Fees make waves with local radio stations

LOCAL radio stations could be hit hard by increases in the fees charged by record companies for playing music, according to Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.

“There is increasing speculation the Rudd Government plans to raise the current one per cent cap on fees that regional radio stations pay the record industry for broadcasting music,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“Radio stations pay these fees for 'protected' music - most of which is Australian. At the same time stations are also required by the Government regulator to play a certain amount of protected music.”

“It would be very unfair if radio stations were regulated to play a certain amount of music and the cap on the cost of playing that music was lifted.

“An increase in the fees would particularly hurt regional stations who are currently struggling from falling revenues and increased government regulation.

“I am particularly concerned that the Rudd Government will side with the multi-national record labels at the expense of our local radio stations. I understand the record labels keep over 60 per cent of the fees.

“The reality is that the record labels, performers and radio stations need each other to survive. Radio provides invaluable promotion to musicians and therefore should not be burdened with excessive charges for broadcasting their music.

“The Rudd Government needs to end the uncertainty which currently exists and reassure regional radio stations that the current one per cent cap on fees is maintained. This is a matter I have already discussed with my Nationals' colleagues and will be raising in Federal Parliament.”

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