After nine years, Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan is stepping down, leaving behind a lasting legacy across Aotearoa’s music industry.
With a focus on artist and industry growth and celebrating and acknowledging Aotearoa’s cultural heritage, Vaughan has worked to support and amplify the voices of musicians and the industry as a whole.
Recorded Music NZ Chairperson Chris Caddick says “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 Board thanks Damian for his outstanding contribution to Recorded Music New Zealand’s success and wishes him all the very best for his future endeavours.”
Recorded Music NZ
Under Vaughan’s stewardship, Recorded Music NZ’s annual revenue from the Public Performance and Broadcast of Sound Recordings grew by 45% from $11M to $16M, and the corresponding distributions of royalties to artists and rights holders grew by 47% from $8.4M to $12.3M.
Furthermore, the number of artists and rights holders receiving royalties also grew considerably as Recorded Music membership grew to well over 5,500.
One of the key revenue projects Vaughan was involved in was the development and launch of OneMusic in tandem with APRA – a world first and internationally recognised music licencing solution.
The simplified music licencing process for businesses to legally play music in their premises, all while ensuring the artists were fairly compensated.
Vaughan and his team also rejuvenated and modernised the Official New Zealand Music Charts as well as providing innovative music consumption and analytical tools for the industry.
During Vaughan’s tenure Recorded Music NZ also established a music grants scheme to support educational, archival and charity projects in the music industry.
Over nine years Recorded Music NZ was able to invest over a million dollars back into the industry via grants to support its growth and the very important work of the industry charity MusicHelps.
Reinventing the music awards and celebrating our artists and industry
The music awards also significantly evolved under Vaughan, as the team worked to refocus the ceremony squarely on celebrating our artists and their recorded music achievements.
In 2021, the awards were rebranded as the Aotearoa Music Awards, cementing them as an evolving reflection of where music was heading as te reo Māori continues to become more celebrated and prevalent in music and society.
Furthermore, the establishment of a separate Artisan Award event and working together with the team on the Aotearoa Music Producer Series, there was a concentrated effort to shine the light on the ones behind the scenes in our music industry.
“The last nine years as CEO of Recorded Music NZ has 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,” says Vaughan.
“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.”