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6/14/2017 Creative Minds Gather At MIDEM 2017

Every year Midem gathers the music business's brightest minds in Cannes to share industry

insights, network, and celebrate their respective crafts. Recently wrapping up its 50th year, the

event has established itself as an institution in the music community internationally. Through its

host of engaging panels, lavish mixers and beachfront concerts along the French Riviera, this

year's deliberations did not disappoint. Here are some of SynchAudio's highlights from Midem




Set at the elaborate Palais de Festival, Midem's opening day was buzzing. The event venue's

literal English translation "Festival Palace" is really the only description to do its aesthetic

justice. The year's built up anticipation proved enough to stave off jet lag, as panelists were

on point and audiences fully engaged. A strong theme throughout Day 1 was the emergence

of streaming.


Streaming is no longer just a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, it is the force.

It has developed as the primary way of consuming music, and industry professionals are

faced with monetizing streaming platforms in a way that benefits artists and the music

business as a whole. Currently an artist's presence on streaming platforms is essential for

exposure, despite minimal payouts. This has given tech companies a stronghold over labels

in negotiations.

The rapid shift to streaming has created a competitive marketplace for streaming services,

all battling to differentiate themselves. The consensus is that a platform distinguishes itself

by curating its catalogue towards local markets. On an artist’s side of things, getting on

playlists should now be treated with the same gravity as radio promo. However, the bottom

line is that the music is still the biggest part to any equation. You won't get anywhere without

quality content whether you're an artist, label, or streaming service. In that sense, it’s no

surprise streaming has taken control with such force. If content is king, streaming wears the




Midem’s nights were filled with all you can eat h’orderves, champagne stocked open bars, and

waterfront concerts on the suitably named Majestic Beach. Each night hosted a different

international music showcase, and featured upcoming acts as a part of Midem’s Artist

Accelerator. A definite highlight of Night 1 was the music out of the UK:

Dream Wife


The four-piece punk collective out of London brought an edge that could have forced the crowd

into the French Riviera off Majestic Beach. They were fearless in the face of an audience full of

industry influencers, carrying an attitude that was mosh worthy. The hook from one of their last

tracks is still stuck in my head, but definitely not appropriate to sing in public.

Jake Isaac

Isaac put on the show you'd be disappointed not to get if you were going to a beachfront

concert. His upbeat energy had hold of the crowd from the get go, controlling the tone with

tropically rhythmic acoustic numbers and soothing ballads. That summer festival moment

where everything just feels perfect was Jake Isaac.

Iris Gold

Clad in a jumpsuit coloured to match her moniker, Iris Gold was a personal favourite. The

London based pop-funkstress poured her heart out at Midem, in what would be a lost cause

not to mention. If you happen to be in Cannes, you can likely still find remnants of soul

engrained deep on the sands of Majestic Beach from Iris Gold's time on stage.


The second day of Midem was eventful to say the least. Most notably Day 2 featured

SynchAudio's Sync and Brands Day. Presented with Midem for its first year, the afternoon

featured talks from game changers in the world of sync. Among others, speakers included

award-winning music supervisor Nora Felder (Stranger Things, Ray Donovan, The OA), and

SVP of Sony Pictures Television Tony Scudellari. Another standout from the day featured Linkin

Park's Mike Shinoda and Blink 182's Mark Hoppus discussing the songwriting process. This

involved the duo writing the beginnings of a song live in front of a packed main room.


Synchronization is the process of placing music under any form of visual media. It has

become a vital part of the music business, and is only growing as a revenue stream for

artists and industry professionals alike. Artists can greatly improve their chances of getting

music placed in film or television by working through a sync placement company. Having

sync representation largely expands an artist’s contacts and access to briefs. Music

supervisors like to work with sources they trust, and reputable sync agencies are often the

first stop.


With a stacked lineup and a revitalized audience, Majestic Beach erupted into a full-fledged

dance party on the second night of Midem.

Miss Garrison

As a part of the Chilean showcase, Miss Garrison was a definite highlight of the night. Miss

Garrison’s performance was all-entrancing, with a unique mix of vibing synth-pop rooted in

traditional Latino influences. They brought the crowd to peaks and valleys at will, although

the performance as whole was definitely a peak.

