Minister of Culture proposed to set Portuguese music quota on radio at 30% until new law

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The minister of Culture proposed today to the deputies to set the mandatory minimum quota of Portuguese music in radios at 30%, to give more time to the parliament to make a change in the law that exceeds the quota value.

In a hearing in parliament, as part of the special consideration of bills by the PCP, the Left Bloc (BE) and the People-Animals-Nature (PAN), to fix the mandatory minimum quota of Portuguese music on radio stations at 35%, in the case of the first party, and 30% in the case of the others, Pedro Adão e Silva began by saying that “if parliament decides to wait for the ERC’s [Regulatory Authority for the Media] proposal for revision of the Radio Law, the legislative process that had begun will hardly end in July [the month in which the current legislative session closes]”.

“Therefore, what was a surgical intervention by parliament is prejudiced. If this is the case [if parliament decides to wait], the Government, under the terms foreseen by law, that is, after hearing and consulting the sector, may establish by decree, and this is my availability, the 30% [obligatory minimum quota of Portuguese music on radio stations],” said Pedro Adão e Silva.

The mandatory minimum quota of Portuguese music on radio stations, provided for in the Radio Law, came into force in 2009. At that time, it was set to be 25%, but the value rose to 30% in March 2021, as a response measure to the covid-19 pandemic.

One year later, in 2022, the minimum quota went back to 25% and this decision by the government was publicly criticized by the sector, namely by dozens of Portuguese artists.

Pedro Adão e Silva reiterated that setting the quota at 30%, through an ordinance, “allows parliament to make a change to the law that is not essentially limited to the quota.

This, he said, “will allow us not to accelerate the legislative process, to wait for the ERC’s initiative and also to work on other dimensions, which have to do with [musical] genres, the quantitative threshold, information sharing mechanisms, supervision, and also the densification of concepts.

On March 23rd, Pedro Adão e Silva defended a “pondered and informed reflection” regarding the definition of the minimum mandatory quota, and said he had requested information from entities such as radio associations, copyright and related rights managers, and ERC.

In April, during a regular hearing in parliament, the minister revealed some of the information he had received at the time from Audiogest – Association for the Management and Distribution of Rights and the Portuguese Phonographic Association.

These two entities “made an analysis of the musical production and the genre where there is more production is hip-hop and rap”, said Pedro Adão e Silva, reminding that “ERC exempts the radios that have the genre where the production is greater”.

“When these exceptions were created 20 years ago, the reality was very different. [Today] it creates a context of competition between unequal radios: there are radios that target the same public that are obligated to the quotas and others are exempt,” he said, calling on the ERC to “review these exemptions, which are maladjusted to current times.

Pedro Adão e Silva also called attention to another “important issue: the densification of concepts.

“Right now, in the Portuguese language subquota counts EU [European Union] citizens who sing in Portuguese – a Brazilian singer with Portuguese nationality, like Rodrigo Amarante, counts for the quota, [but] until recently [Luso-mozambican] Selma Uamusse didn’t count for the quota, and the [British] Everything but the girl, who sang a version of ‘Corcovado’ in a Portuguese/English, counted for quota because they were EU citizens, now they no longer do,” he reported.

Today, the minister again gave the Everything but the girl as an example.

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