Industry chiefs join forces on car radios and smart speakers: “Don’t leave radio behind”


Radio prominence in cars and on smart speakers is at the core of a joint push by radio industry chiefs, as the Senate Inquiry into the Communications Legislation Amendment Bill prepares to deliver its recommendations.

In a joint media statement, ARN Chief Executive Ciaran Davis, Nine Radio Managing Director Tom Malone, NOVA Entertainment Chief Executive Peter Charlton and SCA Chief Executive John Kelly said:

“As representatives of the Australian commercial radio industry, we are calling on the Senate Inquiry into the Communications Legislation Amendment (Prominence and Anti-siphoning) Bill 2023 to include radio prominence for smart speakers when they deliver their recommendations this week.

We are also urging the Government to begin immediate consultation on radio prominence in cars.

It is essential to both the radio industry and communities that regulations are introduced to ensure free, easy, and reliable access to local radio for all Australians – whether they are listening to smart speakers or in connected cars.

 Smart speakers are becoming more common in Australian homes, and we are concerned this is creating a situation where global tech companies are the gatekeepers of our audio choices, shutting out local radio.                                             

Equally as concerning is that very soon all new cars will come with a connected dashboard, with Google, Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music – but there is no guarantee they will have easy access to local radio.

Radio has always been there at the push of a button, whether it is the latest news, your favourite FM breakfast duo or AM talk presenter, a football call, the traffic report – or information that could save your life in an emergency such as a bushfire or flood.

 It is easy, free, and reliable, whether you are at home or on the road – and it needs to stay that way.

 This is a matter of both community safety and the sustainability of the Australian radio industry.

We are calling on the government to act now to ensure radio is not left behind, so we can continue to provide an essential service to communities across Australia.”

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