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CAN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY SAVE THE JAMAICAN ECONOMY?

From The Jamaica Observer

Cultural industries show impressive earning capacity

Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

Friday, December 30, 2011////

MILLIONS of dollars can be earned from the music industry. This was made clear at a recent press conference organised by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association held at the Bob Marley Museum in St Andrew.

Jamaica Exporters’ Association General Manager Jean Smith said she is confident that the music industry has the potential to significantly contribute to Jamaica’s earnings.

Local Reggae band C-Sharp performing at the recent launch of their debut album Invitation.

 

“Music is one of our eight priority industries that we have indentified for support,” she said, pointing out that they will be looking at ways to strengthen and expand these areas and consequently their contribution to Jamaica’s welfare. She added that one of the areas earmarked will be intellectual property management and this will see her working with various partners.

Richard Lumsden, programme director in the Planned Development Unit at the Planning Institute of Jamaica reeled off some impressive data showing that the creative industries generate billions of dollars.

According to data from the Global Creative Industries Creative Economy 2010 report done by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: the “2008 total export of all creative industry goods and services reached US$592 billion with an annual growth rate of 14.4 per cent between 2003 and 2008.

Locally, the earning potential is just as good. A Vanus James 2007 report entitled The Economic Contribution of Copyright-based Industry in Jamaica, which was done for the World Intellectual Property Organisation, indicated that “copyright-based industries, including press, music and theatrical productions, generated about $29 billion in producers’ value at constant (1996 prices) to the Jamaican economy or 4.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In his report, Lumsden also informed that the copyright sectors also accounted for three per cent of national employment.

Narrowing the report to the contribution of music and theatrical productions, Lumsden said it accounted for $3 billion or 4.3 per cent of the total copyright sector.

The figure, of course, could be more as the data given did not capture the entire contribution of the music industry.

The contribution from the creative industries has seen growth even through the recession.

According to a report from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica contributions of recreational, cultural and sporting activities to GDP have been growing.

“It increased in 2009, the industry accounted for 2.9 per cent of GDP, an increase of 0.2 percentage point compared with 2008,” Lumsden told those present.

The Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which was established in 1998 to oversee the administration of music copyright in Jamaica, also reported growth.

With a membership of 2,538 and counting, last year the total royalties disbursed by the agency was $13.5 million, of which $10.9 million came from overseas distribution. According to the report presented by Lumsden, this was an increase of $2 million.


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