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Midem music mart changing its tune

Company targets new demos with 30% price reduction

PARIS — Midem, the 44-year old international music market, is reinventing itself, targeting new demos with a 30% price reduction for participants.

In January, digital and technology companies registered a 30% climb in attendance at the Cannes-set confab, and Bruno Crolot, former VP of digital sales and business development at Sony Music Ent. France, who took over Midem’s helm at the beginning of the year, took note.

“While we’re maintaining our core clientele with publishers, producers and distributors, we’re broadening our reach towards artists, digital, online and tech companies and turning the spotlight on brands,” said Crolot.

The French-born Crolot explained Midem was “adapting to the music industry’s changing eco-system where the digital actors have emerged as key player, artists go direct to their fans and brands’ approach to music is increasingly sophisticated.”

Created in 2010, the MidemNet sidebar, which fast-tracks digital development and provides a launchpad for start-ups and mobile apps developers via its Lab, will play a bigger role in 2012.

“We’ll disseminate MidemNet content throughout the market: separating the digital discussions from the rest doesn’t make sense since it’s a main area of growth.”

The MidemNet Lab competition revealed innovating mobile applications and startups, notably Jammbox’s Discovr, Next Big Sound’s B2B platform, which have thrived commercially, pointed out Crolot.

Moreover, Midem will be launching two new areas on the floor show: the Direct-2-Fan Camp and the Innovation Factory.

The Direct to Fan Camp will give indie musicians the opportunity to mingle with digital companies (for instance Topspin, Sonicbids, Root Music and SoundCloud), and participate in workshops.

Meanwhile the Innovation Factory, which was conceived as MidemNet’s sister event, will introduce and connect start-ups, venture capitalists and digital companies. These outfits will be able to present new technology tools and pitch projects.

One of last edition’s highlights, Sync Day, will be expanded with various events throughout the mart.

Crolot said he was expecting to draw more brands than ever with many slots dedicated to sync opportunities and marketing.

“Sync Day turned out to be successful, this year we had top-notched guests like ‘Glee’s music supervisor PJ Bloom, who gave a keynote, music pitch sessions and a panel with Coca Cola and Diesel, among other players,” the topper said.

“Next year, we’ll go beyond synchronization and organize a Marketing Campaign Competition which will highlight the best use of music in a campaign.”

Midem will also add more live music events, including a three-day festival showcasing newcomers and headliners.

“We’re bringing music back at the center stage,” said Crolot.

Fringe, the live music session where emerging musicians play for honchos, will flourish in 2012, welcoming more bands which will play by day at Lerins, inside the Palais, and by night at various Cannes venues.

Meanwhile, the festival will be a mainstream event open to all, even non-Midem participants.

Other major shakeups at Midem: Pricing and layout inside the Palais.

As it opens up to younger and broader demos, Midem will cut its rate by 30%. Pricing will range from 295 euros ($417.46)

for artists and students, to $700.49 for startups and those who register before Sep. 30, and $1,125 for walk-ins. For those registering before Nov. 15, the rate will be $919.8.

Layout will be upgraded as the market area will move from the stuffy -1 to the Riviera and Lerins, two upper floors boosting sea views and an airy, contemporary decor.

As Crolot summed it up, “Midem is looking for a fresh new start : The business is far from being dead ; it’s just evolving through different routes.”

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