History

Tandem Studios is New Zealand’s largest producer of online video and one of Christchurch’s longest-serving and most respected creative production companies. Working in all areas of media, including radio, television, and online, Tandem Studios has developed leading expertise in live streaming and video archives. Tandem Studios use this understanding and its creative approach to produce content for the wide variety of media channels available and work with a broad spectrum of clients - from local and national through to multi-national and international companies. Tandem Studios manages the live streaming of all Christchurch City Council meetings and those of several other local authorities around New Zealand.

Tandem Studios was established as a recording studio in 1974 by John Phair and his business partner Kevin Toneycliffe. The mainstay of Tandem’s work during its first twenty years was the writing and recording of jingles and voiceovers for radio and television commercials although it also recorded commercially successful multi-gold albums for artists such as Suzanne Prentice and Brendan Dugan. John Phair sold Tandem Studios in 1987 and the company’s owners during the twenty years that followed included Wayne Johnson and Peter Rattray.

Tandem Studios celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. Since our inception as a music studio in 1974, we have grown to become the largest producer of online audio and video in New Zealand. We have uploaded over 30,000 videos onto YouTube and continue to operate from the same Oxford Terrace premises we have occupied for nearly 20 years.

Earthquakes didn’t stop us, 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.

In years gone by Tandem has provided recording facilities for some of New Zealand’s greatest musical talents, including Anika Moa, Bic Runga, Salmonella Dub, Suzanne Prentice and many, many others.

We’ve had some wonderful voices in our studio. 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.

We have retained our connection to our musical roots, but have taken things 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, in 2013. 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.

We are leaders in the online media environment. Web streaming is now a big part of our business. We have developed our own system called LABON™(Living and Breathing Online News) and we currently provide this service for Parliament and a number of local and regional councils, including the Auckland Council, 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, 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.

Our 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.