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A Trully Insider's Look Into MIDEM '09
The economic and structural transition aspects of our industry were a MAJOR part of MIDEM 2009
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2009-03-05
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JP Bommel
While I was attending Digital Music Forum East I ran into JP Bommel, MIDEM's North American representative, who wanted to assure everyone that attendance did not take the draw-dropping plunge of 30-40% we had divined in our last newsletter, just a dip of 12% on 2008.

Well, that's good news for all of us who depend on MIDEM to keep us busy in January. I'd also like to note that the number we'd give largely reflected the consensus from my unscientific, totally anecdotal survey conducted during and after the event. And suffice it to say, the ultimate point was that quantity is no substitute for quality, as illustrated in this and the last series of MIDEM interviews.


Name: Vince Bannon
Company: Getty Images
Getty Images is the world's leading creator and distributor of still imagery, footage and multi-media products, as well as a recognized provider of other forms of premium digital content, including music.

1. How many years have you been coming to MIDEM?

VB: I've been going to MIDEM for 8 years now. For the last 6 years, I've been attending as an executive representing Getty Images.

2. What were your expectations of MIDEM? Were they particularly affected by the economic conditions or was it business as usual?

VB: This year, my entire team participated in MIDEM which included members from our Getty Images offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Calgary. It was business as usual for us there. In fact, we were all so busy that I did not even have the time to pick up French Books and CD's for my wife (her first language is French).

3. What were some of your MIDEM 2009 highlights?

VB: There were many highlights at MIDEM this year. I will say that our VIP Business Lounge was definitely a highlight -- it featured an amazing gallery complete with plasma screens to showcase both our great editorial and creative footage. But also the Harvey Goldsmith press conference for "The British Music Experience, the first music museum in the UK," the great opening night and moderators dinner, the Charles Anzavour Lifetime Achievement evening, the weather -- the list goes on and on. But the greatest for me was to see all of the hard work from my team who both closed and started amazing deals in Cannes this year.

4. What are some notable projects or releases we can expect to see in 2009?

VB: We are looking forward to launching the Redferns music archive collection on our site, which we acquired in late 2008. Our Music business continues to grow at Getty Images. We are developing an artists community to bring in more great music to our offering as well as continue to add great artists similar to Nine Inch Nails, The Offspring, Sasha and many more to our Premium Playlist offering.


Name: Natalie Vandersluis
Company: Tryxo Entertainment LLC
Tryxo is an online store for digital downloads with strictly independent music

1. How many years have you been coming to MIDEM?

NV: This was my first visit with TryXo, but I attended MIDEM previously in 2005.

2. What were your expectations of MIDEM? Were they particularly affected by the economic conditions or was it business as usual?

NV: My intention for MIDEM was to network with new and upcoming companies, to find new developments, technologies and get an understanding of the general perception within the music industry. We have our ideas, views and goals at TryXo, but it was interesting to see what other people and companies in the entertainment industry were foreseeing.

In 2005, there were a lot of companies with new software and packaging solutions. I had expected that, over the past four years, this would have changed to more reflect companies presenting innovative online technologies for the music industry. For example, there was an exhibitor presenting their proprietary music file format and player. I would have expected several more of these type companies this year. I hope they will be present at MIDEM in 2010 though.

3. What were some of your MIDEM 2009 highlights?

NV: One of the MIDEM highlights was that I was able to form a partnership with MusicDish LLC. Other highlights are still in development, so I would rather talk about those, when they are ready.

4. What are some notable projects or releases we can expect to see in 2009?

NV: Currently we are working on restructuring part of our website. We will add some fun functionalities as well as internet radio to the site. Touring is also a part of the future for TryXo in 2009.


Name: Stephen Bond Garvan
Company: Garvan Media, Management & Marketing AND IMMF Director of Communications AND MMF US Board
Artist manager and officer/Board in IMMF and MMF US

1. How many years have you been coming to MIDEM?

SG: Ten years in 2009

2. What were your expectations of MIDEM? Were they particularly affected by the economic conditions or was it business as usual?

