Midem updates, round two: Live-streaming, marketing, safe harbors, and Alibaba Music

Here’s another collection of the talks and sessions at music industry event Midem in Cannes. See RAIN News’ previous coverage of Pandora CEO Tim Westergren’s keynote and our first round-up from earlier this week for further details about the event.

First up is a tech-centric discussion around the live-streaming video trends. Between dedicated apps such as Periscope and Twitch and new features emerging from YouTube and Facebook, live video has grown to a sizeable online presence, which means new business opportunities. Jonathan Kalter of The MGMT Company discussed the release of a new album by a’cappella group Pentatonix on video platform YouNow. “The democratisation of media is incredibly powerful for the music industry,” added Gregor Pryor, partner & co-chair of the Global Entertainment and Media Industry Group at Reed Smith. “All of a sudden you don’t have the gatekeepers that you used to have.”

Anther panel explored the potential interplay between streaming services and marketing. The discussion focused on playlists and on in-house resources the streaming companies have made to help music companies reach fans. “We’re using streaming services almost as social networks in many ways, and I think we’ll see that go even further,” said James Farrelly, head of trade marketing in UK and Ireland for Believe Digital.

In further indie news, the Independent Music Publishers Forum hosted a session and meeting that continued the barrage against YouTube and existing safe harbor protections. This legal issue has been a hot topic for artists, and the IMPF session carried forward the narrative of the value gap and called for action. “YouTube must evolve its current business model or risk jeopardising the creativity and unique culturally diverse source of its content,” IMPF President Pierre Mossiat said. “Let’s sit together therefore with YouTube so that the issue of fair digital remuneration can be properly addressed and solved.”

Finally, Alibaba Music Chairman Gao Xiaosong gave a keynote. He covered the market potential in China, including the issues of copyright legislation and government involvement. He also talked about Alibaba Music’s ability to promote stars stemming from its massive stores of data. “We have everything. So we are more like a big agency, and we share big data to our clients,” he said.

Anna Washenko