Frequently asked questions

updated August 2019

What is NZ On Air and why does it fund New Zealand music?

NZ On Air is a government broadcast funding agency. We are a Crown Entity and our legal name is ‘The Broadcasting Commission’. We fund local content for broadcast (including online) outcomes for New Zealand audiences, so we can extend local content choices for our local audiences.
The definition of ‘broadcast’ for our funding purposes covers traditional radio and television broadcast, and online consumption through digital platforms (including websites and audio and video streaming services).

NZ On Air helps fund New Zealand music to help get more local content exposed on-air and online. The primary purpose of the funding support is to help enhance the quality of NZ songs and the promotional activity around those songs to give them the best chance to cut through to find audiences. We look to fund quality music content, diverse music content and enhance the discoverability of that content for our local audiences.

What is the New Music funding scheme about?

New Music Single is about funding great new New Zealand songs that have the potential to
connect with a sizeable audience via broadcast and online platforms. New Music Single is a
single-track funding scheme which provides a funding contribution towards the
costs of recording a single and/or making video content to support the single’s release, along with promotional activity to enhance the discoverability of the funded song.
New Music Single funding is decided by a panel of music experts from different areas of the NZ music industry, and there are 5 funding rounds every year.

How many times can I apply?

An artist applicant can only apply once in each round.

If I get a grant how long do I have to use it?

You have 2 months from when you get the grant to sign and execute your contract. You have 6 months from the date of your contract to complete the Single project - unless you contact us to extend the delivery timeframe. The best idea is to keep in contact with us so we know where the project is at if there are any delays. We understand in the music industry things can change and we get that. It’s just important to keep us in the loop!

How many times can I apply with the same song?

Twice. Once your song has been considered by two different New Music Single funding panels our policy is you need to move on and choose a different single if you are going to apply again.

How many grants can I receive in a year?

For New Music Single funding, you can receive up to three grants in a 12-month period, or three grants from any one multi-song collection (eg. album or EP). For New Music Project funding, any one artist can only receive one Project grant in a 12-month period.

Do I need to co-invest in my Single project?

As of July 2019 we have removed the need for a 20% co-investment for New Music Single funding, but this only applies to grants from that date onwards. All grants received between July 2016 and June 2019 still require 20% co-investment. Regardless we still expect you to invest additional resources into the release of your funded Single where possible, to give it the very best chance of cutting through and finding an audience.

Do I need to keep my invoices and receipts to track what I have spent?

Absolutely yes. This is a requirement of the grant process - you will need to keep all evidence of expenditure related to the grant. You can reasonably expect to be asked to supply all invoices and receipts after the second drawdown of your grant. If you are unable to supply them this will put the remainder of your grant on hold, and could jeopardize any further funding opportunities with NZ On Air.

Can I get funding for recording work that is already released?

You can still apply for New Music Single funding for the video content and promotion for the song, but if the music is already released (publicly available) then we won’t reimburse any of the recording costs. However, if your song is already released there would need to be a very good case as to why video content and promotion investment from us would change the game in terms of promoting that song.

Can I spend some of the grant on marketing, promotion, online ads etc?

It is expected that each Single project will allow some budget to spend on promotion, publicity and marketing to get the funded song noticed by a larger audience. Some flexibility is built into the scheme and the applicant for Single funding can spend a portion of the grant promoting the funded song and video content.

What is Video Content – does this just mean music videos?

The New Music Single funding scheme is now more flexible about video content. Previously we required an official music video with every funded song, but this has changed. We are less prescriptive about the form your video content may take to promote the song. Moving image content is important in the promotion of your music, but whether this is a full music video, a series of video teasers, mini-documentary footage, behind the scenes content or something else is up to you to decide. This is a creative decision that should be made depending on what you think your potential audience will best respond to, and will give you most value for the grant money. Please note we still require the video content you create to be the best quality possible in order to effectively reach an audience, but the format is now less prescribed. You will still need to submit budgets for the different stages of the grant, including video content.

What does ‘Eligible Costs’ mean?

Eligible costs are the costs we will consider as part of your budget that the NZ On Air grant can go towards. We don’t fund things like capital purchases, international travel, per diems, live tours, marketing and promotion in overseas markets etc. All costs must be related directly to creating the audio and video content for broadcast and online audiences in New Zealand, and the costs of promoting that music content to that audience.

Why do I need to meet certain criteria to apply?

Artists need to meet certain criteria before entering an application for New Music Single (a minimum of 10 criteria from 30 options). This helps to demonstrate that you have already started reaching an audience with your music and there is some public demand for the music you’re making.

How much funding can I get with New Music Single and what does that cover?

The available funding is up to a maximum of $10,000 (plus GST if you are GST registered), and the funds can be allocated between recording, video content and costs of promotion and marketing. The grant is usually split into 3 drawdowns - $4,000 / $2,000 / $2,000 / $2,000 split between various milestones across your Single project delivery.

Can I apply with one of my old songs or a cover version?

No. Cover versions and remakes of older songs are not eligible under the New Music Single scheme. Due to the incredible demand for funding support each round we are focused on new songs only.

I’m having difficulty uploading my application. What should I do?

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application please try another web browser and clear your cookies cache. If you are still having difficulties after doing this please contact us.

I’ve started a new band, can I just use the criteria achievements from my last band or bands to apply for funding?

No. You must have made some headway in terms of generating audience with your new band. You must answer all sections except the Awards and Recognition section with the artistic entity you are applying for and cannot use previous track record for any other sections.

Can I apply to produce a cover version of an existing song?

No, NZ On Air can only support the production of new original music under any of our New Music funding schemes. You must hold all the necessary rights including Performers' Rights to release the song for any music you submit for funding consideration. If you have a sample contained within your song then it must be completely cleared before the track can be considered for funding support.

Can I apply to produce a live version of a song?

No, your New Music Single cannot be a live recording. You must deliver a studio recorded / produced song for servicing to broadcast platforms under this scheme.