Aussie Music Dealt A ‘Devastating Blow’ On ABC Local Radio |

Anger is growing in the Australian music industry after revelations of music policy changes at ABC Local Radio. Statistics obtained by The Music show that a significant shift has occurred over the last few months at the national broadcaster, with opportunities for local music the biggest casualty.

The Australian music industry is facing a significant challenge following changes to the music policy at ABC Local Radio.

A detailed analysis reveals a marked decrease in the airplay of both new and Australian music on the station, with a year-on-year comparison showing a drop from 27% to 19% in Australian content and from 18% to about 9% in songs released in the previous four years. This shift has resulted in a drastic reduction in airplay opportunities for new Australian artists, with only 3% of songs played in January 2024 being Australian tracks released in the last four years, a two-thirds decrease from the previous year.

The changes follow the appointment of Chris Oliver-Taylor as ABC’s first Chief Content Officer and Cherie Romaro to modernise programs for younger audiences, alongside Ben Latimer’s role as Head of Audio Content with a focus on the over-50s demographic. Despite these changes, insiders and industry professionals express concerns over the reduced support for Australian music, highlighting the potential negative impact on local artists and culture. The station’s shift towards a playlist catering to an older audience has not shown positive audience results, with a significant drop in listenership among the target demographic.

This situation raises questions about the balance between modernising content and supporting local talent, the role of public broadcasting in promoting Australian culture, and the broader implications for the music industry in a digital age where local content faces increasing marginalisation.

Thought-Provoking Questions:

  1. Balancing Act: How can public broadcasters modernise their offerings without sidelining the rich tapestry of local talent that defines a nation’s cultural identity?
  2. Cultural Custodianship: What role should public broadcasters play in supporting and promoting local music, especially in an era where digital platforms dominate music discovery?
  3. Future of Australian Music: With the decline in airplay for new and local music on public radio, what strategies can the Australian music industry employ to ensure emerging artists find their audience in a rapidly changing media landscape?

Source: Aus Music Dealt A ‘Devastating Blow’ On ABC Local Radio | | Australian music news, gig guide, music reviews

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