Radio quota

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Radio quota refers to a quota regulation in radio broadcasting that regulates the proportions of certain types of program in the overall program of a radio station, so that in particular cultural and / or economic functional goals can be achieved in the long term. Music quota and news quota denote the proportion of music to news in the overall program. There are state quota regulations that specify the ratio of foreign-language music to local music on the radio . The prescribed special music quotas and the like may vary . a. relate to the national origin of the artist, the type of music or the language used. When referring to the related language, the treatment of instrumental music should be considered. These conditions can also be maintained by the broadcasting stations on their own initiative or can arise from broadcasting practice.

So the radio quota can

  • are voluntarily introduced or complied with by the national broadcasting stations (voluntary self-commitment or self-regulation),
  • stipulated by the state (state regulation ) or
  • be a cross between the two “pure forms” (co-regulation).

For example, Canada in 1971 and France in 1994 introduced the radio quota based on state regulation. In the relevant WTO negotiations, Canada and France rely on the main arguments of the need for a strong cultural policy to protect diversity and the common good, but also with the aim of being competitive. Twenty of the thirty countries surveyed worldwide have a legally regulated radio quota (state regulation); in addition, national radio stations in five other countries are committed to self-regulation, which is implemented in such a way that it is exceeded by four countries, but has not yet been implemented by one country has been.

Paul Mason was able to determine in his scientific study “Assessing the impact of Australian music requirements for radio” from 2003 that not a single track without radio broadcasts made it into the charts . On the other hand, nobody would be willing to pay any money if the radios were not relevant to sales as a marketing tool for promoting sound carriers . This reverse conclusion has to be drawn from the numerous Payola scandals ( “pay for playing” ) of the last decades, which have more or less hidden bribes from the record industry to radio DJs in order to be able to place their own songs in the program. This is also indicative of the fact that Austrian dialect music was particularly representative in the Austrian sales charts in the 1980s, i.e. at the time when there were still the Ö3 formats, the “Rot-Weiß-Rote Radio” and the Austroparade, which were exclusively dedicated to Austrian pop music ( Austropop ).

Arguments of the proponents for state regulation

  1. A radio quota based on self-regulation promotes so-called format radio , which primarily wants to maintain high market shares because of the related advertising revenues and which consequently plays a corresponding mainstream mass playlist with a focus on the international, mostly English-speaking major labels . After all, the US and UK markets together made up 38.5% of the international music market in 2013.
  2. A law on a radio quota based on state regulation ensures a greater variety of songs on the radio and thus serves a cultural enrichment; Repetitions would decrease.
  3. A third advantage would be the new task that radio would take on: a trend function. As the stations played new and unknown singers with their songs on the radio, some of them would become hits. And this in turn would stimulate the domestic music industry. For example, reference is made to the positive experiences in France , which can be achieved thanks to the local government regulation and the like. a. did in this direction.
  4. A fourth aspect would be that national artists would also have the opportunity to appear at attractive airtime. Today, the prime airtime is largely occupied by English-speaking and US stars.
  5. And if you look around in Germany, for example, you can still see the cultural mandate of the public broadcasters . The fee-financed and thus economically independent from market constraints, public broadcasting has to fulfill a cultural and educational mandate by using music not only as a means to the end of attracting and retaining listeners, but especially cultivating it as an independent cultural and information asset. That means that the public broadcaster is not implementing its cultural and educational mandate. It is absolutely not their job to emulate the private broadcasters in their programming and to compete with them, because the listener does not pay broadcasting fees for this. The listener must be able to expect for his compulsory pay that he will be offered something fundamentally different in the musical landscape on public broadcasting than what the private broadcasters are already broadcasting.
  6. After all, a large part of the high annual royalties goes to foreign music authors, composers and music publishers; u. a. the related tax revenue is lost to the domestic state.

Arguments of the proponents for self-regulation

  1. A radio quota based on state regulation would represent a deep encroachment on the constitutional freedom of broadcasting and would overregulate the economy.
  2. For example, songs would be prescribed with which the private broadcasters in particular achieved less success with the listener than without state regulation and consequently generated less income. On the other hand, however, the public broadcasters are financed through fees and are therefore independent of economic market constraints. For example, in Austria, the Info Service GmbH (GIS) received 834.8 million euros in broadcasting fees including program fees in 2013. Of this, EUR 633.4 million including 10% VAT program fees were passed on to ORF . ORF is the largest media company in Austria.
  3. Another aspect would be that the listener would have to hear songs that they didn't really want to hear. Therefore he would be forced to play certain music. The quota regulation thus bypasses demand and leads to a net deadweight loss .

