Report Identifies New Directions to Drive Growth and Job Creation in the Economy at Large and Canada’s Commercial Music Business in Particular
Music Education, Digital Innovation, Music Tourism, Export Expansion and Interconnected Tax Credits identified as critical areas for development
Toronto, March 21, 2013: Music Canada today tabled a new report identifying programs and public policies to stimulate the development of Canada’s commercial music sector. The Next Big Bang: A New Direction for Music in Canada proposes a renewed industrial strategy for music and pinpoints key recommendations in the following areas: music education, digital innovation, music tourism, export expansion and interconnected tax credits.
The report demonstrates that by addressing these areas, music can contribute more substantially to the broader economy. The commercial music industry employs thousands of people in a highly creative and dynamic field that has been reshaped by the digital revolution.
“The commercial music sector has the potential to support government efforts to improve economic performance and job growth at all levels. We want to get the message across that music can help in a multiplicity of ways,” says Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. “Music’s potential can be fully realized, and Canada can secure its place on the global cultural map, by updating current policies and programs from the analog era in which they were created.”
The Next Big Bang: A New Direction for Music in Canada is intended to stimulate a broader conversation about how best to strengthen Canada’s music business. The report was developed after months of research, interviews and expert submissions. Contributors include the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Nordicity, digital expert Darlene Tonelli and Austin’s Titan Music Group.
The report’s recommendations are designed with the realities of today’s music industry in mind. Among these realities: (i) digital revenues have grown significantly but do not yet make up for the massive losses in physical sales; (ii) legitimate music services still must contend with unlicensed music sources that do not pay artists and music companies; (iii) in 2012, for the first time in over a decade, the global market for recorded music increased slightly over the previous year; (iv) music companies, despite the implosion of revenues, continue to invest in talent development; (v) music discovery has largely moved online; and, (vi) live performance constitutes an increasingly important part of an artist’s income.
The report contains 17 recommendations, including:
a) Given the strong evidence that music education prepares workers who are more creative, better problem-solvers, and possess soft skills that are critical in the digital economy, as well as the correlation between music scenes and tech clusters, governments should invest more in music education and should consider music scenes as a tool for economic development;
b) Music funding programs should reward innovation;
c) Efforts should be made to support the discovery of Canadian music online through partnerships with digital music services;
d) Cities and regions should develop a music tourism strategy in partnership with their local music community;
e) Canada should develop a national music export office to better assist music companies and artist entrepreneurs to expand their export markets;
f) A presence for the music industry should be established in Los Angeles to stimulate exports to the US market and attract more music recording activity to Canadian recording studios; and
g) Tax credits for music companies should be modernized and expanded, (replicating the best practices established in film and TV at the federal and provincial levels) resulting in jobs, economic activity and contributions to the tax base.
“Ontario is home to a wealth of talent – from the artist to the industry. Our government is a proud partner of our music sector, working in concert with stakeholders like Music Canada to identify key priorities to further enhance the vitality and vibrancy of music in Ontario. Together, we are working in concert to develop a Live Music Strategy for Ontario that will firmly place our province on the map as a premier destination for live music on the international stage.”
Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
“Music and technology are, in our view, inextricably linked. Tech jobs today require discipline and logical thinking, as well as creativity and an ability to innovate on the basis of strategic thinking. Music education, and lifelong involvement with music made possible in cities with strong scenes, could be Canada’s competitive advantage. Educators, parents, policy-makers and business leaders concerned with Canadian economic prosperity should consider the role music might play as a global competitive advantage.”
Jeff Leiper, Chief Policy Advisor, Information and Communications Technology Council
“Tax credits have been very effective as a creative industry stimulus. Properly enhanced, they could power even more growth in the music sector and its spin-offs in the economy at large. For instance, music could take a leaf from success in the film and TV business – and leverage foreign as well as domestic investment in Canada through tax credits.”
Peter Lyman, Senior Partner, Nordicity
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record labels in Canada, namely Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also provides membership benefits to some of the leading independent record labels and distributors. Its members are engaged in all aspects of the recording industry, including the manufacture, production, promotion and distribution of music.