Continuing this editorial's recent trend of comenting on people you probably haven't heard of, it's a good time for us all to note the recent fortunes of 51-year-old Michael Glading. Glading was, until very recently, the head of Sony Music in New Zealand. You may have read in our News section about the recent global merger of BMG and Sony, and how that cost Glading his job. The merger was one of a number of rationalisations (read: "cost-cutting measures") that have hit the music industry lately - Warner, EMI and Universal have been shedding staff as well. These have been brought on by a recent downturn in music sales. This lack of sales, as we all know, has been driven by availabilty of free music. Downloading and CD burning is having the negative effect on music companies that the companies themselves told us it would. Don't act surprised.
Most people think that helping themselves to something by System of a Down or Nelly won't hurt anyone, because these guys already sell heaps of stuff, right? But money from Nelly CDs doesn't just go to Nelly. The top end of a company's artist roster is its main resource, and funds pretty much everything, including management, recruitment, and even development of lesser-known artists. Most people won't notice when the company producing and distributing their favourite CDs has to merge with another or sell itself. Most people won't notice when fewer people are employed to find new talent to promote. Most people won't notice if the cuts go beyond management and hit artist rosters, because it's the least popular artists that go first. That's why most people don't really mind accepting free music. But when the top managers are getting cut, things are serious. The musicians themselves can't be far from the axe. Those that aren't mainstream will be "rationalised" and suddenly it's the fans of artists that aren't selling overproduced crap by the shipload that start missing out.
New Zealand had such industry-led backlashes as the BRN>BRNT campaign and it seems that we largely got the message, at least as far as music from our own shores goes. Even though the international music industry is shrinking, we're enjoying our best days ever here. In 1998, NZ music (that is, music by NZ artists signed to NZ labels) only made up 4.33% of music sales in NZ. This year that's up to 11.94%. We put about $23 million over the counter for our local sounds last year (retail sales have doubled since 2000), and in the past seven years radio has come to the party in a big way, with kiwi music growing from 5.26% to 25.4% of playlists. Against all global trends, we're on one hell of a roll.
It's the support from us consumers that keeps our music industry growing at such an incredible rate. And this is made all the more amazing by the fact that we know we can get what we want without paying a cent - let alone $23m a year - for it. Campaigns like BRN>BRNT have hit home, at least to some degree. The Recording Industry Association (RIANZ) launched that particular high profile assault on piracy in 2001. Its success, though, is probably now cold comfort to the long-serving industry boss who was RIANZ president of that time - one Michael Glading.
Bored Gordon has been around for a little while now and those in the Auckland pub scene most probably have seen them at some point in the past 18mths. Bored Gordonís fuzz-pop style is both accessible and quirky. They obviously enjoy their guitars warm and loud but donít fall into the trap of relying on technical riffery. Rather, they provide the audience with melodic hooks that leave the punter humming a tune until their head hits the pillow. Following their debut release this September, ĎThe Peter Pan EPí, Bored Gordon has been performing as much as possible to promote the EP and grow their fan base. They are also working on a video for ĎPeter Paní and have plans to do some more recordings in the New Year. However, the main goal of the near future for Bored Gordon is to play live as much as possible focussing on expanding their audience and honing their abilities.
New Artists @ muzic.net.nz
Here's the latest additions to the muzic.net.nz artist pages:
|Vader Whale||Marla Jean|
|Peter Thompson||The Outsiders|
|Agentc||Misfits Of Science|
Recent winners of competitions were:
Monsterr - Second Compilation - B. George, Ohaupo
Wendyhouse - 'Pan' - R. Lockie, Ellerslie
For your chance to win, check out the following competitions on our Competitions Page:
The Snares - 'Dance The Dervish'
Tourist - 'Do You Feel The Cold?'
Feelstyle - 'Break It To Pieces'
Stardrunk - 'Complete Control'
48May - 'The Mad Love'
Evermore - 'Dreams'
P-Money - 'Magic City'
Misfits of Science - 'MOS Presents...'