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ROADMAP TO POLAND

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By Chimes Agency

1. Intro

Population: 38 587 820 (2016)
GDP per capita: approx. $25,825 (OECD) Disposable income per household: approx. $17,820

From the recent political changes, to the fact that is is a significant, emerging economy and geographically located in the center of the continent – Poland is one of the most interesting countries in Europe at this moment in time and one worth paying attention to. The domestic music market has been quite strong for some time as has the import of world-class acts that can headline the major festivals or fill stadiums. It’s only in the last five or six years that the market has opened up to mid- to small-level foreign bands (and Polish bands, for that matter). This also means that there is a marked difference in the ‘old school’ industry (that is more conservative) and the young, up-and-coming generation that is very open to new phenomena, technologies, trends and ways of doing business.

This also means that Poland’s music industry is still developing when it comes to international norms and business practices. Fortunately, Polish industry members are learning quickly, travelling frequently and establishing organizations, companies and partnerships that support the development of the market as a whole.

A few statistics that point to very positive growth in the industry:

  •  Overall industry measures approx. 25 million euro (20% growth from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016)
  •  Digital sales grew by 13% (1⁄3 of the market)
  •  Physical sales grew by 23% (2⁄3 of the market)
  •  Vinyl sales grew by 39% and make up 8.3% of physical sales
  •  Foreign albums make up 41% of the market (15% increase in sales)
  •  Poland is home to Europe’s largest music festival – Woodstock Festival (approx. 500,000 attendees annually)
  •  37% of Poles attended 1 or more concerts in 2014 (over twice as many as visited a museum, gallery or theater)

2. Record Labels, Licensing & Distribution

There are three major international record labels in Poland: Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music.

There are also lots of indie labels, among them:
Mystic Production (specializing in a very significant foreign catalogue)
Kayak (Poland’s biggest indie label, responsible for current export star, Brodka)
PIAS (just starting to cement a real presence in Poland)
LADO ABC
U Know Me
NextPop
Thin Man Records
Brennesel
Antena Krzyku
ForTune (jazz)

3. Publishing

There are only a few publishing companies in Poland:

Sony ATV
Schubert Publishing Jazzboy Publishing

4. Performance Rights

Performance rights in Poland are administered by the collecting societies: ZAiKS and STOART .

5. Management

In Poland, a lot of labels offer 360 deals currently, so all of them usually also offer management.

Some music companies working with artist management in Poland include:

ART2Music
Artgrupa TBA Music Chimes
Kreatywa Artystyczna
Chaos Management
Toinen Music
Kayax
Smart Management Brennessel
Plus a myriad of freelance managers.

6. Live

There are two levels of touring:

      • The largest mass audiences and venues of 1,000-2,000
      • Alternative circuit venues of approx. 200-400

Tour requires extra PR activities in order to guarantee crowds. For a new band, most promoters are likely to offer a rather small guarantee, plus a percentage of ticket sales/accomodation/food/bar.

Promoters

AlterArt
Go Ahead
Knockout Production
Good Music Production

Festivals

Open’er Festival
Krakow Live Festival
Orange Warsaw Festival
Woodstock Festival
OFF Festival
Red Bull Music Academy Weekender Audioriver
Tauron Nowa Muzyka
Halfway Festival (focus on Nordic music)
New Neighborhoods Festival

Clubs (few examples)

Warsaw:
Progresja
Proxima
Stodoła
Palladium
Cafe Kulturalna

Poznan:
CK Zamek
Meskalina
Hala nr. 2

Trójmiasto:
Sfinks700
B90

Wrocław:
Sala Gotycka

7. Media, PR & Promo

TV

Breakfast TV shows – guests appearances /music material + live music at the end
TVP Kultura – culture channel, features music and shows with guests
MuzoTV – pop music
4FunTV – dance & pop music
EskaTV – dance music
ProstoTV – hip hop channel

Radio

There are many radio stations in Poland – public and private. Only a few are nation wide:

Public:

  • Polish Radio I – focused on popular music and golden oldies
  • Polish Radio II – focused on jazz and classic
  • Polish Radio III (Trojka) – the most important station for indie music
  • Polish Radio IV (Czwórka) – only online since summer 2016, focused onpopular and indie music
  • In every city there is a local Polish Radio division i.e. Polish Radio Krakow and Polish Radio Poznan.

Private:

  • RMF FM – biggest commercial station, only hits and mainstream music,widest reach
  • Zet Group – commercial stations, divided by genre
    • Zet – popular mainstream, hits only,
    • Chilli Zet – indie, soul & R’n’B
    • Zet Gold – goldenoldies
    • Antyradio – rock music
  • Eska – dance music, Eska rock – rock music (only online)
  • Most prominent student radio stations:
      • Kampus – Warsaw,
      • UWM FM –
      • Olsztyn,
      • Afera –
      • Poznań,
      • Radiofonia Żak – Krakow)

    Print

    There aren’t many Polish paper magazines exclusively dedicated to popular music but every lifestyle paper or magazine has a culture section, where news on album releases, tours etc. are often presented.

    Here are a few of the music print media:
    Gazeta Magnetofonowa – primarily on Polish music
    LAIF – published quarterly
    Gitarzysta – monthly magazine
    Perkusista – monthly magazine
    Lizard – monthly magazine
    Jazz Forum

    PR agencies

    There are a few pr music agencies – Poland is still a developing market in this sense:

    Chimes
    Mood Production
    Smile PR
    Fabryka Rozgłosu

    8. Industry Networking Arenas

    Spring Break (showcase festival)
    European Music Fair (industry meeting and conference + showcase)
    Warsaw Music Week (industry meeting, conference + showcase)

    9. Taxation

    Unlimited tax obligation in Poland

    Individuals with their place of residence in Poland are taxed on their total income, regardless of where the income is earned (unlimited tax obligation in Poland). Individuals who do not have a place of residence in Poland are taxed solely on income earned in Poland (limited tax obligation in Poland).

    Natural persons in Poland are subject to personal income tax calculated, as a rule, according to a progressive tax scale. Tax rates vary depending on the income earned, defined as the total revenue minus tax deductible costs, earned in a given taxable year. Full information available here