Music Inquiry recommendations will bring more costs and inequity: Joan Warner

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has presented its report on the Australian music industry. The committee has made
16 recommendations to ensure the future growth and sustainability of this sector. 

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.”

Commercial Radio Australia, in an initial response to the report, is worried about additional costs to commercial radio and the inequity with internet streaming services, if some of the recommendations are implemented.

Joan Warner has told radioinfo:

“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. 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.”

Releasing the report, Luke Howarth said:

“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.”

Key recommendations include:

  • removing the pricing cap on license fees for the radio broadcast of sound recordings;
  • investing in supporting artists to tour in Australia, both in major cities and regional areas;
  • investing in the Live Music Office, to continue its work advising and supporting state and local governments to develop regulation that encourages and celebrates live music;
  • changing the application and monitoring of Australian music content quotas for commercial radio;
  • investing in Sounds Australia’s music exports program;
  • prioritising and supporting Australian music at government activities and events;
  • developing mutually beneficial visa arrangements with the United States of America to allow artists from both countries to more easily showcase and tour;
  • encouraging states and territories to improve access to music education for public primary and secondary school students;
  • investing in initiatives aimed at training and supporting Australian artists and industry professionals to grow and develop their businesses;
  • investing in grants and industry partnerships that support artists in the creation of new music and new recordings; and
  • investing in Support Act to enable it to expand its services and deliver crisis support for artists and others working in the Australian music industry.

View the full report here.



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