Sound Analysis: Canadian Indie Music Sector Hits the Right Economic Note
March 03, 2013, Toronto, ON – The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) today released a ground-breaking report that shows what the sector has long known – the Canadian-owned independent music industry creates jobs, generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every year and dramatically contributes to the national economy.
Sound Analysis, An Examination of the Canadian Independent Music Industry (PDF), quantifies for the first time the specific economic impact of the sector. The report proves the independent music sector is a vibrant, job-creating industry that supports more than 13,000 jobs annually, pays more than $93 million in taxes to the federal and provincial governments, and provides a positive balance and net gain to the provincial and national economies.
“The independent, Canadian-owned music industry is a dynamic, entrepreneurial community of artists and small businesses comprising labels, managers, publishers, promoters, studios, venues and more,” says CIMA President Stuart Johnston. “And while the music they make and perform is indeed the lifeblood of our communities, this report also shows that it helps drive our economy forward in truly meaningful ways.”
CIMA commissioned research firm Nordicity to measure the breadth and scope of the Canadian-owned, English-language independent music industry, and to measure its importance to both national and provincial economies. The report defines industry structure, sources of revenues and expenses, industry and artist activities, salaries and wages, employment and future trends and challenges.
Key highlights of Sound Analysis:
- In total, the industry generated approximately $292 million in revenues in 2011, and contributed more than $300 million in GDP to the Canadian economy
- Artists generated another $79.4 million in revenues
- In total, the industry had a GDP impact of $8.2 million per $10 million of industry revenue, meaning that for every $10 million of revenue generated, the independent music industry added $8.2 million to the Canadian economy
- As a whole, the industry generated an average $1.22 return in taxes for every $1.00 in support from the federal and provincial governments
- Almost half of the music firms in Canada – 46% — are sole proprietorships
- More than 13,400 Canadians are employed in the industry, 67% of which are artists
- 60% of the industry earns $50,000 a year or less in gross revenues, while the top 10% earn more than $500,000 annually
- Approximately 73% of these revenues are earned in Canada
- Employees of music companies earned an average $22,250 in wages in 2011
- Individual artists earned an average of $7,228 per year from music-related activities in 2011, though they only spent 29 hours per week pursuing such activities
- 53% of independent music companies are bullish on their future, expecting business to grow by 10% or more
Sound Analysis also concludes that, outside of Canada, approximately 19% of industry revenues are derived from the United States’ market, 3% from the UK, 1% from New Zealand/Australia and 4% from the rest of the world.
While these numbers demonstrate that the independent industry as a whole is largely a domestic one, it highlights the fact that international expansion is among the key strategic objectives for the industry. And while most firms see themselves continuing to grow in Canada, close to half of companies also seek to grow in the United States, and a significant number view other international markets as key to their future growth and success.
“One of the conclusions of this report is that there are significant opportunities to grow the industry through exporting Canadian music to key global markets,” says Johnston. “The focus on exporting is a natural and important strategy to grow international revenues for the domestic industry.”
The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) is the national trade association representing the English-language, Canadian-owned sector of the independent music industry. CIMA’s membership consists of Canadian-owned companies and representatives of Canadian-owned companies involved in every aspect of the music, sound recording and music-related industries. CIMA’s mandate is to ensure the long-term development of the sector and to raise the profile of Canadian independent music both in Canada and abroad.