11 April 2024

Consultation welcome but action must follow

The radio industry is calling for fast action to ensure smart technology does not stop Australians from easily accessing local radio content.
Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) has welcomed the recommendation made by the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, following the inquiry into the Communications Legislation Amendment (Prominence and Anti-siphoning) Bill 2023, that priority is given to the implementation of radio prominence on devices such as smart speakers.
“We are pleased that the Committee has recognised that radio prominence on devices such as smart speakers needs to be a priority, but we need reassurance that connected cars will be included in any consultation,” said CRA Chairman and ARN Chief Executive, Ciaran Davis.
“The opportunity to include radio prominence in the Bill has been missed, and any delay to reform puts further pressure on a crucial part of our media landscape.
“Now is the time to secure free, reliable, and accessible radio for all Australians – therefore this consultation must be completed before the end of the year.”
CRA chief executive Ford Ennals also welcomed the recommendation and restated the importance of radio prominence.
“Easy, free and reliable access to radio is essential for all Australians, whether they are listening in a connected car or on a smart speaker,” Mr Ennals said.
“As more Australians incorporate smart devices into their everyday lives, it is crucial that global tech giants aren’t allowed to gatekeep our audio choices.
“We know 80% of Australians listen to radio in the car and 30% of households use smart speakers – and if they can’t access local radio then they miss out on local news, entertainment, and potentially life-saving information in emergency situations.
“This recommendation must be the beginning of much-needed reform.”