Prospects for Exports of Entertainment Services from the Caribbean: The Case of Music

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Compton Bourne
S. M. Allgrove


Entertainment is big business with realised potential for conferring great wealth and incomes on participants and for transforming the economic circumstances of geographical regions. In the United States, it is reported that the entertainment industry has a turnover of US$340 billion. The reported incomes of superstars in entertainment industries such as music and sports are legendary amounting in many cases to millions of dollars per annum. Companies in the industry are also quite large in absolute terms as well as comparatively. Viacom International, one of the industry leaders in the United States in 1991, reported gross revenues of US$1.7 billion and a net income of US$508 million. The six largest recording companies (Time-Warner, Thorn-EMI, Bertelsmann, Sony, Matsushita and Philips) generated half-year sales in the vicinity of an estimated US$8.46 billion in the first half of 1991. Perhaps an extreme example of the impact on a region is the case of Branson, Missouri, with a comunity of 3,000 persons which attracts approximately 4.3 million visitors per year with expenditure of at least US$1.56 billion during spring to enjoy a season of live music.

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