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MIDEM 2015 highlights

MIDEM 2015 highlights

MIDEM 2015MIDEM was born in 1967 as  the International Market for Discs and Music Publishing and  until 2014 had been  the end-January event in Cannes.


 MIDEM adapted to ever-changing environments:

discs became digital

international became global

digital became multi-platform

 music became an eco-system

major decision-makers emerged  at an earlier age

 consumers became drivers....




But nevertheless, over recent years,  it faced a regular drop in frequentation. As Bruno Crolot, Director of MIDEM, put it to Nice Matin last year: "...people were (still) doing good business, but they, particularly the younger participants, were amusing themselves less..."




In mid-2014, the MIDEM boss introduced his "New-look MIDEM-in-the-sun" for 2015:

- Repositioning in June - and the sun was indeed 'on rendezvous' this June

- Partial opening to the public - "Discovery Zone, giving consumers the opportunity to see the latest  creations, connected goods, modern experiences"

- The Artist Accelerator -"selected by an Artistic Committee of key players in the music ecosystem, 14 artists who will have a tailor-made  program to  boost their careers"

- Extended festival of live performances across the city..."thirty solo artists and groups"



MIDEM 2015

All this and the huge conference program


Last year's dominant themes had been

- To fight or talk with the Internet provider giants

- Streaming

- The artist/fan relationship

- Big data





This year the 'giants' no longer stirred violent emotions.


Bruno Crolot in his Convergence Manifesto:


 "Convergence... between creative industries and digital technology... is now an inevitable reality."

Altimeter Group's Brian Solis, a student of disruptive technologies, warned "You won't innovate through complaining... the future is user-defined".

Veteran industry executive Doug Morris, now CEO, Sony Music, was able to reminisce on "taking on the internet service providers... a wonderful victory for the industry"






But the other three topics still occupied everyone's thoughts.


On streaming, Deezer CEO, Hans-Holder Albrecht, was, naturally, convinced.

It is "the model for the future" he said, welcoming the very-imminent entry of Apple into the business "as proof”.

"We're achieving global penetration... and we're converting free to paid on all sides", he claimed.


MIDEM 2015Denis Ladegaillerie, CEO of Believe Digital, aired the opinion that "In the days of CD's...record labels would sell them to retailers and get 65-70% of revenues back... in the streaming era, platforms are still paying 65-70% of revenues to the industry. So why all the complaints?"


Mark Mulligan, Co-Founder and Analyst, MiDiA: "The song has been devalued as a monetary commodity... we should sell money-can't-buy experiences...make cupcakes with Taylor Swift's mum...". 


A similar but more practical approach came from the new Jay Z streaming service, Tidal, "...reach all who just 'dig music' with unique content, live events, culture, artist involvement..." (Vania Schlogel, Chief Investment Officer).


A provocative comment on artists and brands from  L A Reid, Chairman, Epic Records: "We think brands give a better way to reach everybody, when in fact we don't need everybody... we want real fans... be careful with 'more is more';  often less is more!"


"Publishers, labels, artists, should all work together... stop shoving each other for a bigger slice of the pie", said veteran songwriter and CEO of ASCAP, Paul Williams.



Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library, a ground-breaking resource for millions of musicians, allowing free utilization of samples to create new music, won the 2015 Gold MIDEM MARKETING AWARD received by Jed Lewis, Global Director of Converse.


Martin Varsavsky, CEO of Fon has a gadget allowing traditional Hi-Fi's to access Spotify or other streamers. "Headphones are cool for running or cycling, but let's get back to social listening on our favorite sound system as well"




Just a glimpse of what went on at MIDEM 2015