CANNES, France, Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 3:15pm - In the Ideas Hothouse, a panel of entertainment lawyers and business specialists is explaining how to develop an artist's brand into a business.
3:18pm - Over in the Vivendi-sponsored Innovation Factory, where the midemlab pitching competition* is taking place, some of the hottest start-ups in direct-to-consumer sales and content monetisation are pitching their projects to a panel of potential business partners, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists which includes execs from Facebook, (former midemlab participant) The Echo Nest, GigaOM and Mangrove Capital Partners.
3:30pm - Upstairs in the Palais des Festivals, French music icon Patricia Kaas, in Cannes to promote her worldwide 'Kaas Sings Piaf' tour, smiles through her photocall, while in the Media Centre, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Joss Stone is sharing a press conference with Getty Images to discuss her partnership with Getty's new music sync licensing project GUESTLIST.
3:45pm - And on Cannes' Croisette seafront, U2 manager Paul McGuinness is winding down after taking a vocal shot at Google for its opposition to the proposed SOPA anti-piracy legislation in the United States.
Welcome to the new midem 2012, version 3.0, where music, tech, brands and bands connected during four days of high-octane live music, business and networking events.
"For the first time in five years, the number of midem visitors (non-standholders) has risen (13%) and at 6,900 delegates from 75 countries, total attendance is up on last year," noted midem Director, Bruno Crolot. "Obviously, with the general economic climate and public funding being squeezed, national pavilions are under pressure, but the efforts we have made to bring tech players, brands and artists to Cannes have paid off."
At the three-night, inaugural 'midem festival,' bands and artists such as The Ting Tings, Selah Sue, Imany, 2manydjs and Shaka Ponk played to packed houses. And the 70 concerts around the bars of Cannes that made up the 'midem off' programme, were equally lively. Meanwhile the Made in Taiwan showcase featured Mayday, currently the most popular and biggest selling band in the Chinese-language music market.
"We have over 640 artists at midem this year," said Bruno Crolot. "About half of them are playing concerts and half are here to learn about business opportunities and how to better engage with fans. This is a truly unique service that midem provides musicians."
Liverpool-born rapper/singer-songwriter KOF, whose latest single 'Be Like You' is released this week, was in Cannes to perform and learn. "This is my first midem and I've played two nights at private functions as well as spending time talking to people and listening in on the Innovation Factory and Ideas Hothouse sessions to learn about different ways to reach fans."
Joss Stone was another artist doing business. Having recently launched her Stone'd Records label, she has teamed up with Getty Images' newly formed GUESTLIST sync licensing service which will license single tracks from indie labels to high profile projects including trailers, films and commercials. "There are a lot of things that Getty Images is good at that I don't know anything about, like how to get the best out of the super-connected world," Joss Stone told the midem press pack.
In the completely transformed midem exhibition area, national pavilions and labels were near neighbours to an eclectic collection of high-profile names including Nokia, YouTube, Warner Music and EMI, as well as first-time exhibitors Vivendi, Amazon, Omnifone, Spotify, Simfy, and the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore.
"It's important that our local music talent be recognized internationally. We identified midem as the suitable platform to do that," said the MDA's Deputy Director of Broadcast, Animation, Film and Music, Emily Ong. The MDA brought seven of Singapore's most dynamic music companies to Cannes and seven of the country's most talented artists.
From the United States, the American Association of Independent Music A2IM brought 130 companies to Cannes, a new record. A2IM President Rich Bengloff said the size of the delegation reflected the increasing need for US indie labels to export internationally.
Expectations on the eve of midem that there would be plenty of talk and action around the digital and tech sectors were confirmed this week with a slew of announcements, updates and rumoured alliances.
At last year's midem, Sony said its cloud-based subscription service, Music Unlimited, would roll out beyond the UK and Ireland to reach France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Fast forward 12 months and Sony Entertainment network President Tim Schaaf told midem delegates that the Music Unlimited catalogue now boasts 15 million tracks and is available in 13 territories.
Add Music Unlimited's reach to the likes of Spotify, Simfy or Deezer and digital music services are now available in 58 countries, according to research released on the eve of midem by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Indeed, the IFPI digital music report put worldwide digital music revenues last year at €4 billion, an 8% rise on 2010.
Among possible alliances, The Coca-Cola Company's Head of Global Entertainment and Sports Marketing, Emmanuel Seuge, generated plenty of buzz when he told midem delegates, "We're very intrigued by the business model of Spotify…and very interested in a strategic partnership with them." Coca-Cola, which set up its music division in 2011, is expected to spend some $200 million on music this year, much of it related to the 2012 London Olympics.
One Coca-Cola Music tie-up that is already in place for the Olympics is the partnership with Grammy Award-winning artist, producer and DJ Mark Ronson. He shared centre stage with Coca-Cola's Senior VP Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities, Wendy Clark, as the duo discussed the benefits of bringing together iconic brands and creative music talent during a Visionary Monday keynote.
French interest in midem hit a peak on January 28 as France's Culture Minister, Frederic Mitterrand, brought together representatives from the various French music professional bodies to sign what he called "an historic agreement," paving the way for a new Centre national de la musique (CNM). Set to see the light of day later this year, the government-backed body will federate and distribute existing public funding for all aspects of the French music industry. In 2013, the CNM's budget will include between euro 75 million and euro 90 million coming from existing taxes on Internet Service Providers.
"2012 is the year of change for midem," concluded midem Director Bruno Crolot. "It's been a challenge, but by completely rethinking the event, redoubling our efforts to attract tech companies and brands to Cannes and putting music and artists at the heart of midem, we have seen the hard work rewarded."
*Midemlab 2012 Results
*The 2012 midemlab pitching competition honours startups and apps developers offering the most innovative solutions that help music and digital executives, artists and brands to reach and engage with audiences. Divided into three categories, the 2012 winners were:
Music Discovery, Recommendation and Creation
MPMe (Apsmart, UK)
Marketing and Social Engagement
Crowdsurfing (LiveOne Group, USA)
Director-to-Consumer Sales and Content Monetisation
WildChords (Oveline, Finland)
In addition, midemlab sponsor Vivendi awarded a bonus 'coup de coeur' award to Webdoc (Switzerland).
The next edition of midem will take place in Cannes, January 26-29, 2013.
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SOURCE Reed MIDEM