Creative Indusry exports or not

Over 6 months ago, I decided to see how true the proposition that Creative Industries are foreign exchange earners for the economy as claimed by British Music and the Shadow Culture team. I asked my MP to ask a written question and the replies are linked to in a comment on the above article. I asked for a broader range of industry classifications as I was interested in broader questions than just the creative industry.

I think this is validly constructed.

EMI was sold to Sony & Universal in 2012 and so their balance of trade position was reversed at that time and they were a competitively large music publisher at the time. I last looked at the structure of the global music industry a long time ago, pre-streaming, pre-Apple and pre-Spotify (which is incorporated in Sweden).

Five years out of nine, the industry was in deficit. The final year surplus is extraordinarily large, it would be good to see 2017/2018 and/or understand the reasons for this number. It is not historically true to say that the Creative industries are a net contributor to the foreign exchange account.

I should add that the aggregate trade current account deficit is run as at about minus £2.5bn /month over the period in question. …

Music Copyright, Qui Bono?

The Register today comments on whether Vivendi might buy EMI. They don’t seem that interested but they point at a story that EMI had passed into the hands of Citigroup, which I had missed. They are no longer a public company and certainly not in the FTSE any more.

This is important, since according to Wikipedia’s Music Industry page, albeit in 2005, EMI sold ~13% of the world’s traded music.(The market is dominated (72%) by four companies, the other three of which are Universal, owned by Vivendi, a French company, Sony, ultimately a Japanese company and Warner Music, a US based company.)

World music sales, 2005. Source: Wikipedia.

They were the only UK company in this list. (I think we can see where I am going with this). The world’s law makers are passing laws, such as the UK’s Digital Economy Act against the interests of their voters, and in the interests of four companies. In the case of the UK lawmakers, none of these companies are now UK quoted. Just whose jobs and prosperity are they protecting?

Why are we doing this again?

Wikipedia also has a page called Global Music Market Share, which might shed some light on today’s numbers. …

Improving my mind

I’m have returned to California to attend Sun’s top technology conference, and I shall be travelling on to Menlo Park and visit Sun’s campus for the Sun Labs Open House. Once again, I have failed to improve my mind on the plane and instead of watching Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, I watched “Shut up & Sing”, a documentary about the Dixie Chicks. They are not a band I’d listened to before, but I did read about the furore created when they stated on stage that they didn’t approve of all the policies being pursued by a certain American politician. …