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July 31, 2013 | CEO's Corner

Federal Government Recalculates GDP To Include Investment In Creative Works

Today the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) implemented changes to its gross domestic product (GDP) calculation, including counting – for the first time ever – the money that is invested in recorded music and other creative works.

Retroactively and going forward, GDP now recognizes a variety of “artistic originals” such as sound recordings, movies and other creations as long lasting investments that contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy over time. Specifically, according to today’s report (page 10), GDP was calculated to be $74 billion higher than previously estimated for 2012 due to the inclusion of investment in “entertainment, literary, and artistic originals”.

This news is more than just a revised number – it’s what it means and what it says about investment in creativity and its value to the American economy. For too long, the underlying economic contribution of the American creative industries has been given short shrift. That was overdue for a change, and we’re pleased that the Department of Commerce has recognized the need to more accurately reflect the value of investment in creativity. America’s creative works are one of our strongest exports, and this change recognizes the investments that music companies make to develop America’s artistic heritage, which has long lasting economic and cultural value.

Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)