Indie Music Biz Gathers @MIDEM To Create Global Manifesto
Indie Music Biz Gathers @MIDEM To Create Global Manifesto

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Jan. 31, 2012 | NEWS
Backbeat: Topspin CEO Ian Rogers' Haircut Heard 'Round The World @ A2IM MIDEM Party
By Louis Hau, Cannes

On Monday, the American Assn. of Independent Music held the second of its three MIDEM cocktail parties at Riviera Hall. Among those in attendance was a figure who prompted double-takes when he took the stage earlier in the day to host MIDEM's Visionary Monday program: Topspin CEO Ian Rogers.

Without long hair.

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From left, TAG Strategic managing partner Ted Cohen, A2IM director of member services Jennifer Masset and Topspin CEO Ian Rogers. (Photo: Louis Hau)

"I've had it long, short -- it was just time," said Rogers, who quickly became the target of good-natured ribbing by fellow A2IM members when a reporter began asking about his newly shorn locks. His streamlined profile will help when he runs the Los Angeles Marathon this spring to help raise funds for Dangerbird Records co-founder/CEO Jeff Castelaz's Pablove Foundation.

"It's the most shocking unshocking thing I've done," Rogers joked about his haircut. "It's not like I got my eyeballs pierced."

To read the rest of this article, click here.


Jan. 31, 2012 | Q&A
EMI Music VP of Digital Projects Neil Tinegate On App Development @ MIDEM
By Louis Hau, Cannes

Back in November, EMI Music unveiled its OpenEMI initiative, launching a developer "sandbox" on application platform the Echo Nest. App developers get access to a major label's music, as well as videos, photos and other creative assets. EMI gets to harness the creativity of the developer community to find new ways to monetize its catalog.

Revenues from any commercially developed apps are split between EMI and other rights holders, who collect a combined 60%, and the developers, who also retain ownership of the intellectual property they create in the app. In March, two apps are scheduled to debut, the first OpenEMI projects to be released commercially: a melody-matching keyboard game and a slickly designed box set-like app incorporating music from the Blue Note catalog.

In an interview on the sidelines of MIDEM, EMI Music VP of digital projects Neil Tinegate spoke with Billboard.biz about the progress of OpenEMI.

What's been the response so far to OpenEMI?
We've got a great response from people in the music industry and we've got a great response from tech people as well. We've had a lot of pats on the back. We've now got several hundred people registered, around 300-something at the moment. We see it as a first step.

Who are some of the artists on the platform?

Robbie Williams is the latest artist to go into OpenEMI. We launched with Gorillaz, they really speak to the tech demographic. We've got Evanescence who came on just before Christmas, and then we've got people like Tinie Tempah, Professor Green, big U.K. acts and we're putting more and more on all the time. We've got another big announcement coming in six weeks, another substantial artist coming on board. What we want to do is end up with the whole catalog on there. That's eventually where we want to be.

When you approach artists about getting their music on OpenEMI, are you specifically thinking of acts that will appeal to the developer community?

Yes, in some sense ones that will appeal to a particular demographic, who can sell an iPhone app, and therefore that tends to excite developers as well. So we've got a lot of artists that developers will like and that will sell a lot of albums and sell digital applications whether that's on a Web service, whether that's on an iPad or an iPhone or an Android [handset] or some other mobile device. Robbie's management IE Music was really excited about putting his back catalog onto OpenEMI. Those guys were really excited about the digital initiatives that could be opened up by doing something like that.

You've got some apps that you're preparing for commercial release.

In our pipeline, we've got six to eight [we're considering for release]. The first one is a keyboard-melody matching game, we're going to brand with our Now That's What I Call Music! brand and we're going to launch that in the U.K. and the U.S., coming out probably towards the end of March, maybe mid-March if we're lucky.

Will the app be free to download?

Yes. The idea with that one is to give the app away for free, and even give one track away for free with it so that users can fully interact, people can get to know the game and enjoy the game, and then hopefully they'll like it so much that they'll buy the [additional] tracks. The interesting thing about that one is that not only is it melody-matching as opposed to rhythm matching, it's actually educational. So you learn the song on the keyboard and you can transpose it to a real piano and you'll be able to play that song.

You also have a Blue Note app coming.
We worked with guys from Groovebug and we created a beautifully branded Blue Note kind of coffee table app, which is a digital living box set. What that gives you access to is, yes, loads of content on Blue Note artists such as biographies, photos from the Blue Note archives, similar artist recommendations within the Blue Note catalog. But the key thing is you can stream the Blue Note content -- full-length tracks. We're working out now just how big of a catalog we're going go with at [launch] and we're working out how it's going to look. We're working out whether it's a paid-for app with all the content or a subscription model where you pay monthly to get access to the entire catalog. We're still trying to figure out what exactly our go-to-market strategy will be, but those are the kinds of ideas we're kicking around.

Which app categories are attracting the most attention among OpenEMI developers?
We've got a lot of stuff. We've had some really cool stuff we didn't even think of, people doing visual representations of an artist's catalog. [One] came out of Boston Music Hack Day. It's quite hard to describe in words, but it's almost like a page of blue, and it goes from light blue to dark blue and that might represent danceability of music. Then you start with a smooth pixel and go to a rougher pixel on a different axis, and that might represent tempo. And then you can start to draw lines and create playlists visually. Anywhere you click in that shaded blue screen would be a track, so if you drew a line through the screen you'd get a number of different tracks. You might go, "I want to start off slow and build" or "I want to start quickly and slow down." It's just like, you know, we'd never think of that.

We've had [other kinds of apps], people who want to do remix, promo tools that can go alongside an album release. Then we've got the packaging the catalog [apps], such as the work we're doing with Groovebug bringing out the Blue Note living digital box, through to games such as the real-keys game, which has got the education element to it. So there is no one kind of thing, people are just coming up with loads of great stuff.

When we get these guys on board and they want to do something commercial with us, we work with them every week. The ones we're bringing to the market currently, we have weekly meetings with those guys we discuss the product, we discuss the go-to-market strategy, we discuss pricing. It's a real kind of partnership and a real team effort to get the products done.


Jan. 31, 2012 | NEWS
Backbeat: Joss Stone, Tom Silverman, Richard Gotterher @ Kobalt MIDEM Party
By Louis Hau and Andrew Hampp, Cannes

ahdritz
From left: Attorney Patrick Grafton Green; Kobalt's Willard Ahdritz; Staffan Boström, Kobalt's long-time attorney and a partner at the Stockholm law firm of Bird & Bird; Ralph Simon, co-founder of Zomba Group and CEO of the Mobilium Advisory Group. (Photo: Louis Hau)

Kobalt Music Group hosted a party Monday night at the Carlton Hotel, where Kobalt clients Joss Stone and Paul van Dyk made appearances. Also on hand was Chris Rea. No, not that Chris Rea -- this one recently earned his master's degree at Goldsmiths, University of London and works at design agency Stromatolite. Rea joked that his name comes in handy when he calls for restaurant reservations.

