Tag Archives: MIDEM
Stuart Dredge has been typing his little hands off….
The first day of MidemNet is done, following a mix of panels, speeches and startling industry moustaches. Here’s a rundown of what we, the official Midem Blog and our event partner Digital Music News have been publishing. What did we learn from day one?
The silver linings of cloud music
The cloud music session was sparky, as Sony Music, mSpot, simfy and Catch Media debated the challenges and opportunities of the cloud. Catch boss Harry Maloney picked a fight with mSpot’s Daren Tsui over licensing (or the lack of it in mSpot’s case), while simfy’s Christophe Lange stressed the importance of user engagement in building a successful cloud offering. Meanwhile, Sony’s Thomas Hesse had a request for Apple. “If you’re an iTunes user now, wouldn’t it be nice if you could stream or re-download all the music you’d bought on that to all your devices. Wouldn’t that be fabulous? And we’d wholeheartedly endorse that…”
Liveblog – http://tinyurl.com/6j8cgqp
Vivendi boss expects Spotify US launch
Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy called for more anti-piracy legislation, had warm words for ISPs, and held UMG up as a model for cost-cutting effiency in his keynote. And Spotify? “We expect Spotify to be able to find agreements with all its partners that it could launch as early as possible in the United States, but there are other streaming and subscription services available to American consumers. At the end of the day, the market is very complicated…”
Liveblog – http://tinyurl.com/68r563p
OK Go going HTML5, while Imogen Heap gets crowdsourced
This morning’s artist panel saw OK Go’s Damian Kulash and solo artist Imogen Heap talking about their social media success. Heap is planning to write songs with the help of fans, who’ll provide the audio samples, lyrics and video. Meanwhile, OK Go is working on an HTML5 music video with Mozilla, the company behind the web browser Firefox.
Liveblog – http://tinyurl.com/6xqufhz
Saul Klein gives Index Ventures’ view on music
Index Ventures has invested in firms including Last.fm, Songkick, SoundCloud, Sonos, DoubleTwist and RjDj. He talked about the company’s “Jekyll and Hyde attitude towards dealing with content owners”, praised startup culture in Europe (particularly London), and said music services shouldn’t get hung up on going global too quickly. “Look at Spotify in Sweden. It is the number one source of income for the labels, not just digital, but physical as well… Pick your market, win big and then go back and say ‘hey, what are you going to do for me now?’. Don’t obsess about this regional, global, intergalactic rights. Focus on a market, kill it, then go to another one!”
Liveblog – http://tinyurl.com/6hqpeow
Sony takes Music Unlimited more global (and to iPhone/Android)
Sony launched its Omnifone-powered Music Unlimited service last month in the UK and Ireland, but today it went live in France, Germany, Spain and Italy too. Sony Network Entertainment boss Tim Schaaff promised a US launch this quarter, and promised that it won’t be restricted to Sony devices, with plans to launch apps for iPhone and Android. The firm is certainly ambitious. “Our studies show that about 85-90% of the consumers aren’t really involved in the digital music revolution at all. That customer base is a customer base that Sony communicates to every day.”
Liveblog – http://tinyurl.com/6eaeh4f
Vodafone has 100k paying music subscribers
The Foursquare / Vodafone session was a big disappointment today: why no questions for Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai about, er, music? The audience were left to draw their own conclusions about how artists and labels can use the social location service. However, co-interviewee Lee Epting from Vodafone at least dished out some stats: “We are targeting one million paid subscribers for music in this calendar year, and in the UK we’re already in excess of 100,000…”
Story – http://tinyurl.com/6y5nc8p
Mark Mulligan thinks music services need more SPARC
What? Social, Participative, Accessible, Relevant and Connected. The Forrester analyst outlined the keys for success for new music services in his speech this morning. Also included: the claim that “YouTube is music’s killer app”; the fact that ownership matters much less to 12-15 year-old ‘digital natives; and that user experience is key. “Content is no longer king. Its throne has been taken by experience. Yet how many music services really focus on experience?”
Liveblog – http://tinyurl.com/657wqkg
Metric’s manager called for less doom’n’gloom
Crystal Math Management’s co-founder Mathieu Drouin predicted an industry shakeout this year, and criticised the woes around music sales. “We have to stop reading press about how bad the music business is. It’s a disruption that is not healthy for us… We have to just turn that noise down, because it really is misleading… Mindshare of the press is coming from people running multi-national corporations.”
Liveblog – http://tinyurl.com/6e8qr7o
Music Ubiquity talks are… ubiquitous
The five-minute talks in between sessions this year focused on music ubiquity, with Terry McBride, Gerd Leonhard and Ted Cohen among the speakers. McBride warned of the dangers of the ‘black cloud’ for artists, while Leonhard offered some examples of social commerce from outside the music industry. Meanwhile, Cohen warned the industry about dragging its heels (again). “What do music fans want? They want interoperability… We need to get to complete ubiquity. We need to start looking at the pie, not the platform.”
