New Criteria Revealed For 2023 ARIA Awards Eligibility

21 June 2023 | 10:58 am | Mary Varvaris

"This is an important step and something we can’t wait to celebrate with the nominees later in the year.”

ARIA Award

ARIA Award (Source: Supplied)

The 2023 ARIA Awards have revealed new and improved eligibility criteria artists, managers, and voters should look into before the award ceremony occurs later this year.

The changes could help avoid what happened last year when Tasman Keith wasn’t nominated in the Best Hip-Hop or Album Of The Year categories. While ARIA does count streams towards its nominations, no physical formats for Keith’s A Colour Undone likely lost him the nomination. Upon hearing that he wasn’t up for an award, Keith called the ARIA Awards an “outdated award platform”.

He continued, "ARIA needs to evolve. The system isn’t set up for the small town mission kid, it’s set up for the big label white man. And as a First Nations person I shouldn’t need to change the system to simply be acknowledge by it, that’s been the problem with Australia."

Numerous changes have been made, but here are the key tweaks to the criteria ARIA pulled out of a new 26-page report detailing the updates:

The new changes aim to better serve Australian artists. Take the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist category, which previously allowed Australian artists in the Top 40 chart. That award now allows entries from the Top 50 Australian artists. The Best Pop Release category has introduced additional optional chart criteria for Australian Artist Top 50 Singles or Albums, which, as ARIA notes, previously only the central Top 100 singles or albums qualified.

More changes arrive throughout, such as the Best Dance/Electronic Release category introducing an additional charting option in the Australian Artist Top 20 Dance Singles Chart or Top 10 Australian Artist Albums Dance Chart (previously main Dance genre charts or Club Chart only). The Best Soul/RnB Release category has removed Chart appearance criteria altogether – instead, entries must only have been surveyed for the Hip Hop/RnB Charts.

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Over on the Best Rock Album category, Australian musicians are again better represented, with the previous allowance of the Main Top 100 Album Chart amended to include the Australian Artist Top 50 Albums Chart. The same goes for the Best Adult Contemporary Album and Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album.

The Mix Engineer – Best Mixed Album category has changed its name to Best Engineered Release. This change will allow for the inclusion of high-impact singles. The update will cover releases on the Australian Artist Top 50 Albums Chart, ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart and ARIA Top 50 Australian Artist Singles Chart (previously Main Top 100 Album Chart only). The Producer – Best Produced Album category has also changed to Best Produced Release for the same reasons.

In addition to the award category updates, ARIA has simplified the declaration required for the Best Independent Release category, requiring a statutory declaration to apply on an ‘’as needed’’ basis only.

Entries for the Awards open on 21 July, with voting for the awards commencing on 30 August. Nominees will be revealed in late September.

“ARIA exists to promote and showcase Aussie music and help more Australian artists reach more fans, both here and around the world,” ARIA and PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd, said in a statement.

Herd added, “Every year, we review the criteria for the Awards in consultation with members, and this year we have stepped up that process to create further channels for open communication, conducting deeper consultation with leaders and artists, particularly in emerging and evolving genres.

“We will continue to work closely with the community and do our best to deliver an ARIA Awards that local musicians can rally behind and are proud of. 

“Broadly speaking, the changes see our criteria expanded for a number of categories to allow more Australian artists to submit for nominations and help shine a greater light on local artists, particularly those in emerging genres like RnB, which certainly deserves more than the four eligible artists who submitted last year.

“While there is absolutely more work to be done in ensuring greater reach and recognition for our brilliant local artists – and we will continue to converse, consult and evolve – this is an important step and something we can’t wait to celebrate with the nominees later in the year.”