The good news is the bad news is wrong. And someone has the data to prove it.
If you watched Smokey Robinson’s riviting testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this week, you may recall that Senator John Cornyn read some statistics from the Texas Music Office Economic Impact study on the benefits to the State of Texas from the music industry.
This one exchange should give the lie to the usual cant we hear from lobbyists both in and outside the music business that we will never win against the broadcasters on terrestrial royalties because there’s a radio station in every Congressional district. There’s music industry in every state at least, if not every Congressional district.
The economic impact study concluded:
Combined, music business and music education directly account for over 95,000 permanent jobs, $3.6 billion in annual earnings, and just over $8.5 billion in annual economic activity, up from 92,000 jobs and about $7.5 billion in annual activity during 2015.
- The ripple effects associated with the direct injection related to music business and music education bring the total impact (including the direct effects) to over 178,000 permanent jobs, $6.5 billion in earnings, and $19.8 billion in annual economic activity. The State of Texas also realizes over $323 million in tax revenue from these impacts.
In addition to the TMO economic impact study, you should also read Titan Music Group’s Austin Music Census that really drills down deep on the local impacts and has become a rally point for Austin musicians.
The Texas Music Office sets the gold standard for providing federal lawmakers with the information they need to defend the music industry as important job creators rather than an afterthought.
Senator Cornyn’s exchange should debunk forever the idea that there’s no support for music industry initiatives outside of New York, Nashville and Los Angeles, so nobody bothers to explain themselves to residents of flyover states.