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Midem Roundup & Future Dates

CANNES, France (Hypebot) – 8,000 participants from sectors of the global music business and over 80 countries will leave Cannes today as Midem 2009 winds down.

Summing appears to be a real shift in industry thinking, industry veteran and TAG Strategic's Ted Cohen, told delegates at MidemNet, “now is less about dreaming of the future and more about getting down to business. We are no longer railing against technological advancements. We are now thinking simply about achieving something that works, being practical and looking at models that can monetize music and create wonderful experiences for music fans.”

Executives agreed that while in previous years the music industry had swung between nervousness to outright hostility towards the Internet and mobile telephone makers particularly on the issue of piracy, the mood had changed. In fact, Midem 2009 hosted Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Orange and Blackberry parent Research in Motion , whose co-CEO Jim Balsillie told MidemNet attendees, “the music industry is living an extraordinary moment.”

Nokia’s unlimited download service, Comes With Music was also touted in Cannes as a new model with real potential. To date, the serve which allows Nokia handset buyers to download as many songs as they want from a 5 million track catalog has seen a lukewarm UK launch. Nokia EVP of Entertainment and Communities, Tero Ojanperä announced that within 10 weeks CWM will expand to Australia and Singapore with a pan-European rollout to follow.

Sony Ericsson’s Head of Content Acquisition Management, Martin Blomkvist confirmed that he had held talks with labels at MIDEM to discuss pricing points and business models for the company’s PlayNow service, while Orange’s Vice President of Music, Laurence Le Ny met with rights-holders for discussions on developing Musique Max and Musique Hits, Orange’s unlimited download services.

“I think the debate over the merits of music on the Internet or on mobile has shifted dramatically and this shift was evident during MIDEM,” says MIDEM Director Dominique Leguern. Kevin Arnold, CEO of digital aggregator IODA agreed that 2009 could a stepping stone to a brighter future. "Historically, bad times make for good opportunities and MIDEM brings us together to explore new possibilities and dive into the next era of our changing industry,” he said.

That next era, according to some MIDEM delegates, will increasingly involve brands teaming with music/ In Cannes, Bacardi announced that its nine-month old deal with UK dance group Groove Armada will help launch the band’s new EP via online sharing service Bliveshare. Other brands on the ground at MIDEM included Coca Cola, A|X Armani Exchange and Guitar Hero video game publisher Activision Blizzard.

At the International Manager Summit, Brian Message (manager of Faithless, Kate Nash and Radiohead) clearly said that flexibility and creating value are today’s tools for success and a Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails case study presented the artist’s huge creativity in building new ways of connecting with fans.” The new Midem International Publishing Summit provided a platform for discussion among one of the few industry sectors experiencing growth.

Managing Director of Artiste Management Productions, Harvey Goldsmith was in upbeat mood at Cannes commenting “there’s a ton of business being done in Cannes and I mean a ton. The press gets hooked up on numbers. I don’t worry if there are 8,000 or 8,000,000 people at MIDEM, it’s the quality of the attendance that interests me. In fact, if there a few less people, it makes for a better event as you don’t get hassled every five minutes.”

Establishing international standards for rights administration is essential in growing the global music business. Universal Music Publishing Group and France’s Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music unveiled DEAL (Direct European Administration and Licensing), their joint model for the licensing and administration of rights for multi-territory online and mobile use in Europe.

60s British pop and rock icon Donovan took Cannes by storm with live performances including one which hushed assembled journalists attending a press conference by the singer. Donovan and Reed MIDEM Chief Executive Paul Zilk were awarded France’s “Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters” by French Minister of Culture and Communications Christine Albanel. The French opera singer, Philippe Jarousski, received the title “Knight in the order of Arts and Letters”.

The 44th edition of Midem will be held in Cannes from January 24-27 January 2010 and 11th MidemNet, January 23-24.