MIDEM, the international music industry convention, and its digitally focused MidemNet Forum will open shop Jan. 23-27 in Cannes. The events will draw some 10,000 executives from nearly 100 countries, representing the recording, publishing, live, synch, digital and mobile sectors. Discussions at MIDEM result in hundreds of deals that determine the flow of repertoire and income around the globe. In our MIDEM preview, in the issue dated Jan. 23, are examples of 15 such deals from MIDEM that drove the business in the past year. Below, five bonus deals exclusive to Billboard.biz.

Codigo Music Publishing (United States) // the Orchard (United States)
Edmundo Monroy, a publishing veteran who attends MIDEM every year, is now president of newly created Codigo Music Publishing (the company that owns the entire Fania catalog). He attended MIDEM 2009 prior to the company’s official launch, seeking to present Codigo’s catalog and to scout distribution and licensing opportunities. Monroy says he was particularly focused on what he calls “new” players in the industry, such as aggregators and mobile corporations and identifying targets for Codigo’s tropical treasures. “In my experience, the best deals I’ve made have come from MIDEM,” Monroy says. “It’s the best place to expose and promote Latin talent.” In this case, Monroy set the stage for future deals to be clinched this year but did sign a digital distribution deal in 2009 with the Orchard for representation of Codigo’s catalog in Asian territories including Japan and China.

Central Station Records (Australia) // Various Partners
MIDEM in 2009 presented a pivotal opportunity for the new owners of Australia’s Central Station Records to relaunch the famous dance label. After 33 years in business, Central Station was in the final stages of a management buyout from its former owner, digital media services group Destra. Led by managing director Jamie Raeburn and company co-founder Morgan Williams, the Central Station team set about using MIDEM to revive the company. Through meetings in Cannes, various longstanding global label partners came back onboard with Australian licensing deals (including All Around the World, Zooland, Yawa, Family Tree, Andorphine, Pacha, Godskitchen and Aqualoop), and the company successfully relaunched in March 2009. Central Station also established relationships that led, post-MIDEM, to new label deals with Cloud 9 and Be Yourself from Holland, Discowax from Scandinavia and Can You Feel It from the United Kingdom. “We were required to make some very big decisions over a very short period of time,” Raeburn says. “MIDEM allowed us to have face-to-face meetings with all our options, sometimes within five minutes of each other. We did the groundwork in the previous months, but we made the decisions at MIDEM.”

Absolute Marketing and Distribution (United Kingdom) // Edel Music (Germany)
Absolute Marketing and Distribution managing director Henry Semmence struck a U.K. distribution, marketing and label services deal at MIDEM last year for Edel Records’ earMusic catalog and new releases. The deal resulted from contacts made before MIDEM, he says. “Edel then met with various people at MIDEM and it was there that the deal was cemented.” The deal was struck among Semmence; Max Vaccaro, head of international A&R for Edel and director of Edel’s earMusic; and Jonas Sjöström, CEO of Edel-affiliated Playground Music in Scandinavia. Recent earMusic releases under the deal have come from Marillion, Chickenfoot, Europe and Uriah Heep. Semmence says, “We’ve done about 40,000 [units] of Chickenfoot,” whose self-titled album made the U.K. top 30 in June. He adds that earMusic will issue a new album by Foreigner in the United Kingdom in March. “MIDEM’s an ideal place to have face-to-face meetings,” Semmence says. “You can explain what you’re all about and understand what they want out of the deal—that’s virtually impossible to do on the phone or via e-mails.”

SGAE (Spain) // Nokia Music Services (Finland)
While repertoire once flowed around the world from MIDEM via licensed albums and singles, now it often travels via cell phone. Spanish authors’ group SGAE signed a Pan-European licensing deal with international cell phone manufacturer Nokia at MIDEM last year. The deal gave users of Nokia’s Comes With Music service across Europe access to SGAE’s extensive Latin repertoire. SGAE director of mechanical reproduction Juan Palomino says MIDEM was the perfect place to finalize and announce the deal. “Both SGAE and Nokia believed it was important to make our accord public at MIDEM, because it is the biggest gathering in the music business,” Palomino says. “We thought MIDEM was the ideal place to give [it] the necessary significance and visibility.” The deal, he adds, “highlighted SGAE’s firm backing for digital distribution. For years we have been laying the base to establish a model to administer online musical repertoire in the European Union.”

La Central Digital (Spain) // Apple (United States) // Amazon (United States) // Deezer (France) // Vidzone (United Kingdom) // YouTube (United States)
As music director of La Central Digital, Spain’s biggest digital distributor, with a catalog of more than 120,000 Latin recordings, Mario Rigote Andrada set up meetings well in advance of MIDEM in 2009 with major companies including U.S. partners Apple, Amazon and YouTube; France’s Deezer; and U.K. partner Vidzone. With Amazon, La Central Digital extended its licensing deal from the United States to include all European territories. La Central Digital also reached an agreement with Deezer to include its catalog in Deezer’s ad-financed streaming service. It expanded its Vidzone deal to include all videos in Vidzone’s PSP3 Service. Rigote Andrada also negotiated to eliminate digital rights management from La Central Digital’s catalog in Apple’s iTunes store and start using iTunes’ Transporter application. Finally, La Central Digital held conversations with YouTube to become a content partner and share ad revenue. The face-to-face contact at MIDEM, Rigote Andrada says, is crucial, in addition to the opportunity to hold “informal conversations on the evolution of the digital music sector.”
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Reporting by Lars Brandle in Brisbane, Australia; Ed Christman in New York; Leila Cobo in Miami; Diane Coetzer in Johannesburg; Thom Duffy in New York; Tom Ferguson in London; Howell Llewellyn in Madrid; Aymeric Pichevin in Paris; Rob Schwartz in Tokyo; Wolfgang Spahr in Hamburg; and Mark Worden in Milan.

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