians are barely earning enough money annually to cover the cost of recording a studio album, and they can’t afford the time to create or record new music, how is the Australian music industry supposed to thrive, grow and position new Aussie music on the global stage into the future?
Bottom line? Our unsigned artists are creatively starving in an era of apparent musical prosperity.”

The girls behind The Pack Australia have devised an elegant solution to this problem – a localized streaming service which will directly connect local business with local music and local listeners.

Based around principles of local economic development, the solution is simple and scalable, and designed to ensure that artists can grow their listener base through exposure, while also creating a range of direct income streams through fair per play payback, direct royalty allocations and a location based ‘jukebox’ style service netting both participating businesses and artists incentive payments.

As a social enterprise, the girls intend for the profits from the service to go back into the industry through a not-for-profit foundation to support local, original artists to create, record and distribute new music, with a focus on underrepresented female and Aboriginal artists as well as new original music from all genres – as they feel that the local industry needs support to continue to be sustainable.

And local musicians agree. Gregory Brenton is a major contributor to the Western Australian live and recorded music scene, has been playing in a wide variety of bands for over 20 years. As one of Perth’s most sought-after drummers he had this to say about The Pack Australia:

“As an original musician, I am constantly working to monetise what I do in order to sustain a reasonable output. I need to pay for the services of the people who help me record, back me up when performing, help with promotion and on and on. The Pack would certainly assist with this, but even more importantly it would create further exposure for what we as creative artists do. The Pack would encourage local businesses to engage with their arts community in a very responsible and mutually beneficial way. The potential here is very exciting!”

The Pack will also create an incentive for businesses to jump on board, not only for the reputational benefit of supporting their local music industry, but also by creating a location-based system for listener members to ‘check-in’ at their premises and like, share and influence their music preferences to provide real-time data to support customer retention strategies – good for business and good for listeners.

The Pack Australia is running a crowdfunding campaign until mid-November with ING Dreamstarter to raise seed funding for the platform prototype, and is calling for their tribe to get behind them and help grow the community.

The crowdfunding campaign can be found at https://campaigns.ing.com.au/Dreamstarter/Support-now/ThePack

Ends # # #

 

The Pack Australia is a start-up social enterprise dedicated to building a sustainable, localized music streaming system protect the Australian music industry for the future.

If you would like more information about The Pack Australia, please contact Melanie Bainbridge at 0488 222 286 or email at thepackoz@iinet.net.au.

Melanie BainbridgeComment