The pace of change for today’s cities is profound. In the wake of the digital revolution, recovery from the great recession and shifts in the type of workforce skills employers desire, cities are allocating considerable resources to enhance their creative economies – from live/work spaces to tech-centered economic development to a focus on vibrant music scenes. It is no secret that today’s urban citizens believe a lively music scene is a key component of a livable city. Thus, an ever-widening range of community sectors are working together to create, adjust and encourage environments where their live music workforce can flourish, and the vast range of subsectors of industry that support these creative communities can effectively launch world-class industry services.
Emergence of this consensus amongst civic and business leadership is encouraging. However, it is quite another thing to develop real change for music makers on the ground. A music ecosystem is a complex social community, consisting of intricate networks of relatively isolated sole proprietors and part-time creatives, all adapting to deep systemic root causes for this industry’s economic hardships. That said, there are sectors of the music industry, which are growing and represent new opportunities for an emerging musical middle class. This is especially true across a range of music industry sub-sectors that can recognize and develop new business opportunities in music-adjacent spaces using technology.
Sound Music Cities believe there is enormous potential for music industry growth and development in cities of all sizes, in fact our data shows that. Music people know how to hustle to survive. They are the inventors of the “gig economy.” Their creative skills present an enormous advantage in today’s competitive professional landscape. It is our job to provide the resources to understand gaps and bring together a collaborative business community response to help this unique economy stabilize and grow.