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What's music worth?





For most people, music is mere entertainment that will accompany them throughout life, mostly in the background. However, once you deep-dive into the music universe, it’s possible to see a vast territory, teeming with wealth, opportunities and challenges. Music becomes increasingly important for Brazilian cities with regard to the creative economy, knowledge, identity and social transformation through revenue generation. So, just how much is music worth?

Dani Ribas, culture director at Sonar Cultural Consulting and Research and also a member of SIM São Paulo’s Consulting Council since 2015, observes that it’s borderline consensual that music has a value. “But how do we prove it to society?”, she questions. Music is food for the soul, but this is not enough of a political argument for the public sector. “We must use numbers that illustrate music-related economic activities. “We must demonstrate the added value of music for the workforce and their products. Research studies by Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE) - such as the National Research at the Domicile (PNAD) - demonstrate that workers in the culture sector are more qualified than the national average”, she notes. “And the so-called creative class includes all sorts of professionals in the sector (such as all sorts of assistants)”.

69% ARE CONSTANTLY SEARCHING FOR NEW MUSIC*

“There is a vast value chain from the designer to the sound technician, from the manager to the composer, from recording the phonogram to the concert per se, the artist’s final deliverables. This value chain has a cultural, a social and also an economic impact on the region where it’s taking place”, observes Vander Lins, supervisor of special projects at the Culture Secretary of the City of São Paulo and also event producer for large projects such as Virada Cultural, carnival and SP na Rua (“SP on the Streets”), and more. Based on his experience, Vander reports that the market isn’t entirely prepared to meet the needs of these events. That’s why the Secretary established a learners’ hub that’s active throughout the entire year, from the so-called “artistic call” to the debriefing of an event. “Culture is truly mighty when it’s in transit. And music is the artistic product that’s most easily consumed”, he defines.

When we talk about music, we also talk about cultural identity, about expressing ourselves. “In addition to the artistic value, music also has an economic value surrounding this production chain, yet this value isn’t always easily discernible for most people”, adds Leo Feijó, Undersecretary at the Culture Secretary of the State of Rio de Janeiro. “You don’t necessarily need to be a musician in order to operate in this environment within the music ecosystem”, he argues. Leo is recognized for rocking the night music scene of Rio de Janeiro.

59% PLANNED A PREOR POST- EVENT GET TOGETHER*

 

MUSIC AND ECONOMICAL DEVELOPMENT

 

“The music scenes are a catalyst for culturally vibrant cities”, affirms Lutz Leichsenring, spokesperson at Berlin’s Clubcommission, an organization established in 2000 in order to study and to develop the club culture in the German capital, and also at Creative Footprint, a notfor-profit initiative that studies the development of live music venues, with the support from professors at Harvard University (in the US). “They encourage tourism and also attract qualified workers (for example, in the digital economy). They represent a milestone not just for startup businesses, but also for other sectors of the creative industry, such as cinema and fashion”, he says.

68% SHARED THE EXPERIENCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA*

“We’ve generated jobs that never existed before”, explains Fernando Dotta from the label Balaclava Records, specialized in launching Brazilian artists and producing concert for non-Brazilian artists in Brazil. “We understand our business model, and we began to realize that we needed someone in charge of social networks, someone for PR, and someone else writing musical projects for the label. Despite the lean structure, we manage to generate partnerships and to exchange that we never thought possible”, he celebrates. “The digital jobs are spreading everywhere”, completes Juliano Polimeno, CEO at Playax.

“It’s great that music generates both jobs and income”, says Dani Ribas. “That’s what we call economic development. Music can give much more to the country if we support it”, she adds. The researcher also notes that professional initiatives (such as training, talks and conferences) are an important factor for skill development. “Let’s just say that this factor qualifies people in a way schools just can’t do. This added value that music attaches to products and professionals could move Brazil up the world rank of the culture goods and services market. England invested in the creative industry when it experienced an economic crisis in the 1980s. Australia only reached its position due to investment in the creative economy. She also believes that the value of music should be perceived as economic developed alongside human development, and that it should be measured in numbers that reflect both dimensions. Dani draws attention for the specific value of the nights and its production chain, a topic already at the top of the agenda in many cities across the world, and also one of the first research topics at Data SIM.

66% ARE STARVING FOR EXPERIENCES THAT PUT THEM BACK IN TOUCH WITH REAL PEOPLE AND RAW EMOTIONS*

In this scenario, some urban centers from across the world are in the avant-garde of what’s impacting the music production chain. The study entitled “Socioproductive music research in the Federal District - SEC-DF | UN- ESCO, conducted by Dani Ribas in 2018, revealed some initiatives that establish good practices policy development aligned with the sector demands. Creative Footprint did a large study in 2017, mapping more than 500 music spots in Berlin, and analysing the impact of support from the public sector. The German capital spends about €2 million in music and culture, generating a real impact on the program, the promotion and the popularity of local music. London created a Night Czar in 2016, and investigated the opportunity further in 2018 with a set of new policies for night clubs. The aim is to find novel ways for authorities, companies and locals to communicate and to work together. Adelaide launched the Music Development Office (MDO) this year, a joint government initiative by Arts South Australia and the Industry, Innovation, Science and Small Business division at the Industry and Skills Department. It aims to facilitate the continuous development of the music industry in Southern Australia by supporting both creative and corporate development.

