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We are very saddened to hear of the impending closure of Kiwi FM – they have been a great supporter of IMNZ and independent music, and we will miss them. We wish their staff and presenters all the best for their future ventures.
International and Industry Action
Kiwi FM to close on March 31.
From Mediaworks: Kiwi FM has been broadcasting since Waitangi Day 2005. It launched as a station playing 100% NZ music station, and in recent years has broadcast a mix of 70% NZ artists and 30% international artists. The station has 28,000 listeners tuning in each week* and is responsible for approximately 1% of the home grown music played on New Zealand radio stations. Leon Wratt, Group Content Director for MediaWorks Music Radio says: “Kiwi FM has had a great nine years, and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved. “There are now more options than ever to discover and listen to home grown music, and it is time for us to focus on other priorities, including extending George FM and Mai FM’s nationwide reach.
“I want to thank the Kiwi FM staff, past and present, the musicians and record labels that have supported the station, and most importantly, the listeners.” Kiwi FM has been broadcasting on reserved Crown frequencies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. After March 31, these return to the Crown.
* TNS New Zealand Commercial National Survey 2-2014, Cummulative audience (000s), All 10+, Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn
Read more on Scoop.co.nz
New Zealand @ SXSW 2015
The South By Southwest Music & Media Festival 2015 is running from March 13th through March 22nd and sees the music and entertainment world descend upon Austin, Texas. This year, over 2,200 bands play during the 6 festival days devoted to music in a multitude of venues in and around the world famous 6th street in downtown Austin, Texas. The conference attracts over 27,000 music professionals and fans from all over the world with a passion for music, music business and new technologies. This year features the following New Zealand acts making the trek to Austin: Mika Haka, Delaney Davidson, Yumi Zouma, Cairo Knife Fight who preformed at the New Zealand @ SXSW 2015 Official Party yesterday (NZ time), with live streams being sent by Gemma Gracewood from hot new app Meerkat, via Twitter. Read more from the NZ Music Commission…
Delaney Davidson just been announced by WOMAD Charlton Park Festival and will be playing at WOMAD UK 2015. 23-26 July 2015. http://womad.co.uk/
Delaney Is currently in Austin, Texas at the SXSW Festival , where he is playing 5 official showcases including one with the US Folk Alliance. On returning to New Zealand, and before heading off to international shores, he will play just a few shows including support for Jimmie Dale Gilmore at The Tuning Fork April 20th. You will also find him on Record Store Day – April 18th, at Southbound Records in Auckland (pm) and Pennylane in Christchurch (am), signing copies of his special limited edition release on vinyl, Diamond Dozen. He is a busy man – catch him while you can! http://www.delaneydavidson.com
IN HOUSE: Songs & Conversations – tickets on sale now
A Fundraising concert for the New Zealand Music Foundation featuring Don McGlashan, Rodney Fisher, Anna Coddington & Jol Mulholland. Much like a house concert, each artist will perform solo or with the acoustic backing of the others, responding to a series of ’starting points’: one of their own songs that the audience would expect, one they wouldn’t, a new song, and a cover that made them think about our city in a different way. This might be a song by an Aucklander, about Auckland, or just a song that made them see Auckland in a different light.
IN HOUSE – songs and conversation, Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street Auckland, Tuesday 14th April, Doors at 7.30pm; Tickets from Q theatre – HERE
Become a member of The New Zealand Music Foundation to be in to win the only double pass to be given away to In House 2015!
New Release Fanfare
Don McGlashan – Lucky Stars
Don McGlashan has unveiled the title-track from his forthcoming solo album. Lucky Stars started as a raw idea in 2013, while McGlashan was undertaking a writer’s residence at the Michael King Writing Centre on Mt Victoria in Devonport. The musical style is stripped back and simple, as is evident with the eponymous ‘Lucky Stars’, but McGlashan explains that behind the simplicity is a lot of thought. “Like a lot of thought has gone into a really good kitchen knife or something made to be used,” he says. “That’s what songs should be really. You want people to sing them in the shower and to occur to people when they are walking along a beach. And if you’re lucky some of them do”. The record is due out 17th April, in the meantime listen to ‘Lucky Stars’ on Under the Radar…
Surf City at Southbound this Saturday
Surf City will be celebrating the release of their new album Jekyll Island by playing in-store at Southbound Records this Saturday March 21st at 4pm. Southbound Records recently moved to new premises on Symonds Street (132, next to T Whites Bikes).
Centered around singer/guitarist Davin Stoddard’s wry observations and sing song delivery, the record sees Jamie Kennedy increasingly pick up a guitar as well and add a welcome dimension of sunken melodies and lock step fuzz at all of the right moments. Mike Ellis and Andy Frost hold things together with a constant driving beat and rhythm that proves undeniable. See details on the Facebook event page.
