Changes are coming for NZ On Air's international New Zealand music work.
Last year, NZ On Air commissioned music industry consultant, Chris Caddick to do an independent review of its "Phase Five" programme.
Phase Five is NZ On Air's contribution to the Government's New Zealand music export strategy that was launched in March 2005. It is a promotional campaign to "introduce New Zealand music to the world" via the music media.
Part of Chris Caddick's brief was to consult widely within the music industry. In the course of the review, he interviewed 50+ industry players, including major and indie labels, artists, lawyers, touring agents, music publishers and support agencies.
The review set out to answer two key questions. First, should NZ On Air be involved in the international promotion of New Zealand music at all. And, if so, is Phase Five the right thing for NZ On Air to be doing and how can it be improved.
The answer to the first question was a convincing yes, with something like 75% of the industry supporting NZ On Air's involvement.
Opinion was divided on the second question - the efficacy of the current Phase Five programme. The review will result in some refocusing and re-prioritising of NZ On Air's work in the international arena.
Australia will now be a key priority. NZ On Air will work with New Zealand repertoire-owners and their Australian partners on up to 10 airplay campaigns a year. The aim will be to break New Zealand artists at radio in Australia.
Even though Australia will be the main focus, NZ On Air's successful college radio campaign in the US will continue. In 2009, ten New Zealand artists made it into the US college radio airplay charts. That is five times more than in 2004, before the campaign began.
The report proposes a raft of downstream changes as a result of this refocusing on airplay outcomes and on Australia. Some will impact immediately (like dropping the Phase Five brand and cutting back on our generic music sampler programme) and some will be phased in in the new financial year in July (like withdrawing from MIDEM and SXSW and leaving those promotions to the NZ Music Commission).
The report says that international success "is important for the future of New Zealand music and important to the future of the local content campaign here in New Zealand. It will help build a robust local production sector that will sustain the output of music that the local content campaign depends upon".
The report ends with a challenge. "Phase Five will know it has succeeded when "Don't Dream It's Over" no longer wins the APRA award for the most performed work overseas".
To see a copy of the full report, go to Publications.
For further information, contact Brendan Smyth at email@example.com.