News August 3, 2021

Petition for big businesses to play Aussie music to consumers who are stuck ‘on hold’ kicks off

Petition for big businesses to play Aussie music to consumers who are stuck ‘on hold’ kicks off

Photo by Arno Senoner on Unsplash

The push for Australian corporations and big businesses to do more for the local music scene has ramped up, with a petition launching which calls on them to prioritise Australian songs for their ‘hold music’ above annoying and generic tunes.

The petition notes this would give Australian artists who have been brought to their knees by the pandemic and associated lockdowns a chance to showcase their original songs, while offering consumers an alternative earworm.

“Currently, many companies use licence-free music on a repetitive loop designed to make customers hang up or incur a persistent earworm,” the petition says.

“If you have to wait for hours to speak to a company representative wouldn’t you rather be entertained while supporting Australian musicians doing it tough?”

The petition has been spearheaded by entertainment industry publicist Karen Eck.

Eck said she was struck by the idea when on hold attempting to speak to someone at Qantas for over seven hours.

Instead of the same 15-second soundbite on repeat, Eck said: “What if the music was the best of Australia’s emerging and established artists? We could save customers’ sanity and support the music industry at the same time”.

The campaign is also seeking support from APRA AMCOS which handles the licensing of Australian music.

“It’s only fair that musicians are compensated via royalty fees, particularly as many have lost their livelihoods over the past 18 months with Covid decimating the industry. We need a creative philanthropic solution. Let’s keep Aussie music alive,” the petition says.

Musician Lucy Washington, who now performs as Lucy Lucy, issued a similar sentiment on social media in recent days.

“Hey Centrelink, if you’re interested in playing more Aussie music for when people are on hold, may I suggest my song ‘$25’? It’s about having shit all money in my bank account and I think the irony of listening to myself whilst on hold would be * chef kiss *.”

The movement follows that of Jack River, who recently called on Channel 7 and big corporations to more visibly support Australian music – whether it be via celebratory songs during the Tokyo Olympics coverage or blasting it out over supermarket speakers.

In response, Channel 7 journalist and presenter Edwina Bartholomew said the network had heard the cries, and would be playing more local tunes during its Olympics broadcast.

Coles Radio, which is played in its supermarkets and is also the country’s #1 DAB+ station, also told TMN it would increase the number of Australian songs on rotation.

You can sign the petition here.

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