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NZ On Air new music funding changes

Story Published Sunday 12 July 2020

On 29 May the Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern announced details of a Cultural Recovery Package which included $7.1million to NZ On Air over the next two years to ‘boost NZ On Air’s New Music programmes’.

NZ On Air have now announced some of the detail of how that additional funding is being allocated, with changes to their two main New Music funding schemes – New Music Single and New Music Project. These changes will come into play in time for the next funding rounds – New Music Single closing on 25 June, and New Music Project closing on 6 August.

They state: "We designed these changes with the impact of the Covid-19-related restrictions in mind, and also as a response to the findings in our 2019 research with Creative NZ – Profile of a Creative Professional – which revealed that musicians are among the worst remunerated practitioners in the arts. We note that the funding boost over the next two years and the enhancements to our funding schemes are for a finite two year period – they are not permanent.

"In 2020/21 we are doubling our investment in these two schemes, meaning we will be committing $2million to New Music Single funding and $2million to New Music Project funding. This gives us the ability to increase the number of grants and therefore the number of artists we can support with funding for music creation and promotion. We will also increase the amount of funding per grant, and introduce a new ‘Artist Creation Fee’ designed to remunerate the artist for some of the time and creative inspiration they have put into writing and recording their music."

Details of these changes are below

New Music Single

  • Single grants increase from $8,000 to $10,000 - which includes a $1,000 (10%) Artist Creation Fee.
  • Co-investment from the rights holder is not required.
  • New Music Single grants cover the eligible costs of recording, video content creation and promotion for an individual song release.
  • Applicants for New Music Single grants must be able to meet a minimum of 10 specified criteria from a list of 30 options to make an application, details can be found here (PDF).
  • The next New Music Single funding deadline is Thursday 25 June at 4pm. The online application site for Single funding is

New Music Project

  • Project grants increase from $30,000 to up to $40,000 - which includes an up to $4,000 (10%) Artist Creation Fee.
  • The co-investment requirement from the rights holder is reduced from a minimum of 40% to a minimum 20%.
  • New Music Project grants cover the eligible costs of recording, video content creation and promotion for an multi-song release campaign (eg. album, EP or similar).
  • Applicants for New Music Project grants must have the support of a New Zealand-based third-party music company to oversee the project through to release and promotional campaign.
  • Prospective Project applicants must have a strong track record of significant audience and online/broadcast outcomes before an application will be considered. More details on pre-application criteria for Project applicants can be found here (PDF).
  • The next New Music Project funding deadline is Thursday 6 August at 4pm but expressions of interest must be received 2 weeks prior to that deadline. More details here.

Please note for both funding schemes the Artist Creation Fee is optional. The artist or rights holder can decide to invest that fee into the overall single or project campaign if they wish.

Further details of how the remaining additional funds will be allocated will be announced in the coming weeks. These will include extra investment in children’s music, more focus rounds for Pasifika music and music incorporating Te Reo Māori, new music development opportunities, more professional support options for funded artists, and an extra fund for projects and features promoting New Zealand music to New Zealand audiences.