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CRA chairman Cathy O’Connor: Internet radio poses no threat

Cathy O'Connor

O'Connor: Internet listening won't overtake us

Traditional radio broadcasters have nothing to fear from internet listening, the leader of Commercial Radio Australia has claimed.

Cathy O’Connor, who chairs the CRA and is CEO of DMG Australia this morning opened the 2011 National Radio Conference by telling the audience:  “To those who say, that the radio over the internet will overtake broadcast radio I have just one thing to say – it won’t!

“The fact is there is not, and is unlikely to be in our lifetimes, enough bandwidth for reliable, robust, good quality services that can do what broadcast can do.”

“That is  – effectively communicate simultaneously, free to air and dependably to hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of people, anywhere, anytime.”

O’Connor cited radio listening data that, she claimed, shows that listening to broadcast digital radio already outstrips internet radio listening by nearly three to one after just two years on air. However, as Mumbrella has previously reported, the survey does not include people listening to internet radio which is not based in their local area. This is likely to be the vast majority of internet radio listening.

O’Connor added: “The success of free to air broadcast digital radio has demonstrated that, in spite of the cynics, our listeners are still very engaged with broadcast radio and will adopt a new broadcast technology to get better free to air access to more of the content they know and love.”

O’Connor also said that the commercial outlook for radio was, “barring any total meltdown in the economy,” very good.

In 2010-11 metro revenues showed an increase of 5.65 per cent on 2009-10, she said.

With media minister Stephen Conroy also in attendance at the event, O’Connor complained about the administrative impact of the number of media reviews and inquiries. She said: “We have had a Codes Review; a Standards Review; the Convergence Review; a paper on a Statutory Cause of Action for Serious Invasion of Privacy; a Review of the ACMA Privacy Guidelines; the second media review recently announced, the Promotion of Lived Odds in Sports Broadcasts Review; the Review of Digital Technology for Regional Australia and, of course, our ongoing and long standing discussions on amendments to the draconian and unfair trigger events licence conditions that impact on for 220 regional commercial radio broadcasters.”

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