Kobalt had plenty of copies on hand of the Jan. 28 issue of Billboard featuring founder/CEO Willard Ahdritz on the cover. The publishing company has been branching out into new markets of late, acquiring AWAL as part of a new label-services division and creating a neighboring-rights wing of the company to collect artist performance royalties for its stable of musicians that includes Pearl Jam, Tiësto, LMFAO and Joss Stone.

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Angel or devil? Kobalt founder and CEO Willard Ahdritz and Billboard's Tommy Page attempt to recreate Ahdritz's Billboard cover, which made him quite the recognizable face around Cannes. (Photo: Andrew Hampp)

To read the rest of this article, click here.



Jan. 31, 2012 | NEWS
Future of Music Coalition's Artist Revenue Study @MIDEM: Fan-Funding, Grants Outweigh Merch, Sponsorship
By Glenn Peoples (@billboardglenn), Cannes

The first results of the Future of Music Coalition's Artist Revenue Stream project http://futureofmusic.org/article/research/artist-revenue-streams show the average musician gets more from fans and grants than merchandise and corporate sponsorships. The cross-genre research project collected data on over 5,000 US-based musicians and composers. A "first look" white paper was prepared for MIDEM and released Monday.

Twelve percent of artists surveyed reported making any money from merchandise in the previous 12 months. Overall, merchandise accounted for just 2 percent of all respondents' income. Rock artists reported the highest share of merchandise revenue as a percent of total revenue (6 percent) followed by hip hop artists (5 percent) and country artists (2 percent). Merchandise accounted for less than 1 percent of jazz and classical artists' income.

Guest Post: Artist Revenue Stream Survey -- The Importance of Being Data, by John Simson

Sponsorship revenue is almost nonexistent for the group of musicians surveyed. Corporate sponsorships accounted for 4 percent of all artists' income, although the FMC notes some corporate backing is non-financial and thus the value was not reported. This is not a surprise. Corporate dollars are distributed to relatively few artists (the more popular) and in relatively few genres (pop, hip hop, R&B, rock, country).

The survey is a reminder that musicians are a diverse group of professionals. Many professionals who don't sell T-shirts or attract corporate interest took part in the survey: songwriters, composers, salaried orchestra players, session musicians and teachers. This diverse group of musicians relies more on non-traditional revenue streams: Funding received directly from fans accounted for 7 percent and grants made up 10 percent of artists' income.

Billboard's Midem 2012 Blog

The music business looks different from the top, however. Because merchandise plays an important role for more successful artists, merchandising companies have been vertically integrated into larger companies (Bravado and Universal Music Group, Musictoday and Live Nation). Corporate brands are doing multi-million-dollar deals with successful artists. Artists' contracts with record labels in some cases have evolved to incorporate these changes by giving labels a cut of these revenue streams.

The 5,000-plus musicians who took part in the survey include full- and part-time musicians, teachers, session musicians, TV and film composers and songwriters. The median gross income of the respondents was $55,561 (well above the US median income of $39,000, notes the FMC). The estimated amount of average music-related income was $34,455. Only 42 percent of respondents derive all of their income from music.


Jan. 31, 2012 | NEWS
Mark Ronson Discusses 'Move To The Beat,' His Olympic Anthem For Coca-Cola @MIDEM
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes

Mark Ronson (Center) with Wendy Clark, Coca Cola senior VP (left) and Topspin founder/CEO Ian Rogers (right), discussed the mulit-faceted tracks he is creating for the Coca-Cola's Olympic Anthem at MIDEM'S Visionary Monday Q&A session. (Photo: 360 Media / Image & Co)

If K'naan's "Wavin' Flag" set the template for what Coca-Cola could do with music in 2010 (the track was selected as Coke's theme for the FIFA World Cup), just brace yourself for Mark Ronson's "Move to the Beat" campaign.

Ronson is the production whiz behind a new Olympic anthem that sees him collaborating with five Olympic global ambassadors to incorporate signature sounds from their respective sports - table tennis, hurdling, sprinting, archery and taekwondo - and featuring different vocalists to activate the song across 100 different countries.

Beginning in February, Katy B will be featured as the lead vocalist on the track as it debuts in the U.K., the U.S. and other territories where Ronson is well-known. A global commercial starring Ronson and Katy B as well as a feature-length documentary on the song's creative process will roll out closer to the summer games.

Ronson is currently collaborating with Music Dealers, a global music-licensing firm in which Coke has a minority stake, to select vocalists for other territories. Inspired by the success of "Wavin' Flag," Ronson is keenly aware of the pressure to set a new precedent.

"It used to be, 'if it doesn't do well don't worry about it,'" he told Topspin's Ian Rogers during a Monday keynote at MIDEM. "Now it's, 'We need to have a banger.'"

For Coke's Wendy Clark, senior VP of integrated marketing communications and capabilities, the campaign will be measured in its virality. "We want everything to be share-worthy so that it can spread," she said. "We're lucky to have 37 million fans on our Facebook fan page. As marketers if we don't take advantage of that, give them content or things to spread, shame on us. It's a built-in opportunity for us to do better."


Jan. 31, 2012 | NEWS
The Future of Cloud Music Debated by Publishers, Rights Holders, Digital Services @MIDEM
By Louis Hau, Cannes

midem
From left: CISAC director general Olivier Hinnewinkel, who introduced the panel; moderator Emmanuel Legrand, a journalist and consultant; Scott Bagby, head of strategic partnerships at Rdio; Richard Conlon, BMI senior VP of corporate strategy, communications and new media; SACEM VP Thierry Desurmont; Merlin head of business affairs/general counsel Charlie Lexton; Ben McEwen, director of online licensing at PRS for Music; Mitch Rubin, head of music publishing business affairs at Nokia; and Jens-Markus Wegener, managing director at AMV Talpa GmbH (Photo: Louis Hau/Billboard)

CANNES -- Over the past year, cloud-based music lockers have begun entering the mainstream, embraced by major players like Apple, Amazon and Google. But as was obvious Tuesday during a MIDEM panel discussion on the topic, there are still many questions about what cloud services should be and where they're headed.

As noted by PRS for Music director of online licensing Ben McEwen, the term "cloud" is applied to such a wide range of services that it's important to be specific when discussing business models. The bulk of Tuesday's discussion focused on cloud storage services, including those to which consumers upload songs and those that offer scan-and-match capabilities.

Richard Conlon, BMI's senior VP of corporate strategy, communications and new media dismissed arguments that accessing music stored in a cloud locker is not a commercial activity -- that is, one that shouldn't trigger payments back to rights holders.

"That's a bunch of baloney," Conlon said. "It IS a commercial activity."

When AMV Talpa managing director Jens-Markus Wegener expressed wariness over the fact that cloud lockers don't distinguish between purchased downloads and illegally acquired content, Rdio head of strategic partnerships Scott Bagby responded that "the majority of consumers want to pay artists, they want to do the right thing." But Bagby added that it is vital for rights holders to provide music at a cost that can accommodate pricing that will appeal to consumers.

