Australia needs an army of superheroes if it’s going to get through the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, a few billion-backed tech companies are heading to the frontlines and helping where it’s needed most.
It’s no secret the music industry is in need right now. Bluesfest has been wiped from the 2020 live music calendar; Live Performance Australia hasn’t scored the $650 million coronavirus support package presented to government; and artists have lost over $330M in live revenue since the Govt-issued lockdown was put into place.
While we can’t exactly hold our breath for targeted measures from the government, there is one big shiny green light in this tunnel: Spotify.
The streaming giant is working with a growing list of organisations offering financial relief to creators around the world to find ways to support our community. For Australia, this means Spotify is matching any donations made to local music industry charity Support Act.
Support Act offers crisis relief and mental health services for artists in need. A Victoria University study found that musicians are five times more likely to suffer from depression and 10 times more likely to show symptoms of anxiety. Meanwhile, 40% of musicians are earning below minimum wage, and road crew have an increased risk of work related injury. Right now, many musicians have been left with 0 income.
To help, Spotify has launched its COVID-19 Music Relief Program, matching dollar-for-dollar public donations to select organisations worldwide, including Support Act, the US’ MusiCares and Germany’s Initiative Musik.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been identifying ways that Spotify can help make an impact around the world,” a representative for Spotify said.
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“Spotify has always been focused on creating connections between artists and their fans, using music and podcasts to help break down barriers and build stronger communities. That community of support has never been more important.”
The Relief Program arrives at a fortunate time. #AusMusicTshirtDay was brought forward this year to help Support Act raise funds. It resulted in almost $450,000 raised for crisis relief.
To double your donation to help musicians amid the coronavirus pandemic, make a donation at SupportAct.org.au.