Dan Bradley has reignited the ongoing debate over the Australian radio Australian content quota.
In his column at radiotoday.com.au, Dan puts forward balanced arguments from various sides of the industry about how much Australian music should be played on Australian radio.
At the top end of the scale, contemporary stations like Triple M and Nova are required to play 25% Australian content. The radio industry thinks that that is too high. The music industry thinks it is too low.
Promoter Michael Chugg has a very blunt opinion of Australian commercial radio’s support of Australian music.
“For years radio has been pumping out Australian music late at night and it’s fucked, the Australian music industry is stronger than it’s been for years and it’s not fucking well because of radio,” he is quoted as saying at radiotoday.com.au.
Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, has the opposite view. “Our position always has been that in an ideal world there would be no quotas or any other kind of programming intervention by Government,” she says.
My opinion is that if the music is good enough it should be played and the audience will decide via the ratings if they want more or less Australian music.
We saw the audience vote with their ears in the last survey when Triple J won the coveted 25-39 year demographic in three Australian markets including Sydney.
Right now, we have a flood of great new Australian music from
Matt Corby, The Jezabels, Boy & Bear, 360 and Busby Marou and the audience is flocking to Triple J to hear them.
Bradley points out that the radio industry and the music industry are two completely different types of businesses. “To be blunt, supporting Australian music is not the first, or most important, responsibility of commercial radio: rather it is to deliver ratings and revenue,” he writes. And he is right. If the Australian music industry thinks commercial radio is there to support them, they are sadly deluded.
The upside of that argument is that the target audience for the very music fans they want to attract has deserted commercial radio anyway, as was evident in the last survey results and the impact of Triple J.
The truth of the matter is that this debate will be never-ending. There will never be a solution that works for the radio industry and the music industry. It continues to spark a passionate debate. One thing is for sure, the commercial radio industry is not the music industry.
Drop your opinion in the comments box below and read more on the debate at RadioToday.com.au