I’ve been waiting for this news story for over two and a half years now, and suddenly that day has come! Campbell Smith has come out to say that NZ music is dying and top NZ artists have to get second jobs BECAUSE of digital music downloads.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
Yes NZ music has fallen over from the giddy heights of the early part of the decade – BUT THERE IS ANOTHER REASON WHY THIS HAS HAPPENED!!!!!!
I’m using big words because the last time I pointed out this exact fate, my friends in the music industry seemed to have their heads jammed firmly up their own arses and couldn’t hear me, so take a moment and listen this time, because there is a solution, and seeing as you are bleeding money right now, one could suspect that I can as much of a smarmy prick as I like, and you will desperately read whatever I have to write on the subject.
Good, now pay attention.
The reason NZ music has hit the doldrums has everything to do with Kiwi FM. Prior to Kiwi FM, Channel Z played 40% NZ music with its mix of mainstream alt punk. At its height Channel Z had 5% of the Auckland market (a huge rating), right up until of course Canwest decided to promote that awful ‘The Edge’ crap over and above Channel Z which started a decline. What Channel Z did was it brought NZ music to the attention of the other radio stations who being very cautious wouldn’t ever test out a song. What Channel Z did by playing 40% music was make it safer for stations to pick up NZ content into their playlists.
The decision for 40% NZ music was a mix of no one in management knowing and people within Channel Z who were passionate about NZ music and me (who just thought ideologically that we should play NZ music because it is our culture –but then again I was always the weirdo of the group.)
So out of this unplanned experiment, other radio stations had to start competing with our playlist, and by having Channel Z break music in for them, it reduced the risk for other radio stations.
I left Channel Z when Grant Hislop (the new station manager) decided to turn it into ‘Kiwi - 100% NZ music’ – I was aghast, at first we were told it wouldn’t be much change at all, but I tried to argue that a 100% NZ music playlist would not work and it would damage the uptake of other radio stations as they wouldn’t bother competing with the playlist and would simply leave NZ music to kiwi. This in effect would lead to a massive down turn in the market because less NZ music would get air time and the very serendipitous success of Channel Z would come to an end. By playing a mix of music, Channel Z had been a lynchpin between the commercial radio and student radio worlds, drawing in new artists while supporting existing ones and forcing other commercial stations to compete by adopting NZ music into their playlists. Kiwi FM – by being 100% NZ music has become a dumping zone that other stations don’t bother to compete with, the effect is less NZ music gets heard from the total number of stations. Less music play means less NZers listening to NZ music.
Oh and did I mention after the change that Kiwi’s ratings dropped like a stone? It currently has .7% in the last radio survey. Oh and did I mention that the Labour Party are propping up Kiwi FM, this actual station (all best intentions aside) is KILLING NZ music. The format of Kiwi has to be changed, like I first suggested, to a mix of music rather than 100% NZ, Kiwi HAS to become the Youth Radio Network with that mix of music and you industry barons MUST start pushing for that.
I’d suggest letting National know this, and let Labour freak out and force their hand.
Otherwise you will have Bic flipping burgers.
Stop blaming digital downloads and accept Kiwi is the problem, and force Labour to hand the contract for those frequencies over to someone who can make it work.Downloads force music stars to seek second jobsThe manager of top singer-songwriter Bic Runga says eight of his "high-profile" and "major" New Zealand artists have been forced to take second jobs as illegal digital downloads kill the music industry. Campbell Smith, who is also the Recording Industry Association chief executive, told Parliament's commerce select committee yesterday that the decline in CD sales had led many musicians to abandon the industry as a full-time career. Performers listed on Mr Smith's CRS Management website include hip-hop artist Scribe, singer-songwriter Brooke Fraser and Carly Binding, a former member of the made-on-TV group TrueBliss.