Music rights body Imro calls for national industry strategy

More needs to be done to foster the ‘business of music’ amid copyright challenges

‘Music is part of our national identity,’ says Eleanor McEvoy, chairwoman of Irish music rights body Imro

‘Music is part of our national identity,’ says Eleanor McEvoy, chairwoman of Irish music rights body Imro

 

A national music strategy should be established to promote growth in the industry and ensure the “business of music” is understood, according to the Irish Music Rights Organisation (Imro).

A report commissioned by the organisation from accountancy firm Deloitte suggests the music industry contributes some €703 million annually to the Irish economy, with this figure including the indirect contribution from music-related consumer expenditure and supply chain impacts.

The contribution from the core music industry stood at €445 million in 2015, the report notes, while employment in the core industry is calculated at 9,490.

Imro is seeking the establishment of a cross-Government music group to work with an industry advisory panel on how to to address barriers to growth in the sector.

“Music is part of our national identity, our psyche and our way of life. Beyond its important social and reputational contribution, however, music is a vital economic driver,” said musician Eleanor McEvoy, who chairs Imro.

“If we are to continue to maintain and grow the success of Ireland’s music industry, and increase its economic and social contribution, now is the time for the development of a national music strategy.”

Copyright landscape

Imro has been particularly concerned in recent years about the low level of payments that writers and performers typically receive from platforms such as the Google-owned YouTube and other services.

In common with its international counterparts, the organisation believes a fair return for music creators at a time when the copyright landscape has “changed utterly as a result of technology” should be at the centre of a national strategy to foster Irish culture.

Digital music revenues overtook physical ones in Ireland in 2015, one year after the same shift took place globally. The Deloitte report notes that the uncertain incomes associated with work in the creative and cultural industries is perhaps the greatest barrier faced by entrepreneurs in the sector.

“Ensuring creators receive compensation for all uploads of their work is crucial to establishing a sustainable basis for the music industry going forward,” said Imro chief executive Victor Finn.