Louisiana Music Commission

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La. Music Industry Expanding:
$2.2 Billion Overall Economic Impact in 1996

(NEW ORLEANS) December 3, 1997--The Louisiana Music Commission (LMC) announced today that the overall economic impact of the music industry in Louisiana has grown to approximately $2.2 billion as of 1996.

"This is great news," said LMC Chairman, Ellis L. Marsalis Jr. "We've noticed that there has been a tremendous increase in the number of records released by Louisiana artists and labels, a trend we are happy to note. But there are still a few impediments to the industry that are preventing music from achieving its maximum economic impact. I hope these numbers make a few folks sit up and realize that music is one of our vital industries and deserves high priority."

The latest numbers were compiled by the Office of Policy and Research at the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (DED) and are based on a 1990 study conducted by Dr. Tim Ryan of the University of New Orleans. DED performed analyses for 1994 and 1996 based in part on the growth of travel to the state.

"I believe music is our most precious industry," said LMC executive director, Bernie Cyrus. "Music is a renewable resource. It is a family-oriented industry that helps us preserve our rich cultural landscape and traditions. Though we can measure music's economic impact, we will never be able to accurately estimate its value to the social fabric of Louisiana because it is truly priceless."

In 1990 music's overall economic impact was estimated to be approximately $1.4 billion, in 1994 that number rose to $1.9 billion and in 1996 to $2.2 billion. Overall employment directly and indirectly affected by the music industry is estimated to be 47,500 jobs in 1994 and 50,800 jobs in 1996. It is estimated that the music industry contributed slightly more than $62 million in state taxes in 1996.

"The growth of the music industry in Louisiana is in contrast to the overall stagnation of the international music industry," said LMC assistant director, Steve Picou. "Record sales worldwide have been flat for the past two years, causing some consternation among the six major record labels and making it more difficult for new artists to be heard by those companies. In Louisiana, artists are releasing their own records in higher numbers than we've ever seen before. There's been a 50% increase in the number of Louisiana label releases over the last year alone."

The LMC estimates that more than 150 records were released in 1997 by Louisiana artists and labels.

"The Department of Economic Development and the Louisiana Music Commission deserve credit for fanning the flames of growth in Louisiana's music industry," said Kevin Reilly, Secretary of DED. "We've recognized the significant role that music is playing in securing our economic future, and we are committed to helping this industry flourish. I can assure you that you will see greater marketing efforts and better technical assistance to Louisiana's music business in the months ahead."

The following table illustrates the economic impact of Louisiana's music industry statewide in 1990, 1994 and 1996.

* Source: "The Economic Impact of the Louisiana Music Industry" by Dr. Tim Ryan, April 1990
** Source: La. Dept. of Economic Development Information Clearinghouse, Office of Policy & Research

The Louisiana Music Commission was created in 1979 by an Act of the Louisiana Legislature. According to La. R.S. 25:315-317, the LMC exists "to promote and develop popular commercial music and its related industries in Louisiana." This broad mandate allows the LMC to work on diverse issues such as live music, education, business infrastructure, broadcasting and production. For more information on the LMC and its activities, visit the LMC's website at http://www.comm.net/~lmc.


Louisiana Music Commission
3330 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite 438
Metairie LA 70002
Phone: 504-838-5600 Fax: 504-838-5280

Email: lmc@louisianamusic.org

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