Midem Attendance Levels, 2003-2013…

And the official numbers are in. During the latest affair, Midem attracted 6,400 attendees, down 7 percent from last year.  And, down quite precipitously from just a few years ago.  Here’s the breakdown dating back to ’03, based on official conference stats.

18 Responses

  1. Griffith

    What is Midem and why would people go?

    If something is outdated or non-relevent…of course people wouldn’t go…

    • Steven Corn (BFM Digital)

      This is a sort of “if you have to ask…” situation. As I have often said, Midem is not a music conference. It’s a business conference. Attendence was definitely less (you can tell by how easy it was to get a table in your favorite restaurant). The reason for this decline is two fold:
      1) Some companies are not showing at all. There are definitely companies choosing not to be here. Between emails, calls, skypes, web meetings and other conferences, you can meet a lot of your clients in other ways.
      2) Companies are choosing to send fewer people. My company sent 2 instead of 4 people. Many companies sent only one. But usually that meant that decision makers were here and not intermediaries.
      I feel that most other conferences are either showcases for talent or educational panels. There still isn’t another conference where business is actually transacted as much as Midem.

      BFM had a great mixture of meeting with old clients (labels and DSPs) and developing new clients (both, again). I’m exhausted and, as any Midem veteran will attest to, many deals take years to come to fruition, if at all. I still feel that Midem was very successful for BFM. It also saves me weeks of travel time by having so many clients condensed into one week.

      I’m not blindly defending Midem or predicting its future. This is merely my assessment of the present. As with any other conference, you make of it what you want. If you come prepared, it’s very useful. Otherwise, you might leave feeling unfulfilled.

      • Sam Fisher (FMGM)

        Being at MIDEM so many times, as you said many deals take long time to actually happen, if it actually happens at all… but then again, I’m still waiting on BFM to answer me on submission regarding label distribution… I guess its still the “Old-Business” influence…

      • Sam Fisher

        Having being at MIDEM many times before, as you said: “many deals take years to come to fruition, if at all”, that is true. To that Include the fact of the way the music business is handled now has changed the whole spectrum. Now, sadly, it seems that BFM is still under “Old School-Music Business Style” of handling things since I have been waiting on a reply conversation regarding label distribution after being referred… So let’s see, hopefully things change..

  2. Nick Dunn (Horus Music)

    I agree with Steve. Midem is still the place for meeting all your partners in one place and more importantly building up relationships with new companies. Each year we gain business from Midem, it may not happen overnight, but the origins of that business all come from Midem.

    I remember Midem in the busy days, but often you spoke to people who couldn’t make a dicision, they were only there really for the party. As companies have cut down on the numbers they send, better business has been done as you meet the dicision makers and things happen far more quickly, so far less time wasting. I personally feel Midem is better now for having less numbers, its about quality, not quantity.

  3. Brian Felsen, Pres., CD Baby

    It’s wonderful to see this chart, so good work Paul – yet I completely agree with Nick and Steven above. I had an insanely productive Midem this time around. Cheers!

    • Voice of Reason

      SXSW is a giant clusterfuck. Next to impossible to get any kind of business done there.

    • paul

      Wow, you remixed the graph. Next time I’m going to open up my Google Doc file access to make it easier.

  4. Manicmonkee

    You have to be crazy to think you can conduct any real form of business other than networking at SXSW. You have thousands of competiting things going on in Austin while at Midem it’s mainly in one concentrated area.
    If you want to throw a party, SXSW is your place, if you want to solifdfy deals, Midem all the way. By noon most people at SXSW are already drunk with all the free liqour at the parties, and if you think the conference area is the way to go your mistaken there as well. Most people go to speak on their panel and they are out to another party. At least at Midem, no one can afford to be drunk by noon with the 15 dollar beers.
    If I didn’t say it before, unless you have a band or film or startup your touting and want to make conections, thats what its good for. I party at SXSW and take 70 meetings at Midem, thats how it is.

  5. Jasper Donat

    “Quantity may be down but quality remains. Music Matters had an excellent weekend. Great meetings with new clients and old friends leading to tangible outcomes.
    My only complaints are it’s bloody freezing and 8 Euros for a small bottle of water is bull****.”

  6. mr_trick

    Love how DMN uses a graph that starts at 6000 (rather than zero) to make a more dramatic graph re: MIDEM attendance 🙁

  7. Michael

    I can only concur with what people are saying. Yep, figures are down – but then the industry has lost 50% in revenue in ten years so what do you expect? But Midem remains the one place where all the facets of the business come together. Remember that since 2003, the whole CD production business has crumbled, which took out a large slice of Midem’s audience. Also, this year many national export boards cut budgets for their pavilions, which reduced the number of participants again.
    Yet depsite all that, Midem continues to be superbly run and totally relevant to the business of music.

  8. Manuela

    I completely agree; Midem seems to be still “the place” for music business and this time I took some time to attend also some different conferences; This business has changed so much, that after 30 years in this field, running my company “the old way”, I found it very usefull to learn from the the experience of successfull companies involved in the new way of monetizing music and developiing their artist carreers.
    What is true is that Cannes is very expensive, and hotels, restaurants, and bars, should practise more reasonable prices instead of counting the tripple. Maybe, next Midem somewhere else ?

  9. James Martin, midem community

    Like the “empty Cannes” photos earlier, this isn’t totally fair. As one of our key media partners told me last year, “SXSW is for discovering new bands; midem is for discovering new business.” There are more and more new bands today; and less and less business (revenues). So it would as such be fairer to compare our figures with those of the music industry. Both are regenerating right now. & for the record, this midem was our most social ever, with 32% more tweets than last year. So there’s reason to be optimistic about imminent recovery. Thanks!

  10. Alex

    There are hundreds of things that could have been done to attract attendees. Staying in Cannes is not one of them.

  11. Conrad

    It would be good to have some more details about the data on attendance. From what I gather, the MIDEM attendance is based on who paid the entrance fee for the Palais.
    Having just returned from MIDEM yesterday, I can say that this years was one of the best MIDEM’s I have been to. Many people I met didn’t bother buying a pass and I know for a fact that many companies didn’t buy a booth and had suites offsite. Don’t rely on ticket sales alone. More time was spent in actual meetings rather than wandering around aimless booths. To be honest, there wasn’t one booth there that I was interested in and its very rare to find a company at MIDEM, that you don’t already know, and you just happen to find them because you’re “passing.”

    If anything, the Carlton from 10pm-5am should charge money to get in. More business was conducted there 😉