Mitch Rubin, head of music publishing business affairs at Nokia, encouraged music companies to be more flexible in their licensing terms. "The more innovation, the better for everyone," he said. Conlon said right holders aren't looking to force rates in the marketplace that aren't economically viable. "It's not about rights enforcement," he said, "but about making markets and putting a layer of economy over these activities."

As for what type of cloud service is likely to prevail, McEwen said scan-and-match services are clearly more convenient for consumers than those that require them to upload tracks. But he predicted that even scan-and-match will merely be "a stepping stone between downloading and an access model."

The access model is what online subscription services began offering long before "cloud" became a fashionable term to throw around. As more consumers access services like Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody on their smartphones, the oldest type of cloud service may ultimately prove to be one that prevails.

Charlie Lexton, head of business affairs/general counsel for indie global rights body Merlin, said ease of use will win the day. "As a consumer, in my personal view, the models like Rdio are far more preferable because I don't have to do anything," he said.


Jan. 31, 2012 | NEWS
Facebook's Dan Rose Talks Music, App Economy, Skrillex @MIDEM Keynote Q&A (VIDEO)
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes

Watch live streaming video from midem at livestream.com

In just four months, Facebook has become a major player in music streaming. Since the launch of Facebook Music in September, the social-networking giant has helped Spotify skyrocket to over 3 million users in the U.S. and significantly raise the profiles of services like Rdio and Mog. And with 5 billion songs shared on Facebook since September alone, the site's data reveals a few trends that even SoundScan doesn't always pick up.

"When we looked at the top 100 songs shared on Facebook, it was a lot of the same songs you would discover if you looked on a Billboard chart," Facebook's VP of partnerships Dan Rose told Billboard editorial director Bill Werde in a keynote Q&A Monday. "Some artists aren't as famous globally but have local artists with pockets of fans. One example is Skrillex. [He's] not necessarily a top 10 artist, but two of [his] songs [were on our chart.] So that's one of the really powerful things about this. It's not just reinforcing the same songs everybody's listening to, but enabling artists to be discovered in ways that were never possible before at scale."

Facebook is also a booming marketplace for apps, particularly in Europe, where the app economy helped create 232,000 jobs in 2011.

Casual-gaming companies like Zynga, Wooga, Playfish and King.com are among Facebook's top developers worldwide. "At a time when everyone is talking about jobs, the companies I just mentioned are growing their companies and their employees by taking the categories they are in and making them social," Rose said. To see more of this article, including video of Dan Rose's Keynote, click here.

Dan Rose, Facebook's VP of Partnerships (right) interviewed by Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde at MIDEM's Keynote Q&A session. (Photo: MIDEM/360 Medias/Image & Co)



Jan. 31, 2012 | NEWS
German Politicians @ MIDEM Weigh in on Music Biz; GEMA Signs With Deezer
By Wolfgang Spahr, Cannes

"The German delegations are a mainstay of MIDEM and thus form part of its core," said MIDEM CEO Paul Zilk at the opening ceremony of the German joint stand on Sunday afternoon at MIDEM in Cannes. Numerous politicians flew from Germany in to Cannes to meet representatives of more than 200 German companies at their booths. At the center was a joint stand with over 100 small businesses.

Speaking to the over 300 guests at the opening ceremony held in Palais des Festivals in Cannes, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Hans-Joachim Otto, from Berlin, said: "The music industry is still operating in a difficult economic environment. It faces significant changes in the value chain, through the rapid development of the Internet and digital technologies, and the effects of the global financial and economic crisis on the music market. We have many talented musicians with a high degree of professionalism. This makes it all the more important to ensure that they are given an international platform. Music not only has an important cultural and social function, it is also of great economic importance for us."

Addressing a reception at MIDEM, German State Minister of Culture and Media Bernd Neumann said: "The German federal government promotes the presence of artists from Germany, not only domestically but also as an export. Jazz musicians in particular are able to present themselves abroad and thus showcase music from Germany around the globe."

Billboard's Midem 2012 Blog

Dr. Harald Heker, CEO of the German collecting society GEMA in Munich, warned of not losing sight of the problem of online piracy in Germany. "Consumers can now buy more than 10 million tracks online in Germany. Even so, over 300 million tracks were still downloaded illegally in 2011. For this reason, the music industry continues to attach key importance to effective enforcement of copyrights." To read the rest of this article, click here.


Jan. 30, 2012 | NEWS
Google, Merlin, Amazon, Universal Reps Explore the Future of Digital Music @ MIDEM, Ted Cohen Referees
By Louis Hau, Cannes

midem

TAG Strategic managing partner Ted Cohen (far left) moderated an engaging panel discussion Monday about the digital music market. Participating in the discussion were four influential executives; from second-from-left: Merlin CEO Charles Caldas, Google director of content partnerships for Android Zahavah Levine, Amazon director of music content acquisition Craig Pape and Universal Music Group global digital business president Rob Wells.

Read Billboard.biz's Complete MIDEM Coverage Here

What follows are excerpts from their remarks:

The changing shape of the market
Wells: There is more than enough room...for new entrants, I don't think we've yet seen the critical mass of services that we really should enjoy. That goes against what some the pundits and commentators say. I think it is incorrect and inaccurate to assume that there is too much choice for consumers in the marketplace. How can there be too much choice for consumers in the marketplace when still a majority of consumers use illegal services to consume music?

Caldas: I think we will see more diversification both territorially and in terms of specialization. Unlike the physical market where we've come from a world of neighborhood and mom-and-pop stores to megastores, I think the digital evolution is happening in reverse. We started with the megastores and we're just seeing increased specialization around genre, around territory, around local repertoire.

Levine: We have partnerships with three of the four majors and over a thousand independent labels. We've got 250 million activated Android devices with 700,000 new devices being activated every day. This is a population that has been underserved, there hasn't been an integrated, easy, convenient music solution for Android users. And as a result, Android users, according to NPD data, purchased less in the past than iTunes users and we're going to change that. To read the rest of the article, click here.


Jan. 30, 2012 | NEWS
Vodafone, German Ad Agency TLGG Win MIDEM's First Marketing Campaign Competition
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes

German ad agency Torben, Lucie und die gelbe Gefahr GmbH (TLGG) was named the surprise winner of MIDEM's first Marketing Campaign Competition Monday, winning on behalf of client Vodafone. TLGG was one of 10 competitors selected by Contagious magazine and presented during a two-hour pitch session Saturday afternoon.

The global finalists included Airtel in South Africa, France's Carte Musique with agency Euro RSCG, Converse's Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, Anomaly's Instagrammed music video for The Vaselines and American Express and Digitas' global "Unstaged" program, among others. They were then judged by a panel consisting of Nick Bailey, executive creative director of AKQA Amsterdam; Ryan Fitch, music producer for Saatchi & Saatchi U.S.; Julie Nollet, international communications manager for Hennessy; Steve Mullins, content director for brand-e. Biz and Olivier Robert-Murphy, global head of new business for Universal Music Group UK.

