«Prepared for Caribbean Export Development Agency Barbados April 2001 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION The rapid growth of an intellectual property and ...»
Overseas performances are an important aspect of the music industry.
Performances are the main economic activity for most artists. In many ways sound recordings and videos operate as promotional tools for the performancebased activity. Industry participants are reporting annual growth rates ranging from 10 to 15 percent (see table 12). The soca artists and bands and the chutney artists have reported growth rates at the higher end. Disc Jockeys and pan ensembles have reported slower growth rates. Earnings for 1995 were estimated at TT$59 million. Earnings have grown appreciably over the period 1995 to 1998.
Recent years has seen the entry of a number of new artists and music bands, for example, Earplay, Surface, Question, Panazz and Flabej.
Sound, Lighting and Stage The sound, lighting and stage sub-sector has emerged to be a critical aspect of the entertainment industry because of the large amount of work done in live performances. This sector involves a few firms who are involved in the rental of sound and lighting equipment. They also supply the technical expertise, for example sound engineers, that are needed to operate the equipment. The larger firms include Rent-A-Amp, Johnny-Q, Balroops and All Steps Promotions.
Rent-A-Amp has emerged to be the main exporter. It services a large number of festivals and live musical events throughout the Caribbean region, for example, the St. Kitts Music festival, Dominica’s Creolefest and St. Lucia Jazz festival.
Johnny-Q who provides sound equipment for carnival performances is also engaged in exporting to other islands. Trinidadian firms have become the prime regional suppliers of such specialized equipment. This sector has also been able to export the expertise of sound engineers. The foreign exchange earnings for this sector have more than doubled over the period 1995 to 1998 (see table 13).
Royalties Collections Royalties are a small but growing source of revenue in the music industry. In Trinidad and Tobago the copyright collections agency is the Copyright Organization of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT). COTT's function is to protect the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties. COTT has a reciprocal agreement with the UK-based Performing Rights Society (PRS) which allows COTT to represent foreign societies as well as have its members interests secured internationally. Under the reciprocal agreement, 70% of the local collections is paid to PRS.
COTT revenues expanded by 30% between 1995 and 1996 to $466,000, 90% of which was from local collections (see table 14). Royalties on local music from foreign societies continues to be about 10% of revenues but grew by 43% over the two years. Collections on local music at home grew by 36% because of the overall increase in awareness about copyright issues. Payments to foreign societies expanded by 30% and continues to be the largest component in distributions.
The division of earnings represents a deficit for Trinidad and Tobago because of the relatively weak position of local music in domestic and overseas markets. It is generally recognized that the overseas income collected does not accurately represent the extent to which Trinidad and Tobago music is played abroad. This
problem is a function of structural considerations:
• The major international collection societies, especially from the US (e.g.
BMI, ASCAP) only sample the top radio stations and not the fringe radio stations where Caribbean music is played regularly. Broadcast royalties are therefore underestimated.
• The major international collection societies only sample the largest concerts and thus are unlikely to capture the extent of Trinidadian music played in public performances, for example, the overseas Caribbean carnivals in North America and Europe.
• Piracy and other copyright infringements, though significant to artists and publishers, may not be profitable for international litigation agencies.
• Many Caribbean artists have not been educated on how to secure their copyrights and so continue to be subject to infringement in spite of the new laws.
• COTT does not administer neighbouring rights which deals with those rights that subsist in sound recording, audio-visual productions and broadcasts.
• A large percentage of musical works by local artists and publishers are not properly documented and so royalty payments go unidentified.
Cultural Tourism Cultural tourism is an important source of income for the music and entertainment sector. It is well recognized that tourists today are looking for more than sand, sea and surf. This is reflected in the growth of eco-tourism, adventure-tourism as well as festival tourism. One of the prime examples of this is Brazil’s Rio Carnival which attracts 300,000 visitors and generates US$1 billion for the city. Throughout the Caribbean this aspect of the tourist industry is gaining prominence in the tourism calendar. Reggae Sunplash and Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica, Cropover in Barbados and the Jazz Festival in St. Lucia are prime examples.
Trinidad’s Carnival has long been viewed as the premier festival in the region. It attracts visitors in the vicinity of thirty to forty thousand each year. The economic impact of the festival has not been fully analysed. The data that is available is on visitor expenditures (see table 15). In 1998 it is estimated that 32,071 visitors spent $88.7 million as compared to 1997 which saw 24,947 visitors and expenditures of $64.5 million. Expenditures on carnival entertainment (e.g.
shows, fetes, parties) accounted for 22% of visitor expenditures for 1998.
There is much more scope to expand the earnings from festival tourism. There are several other music festivals which have some tourist appeal, for example, the Pan Ramajay, Pan Jazz and the Steelband Music festival. The Tobago Heritage Festival, Divali, Hosay and the Point Fortin Borough Day festivities also have strong tourist appeal.
The Hospitality Sector The Hospitality sector refers to the hotel and guest-house sub-sector of the tourism industry. This sub-sector contributes to the foreign exchange earnings of the entertainment industry through the employment of artists to perform for tourist. This is the case especially with the larger hotels in the country.
Reported figures from the hoteliers in Tobago and Trinidad put the total entertainment expenditures at approximately TT$850,000.00 for 1995 and $1,379,000 for 1996 (Nurse 1997). Hoteliers report an increase of no more than approximately ten percent per annum for the years 1997 and 1998 (see table 16).
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONThere are expanding market opportunities for the various genres of Trinidad and Tobago music (e.g. soca, chutney, rapso, parang, steelpan). International and local consumption has been negatively affected by piracy as well as low radio airplay, especially on the home market. Artistic production is the strength of the industry but there is still room for greater professionalism, entrepreneurship and product development.
