Bots, Playlists, Blockchain, Value Gap & Growth – Top Trends From #Midem 2017

(1)Fresh from a full week at Midem 2017, Romy Harber shares some of the key trends and hot topics discussed during the event, including the role of chatbots, the future of playlists, what we can expect from blockchain tech, and much more.


Guest post by Romy Harber on MidemBlog

I’ve just returned from a great week of meetings, panels, networking & parties. The sun was shining in Cannes, and there was a positive mood amongst the attendees.

Here is a roundup of the key trends & hot topics I saw at Midem this year!

1. Chatbots

AI, and specifically chatbots, was a hot topic across the course of the week. A panel moderated by Music x Tech x Future’s Bas Grasmayer & featuring The Bot Platform’s Syd Lawrence discussed the opportunities and potential pitfalls of using automated answers on platforms like Facebook Messenger in your campaigns. It totally should have a personality, but should totally not pretend to be a human,” was Laurence’s advice.

At Hospital, we’ve trialled chatbots for certain campaigns, and we’ve had a great response. With a 95% open rate, and the message appearing on a users phone within moments, it’s a great way to cut through the noise of social feeds. However the potential to spam someone and lose their attention is high. So be careful!

Watch the session here: 

2. Playlists

As expected, streaming, and in particular the power of playlists, was discussed in every marketing-orientated panel. The value of building relationships with key tastemakers & services is paramount in a modern campaign. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that you should be building campaigns that drive fans to your music independently of those playlists. Relying on the services to drive those fans will not bring the long-term relationships that are needed for your artists to thrive.

If you can develop your own dedicated audience & prove that to a DSP, the playlist additions will follow.

Find out more here:

also here

3. Blockchain

It’s no secret that there is an issue with metadata in the industry. A lack of communication between publishers & labels, a problem with metadata delivery, and a lack of a strategy to clean it up. In the modern era of millions upon millions of micro-payments, your data needs to be bang on to make sure the payments make their way back to you.

A potential solution being put forward by certain parts of the industry is Blockchain technology – based upon the technology behind bitcoin. I’m by no means an expert, however this article can explain the concept (as can this interview with Benji Rogers, who spoke on Midem’s blockchain panel, below). The technology has a huge amount of potential.

It needs someone to take the bold step towards doing so, and a universal willingness from almost every part of the industry. That is something I feel may take some time.

You can view more here: 

4. The Value Gap

As Spotify has begun to pump significant revenues into the industry, the accusations that they don’t pay enough have slowed. However YouTube is still relying on archaic ‘safe harbour’ laws to stop it needing to license music & pay artists appropriately.

The ‘value gap’ was mentioned across lots of panels, but in a particular one moderated by CMU’s Chris Cooke, where it was pointed out that video streams in the UK were up 88% last year – but the payments to labels were flat at 0.4%. Whilst this is (hopefully) being resolved with updates to current legislation, it is important for labels to ensure that their content is claimed appropriately and they are making the most of the tools available.

You can view more here: 

5. Growth

I’ll end with a great one – that things are looking up. A Merlin report recently issued stated that 66% of their members had seen overall growth of their business in the last year, and according to the IFPI, the recorded music industry grew by 5.9%, the fastest rate of growth since they began recording figures in 1997. And that positivity was a recurring theme in many conversations I had at Midem.

I’m aware there were many years of decline before this, however streaming is affecting the industry in a positive way. Finally companies are beginning to fully embrace this, and as long as this continues and we don’t end up with one or two services calling all the shots – things are looking good for the future.

See you next year!

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