Friday, May 4, 2012

The Licensing Grind Continues!


It's a brilliant bright and cheery day outside, pretty good for this time of year, blue skies, green trees, and 20 degree sunshine.  It's best described as heaven on a stick, but until I get 2PR FM on the air, it feels like another ground hog day. 

After brekky this morning, it was time to strike the powers of parliament with another letter, relating to the pressing need for change in the radio broadcasting acts.  When my submission was finished last year, one of the first people I fired it off to was Steven Conroy, who is the Minister for Broadband, Communications, Digital Economies, and blah blah blah, you get the jist.    That was sent around early November from memory; I would have to look up my records, but heard nothing back for weeks, which was promising in a way.  I thought for that time, they would actually be looking into it, taking my concerns seriously. but low and behold, two days before Christmas, just before the whole world shuts down for the month of January, I got one of the best "COP OUT" letters ever written.  It simply stated the Broadcasting Act, merely more to the point of just shoving it down my throat.  At this point I was somewhat perplexed on the reply, thinking that I had covered all angles of a submission the ACMA would have to consider for licensing a radio station.  The frustrating part was the reply had mentioned absolutely nothing, not even a hint that they received my Class H License submission. 

January was much swimming in the sun and exercise.  Early February came, time to re-fire the radio licensing thing for 2012.  During February, I continued digitising the 60s portion of my music collection.  When I became bobby socked out and somewhat sick of the 60s, by early April I started concentrating on the submission. 

Rather then looking into the issues of the music industry, I decided to look into the Australian Radio scene, of most relevance, what was happening in Sydney.  Browsing through much documentation, I soon learned that an organisation called Commercial Radio Australia (a lobby group that represents the commercial radio stations of Australia), was pushing hard to have legislation their way.  As in my last blog, this was in relation to an unethical moratorium, that blocks out any new competitors from getting a license in the Sydney region until May 2015.

Without rejigging all the points in my previous blog, the main issue of the letter I sent to Mr Conroy today, was to challenge the word "valuable" when talking about a full power analog license.  The word "valuable" is currently being interpreted as the geographic reach, amount of listeners in coverage area, and potential income such a license can raise through advertising.

I made it clear in the letter that value can not be based on music taste, as this is a purely subjective argument, but rather more on the true mess of the situation, which is six music FM stations, all rotating the same 300 songs over and over.  My point of argument being WHAT VALUE IS THE LISTENER GETTING?

When judging who is going to get a license, I would think that a listener would get much more of a listening value from a station that plays an array of music, from a playlist of over 20,000 tracks.  This is in comparison to the same 300 songs that get repeated and played over and over.  This is considering that the FM Spectrum is a very precious resource, and the current commercial stations using the spectrum are squandering it for their own benefits, and not the listener.  

The aim of the letter was to ask Mr Conroy for a meeting, as many of these concerns can not be simply ignored.  I'm on some forums that speak volumes on what a mess Sydney radio is, simply for the reasons mentioned above.  At the end of writing this blog, I checked my e-mail one more time, to see if there was a reply.  Amongst the scammers, viagra rubbish, and usual spam, again, there was absolutely nothing. 

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