Nadler Seeks to Bolster Global Market for American Independent Music

Dec 12, 2012 Issues: Jobs, Labor and the Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced legislation to make it easier for small, independent music labels in the United States to access global music markets.  The Making United States Independents Competitive (MUSIC) Act would open up foreign markets to independent labels by helping them connect with new audiences and distributors at international music trade shows.

“Our small, independent music labels are finding it increasingly difficult to sell their goods in the global marketplace,” said Nadler.  “This bill would help promote U. S. exports in an extremely competitive industry whose talents cannot be outsourced.  Helping these businesses access foreign markets is also an important part of President Obama’s goal to double U. S. exports in five years – an effort in which New York, home to many independent music labels and artists, continues to take the lead.”

“This program will support the export efforts of small to medium-sized businesses and their artists,” said Rich Bengloff, President of the American Association of Independent Music.  “The MUSIC Act will not only strengthen exports for independent labels but will also have a positive effect across the entire U.S. economy by improving our balance of trade. We are thankful for Rep. Nadler's continued efforts to support independent music labels, their artists, and the entire creative community."

The MUSIC Act expands upon existing authority held by the U.S. Department of Commerce to help small businesses access foreign markets.  Specifically, the bill would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to assist independent music labels in sending their recording artists to international music trade shows.  Such shows are important hubs for bands and their labels seeking access to international markets.  Most other nations represented at international trade shows provide assistance to their own labels – in the form of travel costs, booth construction, and admission fees.  Only the U. S. and Mexico provide no assistance to their independent labels attending these conventions.

The legislation is especially important for states like New York, which is home to upwards of 400 independent music labels and thousands of artists whose livelihoods are tied to these small businesses.  While the global music market has been in decline during the last decade, the U.S. share of that market has fallen much faster, from 34% to 26% of market share, representing an annual loss of $1.9 billion.  Connecting small music labels to foreign audiences will create jobs at home while ensuring that the U.S. remains a leader in the worldwide creative community.

Read the full bill text here.

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