IMRO Music for Screen
IMRO Music for Screen

#Industry: IMRO publishes report on Music for the Irish film and TV sector

The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) has today published a report which examines the contribution of Irish music to the success of the film and television sectors in Ireland.

Authored by Sarah Glennane, an independent music supervisor and music professional with more than a decade of experience, Music for Screen – an Examination of the music for film & TV sector in Ireland, aims to spark a national dialogue in relation to future growth of the music for screen sector in Ireland.

It examines the policy, funding and training opportunities and challenges for the sector, and discusses how best policymakers, funders, composers and the broadcast community can collaborate to encourage the growth and development of music for screen in the future.

Using qualitative and quantitative research, the report finds that:

  • There is the view that music for screen ‘falls between’ the music sector, and the audiovisual sector, thereby losing out on recognition, advocacy and representation at policy level;
  • Irish composers are not securing all of the employment opportunities that are available. While Ireland is successfully attracting film investment, many large-scale drama productions and international co-productions hire composers from outside of Ireland, while smaller-scale productions often use production music and blanket licences;
  • There is a dearth of information in relation to the commerciality of the music for screen sector and training gaps in terms of pricing and the business of music amongst composers.
  • Broadcasters play an important role in the development of the screen music sector and the development of individual composers’ careers can be heavily dependent on networking and links with the broadcast and funding community.

Music for Screen therefore recommends:

  • The development of a specific sectoral policy approach for the music for screen sector in Ireland and the establishment of a Screen Composers’ Guild that represents and promotes Irish screen composers and music for screen;
  • Greater incentives to encourage the employment of music for screen composers in Ireland including:
    • the examination of funding strategies for the music for screen sector in Ireland such a fund to augment music budgets within audiovisual productions for Irish-based composers;
    • the inclusion of music as a provision of the Section 481 taxation incentive that recognises and rewards the value of spend on music creation and performance in Ireland and is competitive with partner territory incentives;
    • more effective marketing and promotion of the music for screen sector in Ireland.
  • A focus on training and commercial support, for example:
    • The development of a professional mentorship scheme, similar to that operated by the Screen Composers’ Guild of Canada, to provide greater access to opportunities for both the established and apprentice;
    • The consideration of support for legal and commercial training for composers.
  • The encouragement of formalised communications mechanisms between the broadcast, funding, music and audiovisual sectors, to ensure better collaboration and advocacy for the music for screen industry in Ireland.

We were aware of anecdotal evidence of a gap emerging between the music and audiovisual industries – essentially a ‘no man’s land’ in which music for screen was falling. We therefore commissioned this report to examine composers’ concerns, and to start a conversation as to how best to support the growth of the sector in the future.

It should be noted that while there are up to one-hundred Irish screen composers operating within or outside Ireland, less than a-fifth of these earn a full-time living from composing for screen.

There are some tangible and practical steps that could be taken to address this, to further develop the sector and to ensure that Irish composers are not losing out to external competition. However, it will require cross-sectoral commitment, and buy-in of both industry and policymakers.

We look forward to engaging in a conversation as to how best to promote and support Ireland’s music for screen industry, for the benefit of Ireland’s creative economy.
Victor Finn, Chief Executive of the IMRO

Music for Screen – an Examination of the music for film & tv sector in Ireland is available at the following links:

Download a Summary Report.
Download the Full Report.