50 per cent, NOT 50 Cent: a petition for local content
WE NEED: “50 PER CENT, NOT 50 CENT!” ~A statement of truth, by Spotrushaz~ For more than 20 years, the music industry in Trinidad and Tobago has floundered at the hands of broadcasters who sacrificed the expansion of our cultural exports for the sake of the dollar. For the Trinidad and Tobago Broadcasters and Publishers Association (TTPBA) it is much more economical to buy cheap foreign content and sell it to local advertisers, than it is to invest in our own products. To this day, they stand firmly against imposing quotas, despite overwhelming evidence indicating the benefits of such legislation to our music and film industries. Amazingly, in 2009, we are still debating over whether legislated quotas would be good for our industry or not. Are we really still wondering whether seeing and hearing ourselves at least half of the time would be good for us or not. Are we really that shallow and so programmed to accept and appraise foreign content that we still cannot rationalize and understand the importance of accepting and supporting our own While this debate rages on and precious time is wasted examining the pros and cons, technological developments have revolutionized the global music industry and made the concepts of retail sales and domestic markets almost null and void. Most developed nations acted quickly as the industry was transformed by rampant piracy and the internet and have imposed quotas to protect their cultures and sustain their indigenous music, film and television industries. Countries like Canada, France and Brazil (to name a few) have imposed these quotas, resulting in the flourishing of their indigenous products, producers and industries as a whole. Here in Trinidad and Tobago, we are STILL just talking about it, when immediate action is necessary. So what are we suggesting here Well… The imposition of a legislated quota of 50% local content across all broadcast platforms would means that all radio and television stations would be legally mandated to broadcast local content at least half of the time (i.e. at least 12 hours out of every day). This would mean: 1) More indigenous artistes will be heard and seen by our citizens. 2) More indigenous products will be created and improved upon. 3) More royalty incomes will remain here in T&T, in contrast to the current imbalance whereby the majority of royalties are paid to foreign artistes because their music is played more than ours. 4) Because our artistes earn more, they will also invest more into the entertainment sector, by way of more live shows, more marketing, promotion and advertising, resulting in more employment in that sector as well. 5) More and more over time, our society will appreciate itself. The END RESULT is MORE! Not Less… so why are we still talking and not acting ACT NOW: Support the quota for local content today!