73% PREFER REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCES RATHER THAN DIGITAL*

 

DATA SIM

 

These news were announced during the awards ceremony at the SIM Award of the São Paulo Music Week 2017. DATA SIM intends to collect socioeconomic data about the Brazilian music market, and to deep-dive into the knowledge of its dimensions, structure and relation to other sectors of the creative industry. The first study will investigate small, medium and large enterprises devoted to live music. The multithreaded questionnaire contained more than 60 questions, and it compiled information about music programing, structure and also challenges. The output will enable an in-depth analysis of São Paulo’s music ecosystem, as well as the identification of growth areas. This will provide the backbone for the development of growth strategies of the socioeconomic benefits for both the sector and the city. This provides a blueprint for the rest of the country, and be replicated in any other territory and context in the future. The first studies have already been carried out, in a partnership with JLeiva Cultura & Esporte, sponsored by Natura Musical. “The creative industries need to get to know each other better in order to strengthen themselves; they need a clearer vision of their joint power and also of their diversity. And also a clearer vision of the challenges that lie ahead”, says Joao Leiva, director at JLeiva Cultura & Esporte. “Our aim is to engage the public sector so that they finally realize the potential of the music industry; that music gives more than it takes, and therefore should be supported”, claims Fabiana Batistela, director at SIM São Paulo. “We hope that this will help not just the night clubs (which will gain a better understanding of their function as a productive sector in the city’s economy), but also the music sector as a whole. This will also contribute towards sector-specific public policy development, in case São Paulo wishes to stand out as a music city at a global level”, concludes Dani Ribas.

 

THE STRENGTH OF THE LIVE MUSIC MARKET

 

“Live music is a business per se, and it’s always been that way”, says Edson Natale, music hub manager at Itaú Cultural. Deep inside, we underestimate its value simply because we lack knowledge. There are gigs every night in Itaquera and Cidade Tiradantes”, he mentions a couple of examples. “International concerts rock the city in amazing way”, adds Fernando Dotta. “It deals with tourism, air tickets, hospitality, local transport, restaurants. People come from all over Brazil. It would be nice to get a commission (like the Night Czar of London) that prioritizes culture, but we also need an organization that sits between the music venues”, he demands.

71% SAY THEIR INNER CIRCLE COMES TO THEM WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT DEVICES AND TECH PRODUCTS*

The concert is an important incentive for the public. It amplifies the reach of music and its entire production chain. What are Brazilian cities waiting for before they invest in public policies that facilitate such developments? Dani Ribas believes that there have been major improvements for cultural policies in Brazil in the past 10 years. “The policies established by the National Culture System have cemented the path here, yet they have failed in some aspects. These policies listened to the society (which is vital), but they forgot to listen to some market sectors, particularly small culture endeavors, that’s where they failed”. For Dani, we now need to combine the two things.

85% HAVE PURCHASED NEW CLOTHING TO WEAR TO A LIVE MUSIC EVENT*

 

LEI SP CIDADE DA MÚSICA

 

The Bill 376/2016 SP passed the first reading in 2016 with an absolute majority in the Sao Paulo City’s Council, but it was discontinued by the new mayor that took office on January 1st, 2017. The Bill aimed to organize the public sector and music support on many fronts, from creation and promotion all the way to the street, instrumental music and musical intervention in public spaces and equipment. Extracts from the Bill have resurfaced individually in government tenders and frameworks in 2017 - for example, supporting both the artistic output and the independent spaces - thereby diminishing the impact of a thought-through plan designed to serve the entire music production chain of the city of Sao Paulo.

 

THE PUBLIC SECTOR AS A MEDIATOR

 

For André Sturm, the current Culture Secretary at the City of São Paulo, the value of music “is enormous and incalculable”. In his opinion, music is a language with many possibilities. “Certainly, in a highly nightlife-orientated city like São Paulo, music-related activities can contribute towards economic development growth, not just cultural. From all the languages, music has most appeal because it’s connected to the nightlife”. He also believes that São Paulo doesn’t fully leverage its creative strength, at least for some people.

“For me, it’s impossible to understand from the contemporary point-of-view how the São Paulo municipal government could fail to recognise the economic value of music in a consistent and organized manner. We perceive São Paulo as a city with a wide spectrum of activities”, notes Edson Natale. “I believe that the public sector (in a non-partisan way) does not recognize this potential because we lack studies, particularly economic research. That’s why Data SIM is vital”, he believes. Juliano Polimeno corroborates further: “We lack market data for analysis. I ask: ‘how much is the Brazilian music market worth’, and no one seems to have the answer”.

72% OF THE PUBLIC BETWEEN 13 AND 39 YEARS HAVE DRIVEN OVER 100 MILES TO ATTEND A LIVE MUSIC EVENT*

Leo Feijó, from the state of Rio de Janeiro, regrets the lack of a state council that thinks music, and of an agency that foments the market. Yet he notes: “For us, it is key to grasp the transformational potential of the music industry through tourism. It moves the economy, improves the image of the city. Within this context, we also believe that it’s helpful to boost networks and stages. Music is an enabler of urban transformation. And we also want to improve the artist export business”.

According to Lutz Leichsenring, there are three vital ingredients for a culturally vibrant city: 1) creative spaces that are both accessible and affordable; 2) good structures in place, with round-the-clock licensing and policies for public transport at night; and 3) support for the artistic community, event promoters and club owners, those who enable change and produce content. The São Paulo City of Music Bill - drafted by the civil society and endorsed by the market - contemplated this and much more, but it did not pass the second reading in the City’s council (the first reading was at the end of 2016). Occasional mayoral initiatives have not been able to systematically and efficiently meet the sector needs, and they have not caused any tangible impact. We could learn a lot from cities such as Berlin, London, Adelaide, New York and Bogotá, but we are taking baby steps.

* Global Live Music Fan Study, a survey run by Live Nation and published in 2018 that heard 22,500 people aged between 13 and 49 from 11 regions across the 5 continents: Brazil, United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, Japan and China.
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