As much as I want to brag about that I knew how to use a cassette before ‘13 reasons why’. I evidently have Netflix, Stan, Spotify, Apple music, the lot and I probably spend a little too much time using them. We can all see that these services have dramatically changed the music and film industries. But what does this mean for Aussie people in the industry?
It is often the case that people see these services as something that cheapens the industries and removes so many great qualities from consuming this media. That is a very fair statement and I am not saying that isn’t happening. However, there are still some good things that have come out of these services, apart from the obvious factors of price and convenience.
I had the chance to have a talk about precisely this with Fin Edquist, a Victorian writer-director after his release of the film Bad Girl and also Dustin Tebutt an Australian indie singer-songwriter. Both of these talents talked to me about the effects of these online streaming sites to independent and smaller artists around Australia.
In particular, Dustin basically caught his big break because of Spotify, where one of his songs were featured on Spotify playlists for sleep. “The rise of these services how much power Spotify playlists, Apple music, and other streaming services now have. Creating a role where they are helping out the industries. Because it is all completely unregulated and they can basically do whatever they want to do in terms, of removing those geographical sections of music. I think that is really driving all these changes to Australian music, which is just awesome. There are probably people in like Sweden falling asleep to my music.” he explained.
Dustin now has approximately 1,590,200 monthly listens just on Spotify, all over the world from America to Germany. Dustin has also just completed his tour around Australia with Lisa Mitchell, that visited the likes of Brisbane’s own The Triffid.
Now Fin also mentioned the extent to which streaming sites have had an impact on the Australian independent film industry, where he talked about the future of Australian film, “Independent films are certainly not dead in the water, especially as it has been in the past. And it is certainly not as dire as some do make it either. Things like Netflix, Stan, and Video on Demand definitely open up low budget films to an audience that it would otherwise not have and it is incredibly hard to get a theatrical release or any type of sustained theatrical release these days. These streaming services they need content and they need to separate themselves out from the networks, they are buying or sponsoring these types of stuff”.
It will be interesting to see what happened with these services and how they will continue to affect the Australian creative industries. As much as the bigger artists, like old T-Swift, are more than happy to voice the downsides of these services. The benefits to these smaller more niche producers of content seem to more so be singing their praises. Or at least we are going to say that to help my conscience for my next Spotify playlist.