Popkomm Readies For 2007 After Hugely Successful 2006

BERLIN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Popkomm continues to build on its reputation as an outstanding and leading international communication platform of the music and entertainment industries. A substantial number of business deals and international networking were the dominant aspects of this year’s fair. It is already clear that Popkomm will now increase its display area for next year's event.

One of the most noteworthy business deals was concluded at the UK stand. The Bertelsmann subsidiary arvato mobile and the Association of Independent Music (AIM) signed a ground-breaking licensing agreement which will attract new consumer groups to the Association of Independent Music, and to UK independent labels in Europe and Japan.

From September 20-22, 817 exhibitors from 55 countries were represented in Berlin. Once again over 15,000 visitors attended the trade fair on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.

Popkomm 2006 attracted a higher level of international attendance than ever before. A total of 26 national stands spelled yet another increase over the figure for the previous year. Besides Australia, Canada, the UK, France, Austria, Switzerland, the Scandinavian countries and many other nations, music export agencies and labels from Southern and Eastern Europe were particularly in evidence. For Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Scotland and Slovenia this was their first appearance at the show. As the first non- European nation to be Popkomm's partner country Brazil had even booked an entire hall. 70 per cent of all the exhibitors were from abroad, and the increasingly international dimension of the fair was reflected by the showcases and at the congress.

In order to cope with the anticipated rush in demand at Popkomm 2007, the fair management has already drawn up a new hall concept which will be ideal for providing the growing number of exhibitors from around the world with additional space.

Dr. Ralf Kleinhenz, Managing Director of Popkomm GmbH: “Once again there were over 15,000 participants at this year's Popkomm. While in absolute terms the number of people attending Berlin's third Popkomm has remained stable, the time spent at the fair by trade visitors has risen significantly. That is an indicator of the many meetings that took place, and demonstrates the highly professional nature of the event.“

Katja Bittner, Director of Popkomm: “Already on the second evening the number of visitors attending the Popkomm Festival was on course for a record. The 30 official festival clubs were packed. And all over the city there were more parties during this week than usual. Remarkably, during Popkomm the number of corporate events in Berlin rose significantly as well.“

This year's Popkomm IMEA, the award that recognises innovations in music and entertainment, went to companies from the UK and the USA. In the “Digital Music & Marketing Innovations, B2B Solutions“ category the Popkomm IMEA went to the US company Royalty Share and in the “Mobile Music & Entertainment“ category the award was presented to Unique Interactive from London. Play Music Magazine from Norway received special praise for their outstanding project work in this category. This was the first year that this coveted award was presented at E-Werk at the European Music & Media Night (EMMN).

Popkomm 2006 also provided a forum for jazz and classical music. Over 50 exhibitors representing classical music had stands in the Classic Lounge in Hall 18.

Once again Popkomm retained its successful threefold concept comprising a trade fair, congress and festival. The three-day Popkomm congress focused on issues which dealt with the music industry as a part of the creative industries sector. In their keynote addresses, speakers including Brazil's Minister for Culture Gilberto Gil and the musician Feargal Sharkey talked about the economic and socio-cultural contribution of the creative industries to economies as a whole.

There is now heightened political interest in Popkomm. Members of German parliament from a cross-section of political parties and ministerial representatives came to this international industry event to find out information for themselves. During his tour of the fair State Minister for Culture Bernd Neumann stressed the following: “I see myself as an advocate of artists and the creative industries.“ In his view pop music was a sector that nobody should underestimate.

The complex question of copyright was also a hotly debated issue. Legal music downloads were on the increase, but the battle against piracy had not yet been won. At panel discussions and in private conversation opinion was unanimous that increasing consumer awareness was an important task that the industry had to take on in the future.

During the festival over 2,000 performers from around the world appeared at 30 clubs, making Popkomm the world's largest platform for professional showcases.

The next Popkomm takes place in Berlin September 19-21, 2007. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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