Case Studies



We developed a Music Ecosystem Assessment and Strategy for the City of Vancouver between November 2017 and June 2018.

We consulted with over 100 stakeholders in person, and 862 respondents engaged via an online survey

What we did:

  • We conducted two field visits to Vancouver where we organised 18 roundtables and over 20 meetings with stakeholders from across the spectrum of the city’s music ecosystem. Overall, we consulted with more than 120 people.

  • We created a survey that has collated over 800 responses from Vancouver-based musicians, music industry professionals and music fans.

  • We mapped the Vancouver music ecosystem, including all music assets.

  • We developed an economic impact analysis of the music sector in the City. 

  • Finally, we analysed the results of the above and designed a strategy that will help Vancouver become a music-friendly city, taking into account all aspects of the city's music ecosystem.

Our decision to work closely with Sound Diplomacy on the Vancouver Music Ecosystem paid off in colours. By utilizing their depth in experience engaging in Music Cities events around the globe, their unique insight was clear and apparent in the final report. As a result we were able to influence change in our metro quickly and with confidence that the recommendations were supported by their wealth of knowledge and passion for the sector.
— Rob Calder, CEO, Secret Study (and partners on Vancouver Music Strategy)

Sound Diplomacy is the global expert in developing long term and self sufficient music strategies.

We have worked in over 40 countries and with over 100 clients, spanning public, private and third sectors, such as the Greater London Authority, City of Cardiff, Ville de Lausanne, City of Brisbane and UNIDO. We were proud to work with the City of Vancouver, Music BC, CreativeBC, FACTOR and our partners Secret Study to develop a music strategy for the city.

The aim was to develop policies that treat music as infrastructure and deliver a healthy music ecosystem, which in turn create vibrant, exciting communities, build an international profile and increase the value of music in the city.

Sound Diplomacy assessed Vancouver’s diverse music communities across genre, ethnicity and sector, and reported on their impact and value across the city. The aim of the project was twofold: benchmark what Vancouver has and assess it, to develop Vancouver’s music ecosystem.


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Since 2016, Sound Diplomacy have been working with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to produce a development strategy for the Cuban Music Industry.

What we did:

  • Developed the platform and framework for music to be seen as an industrial, job-creation mechanism, the first of its kind for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

  • Championed the interests of grassroots and domestic artists by coordinating successful education strategies and building wide international networks. This included 4 week-long workshops in 3 different locations.

  • Supported the coordination of outbound Trade Mission.

  • Provided individual company consultation to 9 music companies.

  • Through the implementation of the work we delivered for UNIDO in Cuba, a new music city strategy for Santiago de Cuba is currently being developed. This strategy is expected to attract more visitors and increase the number of overnight stays as a result of music tourism.

  • The strategy delivered for Cuba aims to strengthen their existing international events, therefore generating more opportunities for music export.

Sound Diplomacy were commissioned to write a strategy to develop the music industry in Cuba. The project aims to increase music export by 30%, as well as achieve gender equality in the Cuban music industry, provide jobs for young people, provide music companies with updated technology and improve intellectual property rights.

Alongside delivering a comprehensive strategy in partnership with the Cuban Ministry of Culture, music companies and musicians, we are delivering a series of workshops on music business, music policy for government, music cities and music tourism, artist development, music publishing and intellectual property.



Sound Diplomacy has been working with the Greater London Authority (GLA) since 2015, with the objective of increasing London’s profile as a global music city. 

What we did:

Sound Diplomacy has worked with the Greater London Authority (GLA) since Autumn 2015, with the objective of increasing London’s profile as a global music city.

Working internally with the GLA, we helped to develop the role of a Night Czar for London. This role, currently held by Amy Lamé, is to champion London’s nightlife, including safeguarding venues across the city and working in partnership with the night time industries, local authorities, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and the public.

We also supported the development of a Night Time Commission to carry out research on London’s night time economy, and helped develop the London Music Board, to protect grassroots music venues and support London’s grassroots music scene.

On the public-facing side, we lobbied, conducted a feasibility study for, and delivered a Mayoral-led music campaign called Sounds Like London. The campaign was aimed at celebrating and marketing London’s outstanding music offer, as well as shining a light on some of the successes we’d achieved with the Night Czar and Music Board initiatives, including reversing the rate of grassroots music venue closures, working with the Met Police to scrap Form 696, and introducing the Agent Of Change principle within planning law.

Most recently, we delivered a study that aims to accurately map all of London’s music spaces. The map gives a full spectrum of music performance, recording and rehearsal spaces in London, highlighting the areas of threat, opportunity and growth.

London’s buzzing live music scene is world-renowned, having produced artists from Adele to Ed Sheeran, The Clash to The Rolling Stones. Grassroots venues are the foundation of our successful music industry. We’ve taken positive steps to address some of the challenges facing grassroots music venues, but there’s still much to be done.
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan



Sound Diplomacy developed a strategy for Barcelona City Council to design and implement a Music Hub in Fabra i Coats, a creative innovation centre in Barcelona.

What we did:

  • We developed a benchmark study of 14 music hubs around the world for the Barcelona City Council’s Culture Institute. This included a best-practice guide to implementing a music hub in an existing cultural centre in the city.

