As the MIDEM convention winds down, the organization confirmed that attendance was about 7,200 - slightly ahead of its initial forecast of 7,000 - representing a 10% attendance decline from the previous year.

But participants relayed to Billboard.biz that while there were fewer delegates attending the convention, those in attendance were anxious to do deals.

The convention, which ran from Jan. 23-27 including the opening day of MidemNet, attracted 3,200 companies from 78 countries, MIDEM director Dominique Leguern said at the confab's closing press conference.

But importantly, 28% of those companies attended the convention for the first time, and most of that new presence came from the digital sector. "That shows the vitality of the platform," Leguern said.

Of course, she added, that even most traditional companies have a digital component so the transforming business model is reviving the convention and giving it an air of urgency. Moreover, she pointed out that MIDEM had created an iPhone application, which had been downloaded 4,200 times during the two-week period. That application includes the convention's schedule and a list of attendees.

The press conference included some attendees who testified to the effectiveness and relevance of the convention. Paulina Ahokas, director of Music Export Finland said, "Deals are getting done here, really concrete deals."

Activision VP of music affairs Timothy Riley said the company used the convention to give up-and-coming bands a chance to be included in one of Activision's video games. Last year it was "Guitar Hero," this year it's "DJ Hero."

"We have a drop box here where you can drop off music," Riley said, adding that music can also be sent to the company for inclusion in the contest by uploading music through Sonicbids.

Last year, Activision chose to include Attack! Attack!'s song "You and Me" on "Guitar Hero 5." Activision has sold over 40 million copies of "Guitar Hero" and while he was unsure of the exact sales for "DJ Hero," he said it was over a million units.