• Shakka

Shakka took the energy of Midem's second night to another level. Rapidly gaining steam as a

premier emerging hip-hop act, Shakka’s full talents were on display for Night 2. Wyclef Jean

put it best after Shakka joined him for a guest appearance later in the night: "I know what's

next, and Shakka is next."

Wyclef Jean

On stage dance parties, spontaneous bass solos, 40-foot stage climbs. In what should only be

expected, Wyclef Jean put on a show worthy of his name. The renowned hip-hop artist and

producer showed the crowd how a seasoned performer gets it done, and had Cannes’ beaches

fired up on all fronts by the end of the night.


Day 3 covered a breadth of topics from sync and brand partnerships, to chatbots, AI, and the

value gap. Audiences heard from tech gurus, business moguls, and pop-stars. Standouts

included a one-on-one chat with Daddy Yankee discussing his work creating the world’s current

chart topper, and a Midem Wrap Up that very effectively touched on the week’s key points in

under an hour. Despite the many different subjects covered, the importance of artists

maintaining control seemed to permeate throughout the day.


Whether it’s tech, business, or song creation, the artist is at the centre of the music industry.

Artists need to control as much of their product as possible. They should only team with

trustworthy partners that will work for them, not against them. It’s not enough just to be good,

having a business sense will make all of the difference as an artist. Technology has placed more

control than ever in the hands of content creators,and they need to use it to their advantage.

Messaging apps and chatbots are still in the process of gaining traction, but can be a great tool

for artists to better understand their fan base. The music industry’s role is to look out for the

artist. While artists don’t need labels in the same way they used to, labels need to cater to an

artist’s needs more on an individual level. Content is more publicly accessible than ever, but

music’s middle class needs resurgence. The tech is there to help fuel it, but needs to be used

in the right way.


Midem’s third and final night of beachfront entertainment had a lot to live up to, and did not

disappoint. Attendees were treated to performances from the best new acts out of Taiwan, as

well as the conclusion to Midem’s Artist Accelerator showcase.

Kiddy Smile

On a picturesque night set by the French Riviera’s calming tides, nothing was smoother than

Kiddy Smile. Smile’s laid back electronic stylings were as fashionable as his vibrantly outfitted

backing band. Full of feeling and an energy that seemed to come effortlessly, the crowd at

Midem was having every bit of Kiddy Smile.

DJ Questionmark

DJ QuestionMark kept the audience on its heels with a vinyl collection as limitless as his

musical aptitude. He didn’t miss a beat whether he was spinning Lonely Island remixes,

swing classics, or rocking an impromptu jazz flute solo at centre stage. You never knew

what was coming next from DJ QuestionMark, but you could trust you’d want to see it.

Acid Arab

The finale to Midem’s live music series was in good hands with Acid Arab behind the

turntables. Out of Paris the eclectic EDM duo integrates Middle Eastern and African

influences, crafting an exhilarating blend of global electronica. By the night’s close

Acid Arab was bound to make you move in ways you didn’t know you could move,

at what evolved into a full out musical and cultural celebration on Majestic Beach.


Despite only taking place over half of a day, the week’s final panels were fully engaging.

A&R reps from around the globe explained their respective approaches to representing

artists, and radio professionals discussed radio’s place in today’s industry. Music’s

globalization in the digital age seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the afternoon.



Streaming platforms have made it much easier for artists to reach fans internationally,

greatly expanding the global music market. Despite having more access to international

music, fans will always feel a connection to local artists. This is where radio has to play

a large role in today’s music economy. Radio stations have a responsibility to help

develop local acts, and resist the urge to exclusively play hits. Building a trusting

relationship with listeners by airing quality content is a must, and can be leveraged to

give talented indie artists exposure.

SynchAudio was proud to partner with Midem this year, celebrating the latest trends in

music through a lively 4 days. Midem continues to be a leader in global music conferencing,

and we only look forward to what the shores of Cannes might bring at Midem 2018.

JUNE 14 - 2017

SynchAudio Editorial Team


SynchAudio is a Toronto boutique music placement company that provides one-stop, full

service licensing representation for the use of music and media in all screen based storytelling

platforms. Follow @SynchAudio for more great music industry news or log on to

synchaudio.com to preview our extensive catalogue.

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