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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Call for German music radio quota
Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams is a star across Europe
Germany should have quotas for the radio airtime to be dedicated to pop sung in the native language, industry officials say.

They estimate only 10% of German radio's play lists is sung in German, falling way short of France, Italy and Spain's 50% native language ratio.

A committee of German MPs will meet on Wednesday to consider introducing a quota for broadcasters.

Germany has one of the world's five biggest music markets.

But its industry has suffered a downturn since 1997, with turnover dropping 40%.

Only 55% of the country's best-selling artists are German.

"It is often said that whoever makes good music will get on the radio, but that is just not true," said Bjoern Akstinat, president of the German music export office.

And Micha Rhein of German band In Extremo said: "Our record was at number three in the charts for weeks but our promoters had to fight to get the song played on the radio - it's a cheek."

The music industry believes bands cannot hope to make it abroad if they do not get enough support at home, although it is unclear how much growth potential there might be in world markets for German-language pop.

Konrad Kuhnt, chief editor at Berlin-based Radio Fritz, said his station could only succeed if it chose the best music.

"It is not true that we wouldn't play the music. We wish we had the material to present to our listeners when they say they want more."

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