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Streaming services pressured to introduce quotas for Australian music in localised playlists

By | Published on Tuesday 27 March 2018


Australian collecting society APRA AMCOS is calling on streaming services to promote more domestic music to their respective users in the country. It says that streaming companies should commit to push at least 25% Australian music in their domestic playlists, in line with commercial radio stations in the country.

The announcement coincides with various Australian musicians heading to the capital city of Canberra to lobby politicians. They are demanding that their representatives educate themselves on how the shift to streaming in the music industry is affecting them. Concerns have been raised now in particular because no Australian artist had a number one single in the country during 2017.

As streaming becomes an increasingly prevalent way in which consumers discover new music, new APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston¬†told ABC: “We’re in ongoing discussions with the major streaming services as to how they can better support Australian music and show their commitment to the market here, on their local platforms. We are calling for a minimum of 25% Australian content on their own locally curated playlists”.

Similar quotas were introduced for Australian commercial radio in 2001, in order to ensure that listeners were exposed to domestic talent. Music on mainstream rock and pop stations must be at least 25% from local performers between 6am and midnight. There are lower quotas for other genres, dropping to at least 10% on jazz and ‘oldies’ stations.

However, recently published research found that many stations are failing to meet these quotas – some falling as low as 7%. Stations have also been accused of “stacking” the local output, by putting it all into less popular timeslots rather than spreading it out across the day.

Chrissie Vincent, who conducted the research as part of a masters degree, before submitting it to APRA AMCOS, said: “My research showed that during a typical week Nova played a measly 7% Australian content, Fox FM just 11% and KIIS FM played 13% during a 24 hour period, with the stations making their quotas playing local artists from 10pm till midnight during the ‘off-peak'”.

She continued: “Of the commercials, Triple M was the only station researched to hit the minimum of 25% content quota during a 24 hour period. National youth broadcaster Triple J, who are not a commercial radio station, were compared for this research and were found to be easily reaching well above the minimum local requirements, proudly flying the Aussie flag with a massive 49% Australian content”.

The government has been called upon to step in and ensure that quotas are met in the radio domain, with a hearing set for next month.