Radio industry welcomes recommendation made by Senate inquiry – but more needs to be done

Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) has welcomed a recommendation that priority is given to the implementation of radio prominence on devices such as smart speakers that were made by the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee from the inquiry into the Communications Legislation Amendment (Prominence and Anti-siphoning) Bill 2023, but say more needs to be done, and quickly, to ensure that connected cars are also included in any future consultation.

CRA Chairman and ARN Chief Executive, Ciaran Davis said:

“We are pleased that the Committee has recognised that radio prominence on devices such as smart speakers needs to be a priority, but we need reassurance that connected cars will be included in any consultation.

The opportunity to include radio prominence in the Bill has been missed, and any delay to reform puts further pressure on a crucial part of our media landscape.

Now is the time to secure free, reliable, and accessible radio for all Australians – therefore this consultation must be completed before the end of the year.”

CRA chief executive Ford Ennals said this recommendation must be the beginning of much-needed reform:

“We know 80% of Australians listen to radio in the car and 30% of households use smart speakers – and if they can’t access local radio then they miss out on local news, entertainment, and potentially life-saving information in emergency situations.

Easy, free and reliable access to radio is essential for all Australians, whether they are listening in a connected car or on a smart speaker.

As more Australians incorporate smart devices into their everyday lives, it is crucial that global tech giants aren’t allowed to gatekeep our audio choices.”

Pictured, at the CRA 100 Years of Radio celebratory event held in Canberra: L-R-CRA CEO Ford Ennals, Russel Howcroft 3AW, Kristen Davidson Mix 106.3, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland and CRA Chair Ciaran Davis

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