Self-regulation in Germany

Germany is the largest music market in Europe and the third largest worldwide.

Legislative initiatives and demands for a legal regulation

The term radio quota was first used in Germany in the mid-1990s by musicians such as Heinz Rudolf Kunze and Herbert Grönemeyer . After the introduction of a radio quota was initially sharply criticized, various musicians broke away from the alliance and distanced themselves from the demand.

Against all odds, it was mainly Kunze who kept the topic in the public interest with press statements or as a member of the German Bundestag's "Culture for Germany" commission .

In May 2002 , the CSU in Bavaria asked for the French model to be adopted in Germany. Your General Secretary Erwin Huber said that German productions must be given more opportunities, especially from public broadcasters . The Bavarian state government launched a legislative initiative that was heavily discussed at the Prime Minister's Conference in Berlin in June . Supporters of the CSU line were Julian Nida-Rümelin (former Federal Minister of Culture) and Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse ( SPD ).

Erwin Huber's demand for a law triggered a downright “ summer lull debate ” in Germany , among politicians and artists alike.

Laith Al-Deen , German singer, for example, sees the French model as the best solution for the German music market. Also Heinz Rudolf Kunze , Konstantin Wecker , Reinhard Mey and Udo Lindenberg , German musicians are to give a chance against the "overwhelming American competition" to the advocates of a quota system to the German artist.

In politics, the legislative initiative encounters a divided spectrum of opinion. Grietje Staffelt , media policy spokeswoman for Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen , speaks out against a radio quota. In her opinion, German artists assert themselves on the international market even without such a quota. Even without government intervention, songs by Nena , Sportfreunde Stiller or Wir sind Helden can be heard on the radio, says Staffelt. In their view, it is not the job of the state to tell radio stations what to play. Omid Nouripour , member of the board of directors of the Greens, thinks in contrast to his colleague that a quota ensures musical "biodiversity". But he would rather enforce a European quota in order to enlarge the spectrum that radio stations can then fall back on. Christina Weiss would also like to hear more national music on the radio. However, in their opinion, a quota would be a “regulatory encroachment on program freedom”.

The Prime Minister's Conference in Berlin in June 2003 decided against a binding quota for radio stations. However, it was put on record:

"The federal states expect radio broadcasters, in particular the broadcasting corporations affiliated with ARD and DeutschlandRadio, to give greater consideration to German-language music and therefore also to promote newer German-language music offers through alternative slots in the programs."

The German Bundestag spoke out on 17 December 2004 for a German music quota from. With a voluntary commitment by the German radio stations, a share of 35% is to be achieved by German artists or music that is produced in Germany. A final decision on a music quota can only be made by the respective federal states that are responsible for broadcasting.

Private initiatives

The German Language Association favors a quota system based on the French model. His focus is on German-language music - regardless of the music genre or the nationality of the performers.

The DRMV (German Rock and Pop Musicians Association) was once the originator of the quota campaign, as can be seen in Volume IV / 1995 and Volume III / 2003 of the musician magazine (resumption pressure) and is particularly committed to it.

Self-regulation in Austria

Austria is the seventh largest music market in Europe.

Austria was the last country in Europe to liberalize the broadcasting market. As a result, the Austrian public radio station Ö3 was converted into a so-called format radio in 1996 in order to be able to maintain the high market shares due to the related advertising revenues in the future. The corresponding mainstream mass playlist with a focus on the international, mostly English-speaking major labels is still provided by a consultancy and consulting company from abroad based in Nuremberg (as of April 2016).

The self-regulation propagated in December 2009 by the public broadcasters ORF provided that

Radio stations will have a 30 percent share of Austrian music in their programs by 2011.

