Study Values Detroit Music Industry at One Billion Dollars

(AllHipHopNews) There’s good news for Detroit, the city home to rappers Eminem, Big Sean, Royce Da 5’9″, Danny Brown, Doughboyz Cashout, and many more can now boast that music is once again one of its largest industries, due in part to a strong independent rap scene.

Despite a bankruptcy filing by the local city government, a study conducted for the business journal, Crain’s Detroit Business by Anderson Economic Group LLC, inventoried the number and types of music businesses and employees in Southeast Michigan found about 6,000 people employed in the local industry, earning a total $162.5 million in 2012. The number of establishments in the industry came out to be 486, with an average of 12 workers per establishment and total sales volume of $1.15 billion.

In addition to recording studios, the team also looked at bars and restaurants that host live music and music education. The biggest business category by employment size was by far the music venue category, with 3,500 workers, followed by music schools, which had 800 employees. Music supply stores and the artists themselves were other categories with substantial representations.

Howard Hertz, known as metro Detroit’s go-to lawyer for music industry matters, said the number sounded right. “We should shoot to double and triple it,” he said, through more concerted promotion efforts. Hertz and others said artists aren’t lacking for most of the resources they need — such as studios and talent — in metro Detroit. “Agents and major labels are scarce here, though,” he said.

Patrick Anderson, CEO of AEG also thinks the value of the industry is also driven by the value of the area’s brand — something that’s easy to forget about. “Music is part of Detroit’s brand. It’s easy for us here in Michigan to forget, but if you go to Europe or Asia and have a Detroit D on your shirt, they have a recognition that’s sometimes deeper than we have.”

The local industry is larger still, considering the large underground hip-hop scene that wouldn’t make appearances in most federal data, said Tom Gelardi, a marketing and promotions representative for Detroit rap artists. The scene supports independent retailers in Detroit such as Shantinique Music and Damon’s Record Center that still do good business despite the national near-obliteration of independent record stores since 2001.

Source: Crain’s Detroit Business



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46 Responses to “Study Values Detroit Music Industry at One Billion Dollars”

  1. deanjukebox

    This is good news. We finally have a reason to substantiate art and entertainment (and tourism) being a bigger part of the city’s infrastructure. The auto industry sustaining us is about 6 years past dead but we have some of the biggest educational and cultural institutions the world has seen. Wayne State, the DIA…this study is really just the cherry on top.


    first off, stick a rocket launcher up this elmo fruitcake, secondly, the city aint worth 1 bill, downloaders aint paying for these niggaz

  3. infinit221

    Ya’ll are some cornballs. Get up and go support your brothers. If ya’ll dont like the direction of hip hop, be on the base of the next new thing and put your work up. If your not about that then stop listening to the music all together, cause all yall got to offer is negativity an worthless opinions even in the face of positivity. Shout out to those proud of hip hop and what it means to black culture… f*ck the rest of you

    • JON_JOHN1972


    • hoeyuno

      Got love for the D..that auto business been shaky since day one. there was a huge layoff right before the nam vets got back… but in its hayday everyone drove around in new Cadillacs and ish.. woulda been nice to see the D back then.

  4. Keezy Carter

    Thats not true tho… When Europeans see a D on a shirt…They dont automatically think Detroit… Its not as if it was as recognizable as a NY cap…
    But its good to see that Detroit still is alive somehow…Music wont save a city but it can bring a lot of other businesses in..

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