Recording Industry Association of New Zealand

Recording Industry Association of New Zealand

The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) is a non-profit trade association of record producers, distributors and recording artists who sell music in New Zealand. Membership of RIANZ is open to any record label operating in New Zealand, and is dominated by the American and UK owned "Big Four" (EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner music) who have four of the five full memberships to the RIANZ.[1]



The RIANZ was instrumental in attempting to introduce a possible version of Section 92A Copyright Act. The amendment would have required ISPs in New Zealand to disconnect users accused but not convicted of downloading copyrighted material - the first law of its type in the world.[2] The amendment and consequently the RIANZ's actions have been widely criticised. ISPs described the law as "a deeply flawed law that undermines the fundamental rights and simply will not work",[3] while thousands of artists have joined the Campaign for Fair Copyright voicing their "disappointment"[4] at the RIANZ stance. However, the version was ultimately dropped, and a new s92A has subsequently been proposed.


The New Zealand Music Awards are conferred annually by RIANZ for outstanding artistic and technical achievements in the recording field. The awards are one of the biggest awards that a group or artist can receive in music in New Zealand. The awards have been presented every year since 1965 and a precise history of the event can be found here.[5]

Sales charts

RIANZ releases the official New Zealand singles and album charts. The Top 40 Singles Chart consists of data from both singles sales figures and radio play (airplay) information gathered by radio data collection agency Radioscope; sales (including downloads) take up 75%, with airplay taking up the final 25%.

Prior to 2004, RIANZ also published an annual ranking chart of singles and albums released in New Zealand. Position is awarded by a simple scoring system whereby a number one in one week gets 50 points, a number two gets 49 points and so on, then all weeks are added together. From 2004 onwards, however, the annual charts have songs positioned based on the number of sales for that year.

RIANZ certifications

A music single or album qualifies for a platinum certification if it exceeds 15,000 copies shipped to retailers and a gold certification for 7,500 copies shipped.

For music DVDs (formerly videos), a gold accreditation originally represented 2,500 copies shipped, with a platinum accreditation representing 5,000 units shipped.[6]

Albums and Singles Music DVDs
Gold Platinum Gold Platinum
7,500 15,000 2,500 5,000

Performance rights

The public performance and broadcast rights of RIANZ members (which are restricted rights under New Zealand law) is administered on those members' behalf by the not-for-profit licensing company PPNZ. PPNZ administers the rights of local and international record labels, recording artists and sound recording distributors within the New Zealand territory.

PPNZ is responsible for licensing and collecting income from the broadcasting and public performance of sound and video recordings, and distributing this income back to rights owners (including, but not limited to, RIANZ members). PPNZ can grant licences to any individual or business playing or using recorded music in the public arena (i.e. non domestic) such as bars, cafes, retail shops, salons, telephone "on-hold" systems, sports grounds, broadcasters, gyms, function centres and many other premises where performance of recorded music takes place.

Other activities

RIANZ is the New Zealand International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) national agency, and allocates the Country and First Owner Codes to members for encoding on all audio and audio-visual recordings, as a method of identification.

RIANZ is a member of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI) and is affiliated with, other national recording industry groups like the Australian Record Industry Association Ltd (ARIA) and the British Phonographic Industry Ltd (BPI).

RIANZ works closely with NZ Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFA©T) which represents film producers. NZFACT is affiliated with the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

Artists with the most number-one hits

1. The Beatles (15)
2. Michael Jackson (10)
3. U2 (8)
4. Akon (7) (tie)
4. Mariah Carey (7) (tie)
4. Eminem (7) (tie)
4. Bee Gees (7) (tie)
8. ABBA (6) (tie)
8. Elton John (6) (tie)
8. Black Eyed Peas (6) (tie)
8. Chris Brown (6) (tie)
10. UB40 (5) (tie)
10. Madonna (5) (tie)
10. Katy Perry (5) (tie)
10. Rihanna (5) (tie)

Singles with most weeks at #1

14 weeks
12 weeks
11 weeks
10 weeks
9 weeks