Back in April, we did a story on the untapped potential in the Midwest’s music industry. Today, we have a better sense of the state of Cleveland’s music industry. For the first time, researchers have conducted a comprehensive study on employment and spending in the sector.
First, the economic impact number: $840 million. That’s how much the study says the music industry contributes to the Cleveland area economy.
But that impact comes from relatively few workers. In Northeast Ohio, about 6000 people work in the music industry. That includes everything from orchestras to record shops. In Cuyahoga County just 2700 work in music. That’s less than half a percent of the workforce.
“We weren’t entirely surprised,” says Kristin Puch, research manager at the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. That organization advocates for the industry and conducted the study.
“It’s really quite remarkable how small but mighty the industry really is,” she said.
Puch says there’s a lot more potential here. Cleveland has a music reputation: for its Rock and Roll legacy and the Cleveland Orchestra. And, she thinks the music scene could benefit more from the region’s traditional industries: manufacturing and healthcare. Making musical instruments and music therapy are two areas for growth, she says.
The study is considered the first comprehensive look at the industry. It used a combination of surveys and labor data. And, while the total employment numbers are tiny, the report found that the music industry’s employment was actually more stable than the workforce on the whole.