Streaming with a social conscience

A streaming service that hopes to give local talent the support it desperately needs may be on its way, thanks to crowdfunding and community support.

The Pack is a start-up initiative aiming to build a sustainable, localised music streaming platform to become what the founders describe as “a localised Spotify, with a social conscience”.

The idea emerged from the minds of Melanie Bainbridge and Harry Deluxe, who over their long music careers grew increasingly tired of the adversities they experienced as independent female artists.

Co-founder of The Pack Melanie Bainbridge said in her many years in the industry, she’s watched the slow demise of local, original music and the avenues for it.

With the average income of an unsigned Australian musician at around $7500 a year, Ms Bainbridge described musicians as some of the best qualified but lowest paid workers in Australia.

“I think it’s an industry killer, and my fear is that local original musicians won’t be able to afford to record music anymore because they can’t make any money out of it.

“The bottom line is we can’t keep sinking our own money into our own art when we don’t even have the money to sink,” she said

Ms Bainbridge said although small artists feel they must turn to streaming to be visible, the issues around those kinds of services ultimately lead to The Pack’s creation.

“With less and less solutions to artists getting heard and less and less solutions for making money out of recorded product, The Pack was our kind of elegant solution for turning that process on its head and localising what Spotify has effectively globalised,” Ms Bainbridge said.
Co-creator of online music media outlet Around the Sound Andrew Thompson said the initiative will be a supportive tool for the immense talent that exists in WA.

“We’re sitting on a mountain of awesome music in this city and it’s just about how we expose that across the world and create an appetite for it across the world. I’d like to be a part of helping to make that happen by collaborating with The Pack,” he said.

Media and Communications Officer from Western Australian Music Aarom Wilson said The Pack has WAM’S full support.

“The Australian independent music scene is crying out for a service like The Pack,”

“The experience of actually hearing something you’ve never heard of before and being amazed by it is so much more exciting than listening to something you already expect to be good,”

“Trying to translate that excitement to the masses is the thing that’s going to be key to making The Pack work, and I definitely think it’s possible,” Mr Wilson said.

A major aim of The Pack will be to reach out to businesses to use the service and play local music in their establishments.

“It’s really important that our local businesses reciprocate the community support they get by supporting our local music industry,” Melanie Bainbridge said.

Andrew Thompson said although the ‘buy local music’ ethos is important, it is equally important to aim higher and showcase that talent internationally.

“In many ways, the WA music industry is one of the worlds best-kept secrets, and what we should be doing is supporting and promoting world-class acts who just happen to come from Perth,” he said.

For more information about The Pack, visit http://www.thepackaustralia.com.au/

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