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News February 17, 2022

Damian Vaughan steps down as CEO of Recorded Music NZ

Senior Journalist, B2B
Damian Vaughan steps down as CEO of Recorded Music NZ

It’s the end of an era in New Zealand’s music community, where Damian Vaughan steps down as CEO of the national labels trade association, Recorded Music NZ.

Vaughan, who has led Recorded Music NZ (formerly the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand) since June 2013, has decided to “move on and find my next challenge,” he writes in a statement.

Prior to taking the top job at the labels body, Vaughan served as NZ Licensing Manager at APRA AMCOS.

The Kiwi exec reflects positively on his time at the helm, a period during which streaming platforms have transformed the way music fans access their tunes, created a consumption culture and turned around the recording industry’s fortunes.

“Since 2012, the recorded music industry has seen a lot of change. The era of streaming began, and in 2013, wholesale industry revenues were NZ$67.4 million and were comprised predominantly of physical sales and digital downloads,” he notes.

“Fast forward to 2022 and the landscape is totally different, industry revenues have doubled and are now in excess of NZ$125 million with streaming comprising more than 80% of the total.”

In the decade since he joined Recorded Music NZ, annual revenue from the Public Performance and Broadcast of sound recordings grew by 45% from NZ$11 million to NZ$16 million, and corresponding annual distributions grew by 47%, from NZ$8.4 million to NZ$12.3 million.

At the same time, he notes,  the number of artists and rights holders receiving royalties from the organisation grew by 75% to well over 5,000.



Vaughan also gave a shout-out to music charity MusicHelps, for which he currently serves as Member Board Of Trustees; the rebranded Aotearoa Music Awards; recounted the rollout of OneMusic in tandem with APRA back in 2013, and more.

He’s set to leave in early April and, at this stage, a successor has yet to be named.

“I am looking forward to the next adventure, and my hope is that I’ll be expanding my knowledge and experience out into new worlds,” Vaughan explains, “but I know my passion for music and the industry may mean that music pops back up in that future. But for now, its satisfying to close this chapter of my career and life, proud with what we’ve achieved over the last 9 years and know that we made a positive impact on our music community in Aotearoa.”

He concludes, “I’m excited to pass the baton on and can’t wait to see how the organisation evolves with new people at the controls.”

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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