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Selon Martin Prosperity Institute

 

The Great Musical North

 

November 12, 2009

 

The music business is a fascinating example of a creativity-driven industry. Advances in manufacturing and sound recording technology mean that only a small part of the value of the final product – a compact disc or digital download – is generated by manufacturing and distribution. Instead, most of the costs of the music business today are incurred by creative work: writing, producing and performing the music; designing the packaging and branding; and marketing via blogs, magazines, videos and more. This emphasis on creative inputs makes the music industry an excellent research subject for improving our understanding of the geography (and other dynamics) of a broad range of creative industries, from software to medicine to media.

 

While the public perception exists that Canada is a hot spot for music and musicians (from Neil Young to Shania Twain to Kardinal Offishall), a comparison with the global leader in music production – the United States – will help us to separate perception from reality. The most recent period for which detailed and directly comparable data are available is 2007. This Insight aims to improve our understanding of the dynamics of the business by focusing on one particular aspect: the differences between the music industries of Canada and the United States.

 

On a per capita basis, Canada’s music industry dramatically outperforms the US when it comes to the presence of music business establishments (this category includes record labels, distributors, recording studios, and music publishers). Canada has 5.9 recording industry establishments per 100,000 residents, about five times the US figure of 1.2.

 

A detailed breakdown at the metropolitan level can help us to better understand what drives this disparity. To make the scope of our analysis more manageable, we focus on city-regions with populations over 500,000, as they are home to 85% of recording industry establishments and about 65% of the North American population.

 

Using location quotients, a standard industry measure of regional concentration, we find that almost half of the 15 cities with the highest music industry location quotients are Canadian (Exhibit 1). But despite its much lower per capita figure at the national level, the United States has the two top-ranking cities. The first, Nashville, boasts an incredibly high figure due to its heavy specialization in country and pop music. The second, Los Angeles, is the global giant of the entertainment business.

 

US dominance becomes more apparent when we look at size. Recording industry establishments in the US are slightly larger – they have an average of 5.9 employees each, compared to only 5.7 in Canada. But the difference is dramatically more pronounced when it comes to revenue. US establishments earn average receipts of $4.1 million per establishment, compared to only US$540,000 in Canada.

 

So Canada has considerably greater per capita musical activity than the United States in terms of record labels, recording studios, and licensing houses. But the data tell us that the United States has much higher-earning businesses that are more heavily clustered in fewer places – especially Nashville, Los Angeles, and to a lesser extent, New York.

 

While this research is preliminary, we can speculate about what drives these differences. Economic geographers, from Jane Jacobs to Allen Scott to the Martin Prosperity Institute’s own recent analysis, have long noted that growth in creative industries like music tends to be driven by clustering and economies of scope and scale. The concentration of the American music business in a few key cities likely encourages these forces. In Canada, the fact that the music business is more evenly distributed is certainly a positive thing for musicians looking for opportunities in smaller cities. But failure to cluster in a few key centres may be discouraging the Canadian music industry from growing larger and more internationally competitive.

 

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Weird. I can't think of any English Canadian bands/musicians that I like off the top of my head

No doubt that Montreal has a strong local musical industry though, surprised it's more important than NYC's.

 

alot of good english (and some french) bands have emerged in this past decade in this city.

 

however i suspect alot of montreal's activity is sustained by the overblown quebec market, where little true creativity can be found; and while there may be less of a market in new york (according to that artcle anyway), its obviously much more active on a creative stand point; one of the best things to do while in new york as always been scouting small brooklyn or greenwich spots, getting a taste of what the next big trend is going to be, efore anyone else :)

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however i suspect alot of montreal's activity is sustained by the overblown quebec market, where little true creativity can be found; and while there may be less of a market in new york (according to that artcle anyway), its obviously much more active on a creative stand point; one of the best things to do while in new york as always been scouting small brooklyn or greenwich spots, getting a taste of what the next big trend is going to be, efore anyone else :)

 

Je ne suis pas d'accord avec toi. C'était vrai auparavant mais aujourd'hui New York, au niveau musical et toute proportion gardé, n'est pas plus créative que Montréal.

 

Il ne faut pas oublier le coté francophone qui ne franchi à peu près pas les frontières du Québec mais dont la créativité, la diversité et la longévité est surprenante. Bien sur tout cela est passé sous silence car ce n'est pas en anglais saud qu'il est là et qu'il mérite d'etre mieux connu.

 

Montréal devrait jouer encore plus sur cette troisième place et permettre à davantage de créateur de s'installer ici dans un environnement stimulant et prometteur. C'est une carte gagnante et intéressante.

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