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Report calls for development of national music strategy

Thursday, 23rd November, 2017 9:13am

Music contributes over €700 million to the Irish economy, according to a new report. The Socio-Economic Value of Music to Ireland was commissioned by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO.)

Produced by Deloitte, it sets out recommendations to maximise the contribution of music in Ireland, including the development of a national music strategy.

The update on the Deloitte/IMRO 2015 analysis of the annual contribution made by the music industry to Ireland’s economy was launched by Eleanor McEvoy, singer/songwriter and chair of IMRO and musician and report ambassador, Steve Wall.

The findings indicate a strong and growing music industry, which is contributing significantly to the economy and supporting over 13,130 jobs.

The report revealed that the total contribution of the music industry, directly and indirectly, to the Irish economy is almost three-quarters of a billion euro annually – €703 million – including music-related consumer expenditure and supply chain impacts.

Opportunity for further growth in the sector through the development of a national music strategy, was identified.

This is rooted in four key action areas:

· Coordination and collaboration through the establishment of a cross-government music grouping to work with a cross-sectoral industry advisory panel to address barriers to growth in the sector

· Concentration on copyright to help ensure a fair return for music creators, at a time when the music copyright landscape has radically changed as a result of technology, and the industry is under threat from the low level of return to writers and performers from platform services

· Creative skills development through advanced training and education services that will ensure musicians realise their potential, and that the ‘business of music’ is understood

· Adequate compensation to address income uncertainty associated with work in the creative and cultural industries, perhaps the single greatest barrier faced by entrepreneurs in the sector

Based on sectorial analysis conducted by IMRO and Deloitte, the report was drafted in consultation with IMRO members and key music industry representatives.

Unsurprisingly, the report revealed that digital revenues (€16.3 million) surpassed physical revenues (€16 million) for the first time. However, growth in streaming revenues was particularly pronounced and overtook downloads for the first time.

Eleanor McEvoy said that beyond its important social and reputational contribution, music is a vital economic driver.

“If we are to continue to maintain and grow the success of Ireland’s music industry, and increase its economic and social contribution, now is the time for the development of a national music strategy,” she said.

Victor Finn, CEO of IMRO said the establishment of a dedicated national music strategy would help further develop Ireland’s indigenous music industry, boost growth in regional Ireland and support small businesses and local economies.

A focus on copyright should represent a core element of the national music strategy, he contended. “An environment that fosters growth for new and legitimate businesses, including platforms such as YouTube, SoundCloud, and Facebook, while providing legal certainty for consumers, and ensuring that this is paired with appropriate remuneration for creators, is needed.”

Ensuring creators receive compensation for all uploads of their work is crucial to establishing a sustainable basis for the music industry going forward, the IMRO CEO said.

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