Last week we attended our first MIDEM since it changed from a winter to summer conference in 2015. We naturally assumed we'd swap conference centres for Cannes sunsets, but unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas for MIDEM's 50th anniversary.
As with the other music conferences we've attended in recent years, tech is at the forefront of the conversation as the music industry continues its evolution to a more tech cooperative industry. Our investment applicants are often music tech based but our approach has so far been cautious - which horse do you back when competition is extremely fierce, investment quantum's high and few inspiring success stories in view. And that's those that do have an obvious demand from users (never mind a clear business model) in sight.
Other concerns were voiced by Sitar Teli, Managing Partner at Connect Ventures, on the 'Startups & Corporations: From Competition to Coopetition' panel where she stressed that the structure of the music industry doesn’t have the same kind of flexibility of other creative industries. Teli also believes that there's a lack of trust between tech companies and the majors from the days of being burnt by early file sharing services such as Napster, and this distrust continues through to business today.
We're attending the Sonar+D startup garden in Barcelona this week where 30 startups in the creative industries have been selected to pitch to a room of investors, including us. The startups cover a wide range of areas including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, IoT, wearables, blockchain, advertising, fashion and music. We're ready to have our minds opened and opinions changed on music tech.
We spent the weekend at Field Day, celebrating its 10th anniversary. We've been involved for 9 of those 10 years so we've had the pleasure of watching it grow into the East London stalwart it is today. Unfortunately, Mother Nature took umbrage once again and the event experienced arguably the worst weather in its ten-year history. This didn't stop the crowds from having a great time amongst their favourite bands and neither did it stop us.
Here's to the sun shining on the rest of our festivals this summer.
The Edition Team