«Prepared for Caribbean Export Development Agency Barbados April 2001 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION The rapid growth of an intellectual property and ...»
Consequently, a large share of the value-added and profits are externally controlled. This has stymied the conditions for learning and the process of industrial upgrading (Nurse 1997). For example, because the manufacturing is done overseas the industry is subject to slow delivery times, increased cost of freight, duties on extra-regional imports, double-duties on re-exports, and uncompetitive prices. Under these circumstances firms have found it very difficult to export, to both regional and extra-regional markets. This has also resulted opportunities for the pirate market as firms are not responsive enough to market demands and are unable to offer prices that could steal away market share from the pirates. Unless these conditions are addressed the industry will be unable to move up the value-added chain, expand export earnings, and exercise control in the rapidly changing techno-economic context.
The main export markets for Caribbean music have been the Caribbean territories and the Caribbean diasporic communities in North America and Europe. The mass or mainstream popular music market remains largely untapped. This market has traditionally been viewed as a monolithic entity but it has become highly differentiated and segmented with the creation of global niches since the 1980s. For example, the market share of pop and rock music in the US and UK have declined in 1990s (IFPI 1998). Musical genres like Country, Urban/Contemporary, Rap, Reggae and Latin music have gained market share.
Another impressive growth area has been the category referred to as ‘World Music’. This niche is very diverse. It includes musical genres as varied as celtic music, zouk, soukous, cajun, rai, salsa and many more. Creating an identity within this broad category is critical as this is one of the fastest growing segments in the music industry. Caribbean artists and firms should endeavor to have a strong presence in the various ‘World Music’ festivals that take place in Europe.
One marketing advantage, which Caribbean music like reggae and soca enjoys is that the language used is English. English-speaking countries accounted for 53.4% of the exports in recorded discs and tapes in 1993 (UN 1995: 48).
Additionally, it is well recognized that language barriers are not a hindrance to the worldwide distribution of music, especially music in English, given that it is the dominant language in international cultural exchange. The countries of the US and the UK are two of the leading markets for the international music industry. More importantly, they are the market trendsetters in that what is successful there tends to have a good chance of being successful elsewhere. The UK plays that role for Europe and the US for the whole world. The main marketing initiative should be targeted at the US and UK markets.
The rising demand for Latin music has enhanced the opportunities for merengue and bachata music from the Dominican Republic. Latin music has gained in mainstream market appeal as a result of the recent success of artists like Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez. The US has a large Hispanic population, which has facilitated this growth. Markets throughout Latin America have also become more lucrative with trade and financial liberalization and strong anti-piracy efforts.
From a marketing standpoint there are several market niches that can be further exploited. The diasporic Caribbean market, which numbers over 10 million, is far from being fully tapped for all genres of music. This market is important to secure because it acts as a beachhead in metropolitan export markets. These markets are subject to high levels of piracy but are generally neglected by national enforcement agencies because the numbers are presumed to be too small. The regional tourist markets, which attracts over 10 million visitors, requires a better distribution and marketing effort and can act as a basis for market crossovers. The increasing number of music festivals within the region can be targetted for improved market and media exposure for Caribbean artists. The minority and ethnic communities in North America and Europe are becoming increasingly receptive to Caribbean music but more needs to be done to build a market presence, especially through the college circuit and the overseas Caribbean carnivals. The Asian and African continental markets are still problematic because of the high level of piracy and low profitability in those areas. Non-traditional developed country markets such as the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Japan are becoming increasingly important.
Building an international image and reputation for quality is important.
Participating in international trade fairs, festivals and awards ceremonies can acquaint artists and cultural entrepreneurs with the demands of the overseas market. The entertainment industry in the Caribbean needs to develop an aggressive posture to penetrate the international market. The rationale is that the industry is faced with the task of creating demand for new genres of music and other entertainment products and services. This may require the establishment of strategic alliances in some cases as well direct promotion in others. Foreign direct investment, joint ventures and promotional and distribution deals are avenues that need to be seriously explored given the high barriers to export market entry.
The goal of many industry participants is to land a recording and/or promotion and distribution deal with one of the major recording companies. Many view this as the passport to success because it is very difficult to penetrate the mainstream markets without access to the retail and media networks that the major recording companies control. However, the majors are only prepared to invest where they see a particular type of music or artist moving in the marketplace. The major recording companies rarely invest in musical genres and artists that are untested in the marketplace. Instead, they rely on the risk-taking and experimentation of the smaller independent labels and companies. This suggests that it is important to have a well-developed independent sector of firms that can focus on artist and repertoire, product and market development. Facilitating the growth of independents is a key strategy to build the market for Caribbean music and attract the major recording companies.
