Midem 2014: optimism in the music industry

Jean-Michael Jarre optimistic at Midem

Jean-Michael Jarre: a breath of oxygène at Midem

Things are looking up in the music biz if you follow Midem’s press releases. After being severely hammered for over 10 years, some trends are nudging upwards again. Overall revenue is up, although actual sales and concert tickets are still fluctuating. Cautious optimism is the mood du jour. But Midem is trumpeting “Back to Growth? Make it Sustainable!” to anyone that is listening.

Amongst the speakers that will be flying to Cannes in early February this year is France’s baby-faced Jean-Michel Jarre, one of the pioneers of electronic music and a past master in creating major events to accompany his music.

Jarre is attending in his role as the president of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), the leading worldwide network of authors’ royalty collection societies. He will be interviewed on Monday February 3 on the subject of “Fair Share for Creators”.

He will tell the Midem audience how he believes a sustainable future for music in the digital eco-system cannot be achieved without ensuring fair remuneration for all stakeholders, especially creators, and why the latter need to mobilise if they want to benefit from the growth of the digital economy.

This might seem obvious. But music creators are notoriously bad at coming together and mobilising. Direct licensing and threats to the foundations of authors’ rights are eating at the creators’ ability to get themselves heard in the digital/economic debate.

Optimism in the music industry

Other Midem speakers include Seymour Stein, VP of Warner Bros. Records and co-founder of Sire Records, who signed acts such as The Ramones, Talking Heads and Madonna. Stein will host a special session during which he’ll share how he built a successful music company by making the right, and often hard, decisions while forging a unique business acumen.

The indie sector will also join Midem 2014, with Alison Wenham, Chairman/CEO of the Association of Independent Music & Chair of the Worldwide Independent Network (UK), who will outline what labels are doing to get back to growth. Ronny Krieger, Label Manager, Monkeytown Records (Germany), and Alain Verhave, Director of Marketing, Epitaph Records (Netherlands) will discuss how indie labels are reinventing fan engagement.

As part of the conference programme, Midem will also welcome Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the British Phonographic Industry and the BRIT Awards (UK), and Jordan Berliant, Partner & Head of Music Management, The Collective Music Group (USA), in a session about the best practices for online video success and how YouTube became the leading platform to consume, discover and share music. Stephen Bryan, SVP, Digital Business Development, Warner Music Group (USA), and Mandar Thakur, COO, Times Music (India), will also take part in a discussion about the challenges of streaming music today.

There will also be special debates around sync licensing and other subjects. Check back for further news.

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