German Artists Call For Radio Quotas

The issue of quotas for local music on German radio came into focus today (Sept. 29) as the annual Popkomm trade convention kicked off in Berlin.

The issue of quotas for local music on German radio came into focus today (Sept. 29) as the annual Popkomm trade convention kicked off in Berlin.

More than 500 artists have added their signatures to a campaign backing the introduction of quotas of domestic repertoire. The initiative, "Musicians in Favor of a Quota for German Music," aims to create greater opportunities for new acts. Yvonne Catterfeld, Xavier Naidoo, Die Fantastischen Vier, Udo Lindenberg are among the artists supporting the plan.

The various progam's supporters have not yet agreed on a content percentage. Some are calling for a quota of 25% domestic repertoire for all music stations in Germany, while others are seeking 40%. Others want to hammer out an agreement on a quota with the radio stations.

More than 300 artists and industry executives attended a public hearing on the matter today in the German parliament.

Speaking at the hearing, Gerd Gebhardt, chairman of Germany's national phonographic organizations, commented: "Radio broadcasters are discriminating against German music. In particular, they are neglecting the newcomers. Where are the stars of tomorrow expected to come from if we do not support young talent in the media?"

Politicians who have voiced support to the project include the president of the lower house of parliament, Wolfgang Thierse, and VP Antje Vollmer. However, neither the federal government nor the parliament can impose nationwide media regulations; the decision has to be made by each of the 16 local regions through their local parliaments and broadcasting regulators.

Opponents of a quota system include Hans-Jürgen Kratz, chairman of the Assn. of Private Radio Broadcasters, and Michael Vesper, the minister of culture in the largest German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. "This constitutes an attempt to achieve a competitive advantage in a difficult market by means of protectionist instruments," comments Vesper. "This is something which can be witnessed in a large variety of different sectors. Yet it runs counter to the principles of a policy aimed at international exchange and is incompatible with European competition law," he adds.
THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.