The rise of streaming services has driven the New Zealand music industry to double-digit growth for the third year running, with wholesale revenue up 14.6 per cent last year to $98.8 million.

Recorded Music NZ chief executive Damian Vaughan said: "We're thrilled to report New Zealand's recorded music industry continued its upwards trajectory in 2017. As the local music industry has innovated, adapted and evolved in recent years we are without question a predominantly digital industry here in Aotearoa."

Wholesale revenue from streaming in 2017 was up 42 per cent at $61.3m, which was nearly as large as the industry's total wholesale revenue three years earlier.

The strong growth highlighted the uptake of services such as Spotify and Apple Music in New Zealand.


Physical music dropped again in 2017, contributing $14.5m to overall revenue, but remained a popular medium of music consumption, Recorded Music said. Vinyl purchases continued to grow, rising 9 per cent to $2.8m.

"Last year's figures are certainly very positive and encouraging for the local industry," Vaughan said.

"However, $98.8m is still approximately 30 per cent below the peak in wholesale music revenue the country used to see more than a decade ago after enduring a period of sustained market disruption and digital piracy in its many forms."

Recorded Music NZ's collective licensing income derived from the broadcast of music on radio and television, and the licensing of businesses who publicly perform music at their premises was up 4 per cent at $14.8m.

"It is clear that music is a growing and thriving sector and to build on this momentum in 2018 Recorded Music NZ will ensure copyright which is the foundation of music, is front and centre with our legislators as we proceed through the review of the NZ Copyright Act," Vaughan said.

Recorded Music NZ in its submissions as part of the review of the copyright act had estimated that the market for music in New Zealand was hampered by digital leakage of at least $50m per annum through piracy and freeloading, and the lack of effective enforcement measures.

"Without strong copyright law which enables songwriters, performers and recording artists to control how their music is used and how they make a living from their creativity, our local industry will suffer and go backwards."