The business of music in Ireland was given an outing in the Sunday Business Post yesterday when Eleanor McEvoy, Chair of the Irish Music Rights Organisation, cut loose at the lack of understanding there is about the value of music.

Speaking about a gig she did in Athlone she recounted a conversation with a German economist who was there as a fan who told her that in loose terms the value of that one night to the local and the national economy was likely in the region of €17,000.

The bigger festivals like Electric Picnic are well versed in economic impact surveys but a report commissioned last year by the IMRO and undertaken by Deloitte suggests they are only the tip of a very large iceberg.

That report indicated that the value of music to the overall Irish economy is in the region of €700 million and that it supports a total of 13,130 full-time jobs.

“Music is part of our national identity, our psyche, and our way of life,” said McEvoy when the report was originally published.

“Beyond its important social and reputational contribution, however, music is a vital economic driver – both directly and indirectly.”

“As Chairperson of IMRO, I am pleased to present this report and to further shine a light on our members’ contribution – those music creators who write and perform musical works – to Ireland’s economy.”

“If we are to continue to maintain and grow the success of Ireland’s music industry, and increase its economic and social contribution, now is the time for the development of a National Music Strategy.”

The lobbying of Government on behalf of industries or sectors always has to begin with telling a story of what can be gained by Government action.

Providing evidence-based research such as this is a good next step towards ensuring that while music tends to be very much an internationally managed value chain, that we here in Ireland are aware of just how much is at stake.

“The income of songwriters has been disseminated,” McEvoy said in the Sunday Business Post interview with Collette sexton which can be read in full here, “with the vast majority of money from royalties going to tech giants. The government is constantly pointing out how many people tech companies employ, she says, but that does not justify it.”

“Put Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Apple together, add all the people they employ together, and you still don’t come close to the number of people that the music industry employs.”

You can download the Deloitte report in full here.