NZ musos eye TVC export market

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New Zealand independent music publisher Songbroker – founded by local legend Jan Hellriegel – launches its new export platform launches at Seafarers in Auckland on Wednesday 22 March to an audience including Minister of Commerce & Consumer Affairs Jacqui Dean.

Songbroker hasn’t been around for long but is already having an impact on the prospects and livelihoods of local songwriters and composers – and the ad agencies they work for.

With music royalties tanking in the past few years, most local musicians have suffered an income hit which hasn’t been replaced by the growth of streaming; despite a few good- news stories, it’s never been tougher to make a living from music.

TVCs in their sights
Songbroker is unashamedly focused on finding income opportunities for Kiwi songwriters, mainly through placement of songs on films, TV shows, advertisements and online content.

Songbroker artists already regularly feature on local shows such as Shortland Street, Brokenwood Mysteries and Filthy Rich – and also on NZ films, documentaries, and many NZ-made TVCs.

“We have a great relationship with local content makers and ad agencies, and really appreciate their enthusiasm for using as much original New Zealand music as possible,” said Hellriegel. “They’ve been amazingly supportive to our artists.”

Songbroker is now turning its attention to the other 99% of the potential music licensing market, with the launch of a web platform representing NZ music to international users and ad production houses.

“The Songbroker offering is quite unique,” Hellriegel says. “We represent the works of about 180 talented songwriters and composers, and unlike many of the world’s online music libraries, this is authentic art – it’s the real deal, it’s coming from a very creative nation, and that’s a key point of difference.”

No tarrifs!
Hellriegel says the export scope for Kiwi musicians is “huge”.

“You can only sell a kilo of milk powder or a bottle of wine once. However, a song can be licensed many, many times over its copyright lifetime. Music also costs nothing to ship, and crosses borders without attracting tariffs.”

Hellriegel has spent the past several years building up Songbroker’s roster of artists and is proud to be representing such a strong catalogue of original music.

She says securing a sync on a show, or a commercial soundtrack deal never fails to make everyone in the office smile.

“Nothing’s a better buzz than calling a struggling songwriter and telling them there’s a licensing fee on the way to their bank account. It’s great to know someone not only likes your music but is happy to pay to use it.”

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