Vanja Primorac, in charge of Music Innovation at United Talent Agency, Jean-Philippe Louis, Journalist at Les Echos and Marisol Segal, Head of Digital Partnerships at AEG Presents will take part in the Midemlab 2020 competition as jury members. They offer their insights on what sets certain startups apart from others and share their predictions around the role of music tech in the industry.


Midemblog: What is your relationship with startups in your job position on a daily-basis?

Vanja Primorac: Our team is constantly educating themselves about new music technology and digital platforms. Building relationships with startups is a large part of our day-to-day job, which helps us teach our colleagues and clients about emerging opportunities and resources.

Jean-Philippe Louis: As a journalist, I write on a daily-basis about the music business and more specifically about startups driving this industry though creativity and innovation. My favorite part is to identify new trends and opportunities in the market.

Marisol Segal: I interact with startups daily as I seek out solutions to help market our events and sell tickets. As a partner, I like to focus on providing feedback, insights and opportunities to test with us.

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> How do you see music tech adding to our industry in the coming years?

V.P: One big trend that I’ve noticed over the course of the last year is emerging platforms that are rooted in giving artists access to own their fan data. Platforms like Community, Audience Republic and Laylo are innovative tools empowering artists to own their own data and really understand who their fans are and how to mobilize them. Geo-targeted ads are no longer a sufficient means of reaching or growing your audience and these tools are democratizing data and empowering independent artists and their teams to market their tours, music and merch in a really effective way. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for an artist to leverage their social followings in ways that really move the needle. Tools like these will become instrumental to fostering artist-to-fan connection.

J-P.L: Innovation is the best way to strengthen an industry and the music business is known for being an amazing test floor. In the coming years, music professionals will benefit from technologies to focus even more on targeted audiences as well as niche markets.

M.S: We’re going to see musictech progress – from being one aspect of the industry to really becoming ubiquitous.


> What should a startup add to the music industry to stand out today?

V.P: Looking for startups that have developed creative solutions that can be easily understood and communicated to the industry. Simplify!

J-P.L: A startup should be able to offer new experiences. Music is about emotions and the question is how to bring these feelings to the audience more efficiently. Startups capable of offering a new kind of experience already have a winner status.

M.S: I look for things that create value. That could be a useful tool to create efficiencies or something innovative and fresh. If it can create value for artists and the industry, it’s going to stand out.


> As part of the Midemlab jury 2020, what are you looking for from the startups at Midemlab?

V.P: Innovative Music Discovery tools! This industry has an opening for a new kind of curator. While playlisting can yield greater exposure for an artist, they don’t necessarily translate to earned fans – who are ultimately the people you want streaming your music, buying tickets to your show and your merch. Influencer marketing and social playlisting models are on the rise, but are still largely unproven methods of breaking artists and don’t always do the best job of telling a narrative. Looking forward to the disrupter who tackles this issue.

J-P.L: I am looking forward to discovering startups and meeting entrepreneurs who can disrupt the industry. I want to be so surprised that it will make me see new perspectives for the industry.

M.S: Passion, confidence in the value they are providing, preparedness, a product that works as described and a solid team.


> What advice would you give to startups submitting for Midemlab?

V.P: Really think about what your go to market strategy is and how you plan to acquire a solid user base. Just because you can see the added value in the product that you’re developing doesn’t mean the industry is going to see it as clearly as you do. I’ve worked with a wide variety of music tech startups and I’m constantly running into the chicken or the egg issue. The startup is looking for a big artist to co-sign and use their tools, however, those teams don’t necessarily see the value in doing so because that platform doesn’t have a proven model or embedded audience. Take the time to come up with a solid business plan which not only showcases an understanding of the marketplace, but is also a well-researched and tested concept.

J-P.L: Be creative. Some startups limit their creativity because they’re only focused on short-term development. Your innovation should be disruptive and you have the opportunity to bring a new approach to the music industry.

M.S: Study the criteria and ensure you’ve really thought through all the details of your submission. Know your customer and market well. Keep your video simple, professional and informative.


Apply for Midemlab here until February 18th, 2020


About Author

Devon DeAngelo is Social Media Manager for Midem, as well as other Reed MIDEM events

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