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News February 18, 2022

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan to depart

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan to depart

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan is stepping down after nine years.

Under his stewardship, the association’s annual revenue from the public performance and broadcast of sound recordings grew by 45% from NZ$11 million to $16 million.

The corresponding distributions of royalties to artists and rights holders grew by 47% from $8.4 million to $12.3 million.

The number of artists and rights holders receiving royalties grew considerably as membership grew to over 5,500.

A key revenue project Vaughan was involved in was the launch of OneMusic in tandem with Australia’s APRA – a world first and internationally recognised music licensing solution.

It simplified the music licensing process for businesses to play music in their premises, while ensuring artists were fairly compensated.

Vaughan and his team also rejuvenated the Official New Zealand Music Charts and set up a music grants scheme to support educational, archival and charity projects in the industry.

In 2021, the NZ Music Awards were rebranded as the Aotearoa Music Awards, to reflect the growing prevalence of te reo Māori in music and society.

Vaughan said the past nine years had been ‘a monumentally fulfilling experience’.

“I am at my core a music fan and being able to support our musicians and our industry to develop and grow has been an absolute honour,” he said.

“It’s satisfying to close this chapter of my career and life, proud that I have achieved much and given space for others to grow and learn.

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

Recorded Music NZ chair Chris Caddick commented: “Damian has headed Recorded Music New Zealand with distinction during his tenure.

“The organisation’s many achievements under his calm leadership are testimony to his hard work and determination, and the mana he has within the New Zealand music industry.”

The association has also released a report into the economic contribution of the NZ music industry in 2019 and 2020.

It reported that in 2020, the industry contributed $732 million to NZ’s GDP via indirect effects, and directly employed around 2,800 people in full-time equivalent jobs (FTEs).

Due to COVID-19, revenues from radio broadcasting, live performance and overseas income all reduced.

The report was commissioned by Recorded Music NZ with the support of APRA AMCOS and the NZ Music Commission and conducted by PWC.

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