Last month, one of Australia’s and indeed the world’s biggest and most successful concert promoters, Michael Chugg had some rather scathing criticisms aimed at Australian commercial radio and what he perceived as a severe lack of local content.

The Chugg Entertainment head honcho took his keynote address in the 2012 Australasian World Music Expo (AWME) Conference Program to speak frankly about the dire presence (or lack thereof) of Australian artists on the airwaves.

“Mainstream radio will not fucking play Australian music until they have to. It’s awful,” noted the music mogul during the hour-long forum. “I’m sure eventually it will change, but it’s very frustrating the short playlists and the domination international music has on commercial radio stations.”

While many would find it hard to disagree with Chugg’s comments to begin with, any doubters may now have to eat their words with the latest figures of the most played songs played on Australian Radio reflecting the dominance of international artists, and the severe under-representation of Australian acts.

As News Ltd points out, the Music Network’s Hot 100, which annually polls commercial radio to list the most heard songs on Australian airwaves, demonstrates that many of Australia’s acts aren’t getting the much-needed exposure and support from mainstream radio.

The chart is based on when and how many times listeners will hear a track over a week, and topping out the list is American pop act fun. and their Janelle Monae featuring breakout single ‘We Are Young’, and aside from the appearance of Matt Corby’s emotive whooping in ‘Brother’ at #6, the Top 10  – in fact almost the entire list – is conquered by US and UK artists. …aside from the appearance of Matt Corby’s emotive whooping in ‘Brother’ at #6, the Top 10 is conquered by US and UK artists.

In fact it’s not until #46 of the Hot 100 that Australia even makes an appearance at all in the list, with Justice Crew’s ‘Boom Boom’ – hardly a reflection of Australia’s contemporary music scene.

Justice Crew and Corby are just two of a total 18 acts in the list, and at that, many of those are shared – like Hilltop Hoods’ Sia featuring ‘I Love It’ and 360’s Gossling starring ‘Boys Like You’ (ranking at #68 & #92 respectively) – with just 14 Australian songs total. Down from the 16 Australian tracks that made it into the 2011 Hot 100.

Mainstream pop acts Timomatic and Guy Sebastian both scored two hits in the list, making for a combined 4% of the 14% in the list, while the remaining acts include commercially driven performers like Havana Brown, Justice Crew and former TV Rock member-turned-producer Ivan Gough.

Even the globe-trotting, world-dominating, ARIA Award-winning Gotye doesn’t quite have the saturation he would seem to have, and despite his inescapable duet with Kimbra being named the highest selling single of the year, it only scraped in at #60 as the most heard song on commercial radio, far behind radio mainstays like Rihanna, Maroon 5, and Coldplay.

Gotye’s ubiquitous break-up anthem was also recently recognised as the most streamed track in the UK and America, according to the BBC, and despite it’s enduring popularity – including topping Triple J’s Hottest 100 list earlier in the year – it’s a sad state of affairs when an Australian artist can get more radio play overseas than they can locally.

“Even the globe-trotting, world-dominating, ARIA Award-winning Gotye doesn’t quite have the saturation he would seem to have… scraping in at #60″

To make matters worse, community radio – which is looking more and more like the last bastion of championing Australian music – is facing serious threats to its continued survival.

Last week, musicians and industry figures alike rallied to demand funding for community radio body Amrap following it being shafted by the government in their recent Federal Budget, which pulled the plug on funding last June.

All this, despite a 2011 review of Amrap by the Department of Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy which netted positive results, demonstrating that 1 in 4 Australians tune into community radio, with over 4.4 million listeners dialling in each week.

Regardless, the Government are also preparing to withdraw its support and possibly switch off digital community radio, meaning the well-being of the local music industry remains teetering on the edge. Particularly given the recent polled results of what commercial radio is putting on high rotation.

Even the 25% regulation enforced by the Commercial Radio Association, a quota laid down as part of the Broadcasting Services Act in 1992, doesn’t seem to be keeping the strong Australian presence it should; and as Chugg pointed out in his controversial keynote address, mainstream radio are only fulfilling their quote by playing “greatest hits shit… between midnight and 6am.”

“The Commercial Radio Association will tell you that I’m full of shit,” the promoter remarked, “but just stay up one night and have a listen. You’ll be surprised.” Chugg added that he hoped that with mainstream radio, “it would be good to see out of the 60 to 70 records they play, 25 per cent of that be current Australian content.”

