Events off-stage upstaged the panel program at MidemNet's second and final day.

The day began with a buzz on Sunday with the launch of QTRAX, a licensed ad-funded P2P music service which claims to offer a colossal 25 million tracks.

Today's unveiling, explained QTRAX president and CEO Allan Klepfisz, was the culmination of five years of toil, particularly on the licensing front.

"We began talking five years ago with artists about what they wanted. They wanted stolen music to not be stolen," he said. "Our view is simple. We want to put an end to it."

Later, with two successive announcements, the independent community grabbed a collective share of the spotlight as the Midem trade fair officially kicked off.

Fireworks will fly for the independent sector on the fourth of July for the first international "Independence Day," delegates were told, while the Merlin digital rights agency was officially declared open for business.

Back on-stage, Nokia executive VP and chief technology officer Tero Ojanpera, told the MidemNet audience that the handset giant had every intention of leveraging its market-leading position in the cell-phone market to claim an equally important role in the music market.

More than 146 million music-enabled Nokia mobile phones were sold in 2007 alone, dwarfed by the 1 billion plus Nokia handsets currently circulating in the world, he added. Nokia's presence gives it roughly 40% of the cellphone market, whose subscriber base currently hit about 2.7 billion, and will push to 3 billion by 2010, said Per Simonsen, senior VP, head of group strategy at Telenor, during the "Mobile music -- Where's the True Value?" panel.

On the same panel, Omnifone CEO Rob Lewis forecast dynamic change in the coming months. "This is the year it's really going to happen," he said. "Everyone will be going to market with music offerings and it will great for the industry."

On the "What's the Deal? - Pricing and Bundling Strategies" panel, hosted by Billboard's international bureau chief Mark Sutherland, Amazon's executive VP digital media Bill Carr, said initial reaction to the online retail giant's new MP3 store had been "very positive." The company will give away a potential 1 billion free downloads during its upcoming Pepsi promotion.

He also said Amazon was open to new business models being tested on its site, and believed Radiohead's pay-what-you-like experiment could work commercially on the site, which spurns iTunes' fixed price model in favor or variable pricing.

"We can sell things anyway an artist wants to," he said. "We want to introduce more models to more customers."

Meanwhile, Ticketmaster executive VP David Goldberg warned the live industry it had to learn lessons from the recorded music industry's failure to quickly embrace digital music.

"There are so many people in the live industry that think the secondary market is a scourge," he said. "Well, guess what? The consumers love it so if we don't pay attention and start offering that to them they'll continue to go around us."

As Midem 2008 sparked into life, MidemNet concluded with a dual keynote, featuring Chad Hurley, CEO and co-founder of YouTube, and Joanna Shields, global president of BeBo.

Hurley told onlookers that the convoluted process of pan-European licensing had proven to be one of the greatest hurdles impeding the progress of YouTube as a legitimate business.

"In Europe, it would be great to streamline licensing," he said. "We need a solution there to be able to make these deals move forward. Because we want to do deals."