Petition for businesses to use Australian artists for hold music gains momentum

The petition has been backed by ARIA and APRA AMCOS

An online petition lobbying Qantas and other businesses to use Australian artists for their hold music has reached more than 6,600 signatures.

The petition was launched by entertainment industry publicist Karen Eck, who had the idea after waiting in a Qantas hold queue for more than seven hours. As Eck wrote in the petition, “many companies use licence-free music on a repetitive loop designed to make customers hang up or incur a persistent earworm”.

“I actually didn’t have a problem with that but it was the 15-second snippet of the same instrumental on loop that literally drove me a little loopy,” Eck told SBS News.

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“I’d love to be hearing more emerging and established artists on calls – who wouldn’t? It sounds like a no-brainer!”

Since launching the petition three weeks ago, it has gained the support of industry groups such as ARIA and APRA AMCOS, which helped launch a similar campaign, Our Soundtrack Our Stories, earlier this month.

The campaign calls for business owners to begin playing more local artists in their stores or businesses, and to seek out the proper APRA/PPCA licenses where necessary. The aim is to generate more revenue for Australian artists, as well as grow their fanbases.

“One simple move will have a monumental impact on the lives of our homegrown, globally-loved, local artists whose livelihoods have been rocked by the ongoing pandemic. This campaign is about celebrating Australian music and the people making it,” an Our Soundtrack Our Stories statement read.

“Greater support from corporate Australia means greater reach for our artists, which translates to everything from higher streams, new fans and increased royalty revenue.”

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It followed Jack River’s earlier push for Channel 7 to incorporate more Australian-made music during its coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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