The mooted transition of the KHD (Kiwi Hit Disc) to a predominantly digital delivery platform, (which we shall call KHD Digital for the purposes of this paper), brings with it a number of exciting opportunities for innovations in content delivery and peer review for internal and external stakeholders in the NZ Music Industry.
NZAMP (NZ Association of Music Producers) would like to capitalise on these opportunities by proposing some bold and forward looking innovations that could considerably improve the scope, reach and influence of the original KHD concept in line with, and expanding upon, the policy directives in NZOA’s published Statement of Intent for 2011-2014.
We propose that the principles of self-determination, industry autonomy and infrastructure utilisation be employed to minimise administrative cost, bureaucratic logistics, apparent NZOA editorialisation, and further strengthen NZOA stated objectives of diversity and balanced entry for niche and commercial product.
By employing currently popular social media formats and conventions we suggest such methodology could, as expressed in the NZOA SOI 2011-2014 Mission Statement, promote ‘innovation – Wairua Auaha – encouraging new ideas, creativity, and quality production standards; diversity – Nga Rerenga (in projects, people and platforms) – promoting difference and competition [our emphaisis] to support the best ideas for the widest range of New Zealanders; [and] value for money – Hunga Motuhake – making sure cost-effective projects are enjoyed by significant numbers of relevant people’1.
By enabling a self-determining and peer-reviewed delivery platform for KHD Digital we suggest NZOA’s processes in this area would be seen to be more ‘fair, transparent and simple’2 and would provide real-time quantifiable monitoring for all stakeholders.
Specifically, we suggest the following processes:
- Enable upload of production masters by content providers to a live web based portal, eliminating the need for deadlines on content delivery
- Encourage peer review on such a portal by utilising social media conventions
- Via automated aggregation of metrics provided by self-regulated peer and industry review allow real-time analysis of successfully trending tracks
- By utilising such self-regulated trending results and working alongside NZOA funding priorities create a more equitable hard-copy version of KHD at specified review points
Additional benefits to those described above of the process would be as follows:
- Encouragement of engagement by all involved parties
- Transparency and elimination of barriers to entry
- Encourage excellence and accountability of all involved in all stages of the production process
- Promote awareness of infrastructure and therefore encourage infrastructure growth (an ancillary objective acknowledged on pg 4 of the NZOA SOI 2011-2014)
- Provide greater exposure for more content but at the same time creating a self-regulating ‘gate keeper’ functionality
- Present national and international marketing opportunities for all stakeholders and promote the NZ Music Industry via a progressive, professional and complete interface
More detail on each of these points follows below.
Extending on the upload process for funding and KHD submissions we propose a similar system be made available to upload full bit-rate masters of tracks for KHD Digital submission. Together with the master file all production details and support material would be uploaded. This would immediately ‘go live’ on the KHD Digital site. By removing submission deadlines KHD Digital would reinvigorate the relevance of the programme to the release cycle and servicing process as it would allow the programme to operate to content providers’ timelines rather than the inverse.
To prevent spamming prior approved registration and other robust on-line form conventions could be employed.
The format of the web page itself displaying the content could follow that of Facebook whereby ‘friends’ or users could be categorised as artists, industry professionals, broadcasters, NZOA personnel and the general public/fans. Each individual would have equal opportunity to comment on or ‘like’ content thereby enabling a real-time review of trending of content. Likewise, content could be ‘tagged’ by the content provider to allow categorisation and search.
This would allow real-time virtual pitching to broadcasters of new content. The onus would be on broadcasters to seek out new and exciting content for their channels and be seen to be active in such searches rather than passive receptors of a siphoned stream of content.
By screening categorizations of participants various charts could be automated to operate in real-time, such as most recently added, sort by broadcaster, most peer respected, most industry rated and most fan liked. All these quantifications could be split via genre, date added, personnel involved etc at the option of the user. This would create a depth of detail and niche personalisation not possible by traditional airplay and sales charts.
The peer review process thus enabled would allow NZOA to consider these results in consideration of priorities for inclusion on the hard copy KHD if it is to be continued.
Because of the reductions of barriers to entry to the programme and the peer review aspect, engagement of all involved parties would be rewarded. More voices would be able to be heard across all stakeholders, but at the same time, because of the peer review component, clutter would be minimised and high performance rewarded.
The creation of a virtual aggregating gatekeeper presents a very attractive and intuitively simple solution to the problem of content filter, and removes the problematic necessity of NZOA being seen as involved in editorial decisions by way of debatable policy interpretations. Barriers to entry are removed encouraging diversity and niche representation but quality is rewarded by exposure via the automated quantification of peer review. Administration costs and logistics are reduced by way of the system becoming self-managing to a large degree.
Increased visibility of the roles of all involved stakeholders via the tagging and peer review system would encourage excellence, innovation and accountability in all areas of creation, production, promotion and programming of content. Stakeholders would be incentivised to show innovation and originality in their operations and rewarded when successful. The competitive environment would reward originality and excellence of execution at all levels.
In turn this would raise successful industry infrastructure profiles and encourage awareness of and appreciation of those individuals’ contributions to successful content. This would strengthen infrastructure and encourage an appreciation of processes necessary for desired outcome across the whole NZ Music Industry. In effect it could contribute to a self-correcting mechanism for the challenges faced by the downsizing of recent years.
By having one centralised portal for content accessible to all an enormous opportunity for equitable exposure could exist for the NZ Music Industry. Potentially all released content could be accessible on one peer reviewed and aggregated site. Levels of user access could be moderated on the basis of user status, e.g. broadcasters and industry could have full bit-rate download access while fans might only be able to stream at a lower bit-rate quality similar to, say, YouTube audio quality. Interested external stakeholders would have the opportunity to access content under multiple search conditions allowing both broad and specialised access to content all the while free from centralised subjective editorialisation.
This would enable great marketing opportunities for content providers both nationally and internationally, another ancillary goal as the NZOA SOI 2011-2014 acknowledges that given the economic challenges faced by NZ’s small industry promotional activities should be bolstered.3
One such opportunity if a public/private approach was taken with the portal would be the facilitisation for paid downloads by fans via redirect to retail channels, again similar to YouTube’s embedded sales links. Equally it would present NZOA as an international innovator in enabling content provision and access while promoting the important message that culture is valued and encouraged as part of our enlightened and progressive mixed economy.
In summary KHD Digital could advance on NZOA’s current diversity objective by enabling greater involvement across the board in the KHD scheme and thereby reward innovation while at the same time reducing long term the cost base of the programme and provide greater impact, reach and influence for NZOA, industry infrastructure and content providers.
NZAMP welcomes further discussion on the possible implementation of these concepts.
© 2011 Simon Holloway, NZAMP, http://www.nzamp.org
1 NZOA Statement of Intent 2011-2014 pg 4
2 NZOA Statement of Intent 2011-2014 pg 13
3 NZOA Statement of Intent 2011-2014 pg 12
NZAMP suggestions towards digital transition of NZ on Air KHD, Rev 3.1