Jan Hellriegel’s new single ‘For The Love Of Glory’ sees the light of day
This cinematic, cowboy, Middle Eastern inspired pop song explores themes of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Says Jan, “You can’t please everyone all the time and sometimes your actions can hurt others even if you think you are doing the right thing. The question is, what is doing the right thing?” 2015 is the ‘year of the co-writes’ for Hellriegel. She provided the melody and chorus for the track and handed over lyric imagery to Martin Brown. Long-time collaborator Wayne Bell produced the track, layering sweet melodic choral vocals over the chorus, helping to relieve the listener of the damning symbolism of the preceding verses. Daniel Denholm helped mix the song, embracing Jan’s sonic vision of ‘1000 slaves pulling on the oars of a boat and moaning or grunting sounds’. Chris Chetland (Kog Studios) mastered the track to full clarity and sparkle. ‘For The Love Of Glory’ is now available for purchase and for listening pleasure on iTunes and Bandcamp. Read more about the song’s inspiration on Jan’s blog.
Jackie Bristow releases new single ‘Fallen Youth’ in remembrance of the Gallipoli 100 year reunion.
The lyrics for ‘Fallen Youth’ are from a poem written by an unnamed ANZAC WW1 soldier found in the public lIbrary of Jackie’s hometown of Gore. Jackie Bristow‘s childhood friend and Kiwi soldier Aaron Horrell found the poem and carried it with him for 20 years. Recently Aaron asked Jackie to turn the poem into a song. Jackie wrote the song at the top of the Hokonui Hills and now performs it as part of her live set. Jackie says, “The poem speaks from the heart of a soldier and it feels good to sing my song ‘Fallen Youth’ and to tell a story for all the soldier’s in the world”. Aaron says, “The poem is very special to me. Many times the words have rung true from times when I have lost comrades. The words will continue to ring true in the years to come”. (Aaron served two tours in East Timor and two tours in Afghanistan and worked as private security in Kandahar and Helmand province). Watch the lyric video with exclusive artist intro: https://vimeo.com/121098994
The Jury And The Saints release album on German label
Local act The Jury and the Saints have released a self-titled new album on German label SPV. The first single ‘Focus’ was released Internationally on 31st October 2014, and has received play on Kerrang radio, Team Rock radio as well as many other stations in the UK. The video for ‘Focus’ was featured on MTV in Germany and Switerland as well as being play listed on many Germany radio stations, and with the album already entering the Germany Rock/Metal club charts at number 30 , the band is set for more big things when the album hits shelves all over the world this month. - “Playing live is a huge part of who we are, so its was crucial that the songs and the recordings captured the raw energy and life that we want people to feel when they watch us at a show. We always want our audience to feel like they are part of what we do, and this record reflects that intent.” – The Jury and the Saints. Read more on Amplifier.
The Road Home : Paper Cranes Release Debut Album
Local folk/pop band Paper Cranes are set to release their debut album The Road Home on March 20th 2015. Intertwine Fraser Browne’s love of lyrical poetry and Naomi Browne’s Japanese heritage with some great backing musicians and you have a band that weaves beautifully crafted stories into captivating, dynamic performances using diverse instrumentation (shakuhachi, ukelele, mandolin, ocarina, harmonica, accordion). After releasing their 2012 debut e.p. Oh Love and winning The Audience Wildcard NZ on Air grant for their catchy single ‘Little Darling’ the band were spurred on to relaase a full-length album. “I had a health scare while recording the first e.p. – I found out I had cancer,” says Fraser. “This album was written well after that, so while there are some melancholy songs, many are more upbeat and hopeful.” The Road Home is available via Amplifier, iTunes and all good digital outlets. CDs are available at Paper Cranes’ live shows. To celebrate the release Paper Cranes are touring the country throughout April. papercranes.co.nz
The legendary Stebbing Recording Centre has unveiled a brand new website, and a new blog.
Stebbing Recording Centre (SRC) is New Zealand’s only full-service recording, mastering and music manufacture facility.
The Stebbing name, along with the Zodiac label and the brand’s founder Eldred Stebbing, have been an iconic part of the NZ recording industry for more than 60 years.
From its beginnings, Stebbing Recording Centre Ltd (SRC) has offered a wide range of services, and today encompasses: four purpose-built studios, a CD and DVD manufacturing plant, music labels, a range of post-production services, media preservation technologies and more. The centre works with both audio and video and outputs for traditional as well as digital formats. It is also one of only two ‘Mastered for iTunes’ Providers in the country.
