Brendan Smyth – NZ Music Manager, NZ On Air

“You know I can’t really name a date. It did creep up on us all, particularly in the music industry. In a way, the music industry was a bit like ‘the canary down the mine shaft’ – before it impacted on the film and television industry, it really impacted on the music industry. I’ve always thought of the Internet as being both the best thing that’s happened to music in living memory, but also the worst. The good news about the Internet is that it has totally democratised the means of production, the means of distribution and marketing which has opened up the world to a lot of bands and artists that in the past, we would never have heard of. In the days of The Beatles back in the 1960s, you never got to make a record unless you were signed by EMI or Parlophone in their case and you were taken into these mausoleums of studios like Abbey Road. You made a record that cost a lot of money and then you needed the machine to release the record. The Internet has changed all of that. People can make a song in their bedroom. They can get it out on YouTube or online somehow and find an audience for their music. That’s the upside. The downside is that piracy is rampant because it’s easy to get the music without paying for it anymore. The shop on the high street has become the shop on cyber street. Now music is ubiquitous and a lot of people don’t pay for it. That has undermined the traditional economic base of the music industry but the music industry has to adapt to that and find new ways of using the Internet. On the plus and minus side, I would say that more good has come than the downside.”


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