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News August 1, 2018

APRA AMCOS at Senate content inquiry: “Quotas are not only achievable but internationally reasonable”

APRA AMCOS at Senate content inquiry: “Quotas are not only achievable but internationally reasonable”

The Australian content quota of 25% for commercial radio is, “not only achievable but internationally reasonable.”

That was the thrust of APRA AMCOS’ testimony at this morning’s Senate inquiry into quotas for radio and streaming, held in Sydney.

APRA AMCOS was the first association to make its statement and answer questions, represented by CEO Dean Ormston and its head of legal, corporate & policy Jonathan Carter.

They looked at the huge international success of Canadian artists as Drake, Justin Bieber and Celine Dion who have benefitted from a 35% Canadian music quota.

“APRA AMCOS’ concern is that under the current code radio broadcasters are able to self-categorise the quota for different formats.”

For instance, classic rock format only has a 20% quota, gold is 15% and easy listening 10%.

These are, Ormston said, “out-dated and arbitrary in nature” and that all commercial formats should have to work with the 25% quota across the board.

He added, “Part of the problem is that there is not really a framework that provides any independent thought or assessment (for such decisions).

“So that would certainly be useful.”

As for the streaming space, Ormston pointed out, “We need to take a more creative approach.

“It is not a linear medium like radio.

“Music streaming services have local curating teams which have already demonstrated have very strong support for Australian artists.”

APRA AMCOS is already in conversation with streaming services about benchmarking in playlists to ensure there’ll always be an opportunity for Australian music to be heard and discovered by local audiences.

Current discussions are what “local” means.

The radio code defines Australian as a citizen or spends a certain amount of time based in this country.

However, Ormston said APRA AMCOS’ conversations with streaming services is that the definition in playlisting an Australian track should not just be for recording artists but include songwriters as well.

He suggested that streaming services playing more Australian music, “makes good business sense. Our stats show that Australian music is twice as streamed as foreign ones. “

Other associations giving testimony today:

Australian Children’s Television Foundation

Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA)

Screen Producers Australia (Submission 34)

Free TV Australia

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)


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