The third and final day of the Ibiza International Music Summit (IMS) was once again packed with lively, relevant and engaging panels, including opening debate the IMS Think Tank.
At the start of the panel, Nokia VP of industry collaboration Mark Selby revealed that, according to recent consumer research by Nokia, consumers in the recession are behaving in a similar way to civilians in war zones.
“People are actively seeking greater levels of inter-personal contact, looking for reassurance in frightening and confusing times,” he said. “But looking to the positive, we are on the cusp of a huge cultural shift. Nokia estimates that by 2012, 25% of all media will be created by users, and, in terms of musical creativity, artists are increasingly able to make important choices as to how their recordings will be handled and distributed, which constitutes a major step forward.”
At the Festivals – Feast Or Famine discussion, Chris Hearn, a partner at agency Primary Talent, commented that 2008 was a very difficult year for organizers of large events.
“Ironically there were a lot of start-up festivals launched last year and many of them ended up being pulled due to low ticket sales, and a lot of money was lost,” he said. “What we are seeing now though is that this is a time to give something back to the festival-goers, by doing things such as spreading out payment over several months. And we also really need to look after the caterers and merchandising people who are having a hard time right now.”
DJ, recording artist and label owner Richie Hawtin, who had sat in on almost every debate before his own appearance as a keynote interviewee, sounded a controversial note when asked what he thought about what he had heard.
“There has been a lot of talk about monetizing music and hanging on to distribution rights, which for me misses a crucial fact, which is that we can’t control the movement of ideas anymore,” he said. “The days when a DJ had a record that no-one else had are over because information moves very fast and it will only get faster. Music has to be allowed to flow more freely and music business entrepreneurs then need to find new ways to generate their income.”
Commenting on the success of the second IMS, founder and co-organizer Ben Turner of Graphite Media pointed to the appearance of event organizer Callum Negus-Fancey as being crucial.
“To see a 19 year-old telling a room full of seasoned music industry professionals how things really are was fantastic. He really forced people here to see things differently,” Turner said. “Also the presence of members of the local authority [the Consell d’Eivissa] has been really important as they have seen that the dance industry is serious about its work.”
The final head-count for the May 27-29 event revealed that just under 400 people from 29 countries attended, more than twice last year’s total. The majority of delegates were drawn from the U.K., Spain, the U.S.A., Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland.