Sitar Teli, managing partner at investment firm Connect Venture, dispensed with the backlappery often associated with business conference panels and offered some real talk at Midem, which took place this last weekend in Cannes, on whether tech startups and the music business work well together. After being asked whether she believed music was ahead when it comes to big corporations cooperating with startups, Teli let it fly. "No, it’s not," she said at the Startups & Corporations: From Competition to Coopetition panel. "And it’s been a really shitty industry to work with for years."
Teli quickly expanded on that bomb by explaining her thoughts on the origins of that lack of trust. "[The music industry] was hit much harder by a lot of the early internet stuff that happened, particularly file-sharing, much more than other content industries," she said. "And the reaction to that was one to be distrustful of technology companies. So while there has been a history of trying to work with [labels], and some of the deals done have been ones with collaboration, it hasn’t been in a way that’s sustainable for the startup, and has led to the startups being quite dependent on the labels for much, much longer. It’s become really difficult for startups to be profitable."