Quick thoughts on the MIDEM

So the MIDEM 2010 is closing today. I attended as a press photographer, mostly did concerts (some great stuff), but also a couple of press conferences. Anyway :

  • the industry is definitely moving towards other non-repressive solutions and alternative models to keep the business afloat. To quote Ted Cohen : “We’re decisively moving from music as a product to music as a service … this isn’t my opinion, this is fact.”. Good for them. As a sign of this, two or three (not sure) Rock Band booths, plus many talks and deals with video games companies. Spotify and Deezer were also very present.
  • Politicians however are still lagging behind, still stuck in the same way only beginning to look at the possibilities of legal offers as a way to effectively fight against illegal sharing. The press conference I attended on the matter was rather pathetic in its lack of vision. Only the SPEDIDAM (warning, annoying website with auto-maximize windows and Flash all over, yuck), french organisation of authors to collect royalties like the SACEM, has a refreshingly sane view on the matter.
  • The music industry is Apple’s turf. iPhones and macbooks (unibodies) were outnumbering blackberries and PCs 5 to 1 (rough estimation). To give an idea : the MIDEM iPhone app was downloaded more than 4000 times. There were 7000 attendees at the MIDEM this year.
  • The conference relied heavily on Twitter as a “life line” for news, buzz, and communication between attendees. In that regard Twitter really has become a de facto instant communication platform standard which events can very easily get working : just agree on a keyword to use (#midem in that case) and off you go.
  • Videogames (Rock Band, Guitar Hero…) had quite a bit of presence. According to this blog post from Le Monde journalists (in French, sorry), listening sessions organised by videogame producers to look for music to go with their games had a lot of success

That’s all for now.

(edit Feb 12th : added bit about videogames)

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