Indie dance labels instantly know what I’m referring to when I say ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat‘. Fatboy Slim’s anthem is the best way to describe visiting festivals and conferences such as EDC, Miami Music Week and IMS Ibiza. Parties that are all amazing and much needed, but for four days in June a must-visit for indie labels is Midem. Less about rave, more about meetings and networking; innovation emerges there. Labels missing out on Midem are missing out on important learnings about innovation, trends and new business opportunities.
Black Hole Recordings, being both an indie label and a distributor, learned some valuable lessons at Midem 2015.
Music & Brands: Innovate & inspire
This year, our newly-launched Kwettr service was one of the Midem Marketing Competition finalists. First of all, it was a great honour to be one of the finalists, alongside great organisations such as Unicef, Converse, and Adidas. Our new service, Kwettr, was presented during the finals and drew great responses all round. Kwettr makes and rents out online pop up stores where people can pay using Twitter.
Keywords in all marketing plans of the finalists, were brand innovation and inspiration. Fresh ideas, focused on what makes people enjoy music. Not so much about ‘repeating’ what others had done before them, but more about meeting the needs of customers by thinking outside that well-known box. Long-existing and well-known brands showed their latest developments at Midem. During the presentations, the room was filled with young people, all making their way in the music industry; for them, I believe this was truly inspirational.
As for Kwettr, being present at Midem was beneficial in many ways. Besides brand awareness, generating leads and new customers, our ‘blue ocean strategy‘ was judged by marketing professionals in the music industry. Competing with other marketing professionals was a process of learning for all involved.
Midem 2015 ended just a few weeks ago, but we see product innovation for Kwettr as a result. Feedback, but also better insights in the needs of Kwettr customers lead to product development. Kwettr pop up stores will be able to let customers pay with a tweet for discounts on physical products such as CD’s, merchandise and concert tickets.
Digital distribution now mass market; but physical is far from dead
The marketplace for digital distribution has reached a state of maturity. A healthy market, with businesses just as diverse as the labels and artists they represent. And still, in just four days of doing business at Midem, it seems that the demand for distributors is higher than ever. Lots of participants showed interest for our business unit Black Hole Distribution. This is a positive signal: higher demand means that distributors have to keep innovating to beat the competition. Networking at Midem helped us to develop our service even more.
The product innovation I mentioned earlier was equally big for physical products. Even for products with declining sales such as CD’s, innovation was brought to Midem to add value. Including AR (Augmented Reality) artwork, that literally makes a CD or vinyl come to life when you scan it with your smartphone. This type of product development enables you to create a concept instead of just an album cover. AR artwork can be used in posters, CD’s, digital releases, flyers and so on. Imagine buying a new CD, and by scanning it with your smartphone you see a video of the artist thanking you for purchasing the product and showing you a little teaser of a live performance. You are not just offering your fan a CD, DVD or merchandise; you’re offering a complete experience.
Eat, Sleep, Meet, Repeat: Why networking at events like Midem will never grow old
As for next year, Midem turns 50. Half a century of music industry networking. For Midem, a milestone to be proud of. For us, the leading up to that 50th anniversary will be filled with development, new businesses and new customers.
Meeting face to face, attending workshops and interacting with music business professionals is still adding value to the music industry. Whereas social networking is important, face-to-face B2B networking must not be underestimated.
And, as Midem is now held in the summer, the 50th anniversary will be a sunny one. Eat, Sleep, Meet, Repeat for the next 50!