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 Header Item Artists' Remuneration (Continued)
 Header Item Irish Music Industry Promotion

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 899 No. 3

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  3 o’clock

Deputy Heather Humphreys: Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Deputy mentioned other schemes. In April 2014, the Irish Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors was awarded a grant from the Department's capital budget of €50,000 for the purpose of introducing a digital music system to be available to all Irish musicians and broadcasters. The association carried out considerable research and identified the digital media distribution system, or DMDS, as the most suitable. DMDS is a secure method of distributing audio and video material via the Internet. It can be used by industry professionals including broadcasters, musicians, music promoters, advertisers and post-production companies. The DMDS service supports functions such as the distribution of broadcast quality music, video and television advertising as well as music distribution to radio and industry professionals. The DMDS was launched in 2003. It works as a middleman between music labels and radio stations to deliver music and promotional information via e-mail.

Irish Music Industry Promotion

 48. Deputy Mick Wallace Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the steps she is taking to increase co-operation and co-ordination between the different sources of funding for musicians, Culture Ireland, Irish Music Rights Organisation and First Music Contact, in order to make the best use of available resources; if she has consulted the Department of Social Protection or the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation regarding the feasibility of developing targeted schemes for those interested in working in the music industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43483/15]

Deputy Mick Wallace: Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace Earlier this year, IMRO reported that the Irish music industry contributes more than €470 million to the domestic economy and supports more than 9,000 direct jobs in Ireland. Every €1 invested in the industry generates between €4 and €7. However, the same report found that our industry is struggling to realise its full potential. There is very little co-ordination between the main bodies working to support the arts in Ireland, the Arts Council, IMRO and the various Departments concerned, which presents a huge obstacle to the development of an effective Irish music industry. I asked the Minister months ago whether she would take any steps to increase the co-operation and co-ordination among the different sources of funding, including the various Departments. Has she made any progress in that area?

Deputy Heather Humphreys: Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Government appreciates the importance of the cultural and creative industries to Ireland, including the music industry. Primary responsibility for the promotion and support of the arts, including music, is devolved to the Arts Council. The council, which is funded by my Department, is statutorily independent in its day-to-day operations and, specifically, in its funding decisions. The Arts Council sets out its approach to its statutory functions in periodic strategy documents. Recently, the council published a new strategy statement, Making Great Art Work. The strategy statement sets out the Arts Council's plans to lead the development of the arts in the decade 2016–25. The new strategy prioritises the two policy areas: the artist and public engagement. The document outlines a range of actions that the Arts Council has set itself in order to deliver on its vision.

In addition to Arts Council interventions, Culture Ireland within my Department provides supports for Irish artists and musicians. Its remit is to promote the Irish arts worldwide by creating and supporting opportunities for Irish artists and companies to present and promote their work at strategic international festivals and venues. Culture Ireland plays a major part in promoting the Irish arts and music on the world stage. Culture Ireland funds and works closely with First Music Contact, or FMC, to promote and create opportunities for Irish bands to tour internationally. As part of the Hard Working Class Heroes festival delivered by FMC in Dublin every October, Culture Ireland supports the travel of international buyers to attend the festival. As part of the event, seminars on how to maximise international touring opportunities are held for those in the music industry. My Department also provides support for music through its funding of the music capital scheme, which is delivered by Music Network.

As part of budget 2016, I was pleased to announce a 12% increase in allocations across a range of areas, including the Ireland 2016 centenary programme and a new investment programme for regional arts and cultural centres. There will be significant benefits accruing for musicians from many of the Ireland 2016 programmes supported by this additional funding, including at international level.

Deputy Mick Wallace: Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace The Minister refers to funding from this area and that area, but she must admit that we compare poorly with international standards. Sadly, the arts are not seen in Ireland as businesses in their own right.

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