Billboard's MIDEM 2012 Blog

For TLGG, the task was to create a social-media campaign for Vodafone that matched the company's super-fast mobile network with music. So the agency tapped German band Bakkushan to participate in a crowdsourced studio session in which they created micro-songs out of fans' tweets hashtagged "#tweetlied" or comments on Facebook, often with a turnaround of five minutes or less. The session extended across 11 real-time hours and was live-streamed, generating 62,000 video views and 17,000 new fans of Vodafone day-of alone. To read the rest of this article, click here.


Jan. 30, 2012 | NEWS
Video: MIDEM Hack Day Highlights: MyNight, Badgify, JPC2000, More
By Dan Rys, New York

The submissions from MIDEM's Hack Day were unveiled today in Cannes, with 18 apps and programs uploaded to the Hack Day's wiki page. The event was introduced at MIDEM on Saturday by SoundCloud VP of business development Dave Haynes and Six Two Productions CEO and creative technologist Martyn Davies, as thirty developers had 48 hours to create programs that they thought might be useful for musicians and music lovers alike. Here's a roundup of several highlights:

MyNight

Whether you're looking to groove on a particular playlist at a club, or you're a club looking to attract people who want to groove to a particular playlist, this is an app that brings both sides together. Spotify integration allows clubs to upload playlists for potential patrons to peruse, while club-goers can search for music and seek out clubs that will be playing the tunes they want to hear. Availability on as an iPhone app would allow people to suggest songs to the club that they might like to hear as well.

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Screenshot of the Spotify app for MyNight, created by Syd Lawrence at the MIDEM Hack Day.


Lyrics Postcard

A program that allows you to create slideshows from Facebook pictures, put them to music, and post them to your Facebook wall, using Rdio integration to grab the soundtracks. Social slideshow sharing, straight to Facebook.

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Screen grab of LyricsPostcard, created by Francesco Delfino of Musixmatch.

tourrent
Demo of Tourrent Plans, as presented by Ben Fields, a data scientist at Musicmetric.

JPC2000
Browser-based drum machine that allows you to assign an .mp3 to each drum pad and "play" it using the mouse or the keyboard of your computer. If mastered, it can be another outlet to spur creativity in production. To read the rest of this article, click here.


Jan. 30, 2012 | NEWS
Backbeat: Merlin, Spotify, Other Music Biz Execs Converge on Carlton Hotel Bar @ MIDEM
By Louis Hau, Cannes

The bar at the Carlton Hotel was bustling again Sunday night as MIDEM attendees returned from late meetings, dinners and MIDEM Festival performances, including the Ting Tings at Chapiteau Croisette.

caldas
Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin, the global rights body for independent labels, chatted with employees from Spotify. Caldas praised Spotifyfor injecting new life in the online subscription music market and said Merlin members appear to be optimistic about their prospects for the new year. The Spotify guys? Please refer all questions to our corporate communications, they said. From left, Merlin CEO Charles Caldas, Spotify licensing director Elias Raam, Spotify European head of licensing Guillaume Arth and Spotify labor relations director Sung-kyu Choi. (Photo: Louis Hau)

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From left: Ariel Publicity president Ariel Hyatt, Copyright Exchange GM Chip Petree, Major Bob Music director of A&R Jesse Frasure, Downtown Music Publishing VP of music licensing Sean McGraw, McCann Erickson senior VP/group strategy partner Julianna Katrancha, Downtown Music Services senior VP of creative Jedd Katrancha and Billboard branding reporter Andrew Hampp. (Photo: Louis Hau)


Jan. 30, 2012 | NEWS
Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts Declares Death of Marketing, Future of Movements @ MIDEM
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes

It wouldn't be a marketing festival in Cannes (home to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity) without at least one ad agency exec declaring the death of some common practice. At MIDEM's Visionary Monday, Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts was that executive.

"Marketing is dead," he said in his opening keynote speech at Debussy Auditorium. "We have got a much higher calling now. Your role is not to market stuff at people, but to create a movement. You've got to create a movement and inspire people to join your movement, whether that's an artist or a venue…We've moved from interruption to interaction."

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Saatchi and Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts declares the death of marketing at MIDEM (Photo: ©360 Medias/Image & Co)

Other terms Roberts is tired of? "Return on investment," or ROI ("something Guy Hands never understood," he joked), which he believes should be dubbed "return on involvement." He's also not too keen on "brands," preferring the term Lovemarks, a concept famously used to attract Saatchi clients like JC Penney and the subject of his 2004 book "Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands."

The future of advertising is a "VUCA world" to Roberts, in which the VUCA acronym can mean one of two things: Volatile Uncertain Complex and Ambiguous, or Vibrant Unreal Crazy and Astounding. "All the meetings are an exercise in futility. You just gotta give it a crack," he said.

One Saatchi client making music strategies work for its brand is T-Mobile, which Roberts said has seen a 52% increase in sales due to the use of music "in a very dramatic way." Similarly, Toyota has helped raise the profile of admittedly "boring" vehicles like the Sienna minivan through music-based campaigns like 2010 viral hit "Swagger Wagon." (Toyota sister brand Scion is also well-known for its music programs, though Roberts didn't mention the brand specifically).

"We're using music now in every way, shape or form. We're innovating, working with startups, having writers write, having artists approach us, directors approach us, big stars wanting to do stuff for us," Roberts said.

Jan. 30, 2012 | NEWS
Indie Music Biz Gathers @MIDEM To Create Global Manifesto
By Lars Brandle, Cannes

Leaders of the independent music community gathered in MIDEM this week to hammer-out the first global manifesto, a 10-point blueprint which is hoped could pave the path to a better future for the indie sector.

The overarching theme of the manifesto, explains the UK's Association of Independent Music CEO and WIN Chairperson Alison Wenham, is that "we want to be treated fairly. It's about equitable and fair treatment for artists."

The manifesto draws up statements around the role of collecting societies, new business models, and on the creation of a database, which the indies will set a deadline on and take into their own hands if necessary. Also, the document drills into market access and calls for support from governments in the way the film industries are recognized. And there's debate around piracy and copyright, words which Wenham explains, "We want to eliminate from our language."

Wenham adds, "We need an international voice for advocacy. We have WIN (the Worldwide Independent Network). But WIN needs to step up," she admits. "We have some ideas for that."

The indies' "10 commandments" was formed during a three-hour summit Monday in Cannes, which gathered some eighty independent music executives and was chaired by Jonas Sjostrom, chairman of Sweden's SOM. Speakers confirmed for event included Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills, Impala Executive Chair Helen Smith and A2IM President Rich Bengloff.

"We were in almost unanimous agreement across the room," comments Mark Chung, chairman of Germany's independent music company's trade association VUT.

Some of those participants gathered today to present those 10 points. Wenham dispelled a myth that the indies hated the majors. Paraphrasing PIAS co-founder Michel Lambot, she said, "We don't dislike the majors. We'd just like more of them." Admitting the comment was counter-intuitive, she remarked, "Plurality, we think, is a source of creativity."

The indies will commune again for a summit in New York this June, when it is anticipated the manifesto would be ratified.

"So many of the big issues in our community -- issues of piracy and copyright - have been hijacked," says Wenham. "We need to get back to basics".

