Domestic infrastructure

We have discussed the broader economic and cultural goals, and particular programmes situated within national schemes and offices. Remrning to the Freedman (2008) distinctions between policy as a set of goals and intentions discussed in Chapter 1, the roles of regulation (operational instruments and agencies) and governance (institutions and instruments shaping industry systems) remain important. All of our interviewees stressed the importance of domestic infrastructure in ensuring expoxt success.

This includes ensuring basic models of cultural funding are maintained; the Scandinavian case studies are often highlighted here as examples of growing domestic support structures in alignment with export strategies. For example. Arts Council Norway’s Cultural Fund averaged 6-10% of the Council’s total funding from the 1960s to the 1990s; with a significant restructure to incorporate a greater number of music programmes, the Cultural Fund averaged 22% of the Arts Council’s funding from 2000 (Hyland and Stavrum, 2018, p. 74). In similar ways, the Canadian industries’ efforts to retain state local touring, recording and developmental funds are regarded as a primary reason for ongoing export successes.

Live music structures and regulations are a useful example of linkages between local, national and international activities. Real concern was shared by interviewees across all nations about the cyclical nature of the health of local music venues and national circuits. This has been echoed in national research and policy - in Britain, the UK Music Trust was established in 2014 to protect venues amidst a considerable loss of venues in London. In France, SACEM has warned of threats to festivals, and new noise laws threatening Paris nightclubs (Chrisafis, 2017). In Canada, the Mastering of a Music City report (Music Canada/IFPI, 2015) has been successful as a strategy and policy handbook for “music cities” to maintain and strengthen venues. While several nations have adopted or are examining the Australian “Agent of Change” laws that provide some protections for existing venues, these are not uniformly available or practised across all Australian States. The Live Music Office has been effective in achieving some level of uniformity across Australian States in relation to licensing, noise and building laws, especially difficult across eight jurisdictions. Different combinations of urban gentrifi- cation, accelerating development of scarce central business district land and rising costs of existing stock are common across cities:

National case studies, export schemes 1 6 1

In Toronto, there have been rising real estate costs and losses of venues. There's no single cause, but include rising real estate prices when [venue managers] don’t own their properties, so they’re suddenly faced with exorbitant rents, or their properties are put up for sale to a higher bidder ... I insist on calling it “sound ordnances”, not noise ... It’s a myriad of problems and issues which we share with cities like San Francisco and Austin, and we share so that we see what’s working elsewhere.

(Interview 33, 2017)

Another "glocal” (Robertson, 2018, pp. 25-44) issue of particular concern among net importer case nations is the local/global role of digital aggregators in presenting content to different territories. In contrast to prior analogue media eras, ideas of “the local” are becoming harder to define. In Australian contexts,

I think being across what’s happening in the digital space generally, music and that distribution world, understanding how that’s going to work in the future in a global context is really important. At the moment there’s a very small, finite number of curators who have got their hands on these playlists. Trying to filter, somehow, the world’s repertoire of music, which is a ridiculously complicated thing to do. When you’re trying to overlay on that some consideration around local contexts, Australian content, there’s a bit of pushback when we're talking to digital services at the moment here, saying, don't you think there should be a benchmark? Let’s not use the word “quota”, because that might upset people, but let’s use a benchmark for locally curated playlists. There’s a degree of pushback. There’s a feeling “we’re the new kids and we don’t want to be told what to do and what not to do; we want to be cool and free to do whatever”. But I think, coming back to that cultural piece, there’s an obligation. You’re in this territory; we need to ensure that there's an opportunity for Australians to be heard.

(Interview 22, 2017)

This has led to increasing debates about how companies such as Apple and Spotify can be “encouraged” to have more meaningful relationships with individual territories. Of our case nations, Canada has conducted the most extensive debate, with music and other creative industries calling on federal govermnents to regulate digital music platforms in similar ways to radio and television companies. The country's Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel (BTLRP) completed its Canada’s Communications Future: Time to Act report in January 2020. It noted the decline in the ability of media sectors to pay into Canadian content initiatives (BTLRP, 2020, p. 142) amidst the rise in international media platforms across entertainment and news content. Rather than imposing local content quotas upon digital curators/aggregators, the Panel “favour the imposition of spending obligations on audiovisual media curation companies ... as a means of generating investment in Canadian content” (ibid., p. 146). Expressing the desire for “modernizing” regulatory frameworks, the report emphasised and argued for

“Discoverability requirements” for app platforms for Canadian content, with a recommendation for content providers to observe an “obligation to offer Canadian media content choices” (ibid., pp. 146, 143, 148). This would require providing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission with the authority to monitor and enforce “discoverability” requirements (ibid., p. 149). How such “obligations” are to be interpreted and enforced remains unclear. The debate is a reminder of the complexities in envisaging contemporary meanings of “the national” and attempts to enforce virtual borders.

For all the talk of collaboration, older barriers still remain within physical borders. The bureaucratic mechanisms for international touring are still difficult in some territories. In October 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced an increase of the premium processing fee from USDS 1,225 to USD$1,410 (AUDS 1,940.68) for all petitions. In Australian contexts, Sounds Australia has argued for a reciprocal Music Exporters Provisional Visa that allows artists the opportunity to showcase and tour in each other’s countries on up to three occasions before they need to apply for a working permit. The problem of obtaining artist visas was acknowledged in the Australian Parliament Inquiry into the Australian Music Industry, which recommended that “the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade work with the United States of America to develop mutually beneficial visa arrangements that allow artists from both countries to more easily showcase and tour” (Australian Govermnent, 2019, p. iv).

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