Should music-streaming services be legally required to devote a certain percentage of their programmed-playlist slots to local artists? That’s the argument being made by Australian collecting society APRA AMCOS, in a submission to an enquiry in the Australian Senate that’s focusing on the question of local content on broadcast and streaming services alike.

The society teamed up with film body Screen Producers Australia for its submission. “We know that for Australian music it’s vital to ensure there’s space and opportunities for a variety of local artists to be programmed through streaming services and aired on commercial radio,” said APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston in a statement, reported by The Music Network.

The submission specifically suggests that music-streaming services should ‘commit to making available in prominent positions on their Australian service offerings by including a minimum agreed percentage of local content in locally curated playlists’.

This is an argument that could be repeated in other countries around the world with established quota systems for radio. France, for example, where in 2015 an argument broke out over the fact that the quota hadn’t been extended to streaming services. “Like introducing a law whereby Renault cars can go through all red traffic lights but Peugeot cars have to wait through two red lights before they can move on,” as one independent-radio body put it at the time.

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