Jan. 30, 2012 | NEWS
Midemlab Winners Announced: Apsmart's MPme, LiveOne's Crowdsurfing, Ovelin's WildChords
By Louis Hau, Cannes

Midemlab Contest Winners (From left): Thibaud Morin, Vivendi senior VP of business innovation; Ovelin co-founder/CEO Christoph Thür; National Digital Council chairman Gilles Babinet; LiveOne Group principal Tim Ganschow; Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley; GigaOM CEO Paul Walborsky; Apsmart founder Rahul Powar; Anne de Kerckhove, director of Reed MIDEM's entertainment division; and Topspin CEO Ian Rogers. (Photo: Louis Hau)

The winners of the second Midemlab contest were announced Monday in the following three categories:

Music Discovery, Recommendation and Creation
MPme by Apsmart (U.K.)
MPme.com
Curated radio application for the iPad with social functions. iPhone and Android versions in the works.

Marketing and Social Engagement
CrowdSurfing by LiveOne Group (USA)
LiveOneGroup.com
Application that builds social environments around streaming audio or video content.

Direct-to-Consumer Sales and Content Monetization
WildChords by Ovelin (Finland)
WildChords.com
iPad game that encourages users to learn guitar chords. Ovelin plans to eventually adapt the game to other instruments.

Ovelin Co-founder/CEO Christoph Thür goes through a demo of WildChords. (Photo: Louis Hau)


Jan. 29, 2012 | NEWS
Seymour Stein Honored With Billboard's Icon Award @MIDEM
By Louis Hau, Cannes

Seymour Stein
From left: Billboard Associate Publisher (and former Sire recording artist) Tommy Page, Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein, Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, MIDEM director Bruno Crolot (Photo: MIDEM)

CANNES -- Billboard honored Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein Sunday as the first recipient of its Icon Award, which recognizes the lifetime achievements of industry executives. Stein received the award during a breakfast at Cannes' Carlton Hotel before an audience that included Stein's Sire co-founder and longtime friend Richard Gottehrer (now of the Orchard) and other colleagues, friends, family members and industry luminaries. Head here to read the full article.


Jan. 29, 2012 | NEWS
Getty Images Music Teams With Joss Stone, Indie Artists for Guestlist @MIDEM
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes

joss stone
Brian Nelson (Joss Stone's manager and cofounder of Stone'd Records) with Stone, before announcing their Getty Images Music partnership (Photo: Andrew Hampp/Billboard)

After teaming up with Atom Factory Music Licensing last fall for a commercial licensing partnership, Getty Images Music is making further strides into music supervision with a new project, Guestlist. The service will include new, cherry-picked tracks from artists like Joss Stone as well as indie artists like Visqueen, J-Zone, Melissa Ferrick, the Peach Kings and Simian Ghost, among others. Initial label partners include Playground Music, Joss Stone's label Stone'd Records, Joan Jett's Blackheart Records and Uncensored Interview.

For the newly D.I.Y. Stone, Guestlist represents the latest endeavor in her quest to call the shots on her career. She founded Stone'd Records last year after her tumultuous four-album deal with EMI came to an end after 2009's "Colour Me Free," and recently released the first of two records cut with producer Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) last summer ("LP1.") The second release, tentatively titled "Homemade Jam," is slated for release later this year.

"I think it's important for every artist really, especially now for myself and [my manager] Brian [Nelson] setting up Stone'd Records. We're trying to find different avenues to the normal ones," Stone told Billboard from the VIP Suites at Cannes' Palais des Festivals et des Congres. A veteran of many brand meetings from her days at EMI, Stone has only a few criteria for potential synch and commercial requests. "I like nice things, pretty thing happy things. No McDonald's, no cigarettes, no horrible nastiness. It's important to look at the artist you're working with, and obviously Getty knows that. You have to look at artist and what they represent, what they're saying. Even what kind of style they wear if it's an image thing."

Melinda Lee, director of Getty Images Music, said Guestlist was created specifically for high-profile projects that ad agencies and TV/film music supervisors have been seeking out. "Everyone's looking for new, fresh tracks that are meeting the trend or trend-setting. We're trying to refresh that," Lee told Billboard. "Music supervisors have quite an opinion, we're making it easy for them to do their jobs."


Jan. 29, 2012 | Q&A
Sony's Tim Schaaff Answers Five Questions @MIDEMEM
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes

Sony's Music Unlimited, an iTunes-esque music downloading service, has been heavily scrutinized ever since its launch as Qrocity last year. Initially plagued by a hacking scandal that affected some 77 million accounts across Sony's PlayStation network, Music Unlimited has since fallen under the radar amid major user growth for similar services like Spotify, Mog and Rdio.

Although the company has announced that Music Unlimited has 1 million active users across all Sony devices, the service still has a ways to go before it's taken seriously by consumers and its ever-expanding competitive roster. This is all too apparent to Tim Schaaff, president of Sony's Entertainment Network division, who sat down with Billboard at MIDEM for a 30-minute discussion about the company's future plans for expanding Music Unlimited, its relationship with Spotify and bouncing back from the hacking scandal. Below are excerpts from the discussion.

Billboard.biz: Music Unlimited has one million active users but still hasn't gained much traction among consumers. How will you boost that awareness this year?
Tim Schaaff: You're gonna see two things. One, Sony investing to bring this story to the retail front. You'll also see Sony on a global basis in a global marketing campaign, whether that's TV ads or print, all talking about Sony Entertainment Network in a big way. It's not simple what we do at the retail front, it's also the messaging we deliver through all the other advertising and promotional channels we have access to. That's the beginning.

Will Sony artists be a part of that messaging?
I certainly would expect so. For some of the things we do that's an important part of the marketing strategy. We do that already for ordinary consumer electronics marketing.

Sony Entertainment Network launched in September, the same time that Facebook Music was introduced and helped raise the profiles of Spotify, MOG and Rdio. Many analysts look at Music Unlimited and say, why bother? What do you say to that?

A couple things. First of all, I would say this is going to be a long competition. This is not a sprint, this is a marathon. We feel very confident that it's going to take a concerted investment over a long period of time to really get where we want to get….We licensed music to more than 250 different services last year, so in some senses it's a very crowded marketplace. Really the basic reason why we would do this is we believe we can bring something of value to the marketplace, a meaningful innovation to the marketplace….Sony is an innovative product company and it has always been in our DNA to want to make those kinds of products.

What's your take on what Spotify is bringing to the marketplace from a revenue perspective? Are you satisfied with the current royalty structure?
I don't know anything about how they do their deal [with the labels]. But what I can say in general about the business relationship between us and recording labels and publishers is that we're a fully licensed service and we're paying our bills on time. I think there's a good amount of revenue going into the labels that's great for the industry. I think everybody's going to benefit form that.

