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What to Expect at This Year's MIDEM Conference: The Highlights

Timbaland
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Timbaland poses for photographers at the 2015 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on June 25, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

This year's conference will offer keynotes, competitions, panels, performances and an awards gala.

INTERNATIONAL HONOREES

The International MIDEM Awards Gala on June 4 will honor ­prominent ­executives in recording, digital ­distribution, ­music rights and hit-making production. This year's honorees are Glassnote ­Entertainment Group ­president ­Daniel Glass, Believe Digital Group CEO Denis Ladegaillerie, BMG CEO Hartwig ­Masuch and producer Timbaland.

ARTIST DISCOVERY

Twelve finalists in the MIDEM Artist Accelerator competition will be chosen from among 500 contenders by leading music executives, including Timbaland and Ethiopia Habtemariam, Motown Records president and Universal Music Publishing Group president of urban music/co-head of creative. The winner of the competition will be recognized at the awards gala.

DIGITAL DRIVE 

In its ninth year, the business-pitching competition Midemlab has drawn 150 submissions from digital music ­startups in 31 countries. Competitors vie for recognition in three categories: music discovery, recommendation and creation; marketing, social ­engagement and ­monetization; and hardware including virtual reality ­devices. Previous ­honorees include ­SoundCloud, The Echo Nest and ­Kickstarter. Winners will be named June 4 during the ­"Innovation Factory" ­session.

SPEAKERS OF NOTE

MIDEM's keynote ­speakers this year include Warner ­Music Group CEO of ­international and global commercial ­services Stu Bergen, joined by WMG Latin ­America & ­Iberia ­president Iñigo Zabala; ­Timbaland; United ­Talent ­Agency head of music ­worldwide Neil Warnock; Pandora founder/CEO Tim Westergren, in conversation with Glass; and Gao Xiaosong, chairman of China's Alibaba Music Group.

This article first appeared in the June 4 issue of Billboard.

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