Don't believe the hype: Music still makes money in New Zealand

Don't believe the hype: Music still makes money in New Zealand
A new report from PwC shows that while still down from the lofty heights of the golden days before streaming and pirating, the music industry is still making money.

A fair bit of money in fact. According to the report, the music industry (defined as the “activities related to the creation, production, distribution, sale, communication, and performance of music in New Zealand, regardless of country of origin”) contributed $472 million to New Zealand’s economy in 2014 (up 4.4% from 2013), supporting 4,295 full-time equivalent workers (up 5.3% from 2013).

The report, commissioned by Recorded Music NZ, APRA AMCOS, The NZ Music Commission, Te Mangai Paho, NZ On Air and Creative New Zealand, shows that while retail of music (including sales and streaming) continues to decline over all, a drastic decline in record sales (42% of the gross total down from 62% in 2013) was mitigated by an increasing in streaming revenues ($18.6 million up from $2.2 million in 2012).

Making up the shortfall left by music retail is radio broadcasting and live music performance. Music radio contributed $237 million and live music performance $120 million, which collectively amounts to more than 75% of the music industry’s 2014 total GDP contribution. New Zealand music made up 19.3% of all music radio plays (not including Radio NZ), almost double the percentage of New Zealand music in retail sales (10%). 

Music radio broadcasting provided the equivalent of 2,346 full-time jobs and live music performance provided the equivalent of 1,193 jobs in NZ, together generating 80% industry’s total employment impact.

So, while I'm not saying you should take all your hard-earned money and invest it in a radio station or concert promoter, next time you're getting your ear chewed off at a party about the doom and gloom of the music industry, you can say, "Well, actually, according to PwC ..."

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).