MIDEM Director Wins Arts Medal

Outgoing MIDEM director Dominique Leguern was presented with one of France’s most prestigious cultural awards Jan. 24.

She received the Officier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, which recognises significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields. French culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand presented the award at a ceremony at The Majestic Hotel in Cannes.

Leguern, who has seen the recorded music business – MIDEM’s target market – dramatically cut back its staffing levels, did at least have the satisfaction of knowing the conference figures stacked up much better this year.

“It’s not a music industry crisis, it’s a CD crisis,” Leguern once explained, recognising that the record companies weren’t able to stop illegal downloaders.

Given that the situation hasn’t really changed, she may have gained some satisfaction that this year’s delegate count of 6,850 was down only 2.14 percent on the 7,000 that showed last year.

In recent years MIDEM has attempted to court the live music business, with mixed success. This year’s conference was decidedly tech-heavy.

One of the main debates at this year’s MIDEM concerned cloud-based digital services that allow users to access music on different devices via a remote server rather than downloading it onto a device.

Another indicator that the annual gathering on the French Riviera now feels the technology sector is where its immediate future lies is that Leguern’s position is being filled by Bruno Crolet, who was formerly with Sony Digital Development.

MIDEM was in Cannes, France, Jan. 22-26.