- 11 Aug 20
Eamon Ryan responded to a parliamentary question from Labour's Duncan Smith on the matter of Irish airplay, which is crucial for the survival of artists.
The communications minister has ruled out the introduction of Irish music quotas for national radio, citing EU law as the reason.
Eamon Ryan's response to a parliamentary question from Labour TD Duncan Smith will mark yet another struggle for domestic musicians who are attempting to get their music played on Irish daytime radio.
On Irish radio at the current time, music created in Ireland is played once to every six plays for international artists, which adds up to less than 15 percent of all radio play.
Eamon Ryan said that while he was "supportive of the promotion of Irish music", other factors must be taken into consideration.
"Any quota for airplay would be considered to restrict free movement of services by placing music meeting certain criteria in a more advantaged position," he said.
"A quota for airplay of music in a particular language, as is the case in France, can be justified under EU case law, as the preservation and promotion of an official language of a Member State constitutes a general interest objective," the minister added.
France has it in law that French radio must play 40% music created in France. In Finland all musicians are able to make a living on music alone, because it is fully supported and valued by Finnish radio and media.
"Unlike music in a particular language, a quota system for music produced in a particular place, as suggested in this question, does not appear to have grounds for exemption from the general requirements of EU law," Ryan said.
"The government is not currently considering airplay quotas based on production location."
A bill calling for a 40 percent quota of Irish music on Ireland's radio stations was defeated in Dáil Éireann four years ago.
According to the website of the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO):
“It has been well understood that consistent commercial airplay accompanies significant music sales, generates public performance royalties, and burnishes a recording artist’s profile.”