Australian telephone on hold music campaign

Consumers can influence how much Australian music creators get paid for on hold music. By listening to more homegrown music and pushing for more Aussie content on radio, music on hold fees would be shared to more Australian music creators. Every cent counts.

One of the bodies behind OneMusic Australia, APRA AMCOS, is delighted to see a greater awareness among Australian consumers that their consumption of music matters. APRA AMCOS made comment to SBS News recently on this campaign.

Research shows the right telephone on hold music can make consumers not only more patient but creates a better feeling about the company.

The link between what we hear on hold and a music creator’s royalty income is complex.

The reality is some of the music we hear when we are on hold could have been written by Australian composers under a direct deal with that company, so although it may not be to your taste, that music use is still helping Australian songwriters.

For other music on hold in the marketplace, APRA AMCOS pays (distributes) royalties by a method that ‘estimates’ very accurately what would likely have been playing based on music data they receive regularly from radio and digital music (streaming) services.

Aussie songwriters at a Melb songwriting camp

How consumers can make a difference

So apart from encouraging companies to commission a composer to create their on-hold music, consumers can change their listening habits in the digital world by playing more homegrown music and push for more Aussie content on radio to flow through to music on hold fees being shared to more Australian music creators.

Around 0.3 per cent of royalties collected each year are collected from telephone on hold fees but for APRA AMCOS' 108,000 members every cent counts.

Our Soundtrack Our Stories

This is why APRA AMCOS is one of the lead organisations supporting the Our Soundtrack Our Stories campaign which launched on 5 August:

This campaign is a call-to-arms for Australian media and business to get behind homegrown music as it struggles under the pressure of a new wave of lockdowns, all but eliminating prospects for live touring for the foreseeable future. This means we encourage the use of more local music across all mediums and channels, whether they be television, radio, streaming services, advertising, in shops, supermarkets, bars, cafes and restaurants.

AT&T Study. Customers left on hold for 30 seconds without any music thought the wait was 90 seconds long, while customers who listened to music for the same duration thought the wait was only 15 seconds long