No quota for local music on radio

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim says the Media Development Authority (MDA) will not be imposing a quota for local music on radio. 

Explaining the decision in a written reply in parliament, Dr Yaacob said there isn't a strong library of broadcast quality local music at this time. 

Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh had asked  whether there could be a quota for local music on radio to help develop an audience base for homegrown music. 

Dr Yaacob said MDA had consulted the music industry to ensure there is a right balance between promoting local music and making sure radio stations have adequate broadcast quality content. 

The industry has advised against imposing such a quota at this stage. 

However, Dr Yaacob said radio stations have not ignored the need to provide local music with adequate exposure on radio. 

He cited examples like MediaCorp Radio which dedicates at least 10% of airtime, on the whole, to local music. 

Local Chinese and Malay radio stations play between one to two local works per hour. 

Local English stations typically play at least one local song per hour. 

Dr Yaacob stressed what is important is to develop a supporting ecosystem that extends beyond radio airplay. 

This will help build a strong repertoire of quality local music as well as strengthen awareness of local music. 

Dr Yaacob said MDA and the industry are therefore working on several fronts. 

The first is to leverage live platforms and bring live performances by local artistes to Institutes of Higher Learning. 

MDA and MediaCorp have also worked on the first joint call-for-proposal to create theme songs for seven MediaCorp TV programmes.