Revised May 2018
To establish the Valley FM policy and guidelines for all member presenters with regard to Australian music content in broadcasting program obligations as required under the Valley FM’s broadcasting licence. A secondary purpose is to reflect the commitment of fellow community radio stations to develop Australian music and provide opportunities for performers to have their work regularly broadcast.
Music accounts for 72% of community radio programming. Unique to the community broadcasting sector is the diversity of musical genres that receive exposure. The sector’s commitment to local music is reinforced within its Codes of Practice which stipulate a 25% minimum local content requirement, broadly applied across all music genres although there are lower requirements for fine music and ethnic language broadcasters. The Codes particularly acknowledge the importance of music made by Indigenous artists. Recent surveys have shown that this minimum is met and exceeded with an average local music content of 36% achieved across the sector.
The combination of musical diversity with an “across the board” local content requirement ensures that the widest possible range of music made by Australians receives exposure through community radio. Community radio stations are traditionally the first broadcast media to provide exposure for many local musicians and support for their early careers.
Over 70% of community radio stations are in regional and rural areas and of these, 38% are either the only radio service in their local area or the only source of local content. Community radio in regional and rural Australia therefore provides a vital point of engagement for musicians with audiences in these areas. Indeed recent research has found that Community radio services in rural areas played the highest proportion of Australian music – 41% of all music. Australian music is a major factor of why people listen to community broadcasting with 48% of listeners citing local music as a key reason for listening.
The importance of the community broadcasting sector in supporting local music was acknowledged by the federal government in 1998 when funding was allocated which led to establishment of the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project.
The regulation of community broadcasting services is covered by the Broadcasting Services Act (Cwth 1992). Licensed community radio stations are also obliged to broadcast in accordance with the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice. These include a specific Code (Code 5) regarding the broadcast of Australian music.
In line with the Valley FM’s Charter and Programming Policy, Valley FM will present a diverse and challenging range of music programs that maintain a commitment to music that is composed and produced in Australia.
Valley FM is committed to ensuring that at least 25% of this broadcast music comprises Australian content regardless of musical genre and regardless of presenters’ musical choice of programming.
Australian music selected for broadcast in each month, by each presenter, is considered for its community interest.
Presenters are asked to nominate all Australian music played during their programs on a Valley FM program sheet. These sheets are collected weekly and music identified as Australian played is calculated as a percentage of all music played (not including music used in sponsorship or station promotions). The percentage is published weekly as a continuous annual bar graph in the main broadcasting studio.
Valley FM Compliance Obligations
The Board is responsible for the development, implementation, operation and review of this policy. Compliance with the policy is also the responsibility of all Board Members.
Broadcasting Services Act (Cwth 1992)
Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice (2016)
Valley FM Policy: Music and Current Affairs