TikTok slammed by ARIA – “Australians deserve better” + all the biggest industry headlines

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


TikTok slammed by ARIA – “Australians deserve better” + all the biggest industry headlines


Read the latest music industry news - from the underrepresentation of women in the music industry, to Aussie SXSW announcements and more!

Been out of the loop with everything that’s been going on in the music industry recently? We don’t blame you. Here’s a wrap-up of all the biggest Aussie music industry news stories from the past fortnight.

The top headlines:

  • ARIA slams TikTok over so called ‘test’.
  • Report shows women and GNC folk remain underrepresented in the music industry.
  • More Aussie acts announced for SXSW and the Great Escape.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

Women and GNC folk still underrepresented in music

Women remain underrepresented in the music industry, says the University of California ‘Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Report’.

In 2022, women represented 30 per cent of the 160 artists on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart. Men made up 69.4 per cent and artists who identified as non-binary made up less than 1 per cent. 

In terms of race, 50 per cent were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, down from 57.2 per cent in 2021.

Of these 65 per cent were women, from 55 per cent in 2021.

Women made up 14 per cent of songwriting credits on the Hot 100 in both 2022 and 2021.  Less than 1 per cent of the songs had no male writers.

The number of women with producer credits was “alarmingly low” – a mere 3.4 per cent.

In 2023, 15.2 per cent of nominees in six major categories in the Grammys were women — slightly up from 14.1 per cent in 2022. Women of colour made up 61.5 per cent of nominations in key categories than white women (38.5 per cent).

Report editor Dr. Stacey L Smith said:  “Until women and men artists hire women songwriters and producers the numbers will not move. 

“It’s more than just allowing an artist to credit themselves on a song, it’s about identifying talent and hiring women in these roles. 

“That’s the only way that we will see change occur.”

See the full report here.

Gender pay gap prevails in the Australian arts

An update of the Macquarie University / Australia Council’s 2020 Culture and the Gender Pay Gap report found that women creatives with a first language other than English appear to experience a triple income penalty – from being artists, being from non-English speaking backgrounds, and being female.

Men and women whose first language is not English earn the same, yet women spend an average of 32 hours a week on their music or art, compared to 21 hours by males.

As artists, Australian women living in metropolitan, regional and rural areas continue to earn less than their male counterparts.

Read the full report here.

ARIA slams TikTok over so called ‘test’

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) responded curtly to a ‘test carried out by TikTok, of limiting and removing access to music for select Aussie creators and users over coming weeks.

ARIA chief Annabelle Herd said:

“It is frustrating to see TikTok deliberately disrupt Australians’ user and creator experience in an attempt to downplay the significance of music on its platform. 

“After exploiting artists’ content and relationships with fans to build the platform, TikTok now seeks to rationalise cutting artists’ compensation by staging a ‘test’ of music’s role in content discovery.”

She cited a comment last year by TikTok’s chief operating officer Vanessa Pappas that 80 per cent of content consumed on TikTok is programmed by algorithms.

“If this is the case, then it’s difficult to trust that this is a true test. TikTok can set its Australian algorithm upfront to – within parameters they define – deliver the results they want.

“Australians deserve better. TikTok should end this ‘test’ immediately and restore music access to all users and creators.”

Want some moolah for your recording?

Applications for recording grants from the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts are open until 3.00pm AEST Tuesday April 12.

Five recipients will be granted $15,000 towards new recordings. Apply here.

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker expands management team

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker has expanded his management team, with long timer Jodie Regan of Perth-based Spinning Top being joined by Brandon Brandon Creed, whose Full Stop Management looks after Mark Ronson and Charli XCX. 

Aside from Impala’s huge success in the US, Parker is highly in demand as a producer, most recently having worked with Lil Nas X and Dua Lipa.

Lawsuit of the Month

A 26-year old Canadian woman jailed for four years for causing an accident when driving home from a Marilyn Manson concert is suing the drinks company, and the venue, which served her.

Daniella Leis crashed into a house and broke a gas line, triggering an explosion which injured seven people and destroyed four houses, caused US $15 million of damage.

She and her father, who owns the car, are both being hit with lawsuits by victims.

The two claim that the bartenders shouldn’t have kept serving her drinks, and that the venue which threw her out for being drunk without finding out if she was going to drive, should help pay their damages.

Support Act partners with THIS WAY UP

Support Act has partnered with e-health learning platform THIS WAY UP to offer free digital mental health programs to music workers.

THIS WAY UP is run by clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and researchers at the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), a joint facility of St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of New South Wales. 

The organisation’s 18 programs will be tailored for sufferers of a range of conditions, from stress and anxiety to OCD and insomnia.

THIS WAY UP offers self-guided, step-by-step strategies and teaches psychological skills to transform thoughts, feelings and behaviours to make positive life changes.

Aussie quotas for Spotify, Apple Music still some time away

The Federal government’s new cultural policy, Revive, announced January 31, ticked off a lot of boxes for the music industry.

But it didn’t say much about Australian quotas for music streaming services, which the industry has long had qualms with services about.

Arts minister Tony Burke told the National Press Club it was very much on his mind.

He explained it was important to secure Aussie tracks spots on playlists, so that the algorithms would kick in when automatically recommending them to global users.

“That would make a huge difference for Australian artists,” Burke said in his speech.

But in terms of a roadmap for quotas, Burke claimed he would “need the expertise and the advice of Music Australia… to be able to take that next step.”

Music Australia is the new arts body created as part of Revive “to support the Australian music industry to grow, including through strategic initiatives and industry partnerships, research, skills development and export promotion.”

The Australian Songwriters Conference is for sale

Lisa Butler, founder of the Australian Songwriters Conference, seeks a new owner.

She revealed in a newsletter that she’s been suffering from ill-health for some years, having undergone surgery for lung cancer in mid-January.

“It is even more important that I find a new owner for the business; someone with the energy and business skills to build ASC into the future. 

“I’ve built a firm foundation, and ASC has so much potential for growth. I’m just not the person to take it there. I need to focus on my health.”

More Aussie acts announced for SXSW, The Great Escape

More Aussie acts have been invited to showcase at SXSW Austin and The Great Escape UK in the hope they might be discovered by global industry professionals.

In the third round of SXSW invitations, 13 Aussies made the cut, including Rainbow Chan, Ashli, Brekky, Dean Forever and Holiday Sidewinder from Sydney; Hope D and Beks from Brisbane; Nat Vader, Dippers and River Boy from Melbourne; Teenage Joans and Pines from Adelaide; and Shoes Ahmad from Canberra.

The UK’s Great Escape invites went to King Stingray, Mia Wray, Big Wett, Eliza Hull, Germein, Girl and Girl, Jacotene, Phoebe Go, Tasman Keith, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, Ula and Vacations.

Read more about SXSW’s full 2023 lineup here.