Music Industry Stakeholders Discuss Key Elements for Strategic Development – Part 2

In part one of this article, several key issues facing the local music industry were identified: sustainability, export, state-of-the-art sound studios, capacity development especially in music business, local content quota considerations and business incubators/ investment opportunities. Click here in case you missed this article. In part two, MusicTT addresses some other fundamental areas within the strategic plan that were discussed at the Stakeholder Engagement Session held on 1st October, 2016. These areas include MusicTT’s Role, Copyright and Collecting Societies, Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property, Genres and Sponsorship/Open Call for Proposals. Panel from (l-r): Paloma Medina, Research Manager (Music Cities) at Sound Diplomacy, Sian Evans, Head of Global Operations at Sound Diplomacy, Martin Elbourne, Member of Advisory Board of Sound Diplomacy and Jeanelle Frontin, General Manager of MusicTT MusicTT’s Role Does MusicTT offer marketing support to persons new in the industry? Regarding marketing support, MusicTT currently has an online showcase platform to which artists can submit their music which is posted to the website and our Facebook page weekly. For more information, do check and feel free to submit your music in accordance with the guidelines. MusicTT’s Our Music page Can MusicTT facilitate a regulatory/legislative framework to protect artists' working conditions, pay rates, etc.? Or does that require a union? MusicTT is also in full support of the industry coming together as a collective voice to lobby for the needs of the industry. The formalization of a trade association that is recognized by the Government as the voice of the local music industry is critical. MusicTT is happy to support this process which must be democratically led. Copyright and Collecting Societies How does CreativeTT and/or (the) government plan to address the disputes that arise from COTT and TTCO? MusicTT will be ensuring that the critical issues regarding copyright societies are a high priority for this strategic action initiative. All such organizations will be thoroughly examined and recommendations will be made to ensure that is an accountable, fair system for the protection of copyright moving forward. Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Entertainment lawyers are too expensive for musicians who are new to the industry. Can MusicTT help with this? The formation of an association to represent all stakeholders can also lead to the standardization of fees alongside many other benefits. What are the efforts being made towards having persons in the industry understand that the importance of the legal aspects of the industry? Can MusicTT offer legal assistance to musicians who are now starting up such as help with contracts? MusicTT conducted a Music Intellectual Property and Valuation Workshop earlier this year, the contents of which were taped and edited. They are being disbursed via MusicTT’s social media and website by topic so that anyone that was unable to attend can have full access to the information missed. Feel free to check out MusicTT’s Facebook page for more information on this. The recommendation on offering legal assistance is noted and will be added into the recommendations for the strategic initiative. Genres In addition to the popular music genres (soca, etc.), has thought been given to niche genres that local orgs/artists successfully tour with? MusicTT is in support of every genre of music, inclusive of rock music. We believe that local music is not just that of our indigenous genres, but all music that is birthed from our people. We have a plethora of genres here, at least twenty (combining indigenous with non-indigenous genres) and this strategic plan will cater to all genres of music. Calypso is literally dying, what plans does MusicTT have in place to assist in preserving the history of the art form and pass on to the new generation? Regarding calypso, there will definitely be a workshop in this fiscal year dedicated to understanding the art that is Calypso and how Calypso Rose has the first Gold Album from our country. It will be targeting, among all other stakeholders, those in secondary schools who may be or become interested in participating in calypso competitions. Sponsorship/Open Call for Proposals Will MusicTT be providing grants or sponsorships and if so how does one petition for them? In fiscal 2014/2015, MusicTT had its first Open Call for Proposals. It is an investment type of sponsorship and all proposed projects must align to the mandate of MusicTT (the business development and export activities of the music industry). As such, there are strict evaluation criteria which were released with the package for the Call. All proposals scoring above a threshold score received sponsorship. Due to budget constraints, MusicTT was unable to have one in the last fiscal year, but we having an Open Call this year. Click here for details. MusicTT does not take sponsorship proposals outside of the Open Call so that the process for funding can be fair to all stakeholders. In return, all contracts for awardees include the passing on of their knowledge and experience to the rest of the industry in the form of workshops, webinars, webisodes and the like.