The ORF radio stations played an average of 16.12% AKM compositions in 2011 , with the registered cooperative with limited liability AKM looking after the interests of music authors, composers and music publishers in Austria. For example, the two Austrian public broadcasters Hitradio Ö3 and Radio Wien Ö2 (regional studio) play AKM compositions as follows. (The percentages published annually by a query programmed specifically for the ORF broadcasting time statistics on the basis of the respective broadcast minutes are calculated exactly.):

year 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Hitradio Ö3 6.14% 7.51% 8.01% 5.96% 6.00%
Radio Vienna Ö2 6.15% 6.73% 6.61% 6.59% 3.19%

Assuming a song lasts an average of 3 minutes, then a total of 80 songs can be played during a four-hour music program. A maximum of 5 songs can come from Austria. These few songs are often played at inconvenient times after midnight.

State regulation in France

France is the third largest music market in Europe, the fifth largest in the world.

In France , a legal quota for national pieces of music on the radio was introduced in 1994 , enforced by the then Justice Minister Jacques Toubon , as the production of French music fell relatively sharply in the years before its introduction. Jean-Noël Tronc, General Director of SACEM , the French society for the management of the rights of its members in the field of music, stated in an interview with ARTE Journal on June 13, 2013: “The radio quota saved what French music was doing especially economically noticeable! "

In France, radio stations are obliged to fill at least 60% of their broadcasting time with productions by European artists and 40% with productions by French performers. Of this 40%, half must consist of novelties, defined by law as musicians who have not yet made two sales for every 100,000 records sold. An exemption from the quota applies between 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. Only a few minority stations for people from the Maghreb and Latin America, as well as the stations of classical music, are exempt from this regulation . Violations of the statutory radio quota regulations threaten the station concerned with fines, forced broadcast breaks or the withdrawal of the broadcasting license.

Government regulation in Canada

Canada introduced a radio quota in 1971 as a reaction to American productions that were spreading excessively on the Canadian market, primarily to protect the country's bilingualism, which is constitutionally anchored there and which significantly shapes its cultural identity. The public broadcaster was obliged to broadcast 50 percent local pop music and 20 percent traditional music and special programs. Commercial broadcasters must fill at least 35 percent of the musical broadcasting time from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with local productions. Ethnic radio stations must broadcast at least 7 percent Canadian music for the life of ethnic programs. French-speaking broadcasters must devote at least 65 percent of their music airtime to French-language works.

Radio ratings

Radio ratings are also understood to mean the radio audience rating .


  • Radioquote, analysis in thirty countries worldwide and the types of government regulation , M&A Top Partner GmbH & Co KG, Graz , August 11, 2014.
  • AKM and Radioquote in Austria , M&A Top Partner GmbH & Co KG, Graz, September 19, 2014.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Radioquote, analysis in thirty countries worldwide and the types of government regulation , M&A Top Partner GmbH & Co KG, Graz, August 11, 2014: Radioquote based on government regulation: Europe: Belgium, France, Portugal, Ireland, Latvia , Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Hungary and Belarus. Asia: Armenia, Israel, Pakistan and South Korea. America: Canada and Venezuela. Africa: Zimbabwe and South Africa. Australia. Radio quota based on functioning self-regulation that is even exceeded: Europe: Denmark, Great Britain and Italy. Asia: Bahrain. No regulation, with these countries playing between nine and sixty percent domestic music: Germany (29%), Finland (44%), Greece (60%), Austria (19%, propagated self-regulation of 30%, which is not implemented), Sweden (30%) and Switzerland (9%).
  2. Florian Kunz, The economic success of Austrian dialect music on the domestic market , Vienna University of Economics, 2011, Management Summary
  3. ↑ Share of sales of the largest music markets worldwide in 2013 , The Statistics Portal, queried on July 27, 2017
  4. Fees Info Service GmbH, M&A Top Partner GmbH & Co KG, Graz , November 6, 2014
  5. The standard overview: Austria's largest media company 2011 and 2012
  6. ↑ Share of sales of the largest music markets worldwide in 2013 , The Statistics Portal, queried on July 27, 2017
  7. AKM information, appears three times per calendar year
  8. The last relevant publications "broadcasting time statistics ORF" can be found in "KM Informations" No. 2/2013 on page 14 for the year 2012 (as of April 2016)
  9. AKM and Radioquote in Austria , M&A Top Partner GmbH & Co KG, Graz, September 19, 2014