4 things we've learned about the music industry this week

23rd Jan 2009 | 15:27

So, what happened at the Midem conference?

The Midem conference is an annual 'music industry' event bringing together the finest minds, musicians and policy-makers to discuss musical trends and products for the coming year. 2009's took place in Cannes, France between 18-21 January.

We've trawled the reports and found four key moments, proposals and quotes we think you might be interested in. From blanket licenses to "nerd kids"…

1. Faithless might be 'doing a Radiohead'

Faithless

Ah, the good old 'doing a Radiohead' model. You know? Releasing an album on the internet at a 'pay-what-you-like' price with no major label taking a cut. Well, one of the masterminds behind Radiohead's In Rainbows release – Brian Message - also manages Faithless, and announced that the band are "hugely unlikely" to sign a new record deal.

"Faithless have got enough financial resources to do it themselves, which is what Radiohead did. I'd hope they'd be radical about the decisions they make," Message told the Midem crowd. "I hope they take a whole load of risks on making the music."

2. Isle Of Man residents could get unlimited legal music downloads

Isle of man

The Isle of Man is a small self-governing island located between Northern Ireland and western England and it doesn't actually belong to the United Kingdom. So, they can pretty much make their own rules. The Isle's inward investment manager Ron Berry proposed that the 80,000 residents would pay a compulsory blanket licence to share and download music legally.

"At the end of the day, we are not going to stop piracy, so let's embrace it," proposed Berry. A blanket license for ISPs to allow their subscribers to download music for non commercial use as an intrinsic part of their monthly ISP or MSP [mobile service provider] charge is the way forward."

3. Glastonbury Festival 2009 is 90% sold out, might have four headliners

Glastonbury

Glastonbury owner Michael Eavis was at the Midem conference to pick up a Green World Award. After 2008's last minute ticket sales push, he was probably quite relieved to share the news that 90% of Glastonbury 2009 tickets were already sold.

Ok, so who headlines Glasto might not be detrimental to the music industry, but it is one of the largest music festivals in the world, hence its inclusion here. "We've got four headliners at the moment," shared Eavis. "If they all confirm, then I've got two headliners for Saturday."

4. Donovan knows how to stop illegal music sharing

Donovan

Donovan shot to fame during the psychedelic 60s when love, peace and sharing walked hand-in-hand through Mellow Sunshine everyday of the week. He's changed his tune since then:

"If one of those nerd kids could work out something so every time you take a song and you haven't recognised that a writer wrote it, or somebody really needs a miniscule part of a penny for it, that a banner comes up and says: 'Just remember, somebody wrote this song and they might not be able to pay their electricity next week."

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