The network hack last spring sent major ripples through your company and the entertainment industry. How will you earn back the trust of your consumer this year?
We're quite confident at this point that consumer trust in what we've built is as strong as ever. We've seen record-breaking engagement in our network in the last few weeks -- bigger than ever before. We feel quite confident that consumers are back and we're really talking about where are we going with our products, what are the innovations we're trying to bring to the market… Looking back at what happened last year we invested a lot of money to improve the security of our network. Continuing in that investment, the company announced we hired a chief information security officer, Phil Reitinger, to come and help the company as a whole improve the way we approach security as a company. Not just in the context of what happened back in April, because we all can see the world in the changing dynamic. You read every single day about threats to services, threats to people's personal information, threats to some of their national infrastructure all arising and becoming very tangible as all of our lives are getting connected to this internet. We've taken a very strong set of actions to enhance the security provisions. I think we're doing what we need to do. We've moved on and are looking forward at what's coming.


Jan. 29, 2012 | PANEL
U2 Manager Paul McGuinness On Spotify, Piracy & Tech: His Five Best @MIDEM Quotes
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes


Lightning Rod: U2 manager Paul McGuinness (left), pictured next to entertainment lawyer Pierre-Marie Bouvery, made his first speaking appearance at MIDEM since his famous rant against ISPs in 2008. (Photo: Andrew Hampp)

The last time U2 manager Paul McGuinness spoke at MIDEM, he sparked a global debate about how internet-service providers should be playing a more involved role in piracy solutions. For his first formal MIDEM appearance in four years, McGuinness spoke at length about his current thoughts about the role of ISPs and companies like Google in the piracy debate, the progress (or lack thereof) of SOPA and why services like Spotify haven't quite replaced the importance of radio when it comes to debuting his clients' music.

Below are five excerpts from an hour-long press conference titled "Commerce of Chaos: Why Copyright still Matters Online," where McGuinness appeared alongside former Billboard editor Robert Levine (author of content copyright book "Free Ride.")

McGuinness on ISPs:
"The thing that puzzles me still about this huge question is why the technology companies, to describe them in a generic way - but I include the ISPs, manufacturers of the machines, the Googles and so on - why are they not more far-sighted? Why are they not more generous? Why are they not bringing the things they really do understand - and they're incredibly clever people with enormous resources - why are they not trying to solve the future in a more generous way? Ultimately it is in their interest that the flow of content will continue, and that won't happen unless it's paid for. Though there is some improvement in the digital environment in terms of people getting paid , the vast majority of content distributed through their pipes is not paid for. That's, in my view, utterly, utterly wrong. I don't think we can rely on politicians who are afraid of being unpopular to accomplish this without some real willingness - as I say, generosity - on the part of the technology area which…has shown this in the last few weeks to be very well able to make its case in a popular way. Never underestimate the ability of a monopoly to defend itself.

McGuinness on piracy:
There's always been a lot of inconsistency and hypocrisy in this area as the debate takes place. It amused me a few years ago when one of the guys that ran the late, lamented Limewire service, he was asked "would it be possible to get a free download of the Limewire software?" And he said "No, no you don't understand our business. We have engineers and designers, guys working around the clock on these algorithms. We couldn't possibly distribute them for nothing." Obviously that begged the question, why in that case were they making available all the work that record companies and filmmakers and producers have been spending all their time and their money on? People get confused about this… I was making a speech to quite a hostile audience in Bussels a few years ago, talking at a shop called the European Internet Foundation. The chairwoman was a German MEP [Model European Parliament] and she - as I say it was quite a rowdy, hostile audience. It was after dinner, which probably isn't the right way to discuss these things, and she'd had enough of what I was saying. And she was saying, [affects German accent] "Oh shut up." Oh, now I'm just doing a German accent. But, "Oh shut up. You're only here to talk about more taxes." I said, "Madam I beg your pardon I'm not here to talk about more taxes, I'm talking about workers and let me remind you voters getting paid for their work."

McGuinness on Apple and Google:

Their ruthlessness applies to the quality of their products and design, so you can kind of put up with it. They didn't invent the MP3, they just made the best one. It's always challenging to negotiate with them. The problem with the way in which Google - and again I'm generalizing - Google are just so much the biggest force in this argument we might as well call it "Google And Their Allies." They turned the political environment on its head in the last few weeks. They were using viral marketing techniques, if you like, that are now commonplace in American politics. Obama was the first person to do this in a very big way. The fact that Google were able to turn their entire network in to a lobbying device does not really mean that every single person who took the pox considered the arguments. It seems to me what was going on in American politics, the general consensus was on the need to fight piracy. They had an all-party support for politicians, who thought they had it pretty much squared away. But they were wrong and they did not calculate on the enormous amount of opposition that could be rallied. It really wasn't a debate it was a demonstration, really. I'm sorry it happened that way.

McGuinness on the future of music-subscription models:
I would hope in a few years' time we'll be sitting in a room saying, "What was all that fuss about? Now that we get our music and pay for it through our phone bills and ISP bills. Why did it take so long to get it together?"

McGuinness on Spotify:
Spotify ultimately is a good thing. [But] is it a means of monetizing distribution for product or is it a promotional medium? At the moment I'm inclined to treat it as a promotional medium. If we have to choose where to put records on their debut we're unlikely to give it to Spotify. I'd rather give it to a DJ on a great station. We have arrangements like that around the world with people we've worked with over the years. Spotify has yet to become popular with artists because artists don't see the financial benefit of working with Spotify. That's partly the fault of the labels, and the labels partly own Spotify - and there's sufficient transparency. I see no reason why the basic Spotify model should not be part of the future. It is essentially honest so it's to be encouraged. I'd like to see it everywhere and adopted everywhere, quite honestly.


Jan. 29, 2012 | PANEL
Coca-Cola's Emmanuel Seuge, Billboard's Most Powerful Branding Exec, On Music Biz @MIDEM
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes


Coca-Cola's Emmanuel Seuge, head of music and entertainment marketing, talks Spotify and Music Dealers at MIDEM; Petter Wesslander (right), drummer for You Say France & I Whistle. (Photo: Andrew Hampp)

Will 50% of the music industry eventually be supported by ad revenue? The takeaway from a MIDEM panel Saturday afternoon was: most likely, and sooner than you think. Emmanuel Seuge, Coca-Cola's head of global entertainment and sports marketing (and Billboard's No. 16 most powerful person in music), pointed to his company's recent and upcoming investments as examples of how brands will play a more integrated role than ever in contributing to the music business' bottom line. As Billboard recently reported, Coca-Cola is expected to spend upwards of $200 million globally on music in 2012 across event, advertising and Olympics-related programs.

"We're very intrigued by the business model of Spotify - very interested in a strategic partnership with Spotify," Seuge said, hinting at a deal that could see a formal announcement in the coming weeks. "Four years ago we had an accelerated plan for music. Now we have 10 of our global brands that leverage music in some capacity. How do we think in a more innovative way about partnership from a real value -for-value perspective?"

Billboard Reveals the 2012 Power 100

A big part of delivering Coke's part of the value equation occurred last summer, when the company obtained a minority stake in global licensing firm Music Dealers. CEO Eric Sheinkop and Music Dealers artist Petter Wesslander appeared alongside Seuge on the panel, moderated by Deviant Artists' Umut Ozaydinli.

