Australia's Creative Industries Launch Digital Content Guide

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Australia’s creative industries have banded together to launch a consumers’ guide which takes the trouble out of locating legal online entertainment.

The Digital Content Guide, which launched earlier this week, is funded by collecting society APRA AMCOS and labels trade body ARIA, along with Australian Screen Association, Copyright Agency Ltd, Foxtel, News Corp Australia and Village Roadshow.

The "Music" category lists the extensive choice of licensed digital services which have sprouted up since iTunes first arrived here in 2005. The guide breaks out the various business models into the sections “download to buy,” “subscription/streaming,” “ad supported/free” and “music video.” All told, the guide promotes and analyses 27 digital music and video offerings currently available to Australians.

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“Widespread copyright infringement on the Internet is an ongoing problem for the creative industries and we have been told that at times consumers have been confused about what is or isn’t a licensed service,” comments Dan Rosen, CEO of ARIA. The Digital Content Guide, he says, “can help consumers find the content they want from the many licensed sources available in Australia today. These licensed services support the creative industries by ensuring money goes back into those industries and those who invest in them.” 

The issues of digital content and piracy are hot topics Down Under right now. Just days before the launch of this cross-industry guide, the Australian government released its Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper, the results from which will guide the country’s future policies on digital content theft.

The creative industries in Australia, like elsewhere, are desperate to stop their products from being lifted for free. Australia’s recording industry took a big hit last year, with annual recorded music revenue in 2013 down by 11.6% to Australian $351.6 million ($313 million), according to wholesale trade figures published by ARIA. Many in the business blame piracy for the downturn. 

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