2021 Local Music Airplay Hits Record High

2021 Local Music Airplay Hits Record High

NZ On Air reports that in 2021 local music airplay on New Zealand radio hit a new record high, with stats revealing nearly one in every four songs played on our main contemporary commercial music networks was from a local act, alongside more waiata in Te Reo Māori.

The annual figure for NZ music played on commercial music radio stations reaching 23.8 % for the first time in history, according to NZ On Air, the Radio Broadcasters Association and Recorded Music NZ. This follows on from the 2020 record of 20.9% of airplay being NZ music, with the previous highest annual figure being 20.8%, achieved in 2005.

(Note that this data relates exclusively to airplay on commercial radio. It doesn’t include music played on public, student, iwi, Pacific and other radio – all of which also had exceptionally strong local content results in 2021.)

Tracking the figures for Radioscope/Recorded Music NZ since 2001, chief data collator and analyst Paul Kennedy says it’s a genuine thrill to see such sustained radio and audience support for local music on the airwaves.
“It’s fantastic to see these results roll in so consistently over the last two years. Particularly to see so many of the country’s most high-rating stations making big strides, and hearing so much Kiwi music during peak listening times.”
Kennedy also reports a surge in airplay of local music in te reo Māori on commercial networks in the past three years. In 2019 there were 4,582 radio plays of waiata Reo Māori, which grew five-fold to over 25,000 radio plays on major commercial networks in 2021.