"If we want the brand to play a sustainable role, they need to raise the revenue the music industry is making. Otherwise the music industry is not interested in working with us," Seuge said. "It's important we create a return for the artist communities, for the players in the music industry. That's a value-for-value partnership."

In the case of Wesslander's band, Sweden's You Say France & I Whistle, the group was able to secure major synch placements with brands like Xbox, McDonald's, Orbitz and The Gap as a direct result of its work with Music Dealers. "For our clients, [the brand support] gave them confidence that this was a real band they should get behind," Music Dealers' Sheinkop said.

The band even started its own company, You Say Corporate, to focus more exclusively on music collaborations with brands - even if it involves a little input. "The collaboration was kind of hectic and we did change the song a couple times, but it all worked very smoothly through the process," Wesslander said of a recent brand partnership.


Jan. 28, 2012 | NIGHTLIFE
The Orchard Kicks Off MIDEM With Opening-Night Party
By Louis Hau, Cannes

From left, Orchard CEO Brad Navin; Colleen Theis, managing director of the U.K. and Europe for the Orchard; National Geographic Music VP Jeffrey Clyburn; and Liz Eve, international client relations director for the Orchard. (Photo: Louis Hau)

Deirdre O'Hara (left), manager of producer Mark Batson and Bat Music Future, with Bob Doyle, manager of Garth Brooks and the Band Perry. (Photo: Louis Hau)

The Orchard threw a MIDEM party at Villa d'Estelle in Cannes Saturday night, hosting executives from Orchard client labels, as well as such industry luminaries as Sire Records co-founders Seymour Stein, long-time Garth Brooks manager Bob Doyle and of course Sire and Orchard co-founder Richard Gottehrer. Stein is set to receive Billboard's inaugural Icon Awards at a ceremony on Sunday -- see him, Gottehrer, Ice-T, Tommy Ramone and members of the Talking Heads talk about Stein's illustrious career in this special tribute video.


Jan. 28, 2012 | PANEL
Midemlab Gets Under Way
By Louis Hau, Cannes

SoshiGames co-founder/commercial director Cliff Dennett explains his company's business model to (from left) moderator Martin Duval (CEO of Bluenove) and midemlab judges David Hyman (CEO of MOG), Dave Haynes (VP of business development for SoundCloud), Michael Paull (executive VP of global digital business for Sony Music Entertainment), Paul Brindley (CEO of Music Ally) and Michael Burnett (general partner at H-Farm). (Photo: Louis Hau)

The third annual midemlab pitch sessions got under way Saturday, as a panel of five judges listened to presentations by 10 start-up finalists vying in the category of music discovery, recommendation and creation.

The judges peppered the presenters with probing remarks about their business models. MOG CEO David Hyman told Lutz Villaba, CEO of web-based music aggregator Navegas, that combining music sources and services into a unified online experience could face problems from conflicting metadata. Sony Music Entertainment executive VP of global digital business Michael Paull warned Joel Resnicow, co-founder of social discovery/recommendation engine Rexly, that he faces heavy competition from other companies looking to provide content solutions. And Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley advised Thorsten Luettger, founder of social music service Musicplayr, that the company should focus on building up scale before turning to premium services.

On Sunday, the judges will size up presentations by start-ups competing in the categories of marketing and social engagement and direct-to-consumer sales and content monetization. The winners in each of the three categories will be announced Monday. Head here for profiles of all 30 finalists.

Jan. 28, 2012 | PANEL Preview
Can MIDEM Hack Day Help Cellist Zoe Keating Share Loops With Fans?
By Louis Hau, Cannes

About 30 developers are participating in the second MIDEM Hack Day, which was introduced Monday by SoundCloud VP of business development Dave Haynes (right) and Six Two Productions CEO and creative technologist Martyn Davies (left). They invited people on stage to pitch ideas to the developers. Cellist and composer Zoe Keating asked them to come up with an easy way for her to take all the loops she creates in the course of writing a song and share them with fans on SoundCloud, all tagged and packaged. Neil Tinegate, VP of digital products for EMI Music, suggested an app that rewards fans for listening to music by a particular artist, somewhat akin to a check-in service. Developers will present their creations on Monday. (Photo: Louis Hau)


Jan. 28, 2012 | PANEL
MIDEM's Direct2Fan Camp Panel: Social Media Not A Career Shortcut
By Louis Hau, Cannes

MIDEM's Direct2Fan Camp Panel: From left: moderator Whitesmith Entertainment co-founder/ manager Emily White, singer-songwriter Michelle Phelan, Berklee College of Music student Brielle Blount and Google head of global content programming for Android Tim Quirk. (Photo: Louis Hau)

A MIDEM panel on direct-to-fan tactics turned out to be full of cautionary advice for those who think online social networking and commerce tools can provide artists with shortcuts to building a career.

"You still have to do all the work," said Tim Quirk, Google's head of global content programming for Android and former singer for Too Much Joy.

Quirk reminded attendees that the basics haven't changed. One, make good music. Two, get your music in as many places as you can. And three, make it easy for people to find you.

The image of an artist who wants nothing but to stay locked away in a room to create is "an evil, pernicious myth" that has persisted "because it makes it easy to take advantage of artists," Quirk said. "You need to be aware of the business stuff," he said. "Direct-to-fan means you can slowly build your own team over time...people you trust."

Irish singer-songwriter Michelle Phelan said that she appreciates the control she has through her do-it-yourself approach to managing her career. But she also warns that it requires a lot of work. Phelan recalled sitting on her bed one day, "surrounded with contracts, dealing with accounts," when she had an epiphany. "Shit, when did I become an entrepreneur?" she said. "When did I become the CEO of my company?"

But Phelan sees it all as the price she has to pay to do things on her own terms. "It's what I have to do if I want to do it DIY," she said.



Jan. 28, 2012 | PANEL

MIDEM's Euro RSCG Pitch Session: The Sound of Sex & Music
By Andrew Hampp, Cannes

What is the sound of sex and music? For Reckitt-Benckiser's Durex condoms brand, it's "stuff that's got a big heart…something modern and different, please, that builds toward the end."

That was the directive from Alasdair Graham, executive creative director for Reckitt's ad agency Euro RSCG London, at a MIDEM pitch session Saturday in Cannes. Durex just debuted a new campaign for its Performax brand in the U.K., featuring his-and-hers turntables playing Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" at different speeds before eventually meeting at the same pace. The campaign will be accompanied by a Facebook game, "How in-sync are you?" that will feature new and established tracks that fans will need to adjust to play at the proper speed. That's where pitches for original music or out-of-the box synchs can come in, with submissions powered by Sonicbids. "It's gonna be about music creation for people, sharing," Graham told the crowd.

He shared one example of a song that wasn't the right fit - a hard-pounding techno track complete with a breathy female voiceover. "Personally, I don't mind that but it doesn't feel right for what we're trying to achieve here," Graham said dryly. "We're talking about the whole sex thing and not a lot of it makes you think of physical violence."

