February 10, 2023

Music export capacity

Music export capacity refers to the knowledge, skills, experience and access to professional networks and financial capital of the music sector actors – artists, creators, professionals, music companies, etc. In other words, when artists and their teams or other music companies aim to develop music export towards certain markets, there is some basic and specific knowledge they need to have to understand the target market as well as developing sufficient professional contacts there. In addition to understanding and network, the music exporters need to be able to act, including team professional experience and skills and sufficient financial capital to invest into music export activities. All this together – the knowledge, professional networks, access to financial capital and the professional capability of the team – can be referred to as the music export capacity of that team.

In a very general sense, “capacity” can be understood as “the ability of people, organisations and society as a whole to manage their affairs successfully” (OECD1). According to the European Music Export Strategy, “Music export capacity (of artists and music companies) depends heavily on the local music sector ecosystem and its level of development (is there education, training, support, funding available, access to international professional networks, well-functioning CMOs, supportive governmental policies etc.)” 2. When looking at the music export capacity on a sector level, then a later study3 argued that “music export capacity of a national (or regional) music sector depends on whether and to what degree [certain] key factors are present in a given country:
– Artists have sufficient knowledge and access to training and education regarding how to develop their careers (starting as Do-It-Yourself);
– There are enough professionals and music companies able to support artists in their career further along the development path;
– There are sufficient training and education, career and strategic mentoring, business development advice etc. resources available to artists, professionals and music companies;
– Artists, professionals and music companies have access to relevant funding to support their (export) development;
– Music sector organisations (such as music export offices and other support organisations) receive sufficient resources from both government and music sector to offer all or at least some of the above-mentioned services to the music sector;
– Collecting societies are working efficiently and effectively;
– Government level music and more generally CCS policies are well aligned with the music sector development needs.

1 OECD (2006), The Challenge Of Capacity Development: Working Towards Good Practice. Online
2 European Commission (2019), Music Moves Europe – A European Music Export Strategy. Final report. Online
3 European Commission (2023, to be published).