burned you black

 

Few issues ignite as much passion as the debate over Australian content on commercial radio, and unfortunately the debate is often superficial.

By way of background: the content quotas are calculated from 6am to midnight and the percentages vary based on format, the highest percentage being required of any one format is 25%. It should be noted that digital and internet radio are exempt from any quotas, and this is a key point of contention from CRA.

A significant obstacle to having a reasoned discussion is that on the surface the idea of increasing content seems reasonable. A motherhood statement of ‘radio should play more australian music’ is likely to be agreeable to anyone without a vested interest.

For artists, and those who represent them, they have a tendency to make extreme demands. Take this comment made by a reader on music news site noise11.com:

‘(the quota) should be doubled and at least half of that should be new’ - Judi Kenneally

Populist and completely impractical.

That said: radio isn’t an innocent party. In its submission to the convergence review in October 2011, Commercial Radio Australia argued that quotas are not as effective in supporting Australian music as they could be, if they were applied not only to the commercial sector, but to other delivery platforms and services. A reasonable point.

However in the submission CRA’s CEO Joan Warner (right) went on to say:

‘to this end, CRA supports the removal of the Australian music content quota requirement in respect of commercial broadcasters…’.

This comment became the ‘headline’ and was widely reported.

Promoter Michael Chugg told Radio Today: 

‘It’s a fucking disgrace, there is no relationship between Australian music and radio, particularly at the younger level. It’s just fucked. The fucking last thing they care about is supporting Australian music’

I don’t believe CRA were advocating abolition with the goal of actually achieving that result. Rather, that they were doing so to make clear the strength of their view that quotas should apply across platforms. However, it had an unfortunate outcome as this position dominated the news and the other (quite reasonable) points were not given any ‘clear air’.

Paradoxically it could be argued that there was a strategic benefit in CRA making such an aggressive comment: in marketing terms, they launched a flanking attack on ARIA and changed the focus of the ‘battle’.

Until this point ARIA could take the high ground of ‘protecting Australian artists’ by arguing for an increase in the quota. CRA changed the battleground and forced ARIA into the position of arguing to even retain quotas, let alone increase them. It is highly unlikely that CRA seriously ever expected to gain any traction on the issue of quotas being removed completely.

Speaking with Radio Today CEO Joan Warner said:

’Our position always has been that in an ideal world there would be no quotas or any other kind of programming intervention by Government. However, given we do not operate in nirvana, and the quotas are unlikely to go, to impose quotas only on commercial radio and not on other radio sectors or the plethora of competing music delivery platforms is both unfair and inequitable’

Noise11 CEO Paul Cashmere agrees: "The radio industry should not be held accountable for the music industry downfall as much as the music industry should not be accountable for lower radio ratings. The music industry sells music, the radio industry sells advertising. They are completely different industries. It is no longer 1995. The music industry needs to understand that radio is not their support act".

Nonetheless, if ARIA and the artists are serious about increasing local content on radio, they need to play smart.

They firstly need to decide whether it’s quality or quantity of airplay that offers the most value to them. If it’s quantity, then they can keep pushing for an increase, and they will keep failing. If they are smart they will go for quality. And with that objective, they could launch their own flanking attack on CRA.

Here is what they could do: ARIA could announce that they accept the quotas as they currently stand with no increase: however advocate changing the parameters to 6am-10pm, thus removing the late night loophole.

Michael Chugg (left):

’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’

Chugg's point, whilst colourful, is valid. It is not uncommon for some stations reach their quota by blanketing the 10pm-midnight zone with Australian music. Removing any contribution to the overall quota from these hours ensures that Australian content is aired during the prime listening hours. It achieves ‘quality’ airplay.

This would be smart strategy.

Smart because it effectively flanks CRA and changes the battleground again. It advocates a change that CRA cannot argue against without sounding hypocritical: for if they accept no increase to the quotas, but argue against the removal of 10pm-midnight from calculations, they are conceding that these hours are used to artificially reach Australian content. CRA is already on tenuous ground in the court of public opinion due to the ‘headlines’ advocating the abolition of quotas.

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. The businesses need to be profitable and have every right to be run in the way the licensee, the board and the group executives see fit. Further, there is a disproportionate amount of overseas releases coming through the funnel of record companies into the Australian market, so that can make it difficult to cut through.

However radio does have a responsibility to support Australian music where it suits the format, and where the quality is good enough. Just as long as it isn’t with a couple of plays a week just before midnight.

It would be good to hear your perspective.

