Radio Industry Welcomes Cut To Licence Fees

Radio Industry Welcomes Cut To Licence Fees

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has welcomed the 25 per cent reduction in licence fees for commercial radio licence holders that was passed in Parliament yesterday.

B&T Magazine
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CRA chief executive Joe Warner said the cut to licence fees is a “welcome relief”, and recognised the increased competition from global players who are largely unregulated and do not have the costs, obligations and restrictions carried by Aussie radio broadcasters.

“The industry looks forward to continuing to work with the Communications Minister on further cuts in 2016-17 as foreshadowed in his budget statement,” she said.

The licence fee reduction is applicable for the 2015-16 licence period and was announced by Communications Minister Mitch Fifield in May.

In his industry address at the National Radio Conference 2016 in October, Fifiield said the decision to reduce licence fees recognises the fact that the media landscape for radio has changed dramatically since they were first introduced in the mid-1950s, and that the digital environment is placing increasing financial pressure on commercial broadcasters whose main competitors pay no licence fees.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s annual report shows commercial radio stations paid a total of $24.8 million in broadcasting licence fees in December 2014 for the 2013-14 period.