Graham then played snippets of three tracks that better conveyed Durex's sonic brand, including a song called "Sensuality" by Sahra. The gentle, acoustic track isn't the kind that immediately comes to mind for a condom commercial. "Sometimes exactly the right thing is to have a contrast rather than think about complimenting the images in some way," Graham said.

Other recent Euro campaigns to feature music include an ad for Unilever's Comfort fabric softener, which tapped The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain for a custom version of a popular song that brought the animated spot's energy to musical life.


Jan. 28, 2012 | PReview

MIDEM 2012 Starts, Attendance Up 12%
By Lars Brandle, Cannes

Damp and chilly conditions met the music industry as thousands gathered today in Cannes for the start of the annual MIDEM trade fair.

Organizer Reed Midem are boasting a rare rise in attendance for this year's confab. The gate is up 12%, the first gain reported in the past five years, MIDEM Director Bruno Crolot told an audience of international media early on. With attendance at roughly 6,900 and driven by the branding, technology and artist categories, this year's program has been configured -- and overhauled -- to reflect those demographics.

The new-look MIDEM was also designed to combat declining attendance and keep apace with the evolving music industry (http://blog.midem.com/2011/09/bruno-crolot-why-midem-had-to-change/). Gone is the MidemNet forum, and panel discussions are scattered across various rooms throughout the Palais des Festivals. Though the activity in the halls of the famous Cannes venue aren't as frenetic as in years past, Crolot is nevertheless pleased with the show's direction. "It's the year of reinvention," he admits. "For us, that (attendance figure) is a great result. We're very happy with that."

This year, 75 countries are represented at MIDEM, a figure that includes 11 new markets, Singapore being one of them.

Speakers and performers in the coming days include Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio and creator of Angry Birds, Grammy and Brit Award-winning artist Mark Ronson, British pop act the Ting Tings, and Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide of advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi.

MIDEM runs through Tuesday.

Jan. 25, 2012 | Preview
12 Things to Watch At MIDEM 2012
By Glenn Peoples, Nashville & Richard Smirke, London

When MIDEM convenes in Cannes Jan. 28-31, the event will once again draw participants from more corners of the globe than any other music business conference. In 2011, more than 6,800 participants from 77 countries and 3,120 companies participated in MIDEM, which is now in its 46th year.

How can one get a grasp on the numerous offerings at MIDEM?

For starters, Billboard offers this guide to 12 points to watch at MIDEM in 2012, from a trans-Atlantic perspective, as compiled by senior editorial analyst Glenn Peoples in the United States and contributor Richard Smirke in the United Kingdom.

1. Late-Night Thrills
Grammy Award-nominated alternative pop duo the Ting Tings and Belgian dance act 2ManyDJs are among the headline acts at the inaugural three-day MIDEM festival, which will run Jan. 28-30 and is open to all delegates and attendees. Set to take place in a 3,500-seat marquee on Palm Beach Croisette, with a limited number of tickets on sale to the public, the festival also will feature 21-year-old Belgian singer Selah Sue (Jan. 28), Paris-based folk-pop act Brigitte and controversial rapper Orelsan, commonly dubbed the French Eminem (both Jan. 30). As in previous years, Cannes' bars and clubs will once again showcase upcoming talent as part of "MIDEM Off." A Jan. 30 gala evening dedicated to classical music, meanwhile, will feature an exclusive performance from Classical BRIT Award-winning trumpet soloist Alison Balsom.

2. Hack-A-Thon
MIDEM's second Music Hack Day, which will actually run across three days (Jan. 28-30), promises to provide examples of the most exciting innovations taking place in the music industry. A group of 30 developers and graphic designers will have 48 hours to conceptualize and create their music apps. Previous Music Hack Days--regularly held in cities around the world--have resulted in apps that act like invisible instruments, take requests for a DJ using SMS messages or Twitter and mobile apps that take advantage of the open application programming interfaces of subscriptions services MOG and Rdio. Organizers will take the best ideas--a maximum of 20 will be accepted--from MIDEM registrants and present them to app developers. Selected ideas will be pitched to developers, who create an app based on all the ideas presented to them.

3. New Startups
For the first time, MIDEM's digital startup showcase Midemlab is open to non-music entrepreneurs and app developers, as well as music-focused organizations. Previous years heralded the launch of SoundCloud, the Echo Nest and Songkick. Will this edition debut similarly game-changing innovations? Among the 30 Midemlab finalists taking part in daily pitch sessions at the Innovation Factory, a new dedicated tech zone in the Riviera Hall, will be mobile music service ChartsNow, social discovery app Rexly, live streaming tool CrowdSurfing by LiveOne Group and Tastebuds, a dating site with a music focal point. At 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 28, the Next Web managing editor Martin Bryant will deliver "Pitching Your Startup or App to the Media." At 10:55 a.m. on Jan. 30, Rovio CEO Mikael Hed will discuss how he helped make Angry Birds one of the world's most popular apps.

4. Copyright--Too Long or Too Short?

Copyright is an evergreen topic in the music business. It's evolving and dynamic, too. In September, the European Union extended copyright for sound recordings to 70 years from 50 years. In the United States, Viacom is currently appealing its loss to YouTube concerning the "safe harbor" protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Panels at MIDEM 2012 will look at the developments in copyright change and reform, including "New Horizons in Copyright Law" with Lommen Abdo VP Kenneth Abdo; Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman's Bernard Resnick; and Sukin Law Group's Michael Sukin at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 28. Expect other discussions, covering everything from cloud technology to performance rights, to touch upon hot-button copyright issues as well. And for alternatives to copyright, TechDirt editor Mike Masnick will host a session at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 titled "How to Ignore Copyright and Still Make Money."

5. The Changing Role of Publishers
It's often said that recorded music looks more and more like the music publishing business. As new business models emerge, labels are monetizing their recordings by generating smaller amounts of revenue from a greater number of sources. Similarly, publishers are taking a more label-like role in their relationships with artists. A&R is hardly the domain of just labels. Today's music publisher takes an active role in artist development from the very early stages of a career. "Publishers As an Early Ally in an Artist's Career," at noon on Jan. 31, will delve into the ways music publishers have taken more of a leadership role in artist development. Among the panelists will be peermusic European creative director Fabien Bonnin and Songs Music Publishing CEO Matt Pincus. Expect the changing role of publishers to also be discussed in conversations about synch licensing and multi-rights contracts.

6. The Artist as a Brand
Artists aren't just musicians. They're businesses with identifiable brands that need to be crafted, nurtured and protected. The brand aspect of an artist's career becomes even more important as revenue from licensing and direct-to-fan sales constitutes a larger part of the overall mix. "Building Your Artist Brand As a Business," at 2 p.m. on Jan. 29, will feature Frukt Source editor Giles Fitzgerald and Greenberg Traurig partner Joel Katz. A legal workshop titled "Licensing 101 for Artists and Labels Going D2F," at 10:05 a.m. on Jan. 30, will offer tips from Kendrick Law managing partner James Kendrick and Field Fisher Waterhouse partner Louis Buchman. At 10 a.m. on Jan. 29, MIDEM will also offer "The Marketing Sandbox," an invite-only round table with key people from the world of branding, music and technology.

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