 

 

 

Dan Bradley is director and founder of radio and talent consulting firm Kaizen Media

 
Published on Friday, 09 March 2012 06:00



Anonymous(6:34am 09 Mar 2012)
25% - blah blah percent

If there is a content formula with the potential to strangle the heart and soul of any ratings or financial gain of a radio business model, why would any one support it? More precisely, who?

Yes, Australian radio should support local content. However, no, radio should not funnel it into a late night shift.

Perhaps start the process by being thankful, and I mean both sides. Some western countries of international status (U.S excluded) suffer up to 40% content. Others are fortunate to have 0.. it all depends on the format and license restrictions. In saying that, the population of these countries are double, or triple, or even quadruple that of Australia. Even then, this mandate has the potential to cripple radio businesses. It's easy to say that the responsibility falls on to the business strategy of that station(s). But then, why would any one want a license if it obtains an unreachable compliance.

Staple a set % to all new and birthing licences that intend on formatting Contemporary Hit formats 18-39. However, retain a "perhaps" a 20% on all standing music licences including classic rock and modern versions of AC.

To keep the Australian recording artist industry smiling, impose that the set percentage be played 6AM-6PM through a 7 day week. With solid averages each hour give or take special features. As long as the average is there - eg: 19% for Monday, 21% for Tuesday etc..just meet the average. Artists get air play prime time based on strength collection, and the station gets a discount in percentage. It can, and does work.

The only issue with all that, is it's never enough. Take stock, take heart, you must support Australian music. All those opposed must also support the growth and long term gain of a radio industry, who's backside is closer to the wall than it's willing to admit.
DREX(10:49am 09 Mar 2012)
Here in Canada the base percentage is much higher at 35% CANCON regardless of format. The licences in Canada are applied for, and in that application you have to show just cause in how you will support Canadian content, most stations promise monetary compensation to the Canadian Artist Development fund.

But some stations go as far as to promise 40% sometimes even P CANCON to secure the licence which inevitably leads to a lot of unfamiliar artists getting airplay making the stations sound like shit from the get go.

The CRTC & SOCAN generally frown upon you loading late nights with Canadian artists...or as we call it "Beaver Fever" it has to be 35% 6a-6p & 35% 6p to 12a. No CANCON is required between 12a & 6a.

The 35% percent rule is an issue for most MD's & programmers, we all bitch about it, but there is nothing we can do, it's the rules.

Ottawa (the nations capital) has the weirdest rules, there is a "non Hit rule" where the English stations can't just play hits, they are forced to play non hits as well to give the French stations a chance in the ratings.

Rules are funny sometimes...
Anonymous(10:58am 09 Mar 2012)
Anyone in a record compnay ever think they might do what everyone else does and actually buy some radio advertising to sell thier product. Nope. The greedy fuckers want it for free.
Brett Debritz(12:45pm 09 Mar 2012)
Yes, commercial radio stations have long had a "free ride" on the back of the music industry (although that's changing) and they should give something back. But they are businesses, and they are struggling (more than they will admit) and they need to be free to program to make money.
I'd ask this question of all parties:
Will playing more Australian music on radio improve the quality of Australian music, or the viability of the Australian recording industry?
keith fowler(14:11pm 09 Mar 2012)
Nice to see Drex commenting,from the coal face, on Canadian radio which has had enforced content levels for years.

Possibly aided the Canadian music industry but anecdotally has curtailed the radio industry.

A long time ago when working with Greg Smith, and maybe he would like to comment, and possibly some one has more recent data,but from the basis of extensive research we were doing at the time simplistically our stations essentially under 30 audience were telling us they wanted a third American a third European/UK and a third Australian and our stations were reflecting that.

Everybody who comments on this issue is reasonably likely to have a vested interest, maybe it is time to find out what the audience wants. This would potentially allow lifts in regulated levels (a plus for the music industry and no downside except for higher copyright fees for radio)

In India where in the last decade there has been the granting of 300 odd new FM licenses the music until recently copyright fees made up 40% of opex costs for indian fm radio.

AND surprise surprise very little of this money was actually going to artists Most of it was remaining with music and publishing companies.

This resulted in:
only three or four groups being genuinely profitable
radio companies began forming music and publishing companies
Anonymous(14:15pm 09 Mar 2012)
It's all about playing what the public WANT to listen to.

Australian Music is fucking shithouse at the moment. No-one is producing anything original, it's all re-hashed shite. The public knows this.