Overseas performances are the engine of the music industry. It generated 68% of the foreign exchange earnings for the year 1998. The growth in this sub-sector has been noteworthy with the entry of more artists and music bands. The industry, however, needs to grow beyond the performance driven business model to one where there is a synergy with sale of merchandise like recordings.
Manufacturing and merchandising are areas that have been plagued by business failure, competition from overseas and the seasonality of some of the artforms.
Marketing, distribution and retailing are the weakest phase in the entertainment industry, both at the local, regional and international level. This is the case because soundcarrier exports are done offshore. The re-export trade is restricted by high import duties at home and through-out the region.
Copyright protection remains problematic because of piracy and other forms of infringement. Royalties collections have improved with the establishment of COTT but there is much room for higher inflows from foreign collections, especially from the US and Canada, where there is a significant diasporic population and a large number of Caribbean-styled carnivals.
Table 17 below shows that the total overseas earnings of the music entertainment sector for 1995 is estimated to be TT$127 million. This places the entertainment industry in tenth position in terms of foreign exchange earnings behind minerals and fuels, chemicals, manufactured goods, agriculture, tourism and beverages and tobacco (see table 18). The main contributor to the overseas earnings of the sector is overseas performances (68.2%). Next in importance is entertainment expenditures by cultural tourists (15.3%). The recording industry is ranked third with earnings $13.5 million. Merchandise sales, which stood at $1.1 million, is dominated by the export of steelpan instruments (93%). Earnings based on the entertainment budgets from the hospitality sector amounted to $1,669,000.
Royalty export income amounts to $345,000.
The music industry of Barbados is largely a product of its Crop Over Festival, which is the island’s annual Carnival celebration. Calypso music is the main musical artform associated with this festival, although traditional Barbadian music really comprises Tuk, Spouge, and Folk. Since the early 1990s, a number of derivative musical forms to Calypso have emerged. Calypso has been combined with reggae and dancehall to produce ragga soca, and has also been mixed with other Caribbean music including zouk, samba and salsa. Today, the ‘tuk’ sound can be found in a number of the calypsos recorded by some of the island’s top music bands such as krosfyah, Square One, and MADD.
Although calypso is currently the predominant music form, the music industry had its beginnings with Spouge- the Barbadian rhythm of the 1960s. This music form was developed extensively by the late Jackie Opel, in an attempt to create a Barbadian national music. Jackie Opel fused the ska beat of Jamaica with calypso rhythms of Trinidad to produce a special rhythm played on the cowbell, bass guitar, trap set, and other rhythm and electronic instruments. Instruments such as trumpets, a trombone, a saxophone, and vocalists were added depending on whether it was the Cassius Clay style (or ‘dragon spouge’) or the Draytons Two style (or ‘raw spouge’). The era from the early 1960s to 1979 saw a sizeable output of spouge recordings by locals, thereby allowing popular bands at the time to expand their creative bases (Millington, 1998). Groups such as Lord Radio and the Bimshire Boys, Jiggs Kirton, Antonio “Boo” Rudder, Blue Rhythm Combo, and Wendy Alleyne and the Dynamics recorded a number of popular spouge songs such as “Do You Like Sweet Music?” (Blue Rhythm Combo) and “Dance With Me” (Bimshire Boys). By the late 1970s, however, Spouge slowly began to disappear from the industry, as many of its artists began to migrate and/or shift to the increasingly popular Calypso music.
The growth of calypso in Barbados was mainly influenced by broadcasts on radio from Trinidad and Tobago, whose calypso artists had well developed the music form by the 1960s - the time at which it began to emerge in Barbados.
Efforts by the Mighty Dragon and Lord Silvers to promote shows at the Globe Theatre as early as 1954, showcased pioneers such as Sir Don Marshall, the Mighty Romeo, as well as Lord Radio and the Bimshire Boys of Spouge fame, who set the style for the development of calypso. Mighty Gabby, the Merrymen and Viper followed around the same time as the start of calypso competitions in the early 1960s. The Merrymen established themselves among the local tourist market as well as abroad from 1975 to 1985, promoting a Caribbean beat and using folk music and traditional ballads to promote the island as a tourist destination.
As a result of the Merrymen’s popularity among the tourists locally, performing around the hotel circuit in Barbados became a norm for local artists in the 1970s, however, this steadily declined over the years, since many artists and bands were seldom paid well for their performances. One industry source has noted that payment for a gig on the hotel circuit is somewhat the same today as it was in the 1970s.
It was with the advent of the first Crop Over Festival hosted by the Barbados Board of Tourism in 1974, that Calypso in Barbados became more organised and began to explode onto the entertainment scene. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, attempts were made to develop the festival and in turn the music. For instance, by the late 1970s, the Ministry of Culture in conjunction with some of the major players of the Festival at the time was producing an annual compilation album of the top calypso tunes for that season. With the formation of the National Cultural Foundation in 1984, “Crop Over” became synonymous with “Calypso”, and the artform became a legitimately accepted artform in Barbados.
Calypsonians on the island have increased from 25 to 200, and can be considered central players in the annual Crop Over Festival (Millington, 1991).
Today, calypso and the music sector as a whole in Barbados has expanded significantly, with the number of artists having increased to 300 (see Table below). In addition, some members of the sector have branched off into other aspects of the music business. For instance, as noted in the table, there are 70 artists who are also producers, and another 50 who are composers. It appears that the volume of musical compositions has grown with as many as 1,200 songs being composed annually.
Source: Extracted from a Feasibility Study conducted by Paul M. Berry & Associates, April 1999.