Commercial Radio to collaborate with music industry to ensure Australian quotas are met

At the music industry’s BIGSOUND Conference last year concerns were raised about some stations not meeting their Australian music quota obligations.

Under the Commercial Radio Code of Practice, stations must play up to 25% Australian music content between 6am and midnight seven days a week. See the Code as it applies to Australian music quotas, below.

APRA AMCOS and ARIA took the matter up with CRA in December 2017. More recently APRA AMCOS, ARIA and CRA met and agreed to work collaboratively to determine whether non-compliance is a real problem and, if so, the extent of the problem and how it could best be addressed.

CRA expects that the majority of stations will be found to meet their quotas and, in some cases, exceed them. But any stations that are found to be non-compliant will be contacted and asked to address the issue. 

In a statement, CRA points out, “This process is a voluntary joint process and does not form part of Code compliance requirements.”

“In general,” says CRA, “in relation to any part of the Code (including the obligations relating to Australian music), if a listener has a complaint in relation to compliance the process is that they write directly to the station concerned. The station must then reply in writing within 30 business days. If the listener is not satisfied with the response, they may then escalate the complaint to the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA), the regulator responsible for oversight of media and communications codes of practice. The Code can be found at

“APRA AMCOS, ARIA and CRA are pleased to be working collaboratively and constructively on this issue.”

5. Australian Music

  1. 5.1.  A Licensee must ensure that during the Australian Performance Period, either:

    5.1.1. the applicable proportion of the total time occupied by the broadcasting of Music by the radio service consists of Music performed by Australians; or

    5.1.2. in the case of a Licensee which broadcasts Musical Items of a reasonably similar duration, the applicable proportion of the total number of Musical Items broadcast by the radio service consists of Musical Items performed by Australians.

5.2.  For the purposes of 5.1, the applicable proportion of total time or total number of Musical Items (as the case may be) in respect of a radio service, must be determined based upon the predominant format of the service in accordance with the following scale: 

5.3. In the case of a radio service whose format is within categories A, B or C of 5.2, the broadcast of New Australian Performances as a proportion of total Australian Performances prescribed by this provision, shall be in accordance with the following table, when calculated across all Australian Performance Periods occurring in any financial year, subject to 5.5. 


  1. 5.4.  The commitment on the part of a Licensee to play a minimum level of New Australian Performances in accordance with 5.3, is subject to the release of such Performances by the Australian record industry in numbers that are substantially the same as those released in the financial year ending June 1998. If, in any financial year, there is a substantial decrease in the release of New Australian Performances, CRA may revise the proportions of New Australian Performances as a proportion of total Australian Performances, contained at 5.3, provided that any change that may eventuate will not affect the Licensee’s obligations under 5.1.

  2. 5.5.  The provision at 5.3 does not apply to a Licensee that does not include New Releases in its weekly play lists, having regard to its format.

  3. 5.6.  For the purposes of 5.3, the category into which a radio service falls must be nominated by the Licensee.

  4. 5.7.  For the purposes of 5.2 and 5.3, where more than one performer is involved in a musical performance, the Musical Items concerned shall be regarded as being performed by an Australian if the performance is predominantly by one or more Australians.

  5. 5.8.  A Licensee must notify CRA by written notice of any material change to the format of a radio service operated by it, having regard to the tables in 5.2, no later than 7 days after the change is made.

  6. 5.9.  CRA will provide regular yearly reports to ARIA on the performance by Licensees in relation to this section 5.

  7. 5.10.  This section 5 does not apply to Digital-Only services. This exemption will be reviewed in conjunction with the next material review of this Code. 



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