It’s ARIA week and music is currently the key focus of many Australians who are soon to find out who of our native talent has exceeded in their field. Many of our leading musicians have used the current focus of the nation to draw attention to a dire situation.
For those previously unaware, Australian Music Radio Airplay Project, otherwise known as AMRAP, has played an immeasurable role in connecting community radio stations with the music of up-and-coming artists. The service provided a massive network of potential fans for young bands as around 4.4 million people a week tune in to check out community radio. According to the AMRAP website, at last count 3,000 Australian musicians and 1,500 broadcasters from 300 radio stations rely on AMRAP.
The project, though operated by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) was funded by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE). For the year of 2012, DBCDE allocated $600,000 to backroll AMRAP, though as the year comes to a close, the funds have started to dry up.
Despite claims from Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy that “the government is investigating a range of options for the project’s continuation”, no funding has been found to finance the project for 2013.
Musicians such as John Butler, Mia Dyson and industry figures including Dan Rosen (CEO of ARIA) and Michael Gudinski have publicly voiced the importance of a funding commitment from the government.
“It is essential that Amrap remains funded by the government so that they can continue to help musicians be heard on community radio. The community radio network in Australia is a vital part of an independent artist’s career build. Without community radio 99% of Australia’s artists will not receive any airplay and will lose any ability to connect with their audience. And because of this they will not be able to sustain a career financially. Amrap provides an essential tool for these musicians to access radio play , as it has done for myself in the past years and will hopefully continue to do into the future, with the government’s support,” John Butler states.
You can check out other statements in full at the AMRAP website.
The wonders that the future of music industry holds are uncertain, but what is very certain is what will happen to Aussie music and community radio if we lose AMRAP. And the Government needs to know this.