On the Live Front
APO: Remix the Orchestra at Auckland Arts Festival’s Family Day
This performance will be a world exclusive, presenting the new original works of: • Anthony Te Tava • Ellaphon Tauariki • Hannah Searle • Jay Seve • Marina Alefosio – LIVE with Players from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Anonymouz, DJ CXL, K.One and Lavina Williams. It’s part of Auckland Arts Festival’s Family Day this Sunday at Aotea Square 11am-12pm.
Couples on tour: Great North and The Bads
After taking out the Best Folk Album Tui for their 2014 record Up In Smoke in January, and winning the same award for Halves in 2013, Great North have announced a 12-date tour on NZ with The Bads – a vehicle for the musical collisions and escapades of Brett Adams and Dianne Swann. Brendan & Alison Turner will open the shows with a set of foot stomps and harmony singing, honed over years on the road with Bond Street Bridge, The Bitter Years and many other acts. Every group on tour is fronted by a couple. “We didn’t mean for this to happen. It just did,” Great North frontman Hayden Donnell says. “And when it’s right, it’s right.” The romantic pairings will be mingling on stage: Brendan Turner shows up on double bass for The Bads and Great North, while Brett Adams’ incomparable guitar and mandolin playing will feature in Great North’s sets. Only pedal steel player Matthew Hutching is not currently dating a member of the tour party. Visit Cheese on Toast for tour dates…
Around the World
SXSW: The 7 Hottest Topics In Music Tech Right Now
The music portion of South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas officially kicked off Tuesday. Infiltrating the movie buffs and techie nerds who are in town for the film and interactive portions of the festival, are the skinny jean wearing, bead sporting, aviator donning, shaggy, smelly musicians of the world. And of course, the leaders of the actual business side of the music industry. Last night, 6th Street was still relatively tame as the Interactive to Music transition happened. But, no doubt, tonight will get weird.
The first panel I attended was with the Director of Product Management at Facebook, Michael Cerda, VP of Business Development at BandPage, Chris Wiltsee, Managing Director of Walden Venture Capital, Larry Marcus and the moderator was SF MusicTech veteran, Todd Tate.
The panel seemed to meander somewhat aimlessly for the first half hour around general tech topics until someone from the audience nearly interrupted with “So what ARE the 7 hottest topics in music tech right now” (the name of this panel session) to which the room erupted in applause. People like lists. And they like structure. It would have been nice if the list was displayed on the projector so the room could follow along. But nonetheless, the 2nd half hour provided a bit more form and direction for the overflowing conference room at the Hilton hotel in downtown Austin.
Here’s What The Panel Had To Say About What’s Happening in Music Tech Right Now
Tate started it off by referencing YouTube’s new terms of service for independent artists which Zoe Keating revealed in her blog, about how they are requiring artists to put their music on YouTube at the same time they release it anywhere else. This prevents windowing releases – putting them on download stores like iTunes and BandCamp prior to releasing it for streaming. To which Michael Cerda of Facebook replied, “There are more places on the Internet to put video.”
And as Facebook video inches closer to YouTube’s traffic, with 3 billion views A DAY, he’s right. However, they don’t have the monetization features that YouTube offers such as Content ID or even in video annotations where artists can link to merch, tickets and downloads. And Cerda would not discuss a timeline for these updates, however he did say “we’re really just getting started.”
“YouTube is more like a library. Facebook is more about discovery. We’re building a feature set around that.” – Michael Cerda, Facebook
Larry Marcus, whose VC firm works with Pandora, SoundHound, BandPage, Jukely and others said that “you may have 2 million followers on YouTube, but you can’t actually reach those followers. It’s really important to own your fans.”
It’s true, building followers on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify or any other third party service is of course important, however overnight the service could change how it operates and artists could lose access to those fans – like Facebook did with Page reach a couple years ago.
YouTube just announced yesterday, YouTube For Artists, which provides artists with tips on how to chart on Billboard, get airplay on Sirius/XM and NRJ in France. YouTube plans to debut an analytical tool that will provide geographical viewer information to help artists route tours, a la Pandora’s Amp.
Wiltsee discussed BandPage’s partnership with YouTube which now allows artists to place graphic annotations over their videos which link to merch offerings.
“One of the biggest headaches in the business right now is there’s a ton of engagement happening on Pandora, YouTube, and Spotify are the big 3. Artists are rightly very frustrated and pushing back. For the amount of plays we should be seeing a lot more revenue.” -Chris Wiltsee, BandPage
Much of the panel’s time was spent discussing Amanda Palmer and Patreon. And no, I didn’t guide the conversation this way. So I’m not the only one that thinks this is revolutionizing the industry! But all agreed that artists need to build the fan base first. Crowdfunding is not about discovering.