Chugg is barking about how it's a disgrace. I don't see HIM promoting any Australian acts throughout large venues at HUGE ticket prices, yet he expects these same acts who he doesn't promote to be given more airplay, even though the public doesn't want it.
sean pickwell (15:13pm 09 Mar 2012)
I think most radio stations wouldnt mind the 25% if as CRA argues that all platforms have the same control

Also how about all stakeholders stepping up??
Record companies have to release 25% australian, and support with 25% of their marketing resources?

Promoters have to have 25% of their concerts as Australian acts

Of course this is restrictive to them...but radio still has to carry it alone?

At the moment its all about radio having to carry the whole industry - radio should do their bit, but so should all stakeholders

sean
Jason Staveley(22:32pm 09 Mar 2012)
Some really good points raised here - perhaps there is some merit in the "quality" airplay model(6a-10p) as suggested above.
I wonder whether other media outlets should also have an Australian music quota - TV, Online portals and why not cinema? (It would certainly be better than sitting through 17 minutes of ads before the movie starts!)

As for Chuggy and artists (Slash/Axel Rose here in the past week) constantly banging on about how "fucked" radio is.......change the record.....or release better ones please!!!
Brian Connor(8:36am 10 Mar 2012)
A Quota applied to any industry does nothing to contribute to the quality of a business' output; be it women on the Board, indigenous people in the workforce or songs on the radio.

The only songs that deserve to be played on radio are the 'best' ones (subjective as that may be).

I have never met a single person in radio who wouldn't prefer to be proudly playing more Australian music...but only if, at any given moment, the Australian song releases happen to be outshining that of the rest of the world.

 Post Anonymously 

   I am a real live breathing human person

Snow FM has a vacancy for a Music Director / Breakfast Announcer. Details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Universal Music has a vacancy for a National Artist Relations Manager. Details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nova Entertainment has a vacancy for a Network Drive Audio Producer based in Sydney. Details.

 

 

SCA are looking for a Breakfast Announcer for Hot FM Cairns. Details.

 

 

 

i98FM has a vacancy for a Casual Journalist. Details.

 

 

 

6PR has a vacancy for an Assistant Producer for Drive.Details.

 

 

 

 

 

ARN has a vacancy for an Experienced Account Manager- Direct Sales based in Sydney. Details.

 

 

 

 
 

Southern Cross Austereo have a vacancy for a Breakfast Journalist at Sea FM & 2GO FM in Gosford. Details.

 

 

 

 

Crocmedia are looking to appoint a NSW Commercial Manager based in Sydney.Details.

 

.

ARN are looking for a Creative Writer on a six month contract based in Perth. Details.

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Broadcasters are looking for a 'Talk & Information Personality' based in Launceston. Details.

 

 

 

SCA has a vacancy for a Breakfast Producer in regional W.A. Details.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Nova 106.9 is looking for Casual Announcers. Details.

 

 

 

 
 

ARN has a vacancy for a Junior Audio Producer based in Sydney. Details.

 

 

Omny has a vacancy for an Operations Manager based in Melbourne. Details.

 

 

 

 

 

Geelong's K-ROCK and Bay FM are looking for a Promotions Guru. Details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Recent Comments

Jamie Row has moved from Nova Brisbane to smoothfm Sydney as Operations Manager/Floater.

Joseph Groth is heading to the Sunshine Coast as the new Music Director & Mornings announcer of  91.9 Sea FM.

 

 

Scott McLaughlin  National Client Solutions Director for Southern Cross Austereo is leaving the company.  

Gavin Flanagan has been appointed the new GM of River 949 Ipswich.

 
 

River 949 GM David Greenwood is moving to the new role as GM of the Kix Radio Network (still with Grant Broadcasters)

 

Conrad Browne will finish as General Manager with JOY 94.9 in June.

 
 

Pete Davidson is the Capital Radio Network new Group PD.

James Perrin is the new PD for Grant Broadcasters 2EC/PowerFM Bega. 

 

 

Former Nova exec Wade Kingsley is joining SCA in a new national leadership role as Head of Ideas and Integration.

 

 
 
 

Steve Cairns has been appointed the new GM of Radio Tab

 
 
 

Nick Condon has left ARN to work with the South Australian Chamber of Commerce leading their digital department.