  • We have written a strategy for the Barcelona City Council to design and implement a Music Hub in Fabra i Coats, a creative innovation centre in Barcelona.

  • Some of our strategic recommendations have already been implemented, including the development of a radio station.

  • We also assisted in the development of a music committee, including music stakeholders, residents in the space, and the local music ecosystem, to establish alliances and strengthen the music sector in an area that is not central.




Between 2015 and 2019 Sound Diplomacy was hired by Initiative Musik gGmbH to manage the German presence at SXSW, one of the most important trade shows for the music, technology and film industries in the world, in cooperation with Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM).

What we did:

  • Venue scouting in Austin

  • Event production and preparation for 5+ day event - including conference, concerts and interactive exhibitions.

  • Stakeholder engagement and invitations

  • Programming of music events at the German Haus

  • OrganiAation of Berlin Beats showcase with the support of Musicboard Berlin, showcasing musical talent from Berlin, including Robot Koch, rRoxymore, Stefan Goldmann and Perera Elsewhere.

We have worked in over 40 countries and with over 100 clients, spanning public, private and third sectors, such as the Greater London Authority, City of Cardiff, Ville de Lausanne, City of Brisbane and UNIDO. We are very proud to work with Initiative Musik and the partners of the German Haus on organizing the German presence at SXSW.

South By Southwest (SXSW) is one of the most important trade shows for the music, technology and film industries in the world. In 2017, approximately 1,000 Germans travelled to SXSW, showcase their music and network with international delegates.

A collaboration between different German states, cities and organisations and supported by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, the German presence included the German Haus and a Trade Show booth at the official SXSW Trade Show in Austin. Our work has involved coordinating activities at the Trade Show booth, but mainly focused on running German Haus. In line with the objectives, the German Haus offers space for showcases, networking activities, workshops, concerts and showcase events.

The goal of the German presence is to provide substantial business and networking opportunities for participating startups, businesses and musicians and to showcase Germany in the US and other international markets. In 2018 the German Haus and the German Trade Show booth registered over 10,000 visitors at SXSW.


International Music Marketing Strategy for Tourism and Brand Building


Sound Diplomacy developed an International Music Marketing strategy for Promperu, Peru’s national branding agency, between August 2017 and December 2017. We mapped music genres in the country and identified the most suitable genres and artists to promote their country brand to Peruvians and the rest of the world.

What we did:

  • We partnered with researchers at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru to map all contemporary music genres in the country and identify the most suitable domestic artists to champion Peru through a system of indicators of export-ready artists.

  • We also researched and identified emerging and consolidated Peruvian artists living abroad to act as international ambassadors of Peru’s country brand.

  • We benchmarked Peruvian music against emerging and consolidated international artists and country brands using marketing and business analytics for music sales, streaming, live music revenues and music tourism campaigns.

  • After analysing the current competitors and structural challenges to the promotion of Peruvian music abroad, we delivered an extensive analytical report on the state of the music industry in Peru and its potential to champion the Peruvian country brand through music export and music tourism.

Sound Diplomacy mapped the existing music industry of Peru and researched domestic best case examples on music tourism, music festivals, regional music markets, record labels, artist and genre trends, as well as variations on music consumption trends. These were compared against other similar or aspirational international markets and initiatives to identify the strengths of Peru’s musical country and unique selling points.

We provided a roadmap to export Peru’s most suitable music assets to target audiences on the local and international level, identifying key stakeholders and promotional platforms for the 3 strategic music export areas that had been identified in the previous stage.

We concluded the strategy with an action plan containing 28 short- and long-term actions aimed to grow Peru’s music brand in the strategic areas of Governance, Industry Development, Skills Development, Marketing and Events, and Music Tourism Promotion.




Sound Diplomacy’s long-standing relationship with the Canadian Independent Music Association has seen us coordinate and write a series of market guides to countries around the world.

What we did:

  • Completed a series of extensive reports on 10 Latin American music markets for the Canadian Independent Music Association.

  • Analysed opportunities for Canadian independent music in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico or Chile, among others.

  • Provided introductions to 12 other music markets in the region including Guatemala, Ecuador and Paraguay.

 These market guides are country-specific and extensively profile music markets in regions our clients are interested in exporting to. Previously, our work has covered the markets of Ireland, Italy, France, UK, USA, India and Poland.

Most recently, we wrote a series of comprehensive market reports about Latin American for the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA). The project included ten in-depth reports on the region’s larger, more established markets, such as Brazil and Argentina. The study also included 12 one-page reports on smaller, developing markets, such as Peru and Panama. These were researched using a combination of local experts, desk research and industry interviews.

The guides act as encyclopaedias on the chosen markets, covering the recorded, live and publishing markets as well as secondary income streams, media and PR, and practical information on visas and tax structures. They also identify key consumer trends, from which genres are popular in each country, to the most used social media and streaming platforms, which cities had the most impactful audiences, and which music formats sold best. Finally, they include a directory of contacts from festivals and music venues to local labels, distributors, publishers, publicists, radio stations and other media sources, both physical and digital.

Latin America has the fastest-growing market in the world and offers many opportunities for Canada’s independent artists to develop their audiences.

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