Digital radio exempt from Aussie Music quotas

The ACMA has agreed to register a temporary exemption from the Australian music obligations for new digital-only radio services. The change affects Code 4 of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice and was proposed by CRA as a way to facilitate experimentation on digital radio formats in these early years of the new medium without having to comply with the current Australian music quotas.

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman says: “In these early days of digital radio, licensees should be afforded the opportunity to experiment with programming formats, including the programming of niche services such as ‘event channels’ like Pink Radio and Radio GaGa.”

The temporary change to the rules is consistent with the regulatory approach taken for digital television services and will be reviewed in three years time when the rest of the codes will also be due for review.

Code 4 sets quotas for the broadcast of Australian music by commercial radio licensees, and is the last code to be registered following an extensive review of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice 2004.

In February 2010, the ACMA registered Commercial Radio Codes 1-3 and 5-8, which cover material that should not be broadcast, news and current affairs, privacy protections, advertising, and a responsive complaints procedure.

Commercial Radio Australia is also developing new codes relating to the protection of participants in commercial radio in response to the findings of the ACMA’s investigation into live hosted programs.

To view the updated commercial radio codes of practice, click the link below.