Midem 2013, Cannes, France

IMG_3490Once again Bandplanet hit up Midem in the gorgeous French Riviera town of Cannes a few weeks ago to find out all the latest and greatest news and happenings in the music industry. We came, we saw, we hobnobbed, networked and partied (just a little – nothing unseemly, mind) – all in all, another great Midem!

Some nuggets of wisdom that we gleaned from our Midem 2013 experience:

  • The live music industry is thriving, because music lovers still want a real, authentic experience that can’t be replicated, and live music gives a shared, communal buzz like no other.
  • Vinyl lives! The resurgence in popularity of vinyl has been one of the more surprising and positive trends in the last year. Music fans still appreciate having a tangible physical object to obsess over; however, note that this is in addition to the digital download – no one is giving up the convenience of those anymore.
  • The convergence between music, tech and brands is ever increasing, with new partnerships and symbioses being formed. Just embrace it, don’t question it.
  • The most overused word at Midem: ‘disrupt/disruptive’, as in ‘Disruptive Creativity’ – quickest way to kill a buzzword.
  • YouTube is more important than ever for aspiring musicians and bands
  • Fans want to be involved with every step of the creative process, and artists need to harness this interest to their best advantage – your fans love you, so give back some of the good vibes with extras and special things for fans only.

Best in Show:

  • Midem Hack Day was inspiring and innovative. 
  • Artists Speak To ArtistsMark Hoppus from Blink-182: Eloquent and so knowledgeable.
  • Seeing UK/French band Archive in the Magic Mirrors tent – such a brilliant live band. And seeing UK ska legends Madness milling around after their press conference, just like normal people.
  • The fabulous Carlton Hotel (where Hitchcock’s ‘To Catch A Thief’ was filmed) is just that – fabulous. The front bar is where all the informal, big deal schmoozing happens. Pretend like you’re someone rich and famous, and you’ll fit right in…

Go here for a short and sharp review of Midem 2013.

Midem 2014 will be held on 25-28 January 2014 in Cannes, France.

I went to midem 2012 and all I got was…

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… a whole lot of cogent and intelligent discussion about the future of music, and a good perspective on emerging trends and issues affecting the industry.

Bandplanet sent two intrepid members of the Bandplanet team – CEO extraordinaire Hansjörg Hug (HJ) and marketing action man Dany Kunz  – along to midem 2012 recently in Cannes, France to hobnob with the rich and famous, err, soak up the atmosphere and inspiration while partaking of the workshops, networking opportunities, discussions and seminars.

So what nuggets of wisdom did they come back with?

  • The music industry has been re-energized by the new opportunities and business models offered by increasingly sophisticated digital medias and technologies.
  • Social media is now permanently embedded in all aspects of the music industry.
  • Also, the term ‘social media’ has outlived its use-by date. Enough already!
  • People are still willing to pay for music. And superfans are willing to pay even more for exclusive, value-added, rare or limited edition items.
  • Consumers want to be involved with the music they love – they want to engage with it, promote it, share it, sing it from the rooftops, wear it as a badge of honor. And they’d love to profit from it, as well, if it doesn’t compromise the earnings of the artists they love.
  • Streaming vs. cloud services – can they co-exist or will they cannibalize each other? Streaming services fulfill a function similar to radio (albeit one tailored for you, by you), but hey, not everyone wants music to be merely ‘background noise’. The psychological need of consumers to actually own music and its peripheral products (posters, books, DVDs, T-shirts etc shouldn’t be overlooked or under-rated. See ‘superfans’ comment above.
  • It’s clear that there is still room for new business models to develop and mature as the market changes. One thing is clear – music consumers don’t like to be fenced in and told where or how to buy their music. People don’t want to buy everything from just one store. Flexibility and choice is essential.

Proof positive that the Bandplanet FairTrade MusicBiz model is especially relevant today: engaging fans in a way that they can benefit as well, ensuring that 100% of revenue goes to the artists, and giving artists complete control over their music and what they receive for it. Go Bandplanet!

BEST IN SHOW

Best Session: HJ – ‘How To Work With The Fab FourMerlin/Google/Universal/Amazon’ – with Charles Caldas (Merlin), Zahavah Levine (Google), Craig Pape (Amazon), Rob Wells (Universal Music).

Dany: Artists speak to Artists Q&A: Joss Stone, talking about Stone’d Records.

Best speech: ‘Marketing For People, Not For Robots: Less Killer App, More Killer Experience’ – Will Sansom from Contagious Communications

Best Random Meeting With A famous Person: When Dany met Zoe Keating on a beanbag and talked about the weather (in his defense, he didn’t know who she was at the time. And yes, she was lovely).

WORST IN SHOW

The weather. Terrible. Somebody fire the person responsible, please? And HJ’s terrible flu courtesy of the really horrid weather. Thanks, Cannes! (or perhaps we should be blaming Zoe Keating).

Want the short version of midem 2012? Go here.

The next edition of midem will be held in Cannes, France, 26-29 January 2013.