Celebrating 10 Years Transforming Music Licensing for Businesses in Aotearoa

Music has always played an essential role in businesses across Aotearoa New Zealand. From providing ambience in restaurants to engaging customers in retail stores and getting us moving and exercising, music creates an atmosphere that enhances the overall customer experience.

Over the years, the way businesses acquire and use music has changed significantly. One constant is the right for the people behind the music played, to get paid.

Launched in 2013, our mission was to simplify the permission businesses and organisations need to play music. Today, OneMusic helps businesses acquire the necessary rights through a single source, streamlining the process and reducing administrative burden.

Music is all around us all the time and so often we take it for granted because it’s part of our eco-system.

– Greer Davies, Director OneMusic.

The Music of Aotearoa

The Aotearoa music scene is filled with a rich and diverse history of iconic artists like The Chills and Split Enz, Moana Maniapoto and Shona Laing, Lorde and Six60, Te Vaka and Shapeshifter, Scribe and Rei, King Kapisi and JessB, John Rowles and Daphne Walker, Alien Weaponry and Aldous Harding. These artists represent the many voices and stories of New Zealand culture.

The way Kiwis consume music has undergone a dramatic transformation in just a few years. In 2012, most of us would purchase CDs to enjoy our favourite tunes. Today, the preferred method of music consumption has opened endless possibilities for Kiwis, allowing them to enjoy music in various formats1.

As OneMusic celebrates 10 years, it is essential to recognise the success of Aotearoa, New Zealand music and the accomplishments of its artists. The number one hits in New Zealand over the past 10 years include a diverse range of talents and genres. From Lorde's breakout hit “Royals” in 2013 to Avalanche City’s “Inside Out” in 2015, the catchy pop of BENEE with “Supalonely” in 2020, and Jawsh 685’s “Savage Love” in 2020. New Zealand artists have also made their mark on the international music scene – Lorde, BENEE, and Fat Freddy’s to name a few.

Annually, we celebrate the achievements, excellence, and creativity of Kiwi musicians through the APRA Silver Scroll Awards and the Aotearoa Music Awards.

Among the notable winners of the Silver Scroll over the past decade are contributions from the likes of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Naked and Famous, Tami Neilson, Marlon Williams, Lorde, and Aldous Harding. These artists have demonstrated their ability to captivate audiences with their unique storytelling and musical prowess.

Similarly, the Aotearoa Music Awards have celebrated the success of many of our greatest artists over their nearly 60 years. From legendary bands and soloists like Bic Runga, Dave Dobbyn, Supergroove, and Neil and Tim Finn to pop sensations like Lorde, Stan Walker, Broods, and Six60, to breakthrough artists like Kings, L.A.B., Drax Project and BENEE, the Awards have showcased the diverse talents thriving in the Aotearoa music scene.

Music royalties, that’s what we do

Almost a century ago, back in 1926, APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association Limited) was established to manage performance and communication rights for members. APRA introduced the Silver Scroll Awards in 1965 to celebrate outstanding songwriting. Around 50 years later, in 1979, AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited) was established to manage mechanical royalties associated with the reproduction or copying and storage of music in many formats.

When 1997 rolled around, the two organisations joined forces in response to music creators and licensees preferring to deal with one body when it came to rights and uses of music. Now, APRA AMCOS use their strengths to deliver a one-stop service to those in the music industry.

Recorded Music NZ also has a long history. Originally two separate organisations, RIANZ (established in 1978) and PPNZ (established in 1957), the two merged in 2013 as Recorded Music NZ. The organisation’s primary focus is the collection and distribution of performance royalties from licensed broadcasts and public performances of recorded music. They also organise the annual Aotearoa Music Awards, compile the weekly Official NZ Music Charts and provide data services to a number of music industry bodies and commercial organisations.

OneMusic is backed with years' worth of history thanks to APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ.

In 2013, the two organisations established OneMusic New Zealand to provide blanket licence solutions for a range of New Zealand businesses and organisations and their music use.

Instead of businesses having to contact and get permission from every songwriter, composer, publisher, recording artist and record label, for every single song they play – they can now apply for a blanket music licence via OneMusic. The OneMusic licence gives businesses permission to play essentially all commercially released music from Aotearoa, and  the world.

And the best part… music creators, who are businesses too, can get paid.

OneMusic has not only transformed the way businesses acquire music licences, but also reflects the evolving nature of music consumption. As technology continues to shape the music industry, it is crucial for businesses to adapt and create experiences that resonate with their customers. With the help of initiatives like OneMusic, businesses can continue to leverage the power of music to enhance their brand, attract customers, and support local musicians.

So, let’s celebrate and look back at the year that was 2013  

In 2013, the year OneMusic kicked off, Kiwi music hit new heights of success and diversity. From inductions into the NZ Music Hall of Fame to groundbreaking performances, chart-topping hits, and international breakthroughs, this was a year to remember for music lovers in New Zealand. Let’s tune in to a bit of nostalgia.

The 2013 APRA Silver Scroll Awards were a highlight of the year, with iconic musician Dave Dobbyn being inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame. It was a moment that brought tears to the eyes of many fans as they celebrated the incredible talent and contributions of this beloved artist.

But the surprises didn't stop there. At the same ceremony, the audience was treated to an incredible performance by an unlikely trio – piano accordion player Lionel Reekie, teenage beatboxer Phillip Fan, and soul diva Bella Kalolo. Together, they rocked the stage with their rendition of “Royals” by none other than Lorde herself. It was a mashup of musical talents that left the crowd in awe.

The 48th Annual NZ Music Awards took centre stage, hosted by TV presenter Shannon Ryan and popstar Stan Walker. And who stole the show? Two incredible female Kiwi artists, Aaradhna and Lorde. They dominated the line-up and took home awards for their chart-topping albums, “Treble & Reverb” and “Royals”, respectively.

Speaking of chart-toppers, let's not forget the top 20 singles of 2013 in New Zealand. Lorde's “Royals” claimed the top spot, showing just how big of an impact this young superstar made on the music scene. Stan Walker's “Take it Easy” landed at number 2, while Lorde struck again with “Tennis Court” at number 3. And let's not forget Ginny Blackmore, whose hit "Bones" came in at number 4.

These singles had us dancing, singing, and feeling all the feels throughout the year.

But perhaps the most exciting development in 2013 was the resurgence of hip hop in Aotearoa. After a relatively quiet period, hip hop group Home Brew and rapper David Dallas revived the genre and took the country by storm. It felt like a turning point for the local scene, a reignition of talent and passion that couldn't be ignored2.

David Dallas made waves not just in New Zealand but also in North America, as he signed with the prestigious New York hip hop record label Duck Down Music. And he wasn’t the only Kiwi artist making moves abroad, Ladi6 and her production partner Parks travelled to Detroit, Michigan, to work on their third album, “Automatic”. Teaming up with renowned American producer Waajeed and Grammy-winning mix engineer Todd Fairall, they created something truly special.

Wow, what a year – one that OneMusic is proud to be born from!




1The New Zealand Music Industry Report. 2Audio Culture Hip Hop Aotearoa, Year 2013. Martyn Pepperell.