For the past three years, Midem has partnered with four of the world’s leading independent associations – IMPALA, Merlin, WIN and IMPF  – to give the voice to the indie music scene and provide a global overview of the state of the independent music ecosystem by creating the “Global Indie Voices” programme at Midem.

This half day of panels and case studies is designed to take the pulse of the indie community today by bringing together both high-level and new generation executives to share their experiences and visions for the future of the music business.

Before taking part in Midem 2020 next June, the heads of these associations share their vision of the global indie community in a series of interviews. Next up is Jeremy Sirota, CEO, Merlin.


> Why was the creation of the Global Indie Voices at Midem important?

Midem’s Global Indie Voices program serves as an important platform for the independent community. It provides an opportunity to come together under one roof and meet face-to-face, share perspectives, and learn from each other. This is especially vital for a global organisation like Merlin, with members from over 60 countries and labels and artists representing virtually every country in the world.


> How has the place and role of the indie community changed in the past years?

Independents are thriving in this digital ecosystem and uniquely positioned to take advantage of the evolving marketplace. Digital services recognise the value of Merlin and the diversity of its repertoire as a vital component to their viability and success. We’re seeing consumers continue to demonstrate an appetite for music that extends beyond their primary language and culture. Coupled with the growth in streaming services and the opening up of social platforms, Merlin’s membership can now connect in new ways with their fans and find new audiences. These converging events have expanded the opportunity for independent music to cross borders


> How do you expect it to evolve?

Merlin is optimistic about the global music marketplace and the continued developments in markets like Asia, Africa, India, Russia, and beyond. The benchmarks we measure continue to point towards the tremendous opportunity for independent artists, labels and distributors to continue to grow around the world.


> What are the main challenges faced by the indie community globally and how could they be resolved?

The indie community is incredibly diverse. It constitutes a vast array of business types and entrepreneurs, operating now on a global basis. A core function of indie labels, distributors, and management companies is to find new artists and create great music. But these businesses now have to engage with an ever-increasing array of DSPs located around the world. This puts demands on their supply chain, engaging with DSPs, ingesting and interpreting data, and, for many, running a physical business. For Merlin, one message that was clearly articulated in our 2019 annual report was how Merlin helps to alleviate many of these challenges. Coupled with our members’ trust that Merlin can get the best possible deal, and provide best-in-class data and reporting, we help to empower their digital business.


This interview is part of a series of 4 interviews. Discover more about Global Indie Voices


Make sure to catch the full Global Indie Voices track at Midem, next June!


As part of the Global Indie Voices, Spotify has partnered with Midem for an exclusive workshop dedicated to independents – artists, managers, songwriters or labels and distribution companies – that will present strategies and tools to make the most out of Spotify and reach global audience. Want to attend it? Apply here!”

About Author

Manon Jessua is in charge of Midem’s conference programming, specializing on international music markets. She was instrumental in giving booming new music industries a central place in the event and in the creation of the High Potential Markets Programme, which aims at helping and supporting new territories to structure and develop their local music market. In this role, she led the launch of the inaugural Midem in Latin America in Rio de Janeiro in 2018, as well as the Midem African Forum across seven countries in the continent. Graduated from France’s world-class Humanities University, SciencesPo, she has lived in Latin America, Europe and Asia, working across multiple creative industries, and is passionate about giving local artists and music genres a voice, celebrating cultural exchanges in today’s truly global culture.

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