 

 

Most Read (Last 30 Days)

Adelaide Advertisers

1. Harvey Norman Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
2. Coles Coles Group Ltd (Wesfarmers Ltd)
3. Radio, It's A Love Thing Campaign Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
4. Puratap Puratap Pty Ltd
5. Vodafone Vodafone Pty Ltd

Brisbane Advertisers

1. National Tiles National Tiles Co Pty Ltd
2. Coles Coles Group Ltd (Wesfarmers Ltd)
3. Harvey Norman Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
4. Radio, It's A Love Thing Campaign Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
5. Gilmour's Comfort Shoes Gilmour's Pty Ltd

Central Coast Advertisers

1. Domayne Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
2. Harvey Norman Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
3. BJ Howes Metaland BJ Howes Pty Ltd
4. Never Let A Mate Walk Home Drunk Campaign Pedestrian Council Of Australia Ltd
5. Central Coast Holden Central Coast Holden

Gold Coast Advertisers

1. Domayne Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
2. Harvey Norman Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
3. Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show Mulpha Sanctuary Cove (Developments) Pty Ltd
4. Radio, It's A Love Thing Campaign Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
5. Coles Coles Group Ltd (Wesfarmers Ltd)

Melbourne Advertisers

1. National Tiles National Tiles Co Pty Ltd
2. Harvey Norman Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
3. Coles Coles Group Ltd (Wesfarmers Ltd)
4. Radio, It's A Love Thing Campaign Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
5. Sportsbet.com.au Sportsbet Pty Ltd

Newcastle Advertisers

1. Domayne Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
2. Harvey Norman Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
3. Climax Suspension Climax Suspension
4. Nobby Kitchens Nobby Kitchens
5. Dial Before You Dig Dial Before You Dig Services Ltd

Perth Advertisers

1. Coles Coles Group Ltd (Wesfarmers Ltd)
2. Harvey Norman Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
3. Forty Winks Forty Winks Franchising Pty Ltd
4. Radio, It's A Love Thing Campaign Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
5. Sportsbet.com.au Sportsbet Pty Ltd

Sydney Advertisers

1. Harvey Norman Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd
2. Coles Coles Group Ltd (Wesfarmers Ltd)
3. Bing Lee Bing Lee Electrics Pty Ltd
4. Radio, It's A Love Thing Campaign Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
5. Brydens Brydens

Wollongong Ratings

1 I98 23.8 (28.5) WIN
2 Wave FM 16.0 (17.3) GRANT
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 1/2014
  • IRIS Research

Wellington Ratings

1 NewstalkZB 15.3 (10.5) TRN
2 The Breeze 13.7 (14.6) Mediaworks
3 ZM 11.3 (12.4) TRN
4 The Sound 7.5 (7.1) Mediaworks
5 The Rock 7.4 (8.3) Mediaworks
6 The Edge 6.6 (8.3) Mediaworks
7 Coast 5.7 (4.6) TRN
  • 10+ share, Survey 1/2014

Warrnambool Ratings

1 Coast FM 37.7 - Ace
2 3YB 21.7 - Ace
3 triple j 7.3 - ABC
4 ABC Local Radio 4.0 - ABC
5 ABC Radio Nat. 2.5 - ABC
6 Classic FM 1.5 - ABC
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 1/2015
  • Xtra Research

Sydney Ratings

1 2GB 12.6 (13.0) MRN
2KIIS 1065 8.9(8.7) ARN
3 WSFM 8.2 (7.9) ARN
4ABC 7028.0(9.5)ABC
5Nova 96.9 7.6(7.6)NE
6smoothfm 95.3 7.4(7.3)NE
7triple j6.0(6.5) ABC
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 2/2015

Perth Ratings

1 Mix 94.5 13.9 (14.9) SCA
296FM11.3(11.5)ARN
3 Nova 93.711.1 (11.4) NE
4ABC72010.7(10.3)ABC
5triple j 9.2(9.0) ABC
6 6PR 9.0(8.4)Fairfax
792.9 6.5(6.2) SCA
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 2/2015
  • 96FM now owned by ARN

Newcastle Ratings

1 KOFM 1563 (15.3) SCA
2 ABC1233 13.6 (11.9) ABC
3NXFM 10.7(11.6) SCA
4 2HD 10.4 (9.8) BOG
5 Triple J 9.9 (9.9) ABC
6New FM8.5(10.0)BOG
7 Classic FM 4.0 (3.) ABC
  • 10+ Share Mon-Sun, Survey 1/2015

 

Melbourne Ratings

1 3AW 15.4 (13.6) Fairfax/MRN
2 ABC 774 10.4 (10.7) ABC
3 Triple M 7.4 (7.4) SCA
4 Fox FM 6.9 (7.6) SCA
5smoothfm 91.5 6.9 (7.2) NE
6 Gold 6.8 (6.9) ARN
7Nova 100 6.7(7.3)NE
8 KIIS 101.1 6.1 (7.1) ARN
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 2/2015
  • Mix101.1 now KIIS 101.1 

