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SOURCE Reed MIDEM
International music ecosystem engages in lively debate
CANNES, France, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- It may not be a full-blown triumphalist concerto, but there were notes of industry optimism being sounded at Midem where delegates turned their attention to the central theme, 'Back to Growth? Make it Sustainable!'
The main talking point throughout Midem was the development of digital revenues, whether or not streaming is the future of music, how artists and labels need to adapt their approach to fans via a year-round online presence and if the internet giants such as Google and YouTube bring real benefit to the music industry.
As Midem welcomed 6,150 delegates from 75 countries in Cannes, the members of the music ecosystem gathered against a backdrop of industry data showing a return to growth in certain territories.
In France, music sales rose 2.3% in 2013 to €603 million after 12 consecutive years of decline, according to data released during Midem by French music trade body, SNEP. Germany and Scandinavia, led by Sweden and Norway, have seen their music sectors return to growth after a decade of falling sales and Paris-based rights collection agency SACEM announced during Midem that it had collected €810 million in 2013, 1.7% up on 2012.
"These are early days, and the music industry is still seriously challenged, but for the first time since 2002, we have people talking of a return to growth and asking themselves how they can make it sustainable," noted Midem Director Bruno Crolot. "We have done our utmost to make Midem a platform for this debate by making sustainable growth the central theme of all we have done this year and by providing the Midem community with a full tool kit for business success. The feedback I have had from clients is that Midem 2014 was totally business-focused."
The 'Midem Talks' conferences set the tone for Midem. Discussing sustainable growth, Sony/ATV Music Publishing France President, Nicolas Galibert and Alison Wenham, Chairman/CEO of the Association of Independent Music and Chair of the Worldwide Independent Network, argued that the music industry needed to be more positive about growth and more attentive about the messages it conveyed. "The industry has had poor PR for a really long time. Some of that is by our own hand and some of that has been created for us," commented Alison Wenham, who added, "all of the signs are growth."
Throughout the four-day Midem, executives from the core music industry and tech companies conducted a frank exchange of views on the role of digital music, streaming and the internet heavyweights.
For some artists, indie labels and industry associations, Google/YouTube are both good news on the distribution front and not so good news over copyright issues and returning revenues to artists and labels.
International artist Jean Michel Jarre, currently the President of the CISAC worldwide rights collection agency, used his Midem speech to appeal to the likes of Google and Facebook to sit down with the music industry, particularly artists, to find a decent business model that provides musicians with "a fair remuneration" in the digital world.
William Morris Endeavor's head of music division, Marc Geiger, was in a no nonsense mood as he addressed Midem delegates. His message was clear – stop complaining about online payments and tech giants and get on with accepting change, particularly streaming. He said that 'files' are over and that streaming is the future. Geiger argued that the giant platforms, with over 500m users, will rule the world for the next decade. His tips: Google, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, Yahoo, Netflix, iTunes, Android and Baidu. Joining Marc Geiger in conversation, Horst Weidenmuller, Founder & CEO of Germany's !K7 Records expressed his concern that YouTube intended to dominate the market to the detriment of the music sector. "I would rather prefer perhaps Google not being in music." Fellow speaker Emmanuel de Buretel, Founder & CEO of Because Music called on the internet giants to show more respect for indie labels, "They don't treat us well because we are small. They have to consider the indie world as the future." Watch Marc Geiger's address here.
Both Google and YouTube executives came in for criticism for being more 'corporate' than 'music-oriented.' But Tom Pickett, VP of YouTube Content at Google responded by telling a Midem audience "we are very much into music." He noted that "I think the ad-supported model is the model that's going to give you (artists/labels) that breadth...We've paid out to the music industry over the last several years over a billion dollars."
One major music player who is clearly aligning himself with the online heavyweights is Lyor Cohen. He grabbed the Midem headlines on Sunday by announcing that his new venture, 300, has entered into an agreement with Twitter to develop A&R tools that will help find artists early and develop them. 300 will mine Twitter's vast quantities of data including early Twitter-user buzz on up-and-coming talent. Once 300 has mined the Twitter data and created analytical tools, it will make information available to the music sector.
With a packed four days of conferences, competitions and over 40 concerts, Midem provided a one-stop-shop for the music industry. Here are some key highlights:
Midem 2015 will take place in Cannes January 31-February 3
For more information about Midem 2014 and to enjoy the complete Midem Blog coverage, click here.
To access and download Midem 2014 selected photos click here.
About Midem – Midem is an annual international b2b event dedicated to the new music ecosystem, with a tradeshow, conferences, competitions, networking events and live performances. It's the place where music makers, cutting-edge technologies, brands & talents come together to enrich the passionate relationship between people & music, transform audience engagement and form new business connections. www.midem.com
About Reed MIDEM – Founded in 1963, Reed MIDEM is a leading organiser of professional, international tradeshows. Reed MIDEM events have established themselves as key dates in professional diaries. The company hosts MIPTV, MIPDOC, MIPCOM, and MIPJUNIOR for the television and digital content industries, MIDEM for music professionals, LeWeb Paris and London for internet forward-thinkers, MIPIM, MIPIM Asia, MIPIM UK and MAPIC for the property and retail real estate sectors. www.reedmidem.com
About Reed Exhibitions – Reed Exhibitions is the world's leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 41 countries. In 2012 Reed brought together seven million active event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 34 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group, a world leading provider of professional information solutions. www.reedexpo.com
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