The number of radio frequencies available to broadcasters in Canada are finite are therefore a scarce commodity. What’s more is that they’re to be public property and thus subject to government regulation. Radio stations never own the frequencies on which they broadcast; they’re given a license to operate which has to be renewed after a period of years.
By law, any radio station that specializes in music-based programming must devote at least 35% of its playlist to songs that qualify as Cancon. Some stations are committed to 40% or even more because they doubled down when it came to community benefits when they were fighting for the license.
Something like Cancon is essential for our country lest we be overrun with material from our next-door neighbour, the largest exporter of popular culture in the world. And the Cancon rules have been most effective in creating a strong domestic music industry, which also manages to export an above-average number of superstars to the rest of the planet.
I’m sometimes asked if other countries have similar domestic music quotas for radio. The answer is “yes.”
- Australia – 25%
- France – 40%
- South Africa – 40% (SABC, the national broadcaster, is 90%)
- South Korea – 40%
- Malaysia – 60%
- Brazil – 70%
- Nigeria – 80%
Anyone know of any other quotas in place? Incredibly, Ireland doesn’t have one.
(Via FYI Music News)