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MIDEM announcements: Essential, DigSin, Henley Biz School, Getty

By | Published on Monday 30 January 2012


As is customary, many a music company announced new ventures and partnerships this weekend at the industry’s annual shindig in Cannes, MIDEM. Here’s a very quick summary of some them…

First up, London-based Essential Music & Marketing, the distribution and label services sister company of indie label Cooking Vinyl, announced a string of new deals. Artists-wise, Essential confirmed it would be providing label services in Europe to The Blue Nile’s Paul Buchanan, Grammy-nominated Betty Wright and power metal types DragonForce.

On the labels side, Essential announced new deals to distribute No Sleep Records and Lojinx releases in Europe, and Fierce Panda releases in the UK and Ireland. Essential will also handle physical distribution in Europe for some of the artist distributed in the US by The Orchard, who, although better known as digital music aggregators, do also provide more conventional distribution services in America.

Second, US digital music and media executive Jay Frank was in Cannes to put his previously reported new music venture DigSin live. This new company is basically a free digital singles club, which hopes to build up a membership of new music fans who will receive regular free tracks from new artists. Said artists will sign one track deals with DigSin, which will also make the track available via traditional download and streaming platforms, and look for brand partnership deals, which is presumably how it will make money. The main benefit to participating artists is the promotional benefits DigSin can offer.

With the first signing, NNXT, about to put its DigSin single out this week, the company said at MIDEM: “DigSin represents a departure from the usual record label model and will focus on single song releases from new artists all with an eye towards maximising the listening audience. DigSin is aggressively partnering with advertisers and other outlets to expose the music to as wide an audience as possible. A recently signed, multi-year deal with digital distributor INgrooves signals the label’s intent in this regard”.

Next, the Henley Business School threw a party this weekend to promote the new MBA for the Music Industry which it is launching with the backing of all sorts of music business luminaries, including Robin Gibb, David Arnold, Live Nation’s new European Concerts chief (and Warner’s former Europe boss) John Reid, Mission Control’s Richard Smith and BMI’s Fred Cannon.

Describing their new music business focused MBA course, the Henley Business School, a department of the University Of Reading, told reporters: “The business climate in the music industry has changed significantly in the global market place. New technologies and innovation have lead to strategic alliances with partners from other industries. The way in which the industry manages and monetises IP is important to the whole value-chain and will continue to be impacted by policy and regulation. As a result, industry professionals will benefit from an MBA by gaining the capabilities to develop more creative strategies to deal with these new challenges”.

And finally, Getty Images stepped up its music offering to media and ad industry clients by announcing Guestlist, which will offer music from higher profile artists for use in sync projects. Getty’s music library service already provides stock music, but the new service will mean recordings from featured artists will now also be available, albeit initially from a relatively small roster of acts in control of their own catalogues. Joss Stone, now a DIY artist since parting company with EMI, was the celebrity in tow for Getty’s MIDEM appearance.

And that’s enough MIDEM announcements for now, but some digitally focused news from Cannes is still to come. You lucky people you.

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