Sunday, 13 May 2012 21:13
Community radio and Australian musicians face a major setback with the Government failing to renew funding for the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (AMRAP) in the 2012-13 federal budget. Current funding for AMRAP runs out at the end of June 2012.
AMRAP distributes new Australian music to over 1,500 broadcasters from 300 community radio stations nationwide and helps broadcasters promote Australian music on air and online.
“Community radio plays such a critical role in the development of Australian musicians”, said Catherine Haridy, Chair of AMRAP with the Community Broadcasting Foundation, and also Chair of the Australian Artist Managers Association and manager of Australian artists Eskimo Joe and Jebediah.
“It’s incredibly disappointing to see such a valuable project that gets Australian music to radio stations all over the country cast aside at this point and we are determined to work with Government to find a way to keep the project going”, Haridy said.
AMRAP Manager Chris Johnson said the budget outcome is extremely disappointing the very positive results from the Government’s independent review of Amrap in 2011. A recent community station census also found that Australian music airplay has risen 5% since AMRAP was launched and now averages 37% across community radio nationally.
“Lack of government support for AMRAP will reduce Australian radio listeners’ access to new Australian music and community radio’s ability to support Australian music both on air and online”, Johnson said.
“AMRAP runs on a shoestring and while Senator Conroy seems to be able to find millions to support commercial television and the national broadcasters apparently community broadcasting and its support to Australian musicians can be left out of the equation altogether,” Johnson said.
Amrap funded through the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and is managed by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. CBAA General Manager Kath Letch said the CBAA is committed to maintaining AMRAP and is in discussions with Senator Conroy's office.
“For many years AMRAP has been a critical national project that provides core infrastructure to boost access and support of Australian music across the entire community broadcasting sector", Letch said.
In 2011 over 1,000 selected unsigned artists, 100 record labels and 1,500 broadcasters from 300 community radio stations used Amrap to get music to air and promote it online.