Australian artists take a calculated risk in the hopes to score big on the ARIA charts.
A lot has changed for the industry owing to the diversity in how the market consumes music today. Options range from an actual purchase to a digital download or to a one-time stream. Hence, it is a tricky yet interesting dilemma for artists and record labels to figure out.
Nevertheless, it is a problem for artists who struggle to make it to the top 10 of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) charts. A case in point is the latest single from The Voice 2016 winner Alfie Arcuri Cruel. His single debuted at no. 89 on ARIA and nationwide sales reached only 1,458 copies. Then again, Arcuri could have been the unlikely casualty of poor TV ratings and a song mismatch.
However, the current manner in which the ARIA calculates the singles chart would be problematic even for a veteran artist. As it turns out, the computation now takes into account legal downloads from Apple’s iTunes as well as the number of streams for one track on services like Apple Music, Google Play and Spotify. Hence, the importance for an artist to excel at both downloads and streams, according to ARIA CEO Dan Rosen.
The dearth of Australian artists entering the ARIA charts is cause for alarm. However, Rosen suggested that streaming services could also play a critical role to boost their chances. Hence, the need for record labels to adopt a streaming strategy to make the most of this medium.
“We want to monitor that Australian artists are still breaking on the ARIA chart. Playlisting is a big thing on streaming. As more people turn to playlists, we want to make sure Aussie acts are getting on playlists or that the streaming services are having localized playlists, that feels like something we have to work on as an industry,” Rosen advised.
The industry computation equates a certain number of streams to one sale. The exact sum varies from 175 to 250 plays, according to The Daily Telegraph. Hence, the concern of Paul Cashmere of Noise 11 at how streaming becomes a critical factor to the ARIA charts.