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Record bosses want to be tax dodgers...

Published by Warren Dell under on Thursday, September 28, 2006
In a move which could improve the music industry when it comes to finding new talent, record label bosses are to lobby the government to create a tax credit scheme that will enable them to invest more money in their search for the next big thing.

Similar schemes have been in place for years for encouraging research and development for a range of industries including pharmaceuticals, computing and car manufacturing in Britain.

The BPI, which represents hundreds of record labels claim the record industry spends the same as the aforementioned fields on their A&R endeavours, about £200 million - 17 per cent of their turnover.

The BPI paid £300 million in VAT last year, a chunk of which would be eaten into if this relief would be given. BPI chairmen Peter Jamieson said "Such a system would create incentives for greater investment in our industry and would put the development of British intellectual property on the same footing as other industries."

It would certainly help unsigned talent in this country and certainly in the area of black music, where we lag far behind in the amount of money and time invested into looking for new talent. Instead major labels would rather go for the quick buck and concentrate on releasing an American acts music.

We certainly have the talent in this scene but how many times have we heard down the years that an artist gets dumped soon after signing if a single doesn't perform well. New acts have to rely on trying to get a single deal, when labels should put the time into the long-term.

They should only have to look at the successes of Dizzee Rascal, The Streets and Lemar to name a few, that our artists are worth investing in.

Independents have a better ear to the ground and are more willing to hunt for the talent, but they need help too with limited funds available. It might not change things over night as we need more people that understand the scene to be behind the desks at the major labels, but with extra funds maybe they'll be willing to make it work.

Although not a sure fire way for success it would be good to see major labels invest in the smaller independents, utilizing each others talents. The independents like 679 and XL Recordings have plenty of talent on their roster and would be left to carry on with their formula for working, but with a major labels promotion and marketing behind them it can be beneficial for both parties.

R'n'B and Hip-Hop has never been so popular in this country with many acts flooding the charts, but with a change in perception from record label bosses it would be nice to see more done so we see artists from our shores making these moves. The next Lemar or Dizzee is certainly out there, the record labels just need to wake up and see it.


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