Okay, so it’s really just $98.8M, but you can forgive Recorded Music NZ for claiming the headline ‘Music – New Zealand’s $100 million industry’. It’s good news after all with the local music industry’s wholesale revenues showing big growth for the third year in a row – last year’s figures up from $86.2M in 2016 and $74.4M the year before.
So, double-digit growth year on year, feeling flush yet you Kiwi musicians? Spotify and Apple Music rewarding you generously? A dominant 50% just last year, streaming incomes now provide the lion’s share of the revenue stream – 62% in 2017.
Wholesale revenue from streaming in 2017 was $61.3M (of the $98.8M total figure), a staggering 42% increase on the 2016 figures. Indeed it is notable that last year’s streaming revenue is almost as large as the industry’s total wholesale revenue of $66.2M just three years ago (in 2014).
The Recorded Music NZ report, however, makes no mention of just what percentage of those figures go to the various rights holders of New Zealand’s own music. According to Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan though, Kiwi-based streaming figures generally make up somewhere between 5-10%.
Physical music purchases declined again in 2017 but continue to make up a decent chunk of music turnover, contributing $14.5M overall. Spending on vinyl releases continues to show growth, inching up last year to $2.8M.
With the industry challenge of peer-to-peer piracy these days giving way to what’s called ‘stream ripping’, the report takes the opportunity point out the value gap created by certain platforms able to take advantage of safe harbour provisions in our Copyright Act, provisions which were intended for ISPs only.
“It is clear that music is a growing and thriving sector and to build on this momentum in 2018 Recorded Music NZ will ensure copyright which is the foundation of music, is front and centre with our legislators as we proceed through the review of the NZ Copyright Act,” says Vaughan.
“Without strong copyright law which enables songwriters, performers and recording artists to control how their music is used and how they make a living from their creativity, our local industry will suffer and go backwards.”