Where can I listen to the best Australian classical music?
Niche Australian music genres get the best radio exposure from the Community Radio sector. Australian classical music more specifically most likely gets the most comprehensive exposure from the national ABC Classic FM service. Mainstream popular Australian music is receives the most influential radio airplay from the Commercial radio sector.
Quotas for the requirement of broadcasting Australian music are currently under review and there is always pressure from artist representative bodies such as APRA to encourage the mandatory airplay of Australian music on all radio stations through broadcasting regulation. I believe that if Australian music is to have a strong future of regular exposure on broadcast radio, the music industry needs to market the music they are producing to make it something that the audience is asking the broadcasters for.
Commercial radio stations are businesses trying to be profitable in an already tight market, and enforcing regulations on them is likely to hurt the viability of the sector. Currently quotas depend on formats, and there are calls for quotas to be more uniform across all stations. The problem I see with this is that some types of formats, such as ‘heritage gold' don't play any new music anyway. There aren't many of these stations and those that already exist are more niche formats that don't attract large audiences. Forcing these stations to play more Australian music isn't likely to help support new music or emerging artists. Quotas will simply enforce difficult conditions upon them that will restrict their programming and affect their already very thin profit margins.
Community radio has a long history of supporting Australian music, and community radio stations are generally wanting programming. I think the music industry should work more strongly with the community radio sector to promote niche Australian music through the production of professionally produced, non commercial programming to widely distribute to community radio stations. It costs money to run a radio station though, quite a bit actually. So community radio stations carrying the programming can be supported by the sale of their airtime at reasonable costs.
There is also the question of royalties. If the music industry wants to encourage exposure of their product on the radio, they should consider not charging radio stations money to play it. If stations are paying for the right to play music, they should be able to play the music they choose suits their business objective.