Nova’s solidarity play is tone deaf as Aussie musos go hungry [op-ed]

Publisher & Editor

Sometimes the best intentions are in need of redemption.

NOVA Entertainment has joined forces with radio stations around the world to simultaneously play ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ on-air tonight. A nice and novel idea.

It’s supposed to be a “sign of unity” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

A worthy cause, the initiative came from 3FM’s Dutch presenter Sander Hoogendoorn and is supported by BBC Radio 1’s Greg James.

Stations from countries across Europe are participating and NOVA Entertainment says it felt it was important for the network to support the initiative Down Under.

“In this rapidly changing landscape, there has never been a better time for us to band together across the world,” said programming and marketing chief, Paul Jackson.

“When we heard about this wonderful initiative, we wanted to show our solidarity and join our international colleagues to provide some positivity and hope.

“We feel it is a very powerful song and now is the time to unite as a global force. What better way to do that than through the power of music and this empowering song.”

But for radio’s close friends and colleagues in the music industry, the use of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ could be perceived as tone-deaf as it stares in the face of adversity.

The silence from commercial radio and other digital service providers – including Spotify and Apple Music – has been both dissapointing and deafening. Crickets if you will.

Right now, thousands of your favourite Aussie acts are in crisis mode as the local touring circuit – a musicians primary source of survival – literally turned to dust last week.

We reached out to all of the main players to see what they’re doing to support the domestic artists that radio’s business model relies upon to thrive, only receive little to no response.

When approach by Radio Today, Southern Cross Austereo and Australian Radio Network were most generous with a “we’ll get back to you” reply, NOVA Entertainment and Apple Music didn’t respond at all and a Spotify spokesperson directed us to its “global initiatives”.

At 3pm on Friday, the total lost income from cancelled events sits $250 million.

Radio is struggling too, of course. But spare a thought for, or even better, play a song from, your favourite Aussie act who will struggle or fail to make rent next week.

Sometimes the best intentions just ain’t enough. We can always do better.

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Recent comments (4)
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annon
20 Mar 2020 - 4:37 pm

Do you really want commercial radio to “help” aussie artists?

Because I can tell you right now what that looks like. Them playing the same four aussie artist, Guy Sebastian, Amy Shark, Dean Lewis and 5SOS on a higher rotation. There no way they are going to actually support the little artist who don’t normally get air play who are feeling it the most because ‘Jennifer aged 35-45 with a possible young child’ hasn’t heard of them.

Knob jockey
20 Mar 2020 - 9:27 pm

Nova has lost the plot. They used to be the cool radio station but today in Sydney I heard an abba remix. really ??? What happened to sounds different … more like sounds shithouse.
No wonder your 4th almost behind 2day

Ben
21 Mar 2020 - 8:12 am

Radio has its own problems without having to prop up hopeless muso’s.
Get a day job.

Indi
23 Mar 2020 - 1:36 pm

This article is a prime example of looking for a problem where there isn’t necessarily one. It reads as if the writer is colliding two separate things to try and force an argument and tear at the seems of what is supposed to be an uplifting message.
Yes – musicians have absolutely been severely impacted as majority of their income comes from touring, but the sentiment of the stations teaming up to play this song is to remind people they aren’t alone.
Don’t mistake the joining in on one social movement as a slap in the face of another.

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