Music and technology merge at France's MIDEM

27th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, Jan 27 (AFP) - Music fans around the world are going to be in for a treat as the music and technology worlds merge to provide more ways of enjoying music anywhere and anyhow they want.

CANNES, France, Jan 27 (AFP) - Music fans around the world are going to be in for a treat as the music and technology worlds merge to provide more ways of enjoying music anywhere and anyhow they want.

That was the message at the influential annual MIDEM music mart which ends Thursday after a hectic five days of deal-making and brainstorming here in the French Riviera town of Cannes.

MIDEM 2005 has been "a decisive turning point" for the music industry, MIDEM music head Dominique Leguern, told journalists on Wednesday. MIDEM is run by French-based Reed MIDEM.

With attendance up five percent from last year at 9,231 people, "it has been a very rich MIDEM," said Leguern, emphasising that the participation figure will probably rise between now and end of the show.

This year was marked by the large numbers of the world's leading personalities and brains from the new technology industries that are starting to provide new entertainment opportunities.

Conferences here on the host of new ways of listening to music, from mobile telephones, video games, online music stores and digital jukeboxes played to packed audiences. And the corridors buzzed with "techies" and record producers, musicians and distribution companies starting to try and speak the same language.

The effort looks like paying off for both worlds, the show's organisers said.

It's clear that "the mobile phone industry will take a more important part of our music business," Leguern noted.

The growing cooperation between the music and new technology worlds "is giving the fresh air really needed by the music industry," he added.

Depressed in the last few years by the upsurge in illegal music downloading, the music industry has been struggling to find new ways to recapture lost music sales. But hopes are running high that the business might have found its "white knight" in the form of the new forms of digital music that are beginning to take off around the world.

With optimism in the air, more companies have come to town this year, Reed MIDEM said. A total of 4,366 companies from 93 countries are represented at the show this year.

For its 40th birthday next year, MIDEM plans to hold a special Asian day, Leguern told AFP. The potentially enormous Chinese market is still not very well-organised yet, which makes it difficult for the country to come here in big numbers, she said.

But with a lot of European companies eager to break into the Chinese market and expand their business in technologically-superior Asia generally, an Asia day should help boost business with the region, she said.

Asian companies participating at this MIDEM made up six percent of the total, and Oceania two percent. China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan all sent companies.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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