Streaming giant Foxtel has announced a new initiative to help Australian artists during tough times amidst coronavirus restrictions, which have forced the cancellation of countless events.
As of April 6, Foxtel will only be programming local artists on Mondays across their three major music channels. MAX, Channel [V] and Country Music Channel will play exclusively Australian artists every Monday, featuring a selection of both new and archived music videos and interviews.
Foxtel Group’s GM of Entertainment & Music, Fraser Stark, said in a statement: “As we enter a time of untold disruption it’s good to remember that we’ll get through this together and, when we do come together, it will certainly be with song. Musicians, and the wider live performance industry, have been immediately hit with the closure of venues and festivals.”
Foxtel will also promote Support Act, a charity that supports local creatives in need, during times of illness, injury, mental health problems and various other crises that impact their ability to work, such as coronavirus restrictions.
“To hold a torch during this difficult impasse, [V], MAX and CMC are proud to play all-Australian music each Monday from April 6. We’ll use the moment to draw attention (and donations from those who can spare it) to the fine work of Support Act – which is already out there supporting artists in tough times.”
Speaking on behalf of Support Act, CEO Clive Miller said: “Artists, crew and music workers are facing a bleak and uncertain financial future and are sometimes amongst the most vulnerable with regards to mental health and wellbeing.
“Please help us to support our music workers through this difficult period and help them be in a position to bounce back louder and prouder than ever once the pandemic has passed.”
This announcement follows APRA AMCOS’ call for more local content across radio, screen, audio and video-on-demand streaming services.
The industry body, which is responsible for licensing artist’s work for use and distributing subsequent royalties, is calling for higher payments to artists while their main source of income – performance – suffers during this period.
“All of these platforms are critical to supporting Aussie and Kiwi music creators irrespective of genre, generation or demographic in both the immediate and long term,” a statement on their website says.
APRA AMCOS recently made the decision to fast-track paying royalties from artists’ live performance reports, which now will be distributed in May instead of November.