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Tandem Studios reaches 40th

Iconic central Christchurch business Tandem Studios reaches 40th

Iconic central Christchurch business Tandem Studios is celebrating its 40th month (subs June 2014). Since its inception as a music studio in 1974, the Christchurch company has grown to become the largest producer of online audio and video in New Zealand. It has uploaded close to 30,000 videos onto YouTube and continues to operate from the same Oxford Terrace premises it has occupied for nearly 20 years.

“Earthquakes didn’t stop us,” says Tandem Studios’ Managing Director Dave Dunlay, “in fact in many ways our business is stronger now than it was before the earthquakes and we were one of the first Christchurch businesses that came back into the CBD after the February 2011 earthquake.”

June is the ruby anniversary month for Tandem Studios, a business that in years gone by has provided recording facilities for some of New Zealand’s greatest musical talents, including Anika Moa, Big Runga, Salmonella Dub, Suzanne Prentice and many, many others.

“We’ve had some wonderful voices in our studio,” says Dunlay, “including some of the country’s best commercial voices such as iconic Christchurch broadcaster Ken Ellis, Sir Paul Holmes, well-known actor Mark Hadlow, and Tammy Wells, of Briscoes advert fame.”

Tandem Studios retains its connection to its musical roots, but it has taken that to a new level by creating new audio and video and accompanying marketing and publicity materials using social media channels – a crucial combination for success in today’s mixed media world.

“A great example was our work with members of the Crusaders rugby team, the C-City Brothers, last year. We recorded the song “Never Walk Away” which went to number one on New Zealand’s iTunes charts. Importantly, we also created video interviews with the band members, publicity material photos, logos, and the music video. We also used our expertise to coordinate publicity via social media. The results were outstanding and it was a great fundraiser for their charity Cystic Fibrosis.”

Tandem Studios are leaders in the online media environment, says Dunlay. “Web streaming is now a big part of our business. We have developed our own system called LABONTM (Living and Breathing Online News) and we currently provide this service for Parliament and a number of local and regional councils, including the Christchurch City Council and Wellington City Council.

“We also make recruitment, training, induction and promotional videos for a large range of clients including Mindfood magazine, Ngai Tahu Tourism and Trustpower.”

The media world is constantly changing, says Dunlay, and it is quite an achievement for a media company to reach its ‘ruby’ anniversary. “If you think of what else was happening in 1974 in Christchurch – the Commonwealth Games were on with the new QEII facility having just been built to host the games, the Christchurch Town Hall was only two years old. Forty years on and a lot of our icons have gone. We’re really proud to not only still be here but to be thriving in the central city and be a part of the ‘new’ Christchurch.”

As a way of celebrating its 40th content creation concept called ‘Friday Night Sessions’. This will involve a 30-minute live stream of two up and coming bands or artists every Friday night in June from Tandem’s central city studios.

“Streamed through YouTube, we will record it and then present audio and video from the stream to the bands to share and use as they will.”

Dunlay believes that this type of online entertainment production is close to a tipping point in that if it is done well and good publishing techniques are used to promote it, it can grow to become successful and profitable. “We will be creating a sub-brand for this proactive content creation called 'In Tandem - a creative hub'.”

Dunlay’s vision for Tandem Studios involves two main work streams. “One is working as a client’s audio and video agency and planning, producing, and publishing their digital media.

The second is proactive creation of content for information and entertainment online and for social media. In tandem with the work we are commissioned to provide for clients, we will now be developing content ourselves. We believe that the opportunity is there for us to collaborate with anyone with a message to convey or talent to share, and to use our expertise in online production and publishing to help bring the audience to them.

“Change is a constant in our industry. We have proven that we are innovators and that we embrace change rather than fear it. We can’t wait for what the next 40 years will bring.”

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