ARIA’s Flawed Chart Formula Negatively Impacts Australian Acts On End of Year Chart Yet Again -
Daniel Johns FutureNever

ARIA’s Flawed Chart Formula Negatively Impacts Australian Acts On End of Year Chart Yet Again

by Paul Cashmere on January 18, 2023

in News,Noise Pro

ARIA’s current chart formula has continued to disadvantage Australian artists with the end of year Singles and Album charts once again showing poor impact for Australian artist.

There were no Australian albums in the ARIA end of year Top 20 chart for 2022. Not one. The highest ranking Australian artist was the American based The Kid Laroi with the America made ‘Fuck Love’ mixtape at 22, released in 2020.

While ARIA considers the Kid Laroi’s ‘Fuck Love’ an Australian release, the only Australian thing about it is the Place of Birth on his passport.

Next at 40 is an album of mostly 30 year or more old songs from INXS with ‘The Very Best’ (released 2011), hardly a selling point for ARIA about the development of new Australian music.

The first authentic Australian album is ‘FutureNever’ by Daniel Johns (yah, 2022), an Australian made album by an Australian in Australia by a locally based company BMG Music Australia. Daniel Johns album comes in at no 42.

Elsewhere we find:

Spacey Jane ‘Here Comes Everybody’ (45) (2022 release)
Cold Chisel ‘The Best of Cold Chisel: All For You’ (53) (2011 release)
Spacey Jane ‘Sunlight’ (67) (2020 release)
Gang of Youths ‘Angel In Realtime’ (70) (2022 release)
Tame Impala ‘Currents’ (74) (released in 2015)
Midnight Oil ‘Resist’ (88) (2022 released)
Dean Lewis ‘A Place We Knew’ (93). This is his 2019 album, not his 2022 release ‘The Hardest Love’.
Rüfüs Du Sol ‘Surrender’ (100) (2021 release)

That is THREE albums from 2022 in the entire Top 100 classed as Australian.

On the singles chart, the only one classed as Australian in the Top 20 is once again the American made Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber hit ‘Stay’ (2021) at no 3.

American based Japanese act Joji is next at 26 with ‘Glimpse of Us’ (2022). Is he an Australian act because he has one Australian parent?

At least there is no question about Luude and the dance version of ‘Down Under’ (2021) with Colin Hay. Two Australians and there is no question of the origins of the song. Finally at tick for ARIA at no 28.

The Kid Laroi is back at 31 with ‘Thousand Miles’ (2022)(see above).

And that’s all folks for the “Australian” content of the ARIA Top 40 songs of 2022.

Elsewhere we find:

Vance Joy – ‘Missing Piece’ (57) (released 2021)
Tones and I ‘Dance Monkey’ (60) (released 2019)
The Kid Laroi and that ocker chick Miley Cyrus (well she was engaged to an Aussie once) with ‘Without You’ (62) (released 2020)
Shouse (great name by the way) ‘Love Tonight’ (67) (released 2017)
Dean Lewis – “Be Alright’ (77) (released 2018)
Rüfüs Du Sol – ‘On My Knees’ (92) (released 2021)
Flume ‘Say Nothing’ (97) (released 2022)

That is THREE singles in the entire Top 100 released in 2022 considered Australian.

So what is the problem? Its definitely not radio. Radio is lumbered with some antiquated local quota which is pretty near damn impossible to fill when the actual music industry is at the core of disadvantaging Australian artists.

ARIA is the problem and ARIA needs to change.

There was plenty of great Australian releases in 2022. Albums by Hoodoo Gurus, Julia Jacklin, Meg Mac, Thelma Plum, Ball Park Music, Camp Cope, Body Type, Kav Temperley, Flume, The Church, Phil Jamieson, The Butterfly Effect, Adalita, Mallrat, Russell Morris and Black Sorrows were nowhere to be seen.

The reason is because the ARIA chart is a dogs breakfast of data combining completely different consumer actions into one list. Streaming music is counted in real time with 150 streams per song and 1500 steams per album allocated to the sales. For one consumer to listen to one song 150 times could take a year or longer. That creates a long tale effect on the chart which is why so many old songs are still in the current chart. Tones and I ‘Dance Monkey’ came out in 2019, ‘Be Alright’ by Dean Lewis came out in 2018 (and beat every new song he had in 2022 despite an album of new music).

There is a bigger problem – Playlists. The most popular playlists are curated outside Australia and rarely include Australian content. Once a person selects a non-Australian playlist, every single song they stream in that playlist will count as one of the 150 plays needed to make up a sale. If you select a playlist and walk outside the room, those songs will continue to gather ARIA points even if no-one hears them. “What’s that old “if a tree falls in the forest” line again”?

Streaming is also top heavy in the lower demographic which skews the chart towards youth. Younger songs get a long tail impact. Older acts whose fans prefer the physical get a one-time impact.

That’s because a physical sale only counts in the sale week. There is no way of measuring how many times someone will play an album over a year so the 150/1500 steams to one sale comparison is rubbery at best.

Also a physical sale is only counted if it goes through an accredited ARIA chart store. Artists like Black Sorrows who manufacture their own vinyl and sell it at their gigs are generally not included in the chart despite being able to sell hundreds of copies every week.

So every stream is included in the chart regardless of origin and regardless of if anyone is even listening while not every physical sale is counted. Who is selling music at their gigs again? Oh … mainly Australian acts.

Streaming and Physical data should not be combined, yet it is, and it disadvantages Australia artists. The ARIA chart has become useless as a measurement of success. Its now purely a marketing tool for major labels.

ARIA is constantly banging on about radio’s lack of support for Australian music. Radio isn’t the problem, ARIA is … and it needs to change.

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