Matamata’s link to the NZ Top 40
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.’’