Mata­mata’s link to the NZ Top 40

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

What does Mata­mata and the NZ Top 40 have in com­mon? One man and his pas­sion for mu­sic.

Paul Kennedy works for Recorded Mu­sic New Zealand, he is re­spon­si­ble for col­lat­ing the data to cre­ate the NZ Top 40 playlists, which he does re­motely from his home of­fice in Mata­mata.

Kennedy started his jour­ney at the In­sti­tute of Ra­dio at Waikato Univer­sity. This led him to work­ing for a com­pany that pro­duced a mag­a­zine cov­er­ing the ra­dio in­dus­try, which owned for 15 years.

It was through the pub­li­ca­tion, and just out of a per­sonal cu­rios­ity, that he and his wife Kristi started col­lect­ing playlists from ra­dio sta­tions to see what the top sell­ers were. They went on to set up their own com­pany Media Source.

The com­pany sold re­ports to Recorded Mu­sic NZ and NZonAir among other smaller in­dus­try clients.

Even­tu­ally the Record­ing Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion sought Kennedy’s help to re­vamp the top 40 chart and by 2002 he was re­spon­si­ble for col­lat­ing all the data for the NZ mu­sic in­dus­try.

The core job was col­lect­ing as much data as pos­si­ble on mu­sic con­sump­tion, in­clud­ing ra­dio, sales through The Ware­house and JB Hifi and in­de­pen­dent mu­sic com­pa­nies.

Kennedy says then mu­sic still had a very phys­i­cal pres­ence such as CD and vinyl.

‘‘No one had even heard of i-Tunes, it was the early days of file trad­ing and MP3.’’

In 2012 Kennedy sold the com- pany to Recorded Mu­sic NZ and be­came its em­ployee and con­tin­ued in his role.

Through the last few decades he has seen how mu­sic has evolved,pro­gress­ing into dig­i­tal, and now stream­ing with Spo­tify and Ap­ple Mu­sic be­ing the big­gest providers.

‘‘Stream­ing been a God­send,’’ says Kennedy. ’’A lot of peo­ple had given up buy­ing mu­sic and were il­le­gally down­load­ing.’’

He says the downside of stream­ing af­fects the artists, who in­stead of get­ting paid a lump sum, now re­ceive a few cents per stream.

Kennedy says mu­sic re­mains a big part of peo­ples’ lives, de­spite the many changes that have oc­curred in terms of the way mu­sic is con­sumed.

‘‘Now peo­ple own a de­vice that they can down­load their favourite mu­sic on to and we can lis­ten, and stream, wher­ever we go.’’

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