The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) has extended its offer of financial assistance to indie labels attending next year's MIDEM music conference, taking place in Cannes, France, Jan. 26-29. The offer was originally due to expire this fall, but has been extended to Jan. 7 in light of Hurricane Sandy.
The initiative is the first scheme announced as part of the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), which is funded by the U.S. Commerce Department International Trade Administration and is run in conjunction with The Recording Academy to promote independent music outside of the U.S.
Under the terms of the deal, MDCP will fund up to half of eligible expenses (up to $1,500 reimbursement against $3,000 of eligible expenses) towards the cost of attending MIDEM 2013 for selected indie labels who have not attended in the past two years. Interested companies can apply here. The cost of MIDEM 2013 registration for A2IM members is a discounted rate of €495 ($655) per registrant.
The MIDEM funding scheme exists as part of a wider A2IM program to enable the growth and expansion of independent labels internationally. In September, delegates from 16 A2IM label members and The Recording Academy embarked on a trade mission to Asia, funded by the Federal State Trade and Export Promotion ("STEP") program, in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration, New York State Empire Development and State of Tennessee Economic & Community Development Program.
Since 2005, the U.S.'s share of the world music market has fallen from 34% to 26%, according to A2IM, which calls funding initiatives such as its MIDEM offer "crucial to reclaim America's competitive stake."
"The MDCP program allows music labels who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend to have access to the world's largest music business conference where they will be able to access revenue streams for distribution, mobile and licensing from markets around the globe," A2IM president Rich Bengloff tells Billboard.biz.
He continues: "Almost all other countries have supported their music creator community's music export initiatives at many events across the globe via subsidized registrations and travel costs... The U.S. has never offered this support to our music community and, while there will be support at other events over the three-year funding period, this will be the kick-off MDCP event, which is appropriate given the importance of MIDEM as the leading music business conference."
Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale, Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, will visit MIDEM alongside the A2IM delegation. Lamb-Hale will be joined in Cannes by Andrea DaSilva from the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Service Industries-International Trade Administration. MDCP funding for indie labels wishing to attend MIDEM will continue until 2015.