Skip to content
Promotion of musical creation

A revised charter for more Swiss music on SRG channels

A revised charter for more Swiss music on SRG channels
SUISA CEO Andreas Wegelin at the signing of the revised Swiss Music Charter on 14 March 2024.
Photos: Luca Gisler
Text by Erika Weibel
On 14 March 2024, SRG SSR (the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation) signed a new Swiss Music Charter with representatives of nine organisations from the music sector. The objective of this charter is to promote Swiss music and its talents on all SRG channels and to make Swiss music visible.

If you are going on holiday to France, for example, you will notice the border crossing at the latest when the radio reception switches to a French station: The speakers in your car will play predominantly francophone music, as the country’s own music enjoys being given top priority.

Since 1994, a statutory radio quota has determined the percentage of local music that must be played in our neighbouring country to the west. Specifically, radio stations in France are obliged to broadcast at least 40% of their airtime with French music. Certain times and minority channels are excluded. In the event of a breach of the regulation, broadcasters face fines, temporary broadcasting shutdowns or even risk losing their broadcasting licence altogether. Similar laws exist in other countries such as Italy, Poland and Austria.

Successful dialogue with SRG SSR for 20 years

There is no such statutory quota system in Switzerland. Instead, an open discussion has been going on for 20 years between music organisations and SRG SSR on how Swiss music creation can be made more visible and, above all, more audible.

The Swiss Music Charter was launched in 2004 and revised for the first time in 2016. The 20-year collaboration between SRG SSR and the music sector has led to an increase in the share of Swiss music broadcast on all SRG radio stations. On some stations, Swiss music now accounts for more than 50% of broadcasting time (see Overview of Swiss music on the radio as a percentage of broadcasting time (in German), PDF 259 KB). Various television formats and digital offerings such as mx3, Volksmusik.mx3 or neo.mx3 also provide a platform for Swiss music creations and reflect its diversity and creativity.

SRG channels are important for Swiss music creators

With formats such as SRF Best Talent, radio plays, radio showcases or entire TV programmes dedicated to Swiss music, local music is promoted: The performers are given the opportunity to showcase themselves to a large audience throughout the country. At the same time, Swiss music broadcasts are also an important source of income for music creators: Not only are they entitled to a fee for their live performances, but they also receive remuneration for copyright and neighbouring rights each time their music is broadcast, which is paid to them by SUISA and Swissperform respectively.

Future co-operation

Although the proportion of Swiss music played on all SRG channels has increased, there is still room for improvement on various stations. Swiss music could also be shown more often on television, thus drawing the public’s attention to the rich and lively music scene from the four language regions. We would be delighted if the proportion of Swiss music continued to increase in the future, not least because we are convinced that all partners of the Charter, including the audience, will benefit from this.

Vertreterinnen und Vertreter der SRG und Musikverbänden sitzen in einer hufeisenförmig angeordneten Tischrunde.
The partners of the Swiss Music Charter from SRG and the Swiss music industry at their annual meeting in March 2024.

Partners of the charter with SRG are:

  • IFPI Switzerland – the industry association of Swiss music labels
  • The folk culture interest group IGV
  • The association of independent Swiss labels and producers IndieSuisse
  • – the umbrella organisation of Swiss professional orchestras
  • The Swiss Music Council SMR
  • The Swiss Performers’ Cooperative SIG
  • The Swiss Publishers Association SVMV
  • The Swiss Music Council SONART
  • SUISA, Cooperative Society of Authors and Publishers of Music

And the private broadcasters?

The associations for music creators believe it is time for private broadcasters to play more Swiss music. The proportion of CH music on many private stations is very small. To voluntarily commit to broadcasting more local music with a charter would certainly be better than being subject to a statutory quota, as is the case in some of our neighbouring countries. We will therefore continue having to do some convincing.

The Swiss Music Charter

Swiss music plays an important role in SRG’s mission. The latter consists not only in the promotion of music creation (Art. 7 of the licence), but also in cooperation with the most important players in the Swiss music industry (Art. 28 of the licence).

The Swiss Music Charter regulates the cooperation between SRG and the Swiss music sector. In the agreement, SRG undertakes to broadcast an appropriate proportion of Swiss music productions on its radio programmes. Recordings or live broadcasts with Swiss composers, performers or producers as well as recordings with a significant level of Swiss participation are considered to be Swiss music.

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.