Gold Coast Ratings

1 Hot Tomato 14.2 (14.1) HT
2 Gold FM 11.9 (14.3) SCA
3 Sea FM 9.6 (9.5) SCA
4 ABC 91.7FM 7.9 (6.7) ABC
5 triple j 7.8 (9.4) ABC
6 ABC612 5.2 (3.3) ABC
7 Radio National 2.5 (2.3) ABC
  • 10+ Share Mon-Sun, Survey 3/2014

 

Christchurch Ratings

1 Newstalk ZB 17.0 (16.1) TRN
2 More FM 10.7 (11.8) Mediaworks
3 The Breeze 10.2 (8.8) Mediaworks
4 The Rock 9.0 (10.3) Mediaworks
5 The Edge 6.9 (6.5) Mediaworks
6 The Sound 6.0 (6.4) Mediaworks
7 Classic Hits 5.7 (5.7) TRN
  • 10+ share, Survey 1/2014

Central Coast Ratings

1 Sea FM 17.7 (12.4) SCA
2 2GO FM 13.2 (17.5) SCA
3 Star 104.5 11.4 (14.3) NE
4 ABC 92.5 10.7 (9.9) ABC
5 2GB 9.8 (8.9) MRN
6 triple j 5.8 (5.2) ABC
7 WSFM 2.8 (0.7) ARN
  • 10+ overall share Mon-Sun, Survey 1/2012
  • Nielsen Media Research

Canberra Ratings

  104.7 18.5 (17.0) SCA
  Mix 106.3 11.6 (15.1) SCA
  ABC666 15.3 (17.4) ABC
  triple j 8.5 (8.1) ABC
  Classic FM 9.3 (9.9) ABC
  2CA 7.0 (5.6) Captial
  2CC 6.0 (6.3) Capital
  Radio National 3.0 (4.0) ABC
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 1/2015

 

Brisbane Ratings

197.3FM14.3(14.6)ARN
2Nova 106.9 11.6(10.8)NE
3ABC61210.7(10.7) ABC
4triple j 8.9(9.4) ABC
5 4KQ 8.7 (8.6) ARN
6hit105.3 8.2(9.3) SCA
7Triple M 7.6(8.7) SCA
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 2/2015
  • B105 now hit105.3

Auckland Ratings

1 Newstalk ZB 13.4 (13.0) TRN
2 Coast  9.6 (8.1) TRN
3 The Edge 7.8 (6.0) Mediaworks
4 The Breeze 7.0 (6.5) Mediaworks
5 Classic Hits 6.7 (5.9) TRN
6 ZM 5.9 (5.6) TRN
7 Mai FM 5.2 (4.3) TRN
  • 10+ share, Survey 1/2014

Albury Ratings

1 Star FM 22.9* (22.7)** SCA
2 The River 20.7* (27.0)** SCA
3 2AY 16.6* (11.9)** ACE
4 ABC Local Radio 14.0* (11.2)** ABC
5 triple j 9.9* (4.2)** ABC
6 Radio National 2.2* (1.6)** ABC
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 1/2014
  • * Xtra Research/ ** Nielsen 

Adelaide Ratings

1 Mix 102.3 13.6 (13.8) ARN
2ABC89112.5(12.5) ABC
3Nova 91.912.0(11.3)NE
4FIVEaa 11.1(10.4)NE
5triple j 9.1 (8.3) ABC
6Triple M 8.4(9.7)NE
7Cruise 13238.3(9.2)ARN
8hit1076.0(5.9) SCA
  • 10+ share Mon-Sun, Survey 2/2015 (GfK)
  • hit107 on-air Oct 2014, was SAFM
CompanyStock IDPriceChange
Southern Cross Media
SXL
1.07
-0.47%
APN News & Media
APN
0.855
-1.16%
Fairfax Media
FXJ
1.04
0.00%
Macquarie Radio
MRN
1.13
0.00%
Pacific Star Network
PNW
0.310
0.00%
Oceania Capital
OCP
1.30
10.17%
Ten Network
TEN
0.225
0.00%
Seven West Media
SWM
1.25
2.46%
Nine Entertainment
NEC
2.15
0.00%
Prime Media
PRT
0.860
0.00%

 

 

 

Most Commented (All Time)