Frequently asked questions

Updated 14 December 2023

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.

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.

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 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 do not provide funding for capital purchases, international travel, per diems, live tours, expenses related to the manufacturing of physical products, koha, gifts, and similiar expenses. 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.

You can view our detail New Music Single entry criteria here: https://d3r9t6niqlb7tz.cloudfront.net/media/documents/New_Music_Single_Criteria.pdf

If I receive NZ On Air Music funding, 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! You can contact us at newmusic@nzonair.govt.nz in regards to any updates to your funding.

How many times can I apply?

An artist may apply once per round.

The artist name you apply under may also appear as a feature or collaborator on another artist’s application, but you cannot be the main artist applicant more than once per round.

NB: If you have uncompleted New Music Single funding that has lapsed its contracted term, you will be ineligible to apply. If this is the case for you, please contact newmusic@nzonair.govt.nz

How much funding can I receive in a year?

Under New Music Single, you can receive funding three times from three separate rounds within a 12-month period.

If you have uncompleted New Music Single funding that has lapsed its contracted term, you will be ineligible to apply. If this is the case for you please contact newmusic@nzonair.govt.nz to complete your outstanding grants.

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. As of January 2024, an Artist Creation Fee (ACF) of $1,000 will be incorporated in addition to your $10,000 grant. The ACF will be disbursed solely in the final drawdown.

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 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.

Can I apply with one of my old songs, a cover version, an acoustic version or a remix?

No. Cover versions, acoustic versions, remakes or remixes of older released 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.

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 my application get declined based on criteria not being met after I’ve submitted?

Before applications are accepted into the round, each application is subject to a criteria check to confirm the provided criteria information is correct. If your application is accepted into the round or if your application has been declined due to criteria not being met, this will show in your application status when logging into the portal. If you have queries around this please contact single@nzonair.govt.nz

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.

What if I am applying for multiple rounds of funding at the same time?

If applying for multiple rounds at once, bear in mind how multiple applications may trigger differing funding limits (e.g.: applying for New Music Project and New Music Single concurrently) and therefore may affect your outcomes. If concerned, reach out to single@nzonair.govt.nz

If my track is a collaboration between different artists or contains a feature, whose criteria do I use for the funding application?

If the song is a collaboration between multiple artists or contains a featured artist the criteria must refer to one single main artist/applicant only.

Examples of collaboration or features with many artists:
- ‘Artist A feat. Artist B’;
- ‘Artist A x Artist B’;
- ‘Artist A, B, C & D’

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. There are 5 funding rounds every year.

New Music Single funding is decided by a panel of music experts from different areas of the NZ music industry. Once you have qualified to apply by meeting the criteria, the panel will listen to all of the accepted songs and choose their top songs to recommend for funding.

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

Unfortunately, no. Your song cannot be released on any DSPs if you are applying for any NZ On Air Music funding.

You can apply for funding for only the video content and promotion of a song, but the song cannot be released and publicly available*, and you will not be eligible for reimbursement of any of the recording costs associated with that song.

* e.g. ‘Publicly available’ meaning if you have released the song through a DSP (’Digital Service Provider’)

The only exception to this rule could be if it were a single on an already released album or EP. Please contact musicteam@nzonair.govt.nz to discuss.

What is the Professional Services Assistance?

The Professional Services Assistance (PSA) was an allowance provided to all Music funding recipients from July 2020 to June 2022 as part of the Covid Recovery Funding NZ On Air received from the Government in 2020. The PSA, which was in addition to the music funding recipients received, allowed recipients to gain specified advice from an approved music industry professional in respect of their intended single release. Under the PSA, advice was provided to recipients in relation management, mentoring, accounting, marketing, legal assistance, publicity and music release strategy and planning.

The budget for the PSA finished on June 30th, 2022. As of July 1st, 2022, the PSA was replaced with two mentoring sessions with the Music Managers Forum Aotearoa. Music contracts that were issued in the first six months of 2022 were allowed, at NZ On Air’s discretion, a grace period to use the PSA sessions, with the last PSA sessions to be completed and invoiced for by June 30th, 2023.

What does each 'status' mean in the 'Funding Application' portal when I login to the newmusicsingles.nzonair.govt.nz website?

Status:
• Incomplete – The application has not been fully completed by the applicant
• Submitted – The application has successfully been submitted by the applicant
• Pending – The application is pending a criteria check review from NZ On Air
• Accepted – The application has been accepted into the funding round
• Declined – The application has been declined
• Not yet eligible – The application is ineligible and will not be considered for judging by the panel

Criteria Status:
• Passed – The criteria provided by the applicant has passed. This mean the criteria provided has reached the benchmark criteria of 10 or more criteria examples.
• Failed – The criteria provided by the applicant is under the required benchmark criteria count needed to be apply.

Please contact single@nzonair.govt.nz if you would like further clarification on your application.

What is the Artist Creation Fee (ACF)?

A mandatory Artist Creation Fee amounting to $1,000 plus GST (if applicable), will be appended to your grant and disbursed exclusively in the final Drawdown. This fee pertains to internal creative services provided to the project by the artist. Consequently, the New Music Single funding grant of $10,000 will include an additional maximum payment of $1,000 to the Contracting Party, resulting in a total funding amount of $11,000.