Australia's appreciation for the homegrown is renowned, but judging by year-end sales and airplay data, Australian domestic music lost its appeal in a big way in 2011.
No Australian artist appeared in the top-ten airplay charts, according to broadcast monitoring firm AirCheck, while domestic acts made anything but a dominant display in ARIA's full-year singles and albums charts.
Of particular concern is that Australian recordings appeared only nine times in the top 100 singles chart. It's a limp display that seems to support outspoken promoter Michael Chugg and others who are rallying commercial radio for greater support of Australian acts.
The result would be considerably worse were it not for the commercial success of alternative rock giant Gotye, who stands head-and-shoulders above his compatriots in the ARIA singles and albums sales charts.
The Belgian-born performer comes in at No. 2 on the ARIA 2011 Top 100 Singles Chart with the multi-platinum hit "Somebody That I Used To Know," outpaced only by LMFAO Feat. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock's global smash "Party Rock Anthem".
But there's a lot of daylight between Gotye and his fellow Australians, who collectively account for only four of the top 50 tracks. You have to look all the way down at No. 27 to find the next highest-ranked Australian track, Reece Mastin's "Good Night". The previous year, Australian recordings appeared 14 times in the year-end list.
Gotye enjoyed a sparkling year which reaped three wins at the 2011 ARIA Awards and Triple J's coveted J Award for album of the year. That critically-lauded album, "Making Mirrors," was also a commercial hit, arriving at No. 4 on the ARIA 2011 Top 100 Albums Chart. The top three positions are held by Adele's "21", Michael Buble's "Christmas" and Bruno Mars' "Doo-Wops & Hooligans". There's no sign of another Australian artist until the 15th position, held by pop singer Reece Mastin's self-titled set. All told, Australians accounted for a more respectable 22 of the top 100. In 2010, Australians appeared 30 times in the top 100 albums list.
Neon Trees' "Animal" was the most-played song on Australian radio last year, with 16,568 spins ahead of "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 Ft Christina Aguilera (14,240 plays) and Good Charlotte's "Last Night" (13,659 plays).
Australia's trade association ARIA hasn't indicated when it will publish full-year sales data for 2011, but sources say the market's record business registered growth.
ARIA compiled its year-end charts using sales data accumulated from charts between Jan. 10, 2011 and Jan. 2 2012, inclusively, while AirCheck's data was collated by monitors the spins of songs and commercials on all 48 commercial radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Perth, Central Coast, Newcastle and Geelong, plus Triple J and FBi-FM in Sydney.