The Meeting Of Minds At Midem 2018


This past week, Cannes opened its arms once again to the global music community as Midem presented its annual conference. With attendees from over 80 countries, discussions were held over the course of four days on the issues we are facing today as well as what’s in store for the future of the music industry. After a full day of discussion, the night brought performances by artists from around the world. So whether you are an industry expert or a newbie with a passion for music, we’ve rounded up the best moments at Midem 2018 that are motivating the leaders of tomorrow.

1. A Global Industry
Everyone is talking about the African market and rightfully so. The culture’s vibrant sounds and rising talent is driving huge demand in the industry. The Midem African Forum tackled the challenges of the African music market and the kinds of steps that need to be taken to allow for further development. There’s no doubt about the potential of the market, but more of how these artists can break into English-speaking countries and get more exposure in a saturated space. Ben Oldfield, Vice President, France, Benelux and West Africa for The Orchard, spoke on a panel titled “Connectivity, Access & Music Distribution” that discussed how we may begin to see music accessed and distributed across Africa. “The panel included rightsholders, artists and composers as well as labels, distributors and managers active on the African continent. Together, we formed a Midem-branded `Think Tank` where we discussed a cross-industry plan to develop an eco-system that generates durable growth and produces revenues locally in Africa.”

2.  Forward Thinking
Scott Cohen, Founder of The Orchard, spoke at a discussion “All Eyez on Stream” about how artists need to be working smarter.  It’s not only about having the right team but also about being progressive. “There is a euphoria around the growth of subscription streaming services and the overall health of the industry. But we must be cautious that this same euphoria existed during the height of CD sales, ringtones and downloads. We have to always be on the lookout for what’s next. No time to be complacent.” You can watch the full panel below via Midem.

3. It’s All About The Entrepreneurial Mindset
It really does start with innovation. At the Midemlab competition, startups pitched their companies, sharing how their business model is taking the industry to another level. The competition consisted of ideas that will change the way we discover, distribute and even consume music. One of the expert panelists involved was The Orchard’s COO Colleen Theis. Having over 20 years of experience in the industry, Colleen is a wealth of knowledge, overseeing the company’s core business activities across 31 global offices.

4. Millennials Are the Name of the Game
It is getting increasingly harder to reach the millennial audience. With social media platforms being over-saturated with content, how do you break through that noise? In a conversation with Neil Jacobson, President of Geffen Records, and Snapchat VP of Partnerships Ben Schwerin discussed how to reach the right user base. They spoke about the importance of knowing your already existing demographic so you can make a plan of action for your target audience.

5. Yes To Gender Equality 
Women in Music had its second annual gathering, discussing the gender gap seen in the industry. A panel of women including Neeta Ragoowansi of NPRX, Jennifer Newman Sharpe of OneRPM and WIM CEO Jessica Sobhraj spoke about how the gap is more apparent in popular music playlists and less in the board room. It’s no surprise that women represent some of the greatest artists of our time. Conversations need to continue happening on how both men and women can help in making gender equality a priority.

To say Midem was a success would be an understatement. The Orchard family was thrilled to be involved in important conversations alongside some of the greatest minds and leading figures in the industry while having a whole lot of fun along the way.

See you next year Midem!

Logo, images and video courtesy of Midem

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