Business & Heritage Clarksville
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August 3, 2013

Music industry provides $10B annually to Nashville economy

A comprehensive study of Nashville’s music and entertainment industry shows it has a $10 billion annual economic impact on the Nashville region.

The report also found that the Nashville area has more music industry jobs than any other U.S. city in relation to population and total employment, even more than New York or Los Angeles.



“Music is what Nashville is known for worldwide, and now this study further validates its importance as an economic engine for the city. “It’s clear that Nashville’s ability to attract musicians and other creative people in the music community is unparalleled. This report gives us insight into what’s driving our success in this industry so that we can further build on what’s already working. The message we want to send to the world is: If you’re in the music business, this is the place to be,” Mayor Karl Dean said.

The report was commissioned by the Music City Music Council, which is co-chaired by Mayor Dean and Randy Goodman, a longtime Music Row executive. It was conducted by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Research Center.

“Nashville has this great brand and identity with music, but our goal as a Music Council is to take the local industry to the next level by attracting additional music companies, professionals and then ultimately, to develop new ideas that strengthen this global industry with Nashville as the worldwide headquarters of innovation and progress. “This report gives us the information to see where our strengths and opportunities are, and I know this will spur some great next steps for our work as a Council,” Goodman said.

Key findings include:

  • Nashville’s density of music industry activity is currently 2 to 30 times greater than the nation overall, up to 10 times greater than New York or Los Angeles, and even greater compared to other cities such as Atlanta, Austin, and New Orleans
  • Core Nashville employment in Nashville’s music industry per 1,000 population and per 1,000 total employment exceeds all other U.S. cities by large margins, and exceeds New York and Los Angeles by 2.5 to 4 times.
  • Industry linkages and specialization suggest that Nashville is part of a true quartet of music industry centers across the globe that also includes New York, Los Angeles and London.

WeBuiltThisCityOn…MusicCity_bannerThe report also included recommendations on how Nashville can further strengthen its position as the global music capital. These recommendations include capitalizing on the changing dynamics of the world population, how and when music is consumed, and technology that affects how music is produced and delivered.

The report also identifies opportunities to use the density of music professionals in Nashville and the city’s reputation for music to become a true center for music education and training, drive music-related policy and practices, and further cluster the trade of musical instruments and merchandise, as well as professional services that support music business.

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