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Midem 2009 photoIt was a difficult year for the music business as well as for the world economy; so predictions form some quarters for this year's Midem were dire. In the end, the Cannes mega-conference appears to have dodged the bullet with figures released by organizer Reed Midem showing a 12% drop in attendance to 8000 from 9100 in 2008.  For those present, the effect was sometimes even positive. Getting a restaurant reservation was easy and meetings were less difficult to book.

But all the key players in music and in music technology were still in attendance even if their posse sizes and expense accounts had been clipped.  "It's not about quantity this year; its about quality," one veteran observed wryly.

In its 43 years, Midem has already reinvented itself many times.  When I attended almost 30 years ago before the internet and before English became

the global language of business, the music industry came to Midem to spread its catalog to new territories. Now licensing is just a sliver of the overall activity as new technologies and services fight for the attention of an increasingly diverse group of attendees.

Reed Midem knows the challenges and attempts to address them with various success at mini-summits within the larger conference that range from a fully realized two day MidemNet for music technologies to meetings for subsets like publishers, live music and managers.  The later is particularly viewed as a growth area as managers take on an increasingly diverse portfolio once handled the record labels.

The 44th edition of Midem will be held in Cannes from January 24-27 January 2010  and 11th MidemNet, January 23-24.

Read Hypebots' full Midem coverage here.