Further music regulations unnecessary: Joan Warner responds to ARIA

The recently appointed head of the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), Annabelle Herd, this week called on the radio industry to play more Australian music.

Herd, who previously worked in television at Channel 10, told The Australian that the current quotas for radio “are insufficient to encourage radio to play Australian music.”

Commercial Radio’s Joan Warner takes issue with Herd’s comments and says commercial radio provides “significant airplay for established and emerging Australian artists” and that comparisons with tv are not valid.

The Australian’s article said, “at present Australian radio stations are only required to play roughly 20 per cent Australian content.” While the statement is not wrong, it lacks understanding that there is a sliding scale for Australian content on commercial radio (5-25%, see below), and did not distinguish between commercial and community radio (which plays 25%).

Herd is championing more Australian music in gaming and apps such as TikTok and told The Australian: “They’re changing the television rules, but music hasn’t really been brought into that conversation… We need radio to really back those younger emerging artists, more than just the existing legacy artists.”

Joan Warner has told radioinfo:

“Radio is a strong contributor to Australian music and CRA has worked closely with ARIA and APRA AMCOS to develop a definition of Australian music and put in place monitoring to ensure stations are meeting and in some cases exceeding their quotas.

“Stations provide significant airplay for established and emerging Australian artists. For example, under the rules, stations playing 20% Australian music must ensure that not less than 20% of that music is new Australian music – that is music published within 12 months prior to broadcast.

“The 55% local content requirement for TV can’t be compared to radio as it covers all programming, while the quotas for radio refer only to music content.

“In addition to airplay, stations provide a substantial amount of support for the music industry through interviews, competitions, events and promotion of concerts and other live gigs. This all provides an avenue for artists to promote their product and reach the 80% of Australians who listen to commercial radio each week.

“Radio is all about featuring local voices and supporting local communities. We are already one of the most heavily regulated industries in Australia, particularly in comparison to global competitors, and any further regulations would be unnecessary, burdensome and restrictive.”

Main Pic: ARIA Award Australian Musicians collage




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