(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — On January 23, MIDEM will bring together hundreds of independent music companies and affiliated associations for the second edition of the International Indie Summit. Launched for the first time at MIDEM 2005, this conference day offers an opportunity to assess the current position of independent labels in today's marketplace. An impressive line-up of industry heavyweights are already confirmed to participate in the summit. Three prominent figures from the independent sector will join forces for a special keynote session: Seymour Stein, president & CEO of Sire Records; Martin Mills, chairman of Beggars Group (UK); and Johnny Duann, co-founder and chairman of Rock Records (Taiwan).
Besides the keynote sessions, the International Indie Summit will include two panels. The first will focus on alternative business models for independent labels and will examine the opportunities for increased revenue streams from new technology and merchandising. The panel will also discuss the financing of music labels and includes: Jeremy Lascelles, CEO of the Music Division at Chrysalis Group (UK), Terry McBride, CEO, Nettwerk (Canada), Michael Haentjes, CEO, Edel Music (Germany) and David Pakman, CEO, eMusic and managing director, Dimensional Associates (US).
The second conference will center on the progress and achievements of independent companies in today's music business environment. The panel will also assess the in-roads independents have made in protecting their interests in a market dominated by major companies. The focus comes a year after the global Coalition of Independent Labels launched at MIDEM 2005 and participants include the founders of key groups such as: A2IM (American Association of Independent Music), Impala (European Independent Label Association), BPI (British Phonographic Industry), ABMI (Brazilian Association of Independent Music) and from South Africa AIRCO (Association of Independent Record Companies). These leading experts will give their forecasts for the future and review the steps needed to be taken in order to keep business moving forward. Chaired by Emmanuel Legrand, Billboard´s global editor, the International Indie Summit is organized in association with Impala and A2IM.
Marking the strong vitality of the independent music sector at MIDEM 2006 will be the first ever A2IM stand. The high-profile American Independent Pavilion, sponsored in part by MSN Music, will allow over 30 US independent labels to make a showing at the music industry's most important international conference and includes labels such as Tommy Boy, TVT, ADA, Robbins Entertainment and Ultra Records. On January 21, the European Association of Independents, Impala, will hold their annual board meeting in Cannes for the second year running. –Bob Grtossweiner and Jane Cohen