Getting onto a major label is a very difficult endeavor and one that does not necessarily work to the advantage of an artist. It is not unheard of for artists after being signed to realize that they are not being promoted or that the label does not have a clear idea of how to market them. The majors also tend to have a fairly narrow payback timeframe and consequently an artist can be dropped when sales targets are not achieved within the stated period. Several Jamaican dancehall artists were dropped in the mid-1990s when sales of reggae did not meet expectations. The experience of dancehall artists suggests that being signed by a major label should not be viewed as an end in itself. It is also needs to be emphasized that many artists are able to make a reasonable living through the operations of the smaller independent sector.
The above analysis suggests that the export strategy needs to be multifaceted rather than just focused on landing a recording deal with a major recording company. There is a clear need to build a market trend to improve the bargaining power of local artistes and recording companies. Merchandise sales have to be improved first. Overseas performances should be used to promote merchandise.
At present it is the reverse. Records and CDs are used to promote performances.
Caribbean artists are not alone in this approach most artists earn more income from performance than from record sales. However, there is a lot of room for expansion by local artists. Not enough artists spend the effort to promote their merchandise. Many of our artistes go to overseas performances without a proper press kit, biographies and promotional materials. Many don’t do the radio circuit to build a faithful network of Disc Jockeys, especially in the non-traditional markets. In many respects the music has not moved out of the Caribbean diasporic or immigrant market and venues. The demands for this market, in terms of style, image, presentation and professionalism, are lower than that for the mainstream markets.
3.0 Industrial Policy Strategy
An increasing number of countries have begun to recognize the economic benefits of the music industry and have implemented industrial policies to enhance the competitiveness of the sector. An example of this trend is the increase in the number of national export agencies that participate in the largest annual music trade fair, MIDEM. In countries like Canada, the UK and Ireland active measures have been instituted to deepen the industrialization of the music industry. A regional initiative, the European Music Office, was established by the European Union in 1997.
Across the various country initiatives there is a general consensus that creating a competitive advantage calls for the continuous upgrading of artistic and entrepreneurial skills, enterprise development, market development, product and service innovation and the strengthening of the home environment. The Irish case is worthy of some mention.
The industrial strategy was built on four strands (IMIG 1998):
1. Developing Irish music
2. Ireland as a location for foreign investment
3. Improved international exposure
4. Public relations/Information campaign A similar perspective has begun to emerge in the Caribbean. JAMPRO and TIDCO have been engaged in some trade promotion measures. Caribbean Export Development Agency has assisted several firms through their competitiveness programme. In recent times industry players have articulated a position. At a regional meeting at the Caribbean Music Expo (CME), held in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, November 14-17, industry stakeholders (e.g. music producers, artists, distributors, media practitioners, attorneys and industry analysts) identified five critical areas for immediate action to promote the development of the regional
music industry. The areas identified were:
1. The removal of customs duties on CDs, cassettes, records, and promotional videos containing performances, sound recordings, or musical compositions by artists from the region, to facilitate free movement of these products in CARICOM;
2. The development of strategic alliances and mergers between small distributors in the region to make Caribbean music more accessible in the global marketplace, and to develop a regional grouping to lobby for further improvements in the music industry;
5. The implementation of a regional system for collective management of copyright and related rights to improve the collection and distribution of royalties regionally and internationally.
The issues and strategies identified above are designed to improve local and regional control of the production, marketing and distribution process. Such a strategy, however, calls for a wide range of expertise backed up by an industrial infrastructure, which are not currently in place. This report recommends nine key
objectives and attendant strategies:
1. Expand income generation and competitiveness
2. Facilitate export marketing Increase participation in trade fairs.
Strengthen distribution channels.
Broaden mass media access.
Widen circuit of concert tours and festival engagements.
Develop a joint marketing strategy with tourism sector Introduce Internet-based technologies and business practices.
3. Invest in human resource development
4. Enable institutional capacity building Establish a regional organization Establish and upgrade national industry associations Offer business support services Develop an economic research capability Develop a market intelligence capability
5. Ensure copyright protection and collective administration Establish viable national copyright societies Strengthen existing national copyright societies Implement regional data and rights management centre Enhance bargaining leverage with foreign copyright societies
6. Implement anti-piracy campaign Implement ‘banderole’ system Strengthen enforcement capability Introduce private recording levy on blank tape and CD imports Develop public awareness campaign
7. Align and harmonize government policy framework Establish industrial policy Establish trade policy Establish intellectual property policy Establish cultural policy Establish educational policy
8. Upgrade the home environment Improve government-industry relations Foster public awareness of the contribution of the music industry Increase local/regional content on the airwaves Establish musicians union Improve access to credit
9. Develop Internet-readiiness Develop market profile of the potential Internet music audience Develop a regional Internet marketing and distribution programme Conduct training programme for music industry firms New product development
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