The music sector in Italy is regulated by means of a 1967 law which mainly regulates classical music, opera and musical theatre activities as well as music festivals.
Recently, musical activities that have a more popular dimension, and in particular jazz music, have been included in the sphere of state public funding. Each region also has specific regulations that finance music, concert activities and festivals. An important part of the Italian music industry sector is carried out by private, profit-oriented companies, which often operate with risk capital. Profit-oriented companies are not allowed to apply at national grants that are exclusively dedicated for nonprofit organizations (associations, foundations, social enterprise). National legislation also provides a Tax Credit for music promotion.
In Italy there are 14 Opera-Symphonic Foundations which absorb over half of the state public funding for performing arts (see chapter 3.3). They represent the extraordinary musical tradition of Italy. On the other side, the most important festival dedicated to the music industry takes place in San Remo, a Ligurian town, where every year a popular music festival takes place. The Sanremo festival is live broadcasted on the main Rai channel and is one of the flagship events throughout the television season.
Due to the pandemic, over the last few years the music sector had an acceleration of the digitization process and at the same time a very strong contraction of live music which caused a huge loss of resources generated by ticketing and a consequent loss of employment especially for technicians. The music sector also brought attention to the lack and inadequacy of a live entertainment welfare system fostering advocacy during the pandemic and promoting measures that are trying to modify the social safety nets.
Even for the historical institutions, the production of music has dealt with different production ways that have enhanced the more “industrial” skills transforming the usual way of production for live performance to productions for television and web broadcasting or platforms. Interesting projects are being developed in many opera houses, which has seen productions transformed into audiovisual products for television and the web and which have been seen by thousands of people around the world.
The main directions that can be identified in the Italian music industries are: greater attention to digital broadcasting platforms; rethinking of the outputs of musical production considering the new audiovisual users behaviour (podcast, web, television, digital platforms); greater convergence between radio, web and digital radio.
The new awareness on the part of operators and artists for the importance of copyright and the balance between digital distribution platforms and content producers has led to a partial revision of the legislation on copyright. Finally, the attention to new technologies and innovation in the music sector is even more pronounced and projects such as the Music Innovation Hub (MIH), a private company of the third sector financed by the public and private sector, appears today more than ever projected towards a new way of designing music products.