New Zealand independent music publisher Songbroker hasn’t been around for long but is already having an impact on the prospects and livelihoods of local songwriters and composers.
With music royalties tanking in the past few years, most local musicians have suffered an income hit which hasn’t been replaced by the growth of streaming; despite a few good- news stories, it’s never been tougher to make a living from music.
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 regularly feature on local shows such as Shortland Street, Brokenwood Mysteries and Filthy Rich - and also on NZ films, documentaries and TV commercials.
“We have a great relationship with local content makers, and really appreciate their enthusiasm for using as much original New Zealand music as possible. They’ve been amazingly supportive to our artists”, says Songbroker founder Jan Hellriegel.
International scope for NZ music copyrights “huge”
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.
“The Songbroker offering is quite unique. 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.” says Hellriegel.
Hellriegel adds 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. ”
Songbroker’s new platform launches at Seafarers in Auckland on Wednesday 22 March with guests including the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Jacqui Dean