Navigating the New Zealand music industry

Going Global: Jacinda Ardern backs 20% radio quota

in Industry by

The New Zealand Government remains committed to upholding existing local music quotas for commercial radio, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The PM – who is also the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage – told attendees at this year’s Going Global Music Summit that she is “not willing to budge on 20 percent” when it comes to the voluntary code, which was first agreed back in 2002.

The 20 percent target was to have come into effect in 2006 but it has rarely been reached. The Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the Radio Broadcasters Association are currently in negotiations over an update to the code.

According to the Prime Minister, the amount of air time New Zealand music has received on radio has been sitting around the 12-13 percent mark in recent years, although in the last quarter it had jumped to 17 percent.

However, Ardern added that radio quotas would not be the only focus. “I do think that we have to take a much broader view,” she said. “So, yes, we do need to keep our sights on what we are doing alongside our broadcasters to make sure that people are accessing new New Zealand music. But at the same time we have to move our horizons to some of those streaming services as well.

“I’m interested in what we can do to make sure that we are doing a better job of promoting New Zealand music to streaming services. I know that our counterparts in Australia are starting to do that but I’m not sure that we are making the most of that opportunity here.”

However, answering question from the floor, Ardern was lukewarm on the idea of a youth-oriented radio network along the lines of Australia’s Triple J. Although she would be open to discussing the idea, she felt “things are moving on in the way that people are actually accessing music and new music in particular”.

Ardern also reiterated her support for programmes such as the NZ Music Commission’s Outward Sound and is seeking feedback from the industry on what other initiatives could be put in place to support the export of NZ music and boosting its profile in the streaming sector.

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