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The 4th Midem Music Hack Day is about to kick off. As ever, I’ll be chaperoning 30 eager hackers from around the world as they spend 48 hours designing and developing a new music application from scratch, up in the highest floors of the Palais Des Festivals.

Midem & Music Hack Day joined forces back when the digital powers that be hadn’t quite grasped the concept of working with solo or smaller teams of developers; so the event that took place back in 2011 really turned some heads.

Fast forward to 2013 and, in the midemblog’s most-shared post of the year, Lucy Blair proclaimed that “Developers are the new rockstars” and that labels should, and, indeed were, starting to care about that. Damn right they were, a new more rapid, focused and technology-powered way of reaching an audience had been unearthed; and everyone wanted a piece of it.

What Music Hack Day set out to do in 2009 was to show people a new way of building with music and technology – through APIs and combinations of existing services, leveraging what existed rather than starting from the beginning each time. Now music and tech go hand in hand. You wouldn’t see a campaign today without a digital aspect to it, or even as the overall driver of the campaign itself.

Times have changed. For the better, and we’re all pleased to have been a part of it, no matter how small.

Still, not every label can afford to throw so much money at digital marketing. This is where I think the true win of the Midem Music Hack Day comes in: We help to plant seeds.

The ideas the hackers bring to the room on day one of the hack day are just seeds that get wrangled into something real over the course of 48 hours. When they get presented they’re still pretty raw and, on the whole, not meant for public consumption – although there’s always a few that demand you play with them. Each year we see the same thing happen in the audience; you look out at the faces as you present and there’s always one person who’s scribbling furiously or nodding along as you describe what you built.

That person will often come up to you afterwards with questions, but the important part is that you have taken the seed of an idea, proved it, and that, in turn has planted the seed of an idea in someone else’s head. They leave Cannes with something they want to try and achieve in the coming year.

As ever, we’d love to have some ideas from Midem attendees to throw out in the room when we’re all up there discussing our plans for the next 48 hours. So, you can fill out this form with any ideas for things you’d like to see built that don’t currently exist.

If you’re not quite sure what we’re on about, then why not take a look at last year’s Midem Music Hack Day demo sessions?

 

This year’s event wouldn’t be happening at all if it wasn’t for the support of Spotify & Deezer who have both graciously stepped up. Thanks to both of them for their continued support, not just of this, but of the many Music Hack Days that happen around the world each year.

 

Full details (dates, times and more) of Midem Hack Day 2014 here!

Martyn Davies is central coordinator for Music Hack Day, and developer evangelist for SendGrid.


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