New council proposed to help music industry

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The Independent Culture

The music industry is set to have its own version of the Film Council to promote live music and deal with issues such as digital downloading.

The music industry is set to have its own version of the Film Council to promote live music and deal with issues such as digital downloading.

James Purnell, the minister with responsibility for creative industries, said in a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank that the Government would conduct a feasibility study into setting up a Music Council.

The announcement came after pressure from the music industry, which has become increasingly envious of the advantages enjoyed by the film industry.

Mr Purnell said: "Many people in the industry have been impressed by the work of the Film Council and believe there would be value in having a similar organisation for music, to act as a partner for government.

"This wouldn't be a body handing out public funding to orchestras, but one to help shape policy.

"Over the last few years, for example, it would have been useful to government and to the industry to have a body that could co-ordinate the response to issues like digital distribution or the future of live music."

He stressed: "This is not going to be a big government quango handing out money."

The British music industry is worth £5bn annually and employs 130,000 people. The British film industry is also worth £5bn a year, and employs 57,000.

At present, industry-wide issues such as internet piracy are dealt with by trade bodies including the British Phonographic Institute.

The Film Council is funded from a combination of government grants and lottery money.

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