McBride – http://tinyurl.com/6abwr9h
Leonhard – http://tinyurl.com/6fr4txv
Cohen – http://tinyurl.com/67je2yv
ON DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS…
Tommy Boy’s Tom Silverman reckons Midem was 60% labels, 30% publishers and 10% other companies ten years ago. “Now, it’s 10 percent publishers, 5 percent labels, and 85 percent ‘other’.” Meanwhile, DMN has also picked up on the meme of Midem so far: Ted Cohen’s moustache.moustache. More seriously, it reflects the view of many audience members for the Licensing Crash Test session: “the licensing process in Europe – and worldwide – remains insanely complicated, and full of endless negotiations, demands, MFNs, and lurking litigants. Just like before. Just like ten years ago.”
Silverman – http://tinyurl.com/6zecp9s
Tache – http://tinyurl.com/6erdxos
Licensing – http://tinyurl.com/5rvtdep
We keep saying that, and it just might be true this time, says Mobile Roadie’s CEO
Do you prefer Microsoft Word or Google Docs? How about Mac Mail or Gmail? The question of “apps” vs. “websites” has been around for quite some time on the desktop.
The same question has now gone mobile. Should you get eBay’s iPhone app or go to m.ebay.com? Most major properties today have both an app presence and a website. Why do they need both?
Users don’t care if they’re using an “app,” a “website,” or any hybrid of the two. They care about a clean, well-designed, engaging experience that lets them do whatever they want as quickly as possible. Right now, the best user experience – by far – is a native mobile app.
Like many of you, I’m a big fan of openness, and believe in the long run the mobile web is likely the future. However, we are a long way from mobile websites acting and feeling to users like native apps. That key difference means real money.
eBay did $2 billion in mobile commerce sales in 2010. 70% of this came from their app, 30% from their mobile website. Even more interesting, users of their iPhone app spent an average of $65/week, and iPad users spent $85/week, which is 50% higher than the average desktop web user. Think about that – the same customers spending 50% more for the same products. Why? It’s a better and easier experience to buy. To put it another way, in 2010 eBay did $400M more on their mobile app than their mobile website.
A few predictions for mobile in 2011:
1. Android (Google) will become the biggest mobile operating system in the world, surpassing Symbian (Nokia) and iOS (Apple). The combination of great user experience, every major device manufacturer, and every carrier on board will overwhelm others
2. The current gap between mobile advertising rates compared to the amount of time we spend on mobile will narrow, increasing mobile CPMs and giving publishers more value for their content. This will lead to a shift in advertisers paying more for ads on mobile, and shifting more of their spend to mobile overall
3. Apps will continue to explode and be a key factor in driving growth for any smartphone OS
4. By the end of the year, there will be three major mobile smartphone operating systems; the world simply doesn’t need more. The rest will be consolidated and/or fizzle out
5. Tablets will continue to find their place in our busy lives; the future of a 7-inch tablet vs. 10-inch remains to be seen
6. Mobile commerce will explode across the board; iTunes remains the best way to sell digital content easily, requiring users to only enter a password. Other properties selling both digital and physical will continue to play catch up to this gold standard. Two things to watch out for are increased carrier billing and more built-in Paypal integration
7. Near field communication (the technology that allows short range exchange of data, wirelessly between two devices) will explode into the mainstream and be built into cell phones. It’s already built into Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” and rumored to be built into the next major release of iOS. Using our phones to pay for everyday things (think “paypass” on credit cards or London’s “oyster” card) via our phone will be commonplace.
Michaeel Schneider is CEO of Mobile Roadie, notably makers of MIDEM’s official mobile apps. He hosts a special “How to Make and Monetise your Artist’s Mobile App” session for managers at MIDEM, January 23, 12.00.
Hypebot’s Bruce Houghton, a frequent contributor to MIDEMBlog, shares the prevailing pre-MIDEM mood: when will things take off at last…?!
As I pack my bags to attend MIDEM, I do so with a touch of apprehension because, while so much in the music industry has changed, so much remains the same:
- Overall music sales are a fraction of what they were, but strong new sources of income have yet to emerge.
- The same major labels still dominate most sales and airplay charts.
- While new faces fill the digital slots, the senior executive suites at those majors remain controlled by men who have a proven resistance to real change.
- Few strong new independent labels have emerged to challenge this old guard.
- Even if Spotify were to use MidemNet to announce a U.S. launch, rightsholders stalled for far too long. And too many other worthy music services remain in an ill-defined line waiting for licencing.
- In most countries, copyright laws are still unequipped to handle an age of digital music creation and consumption.