Radio responds to recommendations for 25% Aussie music quota

Staff Writer

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has made 16 recommendations to the Australian government to ensure the future growth and sustainability of the Australian music sector.

Significantly for radio, it’s been recommended that 25% all songs played on commercial radio should be Aussie.

Another reccomendation suggests that 25% of all songs played be new (released in the last 12 months).

As reported by TMN, the committee chair Luke Howarth MP said, “Investment in the support and promotion of Australian artists and other industry careers is essential to the retention of talent and, ultimately, the sustainability and growth of the Australian music industry.

‘The music industry has experienced significant disruption as a result of technological advances and the rapid digitisation of the distribution of music.

“However, the industry’s recent return to growth and decrease in the number of consumers downloading music illegally is evidence of the industry’s successful adaption to the digital disruption.”

The 16 Recommendations

(1) Remove the 1% cap on license fees for the radio broadcast of sound recordings.

(2) The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission incorporate an assessment of the finalised OneMusic Australia licensing scheme when considering the re-authorisation of APRA.

(3) Invest in the Australia Council for the Arts’ domestic touring grant programs and work with state, territory, and local governments as well as industry to develop a contemporary music regional touring circuit.

(4) Invest in the Live Music Office.

(5) The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) amend the Commercial Radio Industry Code of Conduct to require all commercial broadcasters meet an Australian content quota of 25%, play 25% of new (less than 12 months) music, but have a provision in case a station proves there’s not enough Aussie music in a certain format.

(6) ACMA change the Australian Performance Period to between 6.00am and 6.00pm.

(7) ACMA re-establish and strengthen the Australian Music Performance Committee’s oversight of the industry.

(8) Invest in Sounds Australia to enable it to expand its music exports program.

(9) The government implement a policy to prioritise and promote the use of Australian music and the hiring of Australian artists for government activities, events, and promotions, both in Australia and at Australian-hosted functions and events overseas.

(10) The Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade work with the US to develop mutually beneficial visa arrangements that allow artists from both countries to more easily showcase and tour.

(11) Ensure that music education in primary and secondary schools is a key agenda item for the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments.

(12) Invest in training initiatives such as the Australian Music Industry Network’s RELEASE and CONTROL; and the Australia Council’s’ International Music Makers and Music Managers fund.

(13) Expand the PPCA-Australia Council Partnership and ensure that talented Australian artists have the capacity to create new recordings.

(14) The Australia Council introduce a ‘quick response’ grant to ensure that Australian artists are able to take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities as they arise.

(15) The government expand the Australia Council peer assessed grants program.

(16) The government invest in Support Act to enable it to expand its services and deliver crisis support for artists and others working in the Australian music industry.

Commercial Radio Australia Responds

“The commercial radio industry has been working closely and collaboratively with the music industry over the last 12 months in relation to Australian music quotas,” said Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner.

“This work will continue. We have only just seen the report and the recommendations to impose more cost and regulation on local commercial radio stations.

“The recommendations relate to complex issues and we do not accept them as a way forward – especially in light of the fact that they invariably will result in more regulation of local radio stations while the internet and music streaming services remain, to all intents and purposes, regulation free. “

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3 Apr 2019 - 11:53 am

“ACMA change the Australian Performance Period to between 6.00am and 6.00pm.”

What??? The stations wouldn’t be able to bury their weekly Aussie music quota at 10pm on a Sunday night…

It's me
3 Apr 2019 - 1:37 pm

And still playing the same track (from the same company….) over and over and over again , each and every hour ! So nothing changes.

3 Apr 2019 - 1:44 pm

The Australian pop music industry is not at all supported by other non-commercial radio entities though. So much of our pop music comes from that chew them up, spit them out type reality TV culture, and on top of that our national broadcaster doesn’t play CHR type stuff, so why would artists be encouraged to make music that is CHR-friendly when their best bet is to get played on a youth/alternative format?

I’m 100% behind helping Australian pop artists, but tightening rules that only hurt a CHR playlist probably isn’t the best first step.

Ronnie Stanton
3 Apr 2019 - 4:37 pm

These recommendations would bring Oz pretty closely in line with the Canadian Content regulations there. I believe in and respect quotas – they have a place – they ensure a degree of nationalism and nurture our artists. But I fear an overly restrictive ruleset will only hurt Australian Radio long term. The new reality sees us competing not just with other local radio stations but with international digital platforms that aren’t shackled by the same limitations.

3 Apr 2019 - 9:08 pm

New music quotas should be interesting for classic hits stations like WS and Gold… that makes little sense. The Aussie content quota though, yes, it’ll be much like Canada’s, and it’s working there.


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