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Paul Brindley, MD, Music Ally

Like it or not, the music industry’s future is being driven by technological innovation. Of course, great music will still rise to the top but an increasingly larger slice of its business (now around 20% and worth some $2 billion) is coming from digital sources – mainly internet-based and mobile. There would have been no iTunes without the iPod and that $2 billion would have been closer to $1 billion if it hadn’t been for the innovation that allows mobile phone users to choose a piece of recorded music as an alert on their handsets.

The 21st century music experience (licensed or unlicensed) is being driven by innovation. Social networks, music widgets, file sharing services, blog aggregators, recommendation services, interactive online radio stations are all shaping the way we discover, use, consume and share music. The only challenge for the music industry is how to monetize this innovation. Resistance is not an option.

This is why the Music Ally/MidemNet New Business Showcase is so important. It’s a sign to the innovators that the music business is indeed finally embracing them, welcoming them to their forum and encouraging them to share their ideas so we can move ahead together with the innovators and drive more value for everyone.

The innovators are themselves becoming the stars these days. From Napster’s Shawn Fanning to MP3.com’s Michael Robertson to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. So if you’re a budding entrepreneur with a great business idea, submit it at www.musically.com/newbusiness and get rich and famous like Shawn, Michael and Mark.

We can’t promise you millions of dollars but you might end up being one of the six lucky finalists who get to submit their ideas to the main MidemNet conference and win a full MIDEM pass and accommodation costs for your troubles. And if you’re a punter make sure to be there on Sunday January 27 (11.30) so you can vote for your favourite on the day and see the next Shawn Fanning before they’re famous.


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