D-Nice, SoundExchange’s Huppe Discuss Unusual Business [Midem Digital Edition Spotlight Series]

MIDEM’s digital programming continues to roll out, including the event’s greatly anticipated Business (Un)Usual panel that takes a deep look at the ways the music industry is evolving in the wake of COVID-19.

As music creators find new ways to connect with their audiences and the industry seeks ways to support them, DJ D-Nice, a panel participant, noted, “I will probably never go back to be the same type of artist that I was in the past. This [time in history] has brought so much creativity to the forefront for me.”

“Now that I am using social media to connect to fans, I can’t imagine going back to what it was before. Having the ability to touch fans from all over the world – people wake up in Italy just to hear me play music,” continued D-Nice. 

D-Nice was joined by Michael Huppe, president and CEO of SoundExchange, the premier royalty solutions organization, with Rolling Stone’s Amy Wang. An important theme discussed during the conversation was the economic impact of COVID-19 on the music industry.

“A lot of artists are suffering just as much as a lot of other people out there,” said Huppe. “There’s no touring, there’s no clubs, there’s no restaurants, no place to gig, bars are closed, you can’t even do house concerts, so many artists are really being slammed by this pandemic, and yet you still see them rising up, rising above and sharing.”

“Artists globally, I hope, are being looked at in a new light as a result of this”

The conversation quickly turned to compensation and when or if artists should start to charge for digital performances, be it on social media or events streamed on other platforms.

“The digital world needs to fairly compensate artists. There’s an immense amount of wealth being made out there off the music, and more of it needs to trickle down to the people that create it, the labels and the artists that provide it to these services,” said Huppe. 

“I think what we’re doing is saving lives, keeping people from being depressed.”

D-Nice noted he doesn’t feel right charging for his art, at least while the quarantine continues. 

“I don’t know what it’s going to be like six months from now – but while we are quarantined and stuck at home, I think what we’re doing is saving lives, keeping people from being depressed,” added D-Nice. 

Overall, the discussion focused on the power of creativity and music in dark times. 

“Artists globally, I hope, are being looked at in a new light as a result of this,” concluded Huppe.

For more than 50 years, Midem has brought the global music community together in Cannes. This year, Midem Digital Edition (June 2-5) will feature 264 speakers from 48 countries, 64 sessions, and 23 livestreamed keynote sessions, talks, and presentations.

Register for all of the full sessions here: https://www.midem.com/en-gb/midem-digital-edition.html

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