Trench Town Rock: The Creation of Jamaica's Music Industry

By John McMillan
2004 | Case No. IB56 | Length 14 pgs.
Reggae music has swept the world. From its origins in Jamaica, it can now be heard in clubs and bars from Senegal to Samoa. It has also influenced music from other countries, such as American rap. In the late 1990s, annual sales of reggae recordings were estimated to be $1.2 billion, of which Jamaican musicians, producers, and songwriters earned about $300 million, plus another $50 million from live performances and ancillary product sales. The case describes the evolution of Jamaican musical forms, the development of the country’s music industry, and the industry’s structure in the early 21st century. It then introduces the concept of industrial clusters – localized groups of firms that grow around a single industry, and include all the necessary supporting companies required by the industry. The case asks how industrial clusters provide benefits to participants, how they can be grown, and how a developing country can build an industry.
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