Midem Digital Edition (November 16-19) is approaching, with a programme of sessions exploring the most important music industry trends of 2021, new music monetisation frontiers, not to mention the biggest opportunities for the business and its musicians to grow in 2022.

Here are seven things not to miss from this year’s online event!


1. Learning how you can optimise your music catalogue

Several key sessions at Midem Digital Edition 2021 will focus on the opportunities for music companies, and how they can optimize their catalogues to make the most of them.

One of the big trends of 2021 has been a succession of acquisitions of music-rights catalogues, spearheaded by companies like Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Round Hill Music and Primary Wave, with investment companies including KKR and Blackstone also entering the market.

Midem Digital Edition’s Forever Hits: Catalog Rights Big Booming Business session will take a deeper look at this trend, with the help of Primary Wave’s president and founding partner, Justin Shukat, as well as at what changing consumption trends mean for older catalogue music.


Ole Obermann, Global Head of Music, TikTok (UK)

Another opportunity for catalogue music, as Fleetwood Mac know well, is TikTok. Old tracks are being rediscovered there by a younger generation of music fans, so how can the music industry capitalize? TikTok’s global head of music Ole Obermann will be explaining how in his Midem Digital Edition keynote.

Alexandra Patsavas, Head of Music for Original Series, Netflix (USA)

Video subscription services like Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+ are another exciting frontier for catalogue music to find new audiences. Veteran music supervisor and Netflix’s in-house head of music for original series Alexandra Patsavas will be joining us to talk about the opportunities she sees, as well as some of the challenges around licensing and clearance.

WP Artist and Label services


2. Understanding music consumption habits of today… and tomorrow!

The music industry is embracing new technology and new business models like never before, and a big part of this year’s Midem Digital Edition programme will explore that potential – based on the evolving consumption habits of music fans.


This will include an examination of the newest opportunity of all: non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which have already been tested by a number of artists in 2021. The NFT Revolution: Opportunities and Risks in the Music Industry session includes one of those early adopters: electronic music star Joel ‘deadmau5’ Zimmerman, accompanied by his manager Dean Wilson and investment firm Raised In Space‘s president Shara Senderoff.

A conversation between Tracy Chan, Twitch’s VP, Head of Music and Trivium’s frontman, Matt Heafy will highlight how artists can today create new interactive spaces online and generate more revenues in the process.

Technology firm Hitlab will be presenting a session on How AI is Shaking Up the Music Industry, explaining how artificial intelligence technologies of various kinds can help music companies evolve.

There is also a focus on independent artists at Midem Digital Edition this year. SoundCloud will host a workshop explaining how its fan-powered innovations are helping musicians to build their careers, while Believe will present its vision of Innovation for Independent Artists and Producers”.


3. Getting inspiration for building your international strategy

The world’s biggest recorded music markets may have stayed the same – the US, Japan, UK and Germany – but the streaming era has vastly expanded the horizons of musicians and music companies when it comes to reaching audiences in other parts of the world too.

At Midem Digital Edition 2021, you can expect plenty of inspiration on how to grow internationally. Horus Music is bringing together a panel from Brazil to explore how to break there through its music services, for example.


China is an exciting market for international and domestic artists alike. A panel will explore the status of its music industry, as well as copyright-related environmental issues, with speakers including Tencent’s legal director Qihu Yang and Taihe Music Group SVP, Xin Liu.

The Midem lineup will also offer another chance to watch some of the helpful sessions from its sister events this year. “Africa’s Role in a Global Music Marketplace” and “The Afro Arab Sound” from Midem Africa 2021, and “Decoding the Alternative Music Scenes of Latin America” from the Midem Latin American Forum 2021.


4. Getting the full picture on the artist and label services ecosystem

The rise of streaming has brought with it a new ecosystem of ‘artists direct’ – artists who release their music through distributors, and build a team around them to promote it and find partnerships to grow.


Midem Digital Edition 2021 will be taking full notice of this trend, including a session exploring Artist Services in the Fan Economy featuring SoundCloud‘s president Eliah Seaton and chief content and marketing officer Lauren Wirtzer Seawood, and Warner Music Group‘s Oana Ruxandra.

Women in Music will also be bringing together a panel to discuss How Services are Facilitating a More Equitable Music Industry with speakers including TuneCore‘s VP international Farval Khan-Thompson and MD in India Heena Kriplani; YouTube‘s head of music, Sub-Saharan Africa Addy Awofisayo, Songtrust president Molly Neuman and President of Stem Distrinution, Kristina Graziani.

We’ll also have the now-traditional Spotify for Artists Masterclass, guiding musicians and their teams through the latest features for marketing and audience development on Spotify. Meanwhile, on the royalties side of things, a session will explain the potential for Cracking Up the Black Box to Improve the Life of Creatorspresented by Bridger, if the industry can build an open, solid and consistent metadata environment.


5. Hearing and meeting speakers and attendees from around the world

With Covid-19 yet to be eradicated, this year’s Midem is online again. But that brings with it the silver lining of a truly global lineup of speakers, as well as attendees.

Besides the companies mentioned in this blog post, you’ll be able to use the dedicated networking tools to connect with artists, labels, managers, publishers, distributors, streaming services, collecting societies, brands, booking agencies, promoters, technology companies’ music teams and startups during the event and afterwards!


6. Discovering the most promising music-tech startups of 2021

The Midemlab startups contest is back for its 14th edition in 2021, with a competition that in the past has showcased companies including SoundCloud, Songkick, Kickstarter and The Echo Nest.

This year, 20 finalists will be pitching their wares in four categories: music creation and education; music distribution and discovery; music marketing and data / analytics; and live music experiences.


You will be able to watch all the pitching sessions as part of Midem Digital Edition, and then tune in for the winners announcement live at 18:00 CET on 16 November.

Midemlab has always been a chance to get a brilliant snapshot of new ideas and technological trends, and judging by 2021’s lineup of finalists – you can find links to them all here – this year will be no different.


7. Seeing the brightest new musical talents of the Midem Talent Exporter

One of the most exciting developments in recent years at Midem have been the performances of up and coming artists. Recreating the Cannes beach venue online may not be possible, but the Midem Talent Exporter ensures we will still have a lineup of the most promising talents from across the globe to check out.

Held in partnership with Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), 12 artists have been selected this year, running the full musical gamut from Singaporean hip-hop and African future-pop to Ukrainian rap and Bulgarian pop.

The 12 artists will be showing off their work; getting a fireside talk from electronic music star Steve Aoki; pitching to a carefully selected group of international talent buyers; and meeting supervisors from film, TV, games companies, agencies and brands.

It could be your first chance to spot the next global superstar, and/or to find artists who you could work with in some capacity in the future.

Discover fresh new music at the Midem Songwriting Camp 2021 in Partnership with TAICCA in which more than 20 artists will present their collaboration during an exclusive listening session.


Midem Digital Edition is accessible to all free of charge. All you need to do is register on Midem Digital to access all sessions.

You are already registered for Midem Digital: login here

New participant: Complete the form and create a free account to start using the platform here


About Author

Stuart Dredge is a freelance journalist, and a regular contributor to Music Ally, The Observer and more... including midemblog :)

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