IMPALA’S SECOND WAVE COVID RECOMMENDATIONS
Taking Stock and Looking Ahead
Brussels, 30th November 2020,
Nine months after the start of the Covid-19 crisis, with most of Europe at varying stages of second wave lockdown and gradual deconfinement expected, IMPALA’s Covid-19 Task Force has issued a new call for action.
Targeted support and coordination take on renewed importance as restrictions gradually lift and we can hopefully find some optimism about tackling the spread of Covid-19 over the next year. Sectors such as music will be last to come out of the crisis and will feel the direct impact on revenues for years, even without a potential third wave.
With European markets bracing for serious decline, IMPALA calls for an immediate extension of crisis relief, including graduated support for 5 years and 6% for culture in all national and EU recovery and other budgets.
On top, IMPALA is seeking clear reporting to assess whether support ends up where it should, as well as a more co-ordinated response across Europe on health measures and mobility.
Bolstering rights is a key focus of IMPALA’s recommendations. Implementing the EU copyright directive quickly and sticking to the text of Article 17 is a top priority, to prevent more gaps appearing. Addressing the recent EU court decision on performance monies and third countries is also important, to stop value being transferred away from European performers and producers. Another decision chipping away at broadcast rights needs assessing too.
Finally, IMPALA looks to offline and online media to boost music and diversity and asks decision makers to remove barriers to innovation and support regeneration. VAT on concerts, live streams and record store sales are specific issues here.
With European music accounting for 2 million jobs and €81.9bn GVA, IMPALA’s recommendations are an investment in Europe’s recovery.
IMPALA’s Executive Chair Helen Smith commented: “The aim of IMPALA’s call is to take stock and look ahead. This is essential to inspire the next generation of artists and music professionals to pursue their passion and contribute to Europe’s diversity and growth.”
Francesca Trainini, Chair of IMPALA and Vice President of Italian association PMI added: “Cultural and creative industries have been recognised as a priority ecosystem and culture received a boost with over half a billion euros in additional funding proposed in the EU’s budget. These are IMPALA’s recommendations to build on that.”
IMPALA’s recommendations can be accessed here and below.
1. EXTENDING CRISIS MEASURES AND BUILDING AN AMBITIOUS 5-YEAR STRATEGY AROUND A BASELINE OF 6% FOR CULTURE
The music sector is one of the hardest hit by the crisis and will be among the last out. Even traditionally strong European markets are predicting massive overall declines. Despite restrictions starting to lift and possible longer term medical solutions being presented, the crisis accumulates and the impact on the music economy will be felt for years. With a certain level of support fatigue setting in, IMPALA urges decision makers to dig deep. Recovery is also about having strong and coherent rights. Accelerating the implementation of the copyright directive and avoiding pressure to rewrite Article 17 is key. At the same time, the anomaly in the 2006 rental directive revealed recently by the European court ruling must be fixed as it exposes European producers, performers and member states. Decisions like the RAAP case on US repertoire, and also Atresmedia on broadcasting rights, chip away at basic copyright principles. This is not how to make Europe the best place to be a creator!
2. MORE COORDINATION AND TRANSPARENCY TO MAKE SURE SUPPORT GOES TO THOSE WHO NEED IT MOST
Support measures are more essential than ever, yet too often music professionals and small businesses fall through the cracks. Accountability and transparency are urgently needed. No one should get left behind. Retraining is not an ambitious recovery strategy. We look to the EU to coordinate to help reduce the gap between countries supporting their cultural industries appropriately, while others trail behind. The current lack of coordination cross-border and even within countries is also hindering the sector’s ability to plan ahead. Coordination is almost more important as restrictions start to lift and different countries adopt their own strategies. Even if we all hope we will gradually move towards health solutions that might mean getting pan-European touring back on track, this will take a while and require co-ordinated planning. Structure and leadership are needed to demonstrate to Europe’s cultural sectors that there is a clear strategy in place.
3. HOW THE SECTOR CAN PLAY ITS PART AND HOW THOSE WHO INNOVATE THROUGH THE CRISIS CAN BE SUPPORTED
The music sector has proven to be extremely resilient and innovative throughout the crisis, finding new ways to produce music and make it available, connecting people and boosting wellbeing. There are many success stories. From the Love Record Stores Campaign and sector funds, to Bandcamp regularly waiving their fees for artists’ benefit and grant schemes from digital and other players, to the explosion of live streaming there are plenty of great initiatives which illustrate the sense of solidarity and community that prevails within the music sector. Diversity is an asset for Europe and must be promoted, as should sustainability. The crisis has also been the opportunity for accelerating change and new priorities. This innovation should be supported.
IMPALA was established in 2000 and now represents over 5000 independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are small, micro and medium businesses and self-releasing artists. Known as the independents, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs. IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector sustainably, return more value to artists, promote diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access, inspire change, and increase access to finance. Read more about IMPALA’s story in 20 milestones here.
IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association
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