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The World is Changing: Opportunities for Ontario in New and Emerging Markets

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Growth in the global entertainment and media market has led to increased export opportunities for Ontario's Creative Cluster (e.g. as emerging economies begin to spend more on entertainment products), but has also heightened the competition (e.g. as these same emerging economies start to develop their own Creative Clusters).

Other countries and regions have recognized that Creative Clusters represent a good investment for future economic growth, and are aligning government support to stimulate this growth, gain global prominence and attract future investment and talent. Ontario's competitors rely on both quality of product and competitive pricing of that product. The U.S. entertainment industry remains the traditional global leader. However, small countries (e.g. Iceland and Finland) are also exporting their creative products, and — along with larger economies in every region of the world — are working to attract talent and investment. Ontario has also developed a leading role as a cost-competitive service provider to other Creative Clusters, such as Hollywood, but intensifying competition from other service jurisdictions is placing increased stress on this position.

Over the past couple of decades, Ontario cultural industries have proven to be leaders in international sales and strong partners for co-production and distribution world-wide. This record forms a solid base from which to approach the current situation, in which the market for creative products and services is becoming increasingly globalized. Established markets (e.g. UK and France) as well as new and emerging markets (e.g. India and China) represent significant opportunities for companies with good quality and high value-for-money products and services.

BOX 1: CASE STUDY OF ARTS + CRAFTS RECORDS

Founded in 2002, Arts + Crafts is an Ontario-based independent record label, management company and music publisher. Arts + Crafts has a talent pool including such internationally successful artists as Feist, Stars, Constantines, The Dears and The Stills. The company offers a 50-50 revenue sharing scheme to artists, which is significantly more competitive than the industry standard. The sense of community among the artists has served as a catalyst for collaboration and as encouragement for artists to pursue their creative interests. Arts + Crafts has found its niche in the cinematic market with music that has been featured in a host of soundtracks, including The O.C., Falcon Beach, and The Comeback Season.

The company demonstrates how an artist-owned label can be successful domestically but also expand and distribute globally. In January 2006, Arts + Crafts opened an office in Europe (in a partnership with City Slang Records) thereby enabling Canadian independent artists to distribute their records in the UK, Germany, Austria and Netherlands. Similarly, in October 2008, Arts + Crafts opened an office in Mexico City where they plan to distribute their own artists while also tapping into the talent pool in Mexico and South America.

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