Hard News by Russell Brown


Music media: The song remains the same -- but different

The last time Media7 looked at popular music media, we were virtually reading the last rites for music magazines -- submerged by a tough advertising market and competition from blogs and websites.

But -- what's this!?-- New Zealand Herald publisher APN has jumped into the market with a distinctly old-school title called Volume. While the demands of advertisers have pushed the music press into bigger, perfect-bound formats in recent years, Volume is compact and printed on newsprint. And the local music scene seems to like it.

This week's Media7 reports on the launch of Volume, and on another medium deemed to be losing its relevance in the internet age -- music radio. BBC Radio 1 presenter Jen Long -- in New Zealand for the Going Global Music Summit -- tells us that radio still matters as the "gatekeeper" in an era where there is more music to be had than ever.

And yet, there's no ignoring the internet. Volume is online and on Facebook as well as in print, Long finds emerging bands in the same places any other fans does -- and artists and record labels new to do new things.

This week's Media7 panel pursues that theme:

Highly-touted New Zealand pop artist Zowie, signed to Sony Music worldwide, explains the modern skills required to stay the right side of the internet hype machine.

Tom Scott, the creative force behind Auckland hip hop crew Home Brew and the much-praised @peace recording project, talks about keeping it real on Twitter and letting the punters set their own price at online stores. Home Brew were repeatedly refused NZ On Air video funding -- so they made their own videos and put them online. And, frankly, these two promos for their 'Under the Shade' video fundraiser are some of the funniest shit I've never seen on TV:

Home Brew's inability to meet funding critera (until this year, when they gotin at the very end of the old video funding system) suggests that, frankly, the criteria were wrong. So is NZ On Air's new "Making Tracks" funding scheme any better?

And,because it's not all about the kids, Flying Nun Records' Roger Shepherd talks about reclaiming and reviving the label he founded in 1981, in a new age of blogs, podcasts and digital music. He also reveals plans for Flying Nun's 30th anniversary.

To cap off a popular culture special, Jose Barbosa reports from Sydney's colourful -- and controversial -- Graphic 2011 arts festival.


If you'd like to join us for tomorrow evening's recording, we'll need you to come to the Victoria Street entrance of TVNZ after 5.15pm but before 5.40pm. As ever, try and drop me a line to let me know you're coming.

Oh, and if this reads like the network billings, it because I wrotethe network billings this week and turned them into this blog post. Righto.

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