Friday, January 21, 2011

Caddick report comment

There's been a sparsity of comment/reaction on the Caddick Report, an indepenedent look at the music operations of NZ On Air that was released just before Xmas. Timing of the release may have something to do with that, and it's also a lot to digest, at 158 pages. The NZ Herald's John Drinnan had a passing look at it, choosing to focus on the negative aspects, mostly.

NZ Musician's esteemed editor Richard Thorne weighs in with some thoughtful comments and analysis on the Caddick Report here. It's worth a read. A few excerpts below...

"... Most substantial among the first wave of changes will be the complete removal of album funding, the funding instead shifting to single tracks – in tandem with an allocation for music video making. Laxness of controls which favoured those already ‘in the system’ emerged as one of the greatest criticisms and eligibility criteria will be tightened across the board. Future funding will be weighted more towards emerging artists rather than established ones, and contractual aspects made more business-like.

"... A general dissatisfaction with the closed door approach of commercial radio to NZ music and the unbalanced influence of commercial radio PDs in deciding on what songs get funding is a recurring theme. Reallocated funding is sure to give greater consideration to a wider range of creative music which will inevitably benefit the bNet radio network.

"As Caddick observes, the slide of old media as a source of new music education is overstated by many, but irrespective a new and specific focus on gaining ‘broadcast’ results for Kiwi music online will need to be a future mandate for NZ On Air.

"This is a considerably better report than Caddick’s Phase Five review, with detailed backgrounding that includes the Broadcasting Act itself, explanation of intervention methods and costs, useful analysis of the music sector plus the author’s own observations. He includes direct quotes from each side of the spectrum, while frequently pointing out that large chunks of those interviewed didn’t know enough to comment. A glaring shortage of meaningful NZ industry-wide statistics is highlighted, while some of the statistical analysis of ‘Public Responses’ presented within the body of the report adds worthwhile insights to the abbreviated conclusions."

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