SG: To network with managers, licensees, distributors and other industry peers & colleagues. To be part of IMMF team providing multiple, substantial MIDEM programming. The economic and structural transition aspects of our industry were a MAJOR part of MIDEM 2009. Less participants also afforded a bit more comfortable access and less crazed pacing... The dimes versus dollars of much of the industry globally now require core-level strategic changes and some what lowered $ budgeting, negotiating and execution.

3. What were some of your MIDEM 2009 highlights?

SG: MIDEM/IMMF programming - including Radiohead manager's Brian Message keynote. A somewhat less-crowded pace, structure throughout the week (echoed by many I met with or encountered).

4. What are some notable projects or releases we can expect to see in 2009?

SG: New releases from clients Casey Neill & Norway Rats, 1 or 2 new projects from Cliff Eberhardt (Red House), new CD & first book by Tom Roznowski,1st US release from UK artist Ezio (Wildflower), 1st US release - we hope - from #1 Ireland artist Mickey Harte.


Name: Joan Carles Doval
Company: Picap
Record Label with 25 years in the mainstream, focused in Latin and Mediterranean music, specially with Catalan authors.

1. How many years have you been coming to MIDEM?

JCD: I've been coming to MIDEM for 20 years.

2. What were your expectations of MIDEM? Were they particularly affected by the economic conditions or was it business as usual?

JCD: Our main expectations at MIDEM were to meet our important clients and find new, interesting ways of doing business in the music sector. But mainly, we were looking to open our market to the new digital technologies. Of course all decisions are affected by economic conditions of this sector, but we believe that we are ending a cycle to open a new one.

3. What were some of your MIDEM 2009 highlights?

JCD: This year's MIDEM has been a music trade fair clearly going down, with less companies and people participation and poor concerts program. We could say that this was a MIDEM of transition to the new technologies and new ways of doing business in the music sector - thus the importance of the MIDEMNet Forum in order to rethink the industry. But this MIDEM stayed far away from the important business center it had been in past years.

4. What are some notable projects or releases we can expect to see in 2009?

JCD: Our most important project for this year is the launching of a digital music shop within our websites (http://www.picap.cat & http://www.actualrecords.cat). We're also celebrating our 25th anniversary with many shows and performances. Finally, we are going to launch new releases and reissues from our best artists such as Raimon or Maria del Mar Bonet. But our main challenge this year is to follow our digitalization process without forgetting the reissues of our entire catalog composed by 4,000 albums from our acquisition of Edigsa and PDI.


Name: Allen Johnston
Company: The Music Specialist
More than three decades of progressive experience in all aspects of music product development, licensing, sales, promotion and distribution for national and international markets.

1. How many years have you been coming to MIDEM?

AJ: I have traveled to MIDEM 19 separate times over the past 24 years.

2. What were your expectations of MIDEM? Were they particularly affected by the economic conditions or was it business as usual?

AJ: This year's MIDEM did not have the amount of attendees that I would have expected from the various countries. I assume that the economic downturn, combined with the inability of internet based companies to turn a profit, have narrowed the attendees showing. Many internet-based music companies I had seen in past years are no longer in business.

3. What were some of your MIDEM 2009 highlights?

AJ: Attending the inauguration festivities in the Sunset Marquis VIP area stands out as the highlight of this year's MIDEM. Meeting international company owners in a much more relaxed atmosphere and conversing without a time schedule has helped develop lasting relationships.

4. What are some notable projects or releases we can expect to see in 2009?

AJ: Our companies new relationship with MusicDish heads the list of notable projects for 2009. Additionally we have released Charito (Japanese jazz vocalist) and have a never-before released album by reggae prince Dennis Brown. Our publishing arm now administrates worldwide the Dennis Brown catalog and we look forward to our newest venture, the new japanese publishing house C.T.Publishing (exclusively for jazz & blues).


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