Wiltsee advised that the traditional album campaign is outdated and doesn’t work anymore. He said that artists need to be releasing content all the time along with bundling in exclusives and special merch so “you can continually come out with new things to engage with that fanbase. An artist’s career is always in cycle. It’s a perpetual cycle.”
“Amanda Palmer is a multi-media star, but how many Amanda Palmers are there? She’s figured out how to break through.” – Larry Marcus, Walden VC
“Above fan funding, artists need to have more regular conversation with their audience. Artists shouldn’t come out and just say ‘come buy my merch or a ticket. It’s about a conversation. It’s about the perpetual cycle. You’re not just merchandising, you’re engaging.” Michael Cerda, Facebook.
“Artists should be demanding of Spotify and other services to promote their wares. That’s the spot where you’re going to want to reach your fans to consume your products,” Marcus said. Wiltsee agreed “there are fans listening to bands 800 times a month.” But currently, artists have no way to actually connect with these fans. Not on Pandora. Not on YouTube. Definitely not on Sirius/XM and not really on Spotify.
Pandora released its artist analytic tool AMP a few months back. It was a great step forward, however, it needs to go further. Fans should be notified (ON THE PLATFORM) when their favorite artists announce new shows. When they release a new song. When they launch a crowd-funding campaign. And fine, these services SHOULD take a commission so they have skin in the game and can work WITH artists on increasing this revenue. If 100 people in Baltimore created an Ari Herstand radio station, these 100 people should get a special notification when I announce a show in Baltimore. There are over 600,000 people in the city, there’s no way I could find these 100 through general advertising or grass roots promo to get them out to my show.
Internet radio NEEDS to do more for artists to help connect them with their fans. It’s a FEATURE that fans would appreciate. A simple notification when a concert is announced in their city is not invasive. Hurry up Pandora! Hurry up Spotify! Hurry up Rdio! Hurry up Deezer! Hurry up Apple!
The conversation was steered towards curated playlists versus algorithm-created playlists and Cerda said that in a blind listening test he bets he could tell you which playlist was hand-picked and which was created by an algorithm. I’d like to see this test.
“Algorithms do a lot of things, but they don’t feel.” – Michael Cerda, Facebook.
The panel also has high hopes for what Spotify is going to do with The Echo Nest, “One of the deepest tech companies in music ever,” said Marcus.
They touched on Wonder.FM, which used to be WeAreHunted, which lists the top tracks on SoundCloud. SoundCloud has been enjoying success under the radar and has been the favorite streaming app to integrate into new music apps, startups and existing behemoths (like Twitter), however, now that they are striking deals with the majors and starting to officially monetize, forcing them to update their course, this could all change very soon.
4) Business Models For MusicTech Companies With Copyright Reforms
“The big problem in music tech right now is that the ecosystem has been broken for many years. If you ever tried to get funding when you’re trying to license music and sell it. It’s nearly impossible to do.” – Larry Marcus
Marcus is very excited about the live concert subscription service Jukely (which he is an investor of), where for $25 a month you can go and see “all the concerts you want” – of those that are actually signed up to the program of course. He claims it will have a great selection and discovery element to it. Currently it has launched in NYC, LA, San Francisco and Chicago. Of course this program will not include the huge arena shows. But might be a nice way to get more people out to see local and mid-level artists.
Marcus thinks that once the statutory rates for radio are updated there is going to be “the opportunity for people to invest in the space. I think you’re going to see a very exciting spreading and merging of radio and on-demand services.”
“I hope there is a shifted mindset for people who own the copyrights, the labels, to construct win-win deals. And that’s NOT about upfront cash payments. It’s where if the company succeeds then everyone succeeds.” -Larry Marcus, Walden VC
However with Lucian Grainge of UMG exclaiming that freemium, ad-supported subscription services “weren’t working for anyone except streaming services and music fans,” and Doug Morris of Sony Music saying that free music is causing the death of the music industry, don’t hold your breath that the labels will join in with Marcus’ dream anytime soon.
Read the rest of the article on Digital Music News…
The Taite Music Prize 2015
Presented by: Independent Music New Zealand
Founding Partner: Recorded Music NZ
Official Partners: NZ On Air / the Taite Family
Supporting Partners: NZ Music Commission / The Australasian Performing Right Association / Native Tongue Music Publishing / NZMusic4U -Pure Capital Thinking / Media Arts Lawyers / Red Bull Studio Auckland / MOA Beer / Spy Valley Wines / McCarthy Design
Media Partners: iHeartRadio / Juice TV / Kiwi FM