Brendan Smyth – NZ Music Manager, NZ On Air

“One of the first things that NZ On Air did in the campaign to promote New Zealand music was to put money into making music videos. We’d been doing that since 1991 and we’ve funded about 2,500 music videos since then. But the wonderful thing about the Internet is that it has suddenly given the music video a new lease of life. There was a stage there when people were saying, “Music video is over. It’s not worth making music videos anymore because there are too few places for them to play on traditional television”. And it looked like the music video was going to slide away as a force – but the Internet and YouTube in particular – has totally revolutionised that and it has become, in some ways, the most important tool in an artist’s arsenal of resources. YouTube has done great things for music videos. We keep track of those numbers as well and in the last year, that is to 30 June, the top 10 most played NZ On Air-funded music videos had notched up 1.29 million views between them. When you think about how much we have put into making that music video which is not a lot – ok, it’s only 5,000 dollars – and it gets played on C4 and music television and clocks up a lot of views there, but also the Internet gives it this extra boost. There is a classic example that we did a little case study on which was the Smashproof video for Brother with Gin Wigmore. That video cost us NZ$5,000 to make. The record company kicked in about NZ$8,500 I think so it was a NZ$13,500 video. In the end, it played so many times on television that if you translate it into hours, it was 95 hours of air time but on top of that, there were 600,000 views on YouTube and if anyone’s talking about value for money, hells bells, that is value for money.”


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