Interview with Jérôme Delhaye (Director of Entertainment Division of Reed MIDEM) by Mario Christiani (CEO, Music2Deal)
Jérôme Delhaye (Director of Entertainment Division of Reed MIDEM)
Mario Christiani: Most music professionals know about MIDEM but can you tell us about MIDEM for those people who don´t already know about it?
Jérôme Delhaye: Midem is a unique event with participants from 80 countries. It is a B2B event for the international music industry and the only place where people come together for their music and their business to start and maintain relationships.
The full international dimension of the music ecosystem will be at the core of Midem 2016, and will act as the central theme of the conference programme. Key players from the international music industry ecosystem will be attending Midem 2016 including labels, artists, publishers, platforms (Pandora, Deezer etc…), music industry startups…
Mario Christiani: This year Midem will celebrate its 50th year. So what was the very first year like?
Jérôme Delhaye: Midem was created by Bernard Chevry and was launched in Cannes, France, in 1967. The concept was not to be a music festival but from the start a business event. It was scheduled just after the San Remo Music Festival and Bernard Chevry sent a fleet of 100 cars to San Remo to pick up industry executives and bring them to Cannes! The first Midem was the only one of its kind anywhere in the world and it was a great success. It was the first time that so many music business people could meet up, exchange products and ideas and discuss mutual challenges and projects.
Mario Christiani: How did it develop and grow over the years?
Jérôme Delhaye: Midem quickly became an international success, bringing together a growing community of international music professionals. Over the years it has become a unique deal-making platform, enabling international representatives from the whole music sector to connect. After just five years 5,000 people from 40 countries attended Midem.
Mario Christiani: What were the main changes and challenges for Midem over the last 50 years?
Jérôme Delhaye: The many changes in the music industry obviously had an impact on Midem. Some of the most important changes were for example the development of music TV channels like MTV, the launch of the CD or more recently the Internet. As a purely B2B industry event these changes were integrated into Midem to reflect the industry we serve.
Key Face 2016
Mario Christiani: It appears that Midem has nearly always taken place in January. Last year, however, the event happened in June. What was the reason for the change and did it work well? Seems like it could not be easy to change the habits of so many people who attend each year.
Jérôme Delhaye: There was some reservation about Midem’s new dates but we wanted to give new energy to the event. The good weather in June makes a huge difference to our delegates’ mood and the long days and evenings extend the working hours and allow more time to meet people and network outside in the evening. The numerous concerts outside are also very enjoyable in the long summer evenings. Midem is all about networking and we felt that this would be enhanced in the summer.
The feedback we got from our clients to this change was really good. Most of them told us that they met more people and that they had a very positive Midem.
Mario Christiani: And what about the cost of Midem? Some people told me that they think that the hotel prices will be much higher than in January.
Jérôme Delhaye: About 50% of Midem participants go through our internal accommodation booking service and we have negotiated with the hotels we work with on the tariffs they apply which are approximately the same as in January.
Mario Christiani: What are the plans for Midem 2016? What can we expect?
Jérôme Delhaye: It’s the 50th anniversary of Midem and we’ll be celebrating the past 50 years of music with past generations and the next 50 exciting years to come with the game changers of the new music ecosystem.
The 50th anniversary will be a big event there will be 3 evenings of live concerts with a wide range of talent performing at the traditional Opening Night and Closing Night networking events, and also at the Midem 50th Birthday Party on Saturday night. It will be a great time to celebrate and also to benefit from more networking opportunities until late into the evening.
This year we will hold the inaugural International Midem Awards’ ceremony and leading industry competitions such as the Midem Artist Accelerator – the programme to fast-track budding musical talent into the global spotlight and Midemlab, the international pitching competition for innovative startups. We are looking forward to keynotes from leading industry leaders such as Timbaland, Pandora Founder, Tim Westergren; Glassnote Entertainment Founder, Daniel Glass; Warner Music Group’s Stu Bergen; Alibaba Music Group Chairman, Gao Xiaosong; Music Supervisor Marie Ramos and UTA’s Neil Warnock.
Mario Christiani: What are your future plans? What might Midem look like at its 60th year?
Jérôme Delhaye: We have many new projects that we are launching this year like the Innovation factory, the Copyright Summit or the Anchor Program. We move forward with the music industry so as to remain relevant to our clients, our aim is to maximize the return on investment for our participants.
Mario Christiani: Thank you very much.