Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Questions (704)

Richard Boyd Barrett


704. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will consider enacting airplay legislation to ensure a requirement that between 30% and 40% of music played would be music produced here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8269/20]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

While I am supportive of the promotion of Irish music on our broadcasting services, I am conscious that a number of factors must be taken into account when considering the feasibility of introducing airplay quotas. The potential benefit to music production in Ireland must be balanced with the rights of broadcasters, subject to their contractual or regulatory obligations, to determine the type of content they wish to broadcast and to maximise their commercial revenue particularly in the context of the current media climate. Importantly, the introduction of airplay quotas would need to be consistent with EU law.

An example of airplay quotas in the EU can be seen in France. In 1994, France introduced a mandatory quota for 40% airplay of French language music on French radio stations, this quota was reduced to 35% in 2016. Any quota for airplay would be considered to restrict free movement of services by placing music meeting certain criteria in a more advantaged position. However, a quota for airplay of music in a particular language, as is the case in France, can be justified under EU case law, as the preservation and promotion of an official language of a Member State constitutes a general interest objective. Unlike music in a particular language, a quota system for music produced in a particular place, as suggested in this question, does not appear to have grounds for exemption from the general requirements of EU law. Therefore, without a similar justification on the grounds of promoting cultural diversity, a quota for music produced in a particular Member State would be considered to restrict free movement of services by placing music produced in other Member States at a disadvantage.

The government is not currently considering airplay quotas based on production location.