“Music in Motion”: A Look at Some of CIMA’s Export Activities
2016 is a truly exciting time to be involved in the business of music exporting. CIMA is recognizing this trend by starting a major research project on how to grow the export industry even further: our “Music in Motion” survey. As we wrap up the first phase of our music export study (surveying people in the industry about their export-related business activities), we wanted to look back on some of CIMA’s own export projects, and the success that we’ve had at exposing great Canadian music to the rest of the world.
From 2007-2015, participants in CIMA’s key international trade missions reported more than $127 million in business deals completed and/or initiated as a result of CIMA’s export missions. This involved a total of 1,054 companies making 19,314 new contacts over the course of 16,053 meetings, and initiating/closing 6,865 business deals.
In fiscal 2014-2015 alone, we ran 18 exporting initiatives targeting 19 cities in 8 countries worldwide. In that year, we programmed 129 artists at our official Canadian Blast showcases, while supporting 195 Canadian music companies at international conferences, events or trade missions. Some of these companies attended multiple trade missions. Because our members each represent a multitude of different artists and bands, we conservatively estimate that upwards of 1,000 artists were directly and/or indirectly promoted, marketed and supported by our export initiatives.
But why is the export of Canadian music so important, especially now? As some of our export mission participants have said:
“It is important to continue the personal relationships and be visible to contacts from North America and around the world. Seeing musicians play or the teams that represent them in [a different country’s] marketplace is the main reason for attending.”
“Teams — whether they’re international labels, managers, booking agents, publishers, buyers/promoters or plenty of other music related businesses — attend in order to see artists and discuss those specific artists. It’s important for our business to get personal meetings with them.”
The kinds of events we bring CIMA delegates to include SXSW, Folk Alliance International, Grammy Week, Jazzahead!, New Skool Rules, Reeperbahn and countless others. We’ve had great success organizing showcase events for our members at these festivals, such as Britain’s The Great Escape, where participating companies have said: “the UK is critical to market development worldwide with respect to press and media, as the UK media holds great sway and influence worldwide.”
This is why CIMA is seeking your input on vital music export projects like our own Canadian Blast missions. We hope to gather as much data as possible on the current exporting activities and costs undertaken by Canadian music companies. Through our “Music in Motion” survey, we will then shape a proposal for the federal government aimed at securing greater funding and support for Canadian music companies and artists – who must be able to successfully penetrate foreign markets in order to thrive in a global, 21st century music economy.