Revealed: 16 recommendations by parliamentary committee & what they mean for the music industry
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has made 16 recommendations to the Australian government to ensure the future growth and sustainability of the Australian music sector.
The 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.
‘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.”
The 16 Recommendations
(1) Remove the 1% cap on license fees for the radio broadcast of sound recordings.
(2) The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission incorporate an assessment of the finalised OneMusic Australia licensing scheme when considering the re-authorisation of APRA.
(3) Invest in the Australia Council for the Arts’ domestic touring grant programs and work with state, territory, and local governments as well as industry to develop a contemporary music regional touring circuit.
(4) Invest in the Live Music Office.
(5) The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) amend the Commercial Radio Industry Code of Conduct to require all commercial broadcasters meet an Australian content quota of 25%, play 25% of new (less than 12 months) music, but have a provision in case a station proves there’s not enough Aussie music in a certain format.
(6) ACMA change the Australian Performance Period to between 6.00am and 6.00pm.
(7) ACMA re-establish and strengthen the Australian Music Performance Committee’s oversight of the industry.
(8) Invest in Sounds Australia to enable it to expand its music exports program.
(9) The government implement a policy to prioritise and promote the use of Australian music and the hiring of Australian artists for government activities, events, and promotions, both in Australia and at Australian-hosted functions and events overseas.
(10) The Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade work with the US to develop mutually beneficial visa arrangements that allow artists from both countries to more easily showcase and tour.
(11) Ensure that music education in primary and secondary schools is a key agenda item for the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments.
(12) Invest in training initiatives such as the Australian Music Industry Network’s RELEASE and CONTROL; and the Australia Council’s’ International Music Makers and Music Managers fund.
(13) Expand the PPCA-Australia Council Partnership and ensure that talented Australian artists have the capacity to create new recordings.
(14) The Australia Council introduce a ‘quick response’ grant to ensure that Australian artists are able to take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities as they arise.
(15) The government expand the Australia Council peer assessed grants program.
(16) The government invest in Support Act to enable it to expand its services and deliver crisis support for artists and others working in the Australian music industry.
The Music Industry Reacts
DAN ROSEN, CEO, ARIA
“We are pleased that the Committee has successfully identified key areas for reform to continue the growth and development of our local music industry.
“The Committee spent significant time gaining a greater understanding of the industry and its current and emerging challenges, and accordingly has developed a suite of practical actions that the government can initiate to amplify the success of our local artists and broader industry.
“The Committee correctly identified the unique role broadcasters should play in supporting and sustaining our vibrant local music industry so we can ensure these unique Australian voices are heard around our country and around the world.”
“Of particular importance to the recording industry is the Committee’s clear recognition of the inequity of the anomalous radio broadcast licence fee caps, which for over 50 years have artificially suppressed the earnings of Australian recording artists and record labels.
“We look forward to the removal of these legislative caps, so that the relevant parties can negotiate licence fees that are commensurate with the value that recordings bring to these radio broadcasters
“We congratulate the Committee on their thorough and effective review, identifying a number of practical means by which the industry can further grow and contribute towards Australia’s cultural and economic.”
DEAN ORMSTON, CEO, APRA AMCOS:
“APRA AMCOS welcomes the findings of the House of Representatives Committee report into music.
“The report comes at a time when both major parties have released policy and funding commitments in support of the Australia music industry.
The Committee’s sixteen recommendations rightly highlight areas that need significant investment from Government in partnership with industry.
“We acknowledge the advocacy of our music industry colleagues who represent the breadth of the music ecosystem in championing all areas of the industry.
“In particular, APRA AMCOS welcomes the Committee’s recommendations regarding Australian music exports and the importance of Sounds Australia, and the work of the Live Music Office.
“We also welcome the recommendations around the importance of Australian music content on radio and music streaming services.”
MILLIE MILLGATE, EP, SOUNDS AUSTRALIA:
“The future potential of Australian music export is phenomenal and we are beyond encouraged by the recommendations handed down today, following the government’s inquiry into the factors contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian music industry.
“We have the greatest privilege of working with Australian artists and industry as they pursue export success every day and to see four of the sixteen (8, 9, 10 and 12) recommendations by the Committee geared towards supporting their export efforts financially, culturally and practically is extremely exciting.
“The Committee has certainly grasped the nuance of our industry and its findings demonstrate that our collective voices from all sectors have been heard and thoroughly considered.
“The timing feels really good for the report to be released and we look forward to working with all sides of government towards the ambitious goal of Australian music gaining a five per cent market share of the global music market by 2030”.
EMILY COLLINS, CHAIR, AUSTRALIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY NETWORK:
“AMIN is delighted to see the Inquiry Report recommend the funding of AMIN’s highly successful CONTROL & RELEASE programs.
“The two programs focus on business development for managers and independent labels and are crucial for ensuring a sustainable contemporary music industry.
“It’s vital our industry has access to professional development opportunities and funding these programs is an excellent place to start.”
JOAN WARNER, CEO, COMMERCIAL RADIO AUSTRALIA
“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,” said Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner.
“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. “