The People's Choice - Vote now!

Entrant: Turn On NZ

City: Lower Hutt


About My Business

Turn On NZ is a non-commercial initiative dedicated to showcasing music videos from local artists. Quite likely the first ever Music Video "TV station" to be 100% dedicated to New Zealand Music, and maybe even the "world first" non-stop Music Video stream to broadcast live on YouTube. We run a 24x7 livestream to YouTube as well as an audio-only stream, enabling people anywhere online to enjoy the shared experience of watching music videos from Aotearoa New Zealand together. We strongly believe any money generated through viewership alone deserves to go to the artists or rights holders, and we run a very low cost operation aside from the countless hours spent building and improving the platform as a passion project.

Why We Should Win The Peoples Choice Award

Turn On NZ started by seeing a dire need in the domestic market for the promotion of local artists and their music videos. Its earliest iteration involved me (Rowan Smith) grabbing some old computer parts lying around to create a proof of concept, discovering what challenges were ahead and kicking off the conversation with local artists and fans about what this may look like. Early on I saw the need to embrace Open Source Software (namely OpenBroadcaster for Ubuntu Linux, thanks to Rob "RadioRob" Hopkins), and was quickly invited to join their development team to test, bug fix and even build in new features for the team such as better RTMP video streaming functionality to enhance their existing YouTube capability, as well as opening the potential for any other users of the software to point to pretty much any other live streaming website. The branding, promotion and web design (visual and coding) was also done entirely myself, with just a couple tiny pieces of support work courtesy of Troy Kete and Matthew Holloway. Considering artist rights was always the first consideration, not only out of respect for the artists but also to ensure the prosperity of the platform and challenge the current online media model especially around music and copyright detection which was impacting creators and fans alike. Early content was sourced through 1:1 discussions with personal contacts both labels and artists, and most of that content still stands on the service along with additional content support from DRM NZ (informal partnership) and NZ On Air Music (Jeff Newton was kind enough to grant us access to NewTracks following this year's Homegrown festival in Wellington). We now have a catalogue of over 500 Kiwi Music Videos, the majority of which are fresh to within the last 2-3 years, and well set up to grow as new works are released through NZ On Air or submitted to us via the email inbox, as well as working to further grow the back catalogue and look at some interactive features such as an automated song request system and more tailored timeslots to better support any local subcultures in sharing our common interests. The platform runs with very low overhead costs, and as such doesn't need to bring in any revenue to keep things going so we're more than happy to pass on any royalties directly to the copyright owners via DRM NZ. I have recently set up a Patreon to allow those keen to support the work to lend a hand as it's all basically one big love letter to the creative expression of our many cultures where there is no expectation of being reimbursed for my voluntary efforts.

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