Music Network’s Hot 100

1 – Fun. ft. Janelle Monae, We Are Young
2 – Coldplay, Paradise
3 – Ed Sheeran, The A Team
4 – The Black Keys, Lonely Boy
5 – Ed Sheeran, Lego House
6 – Matt Corby, Brother
7 – Train, Drive By
8 – Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe
9 – Kelly Clarkson, What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)
10 – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera, Moves Like Jagger
11 – Bruno Mars, Count On Me
12 – Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa, Payphone
13 – Timomatic, Set It Off
14 – Flo Rida ft. Sia, Wild Ones
15 – Karmin, Brokenhearted
16 – Katy Perry, Part Of Me
17 – James Morrison, I Wont Let You Go
18 – Gym Class Heroes ft. Neon Hitch, Ass Back Home
19 – Nicki Minaj, Starships
20 – Outasight, Tonight Is The Night
21 – Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah, Earthquake
22 – Florence & The Machine, Never Let Me Go
23 – T-Pain ft. Ne-Yo, Turn All The Lights On
24 – Fun, Some Nights
25 – Rihanna, Where Have You Been
26 – Laurent Wery ft. Swift Kid & Dev, Hey Hey Hey (Pop Another Bottle)
27 – Jessie JDomino, UNI/UMA
28 – The Black Keys, Gold On The Ceiling
29 – Drake ft. Rihanna, Take Care
30 – Pink, Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
31 – Rudimental, Feel The Love
32 – Maroon 5, One More Night
33 – One Direction, What Makes You Beautiful
34 – Qwote ft. Pitbull, Throw Your Hands Up
35 – Rita Ora, How We Do (Party)
36 – Foster The People, Pumped Up Kicks
37 – Chris Brown, Dont Wake Me Up
38 – Jay Sean ft. PitbullI, All Yours
39 – Adele, Someone Like You
40 – Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen, Good Time
41 – Matchbox Twenty, Shes So Mean
42 – Pitbull, Back In Time
43 – Flo Rida, Whistle
44 – Katy Perry, Wide Awake
45 – David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj, Turn Me On
46 – Justice Crew, Boom Boom
47 – Coldplay, Charlie Brown
48 – Florence & The Machine, Spectrum
49 – Calvin Harris ft. Example, We’ll Be Coming Back
50 – Pete Murray, Free
51 – Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder, The Fighter
52 – Timomatic, If Looks Could Kill
53 – Jason Derulo, Fight For You
54 – We The Kings, Say You Like Me
55 – The Wanted, Chasing The Sun
56 – Delta Goodrem, Sitting On Top Of The World
57 – Guy Sebastian ft. Lupe Fiasco, Battle Scars
58 – Ed Sheeran, Drunk
59 – Chris Brown, Turn Up the Music
60 – Gotye ft. Kimbra, Somebody That I Used To Know
61 – Guy Sebastian, Don’t Worry Be Happy
62 – Calvin Harris, Feel So Close
63 – Usher, Scream
64 – Far East Movement ft. Cover Drive, Turn Up The Love
65 – The Script ft., Hall Of Fame
66 – Coldplay & Rihanna, Princess Of China
67 – Nicki Minaj, Pound The Alarm
68 – Hilltop Hoods ft. Sia, I Love It
69 – Kelly Clarkson, Mr. Know It All
70 – B.o.B. ft. Taylor Swift, Both Of Us
71 – Train, 50 Ways To Say Goodbye
72 – Foo Fighters, These Days
73 – ft. Eva Simons, This Is Love
74 – David Guetta ft. Usher, Without You
75 – Eskimo Joe, Love Is A Drug
76 – Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris, We Found Love
77 – Rebecca Ferguson, Nothing’s Real But Love
78 – Marina & The Diamonds, Primadonna
79 – Havana Brown, You’ll Be Mine
80 – Professor Green ft. Emeli Sande, Read All About It
81 – Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo, Lets Go
82 – Simple Plan, Summer Paradise
83 – Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
84 – Avicii, Levels
85 – Nickelback, Lullaby
86 – Christina Perri, A Thousand Years
87 – Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg ft. Bruno Mars, Young, Wild & Free
88 – Lloyd ft. Andre 3000 & Lil Wayne, Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)
89 – Good Charlotte, Last Night
90 – Adele, Rolling In The Deep
91 – Chiddy Bang, Mind Your Manners
92 – 360 ft. Gossling, Boys Like You
93 – Birdy, Skinny Love
94 – Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl ft. Georgi Kay, In My Mind
95 – Flo RidaI, Cry
96 – B.o.B, So Good
97 – LMFAO, Sexy And I Know It
98 – Rita Ora & Tinie Tempah, R.I.P.
99- Ne-Yo, Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)
100 – Nickelback, When We Stand Together

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