6 June 2024

Aotearoa New Zealand’s music artists can look forward to a raft of changes to NZ On Air’s New Music Project (NMP) funding stream that recognise the increased costs in recording and releasing music to audiences.

The changes are in response to industry feedback through NZ On Air’s recent music funding review. They include ending the requirement for financial co-investment as part of the NZ On Air funding, increasing funding by $10,000 to take project funding to $50,000 – in addition to the 10 percent mandatory Artist Creation Fee – and changing the drawdown process from reimbursement to predominantly advances.

“We are really pleased to be able to action these changes,” says Teresa Patterson, NZ On Air Head of Music. “We listened carefully to the industry feedback from last year’s Review of NZ On Air’s Music Funding and have worked really hard to find ways that we could further support our artists and musicians to release quality music for audiences and support economic growth in the music sector.”

Consultation with the industry indicated that the NZ On Air music funding has not been sufficient to meet the needs of the music industry. To address this, the NMP funding has been increased to $50,000 and, to aid cash flow, has changed drawdowns from reimbursements to predominantly advances to help with flexibility.

These changes, alongside the mandatory 10 percent Artist Creation Fee, which was introduced in January this year, make up the biggest changes to NZ On Air’s NMP funding out of the review.

“The mandatory Artist Creation Fee was changed to ensure it would be applied in addition to the grant and ringfenced for the artist,” says Patterson. “But we were also aware that, in the current climate, it has been difficult for artists to cover the costs of recording and releasing their work before being re-imbursed. Now they can access advances to cover these costs.”

Prior to these changes, to be eligible for NMP applicants had to also financially co-invest in the project. That too has now been changed.

“We recognised that there is considerable spending around a release in areas that NZ On Air does not fund, such as touring both domestically and internationally, international marketing and promotion, creative direction and branding,” says Patterson.

“We are really pleased to be able to bring a new range of changes that further recognise that career, financial stability and long-term sustainability are a huge challenge for artists in Aotearoa New Zealand as they seek to make their mark with audiences.”

The next NMP round opens on Thursday 20 June. To find out more, go to our NZ On Air website.

The Review of NZ On Air’s Music Funding was conducted over six months in 2023 by Victoria Kelly. Kelly interviewed a wide cross section of music professionals from across the industry to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the music industry in Aotearoa New Zealand – and then examined the role and efficacy of NZ On Air Music’s funding initiatives within that.