Are commercial radio stations across Australia ensuring a suitable amount of local content is being played on air, in particular within peak airtime?
Apart from a few tried and classic hits radio, listeners aren’t hearing much new Australian music with the majority of Australian Commercial FM radio stations failing to support new Australian musical talent.
Recent research for a Masters thesis, by music industry veteran Chrissie Vincent, has shown that commercial FM radio in Australia is failing
to meet even their minimum requirements of 25% local content set by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Ms Vincent,
believes that more needs to be done to support local music across all platforms, including commercial radio. In December 2017, Vincent sent her research
to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority(APRA) to alert
them to the alarming data found to spark a conversation into how Commercial Radio is failing to support local content.
So how much Aussie content does your fave station play?
Here are the stats for a typical week of radio from Ms Vincent’s research:
played a measly 7% Australian content
- Fox FM
hit just 11%
played around 13%
- Triple M – was the only commercial station to reach a minimum of 25% during Ms Vincent’s research.
- Triple J – Australia’s non-commercial radio station, proudly flies the Aussie flag with 49% of their music coming from Aussie Artists.
Vincent also noted that stations were filling their industry quotas for playing locals artists during the ‘off peak’ (10pm till midnight) hours.
The findings reveal the ‘good old days’ of massive radio support for Australian Artists in the 70’s & 80’s have all but faded. These
artists who were well established during this time, are still receiving airplay decades on and are still prominent enough in the minds of the public.
These days the majority of Aussie artists just aren’t receiving the necessary play time required to capture listeners hearts and become that timeless
Ms Vincent started the research in 2014 with the hope that her thesis would spark discussions regarding support of local content,
which would, in turn, trigger the Australian government into taking action. This is now happening with a Senate inquiry in Local content set for May
“The government needs to support Australian music and one thing they could do right now is examine the relevance and transparency of AMPCOM (Australian Music Performance Committee), who are meant to be monitoring what is happening on radio playlists," says Vincent.
Despite the shift in the way Australians consume their music, with many moving to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, good old fashioned
radio airplay is still vital for bands to build an audience and earn money from playing live.
The Teskey Brothers & the power of play!
The power of radio was demonstrated to Vincent recently when the Teskey Brothers, a new young band from Melbourne, were featured on Live from Eddies Desk
on Triple M breakfast radio.
"The Teskey Brothers were holding their own prior to being featured, but that single piece of radio support saw the band move from playing smaller venues
such as the Rainbow Hotel and the St Andrew Pub in outer Melbourne to selling out the Corner Hotel four times in July," she said.
"This shows the power of radio airplay and why it's so important for commercial stations to live up to their commitment and support homegrown talent."
"It has been shown over and over that familiarity and frequency make hits," Ms Vincent said. "If Australian artists were given the same frequency of plays
that international acts were given, the audience would become fans of Australian artists they will not turn off, they will not turn away."
It's time for commercial radio stations to support our up and coming artists, which in turn will benefit the music industry as a whole.
Pic: Chrissie Vincent, Aussiemusic industry expert and world-first graduate in the Masters of International Music Business.