NZ On Air Launches Making Tracks

Thursday 12 May 2011, 10:49AM
By NZ On Air

Today NZ On Air launched a new music funding programme to invest in a greater diversity of New Zealand music.

The scheme, called Making Tracks, will contribute $2 million a year towards at least 200 new Kiwi songs – 200 single track recording projects and 200 music videos a year. It replaces three previous funding schemes, which together funded 50 recording projects and 170 music videos a year.

“Making Tracks is a major overhaul of our music funding. It will create more opportunity for more artists to record great songs for a wider range of New Zealand audiences,” said NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson.

To prepare for Making Tracks, NZ On Air closed down its album and new recording funding schemes earlier this year. “These days, radio, music television and digital media play singles and that is the way most people consume music,” Ms Wrightson said.

“By focusing on singles, and limiting funding to three grants a year per artist, we will be able to make support available to a wider range of music.”

The new scheme follows a review commissioned by NZ On Air to assess the state of the domestic music industry, its funding support and audience demand. “Making Tracks is guided by this report, combined with our own interpretation of where we can best meet our broadcasting-focused legislated purpose,” Ms Wrightson said.

“For the past 20 years, NZ On Air’s sole music focus has been to get more NZ music on commercial radio. When we were set up in 1989, only 2% of music played on commercial radio was made by Kiwis. Now, it’s around 20%. We’re really proud of that, and we’re now looking to build on that success.”

“We’re not letting up on commercial radio but we are aiming to increase diversity in funded music. This will bolster the way we promote funded songs, and will provide music for different audiences on a broader range of media platforms. We expect the majority of our funding will support early and mid-career artists.”

“What hasn’t changed is our commitment to the audience. We will invest in and promote great songs that people will listen to and enjoy – on radio, music television and online,” she said.

Applications for Making Tracks open on 3 June and will be taken monthly (except January and December).

About Making Tracks:

For the last 10 years, NZ On Air has provided three funding schemes: funding for recording albums, funding radio singles by new artists, and making music videos. From 1 July, 2011 these three funding schemes will be merged into one scheme to fund individual tracks and music videos.

Making Tracks will fund at least 200 projects a year – 200 single track recording projects and 200 music videos. In the first year, an extra one-off $500,000 will enable the funding of a further 50 projects.

Artists can apply for up to $10,000 per song: up to $4,000 to record the work and $6,000 to make a music video to back up the release of that song.

Artists can receive up to three grants each year.

Songs will be chosen by a panel of broadcasters and music experts from around the country who will meet monthly and make funding recommendations.

Before applying for funding, artists must meet set criteria to prove they are committed and motivated and have developed an audience following.

About 60% of the grants (150 in the first year) will be for projects aimed at commercial radio, and 40% will be tracks aimed at alternative and online platforms.
See full scheme details here.