Johannesburg – South Africa, April 2018 – Midem, home to the global music community, last month announced the launch of its High-Potential Markets Programme designed to assist music professionals from around the world by encouraging business development and the discovery of new talent.
The new initiative aims to foster bilateral exchanges between international and national music executives and sectors in order to facilitate the structuring and professionalization of the high-potential markets.
In 2018, the new Programme will focus on the African music industry with a four-day ‘African Forum’ during Midem (June 5-8 in Cannes). The forum will be preceded by a series of industry meetings across four African countries, to support the structuring of the African music industry, stimulate discussions between African and international music stakeholders, develop sustainable business models for African labels and artists in order to boost African music on a local and international scale.
Last week saw the Johannesburg leg of the Forum take place at the The Venue in Melrose Arch to over 100 delegates. Speakers included Alexandre Denoit (Midem CEO), Nothando Migogo (SAMRO CEO), Renneth Tshisikule (IMEXSA), Brad Holmes (Bass Line), Gillian Ezra (Head of African Operations DEEZER), Nhlanhla Sibisi (RISA CEO) Leo Manne (Trace South Africa Senior Vice President) Akotchaye Okio (International Development Officer for Africa at SACEM), Yoel Kenan (CEO Africori), Tumi Molekane (Artist) and Amaru da Costa (Soulistic) to name a few.
“Africa has incredible wealth in terms of musical talent and diversity of musical styles but the continent currently represents just 2% of the world music market, ” comments Alexandre Deniot, Director of Midem. “As the home of the global music community, Midem is committed to supporting the development of the international music sector and that includes providing African artists and music companies with a platform to reach more fans and generate new revenues. We look forward to welcoming them to Midem in 2018 and beyond.”
The African Forum is organised by Midem in association with TRACE, the leading pan-African music media network.
“By partnering with Midem on the African Forum, we bring together Midem’s power as an international music business acceleration platform, with our expertise in afro urban music, along with our local knowledge and excellent relationship with our subscribers in Africa, at the service of promoting African talent and providing creative solutions to improve its local and international development,” notes Olivier Laouchez, CEO, Trace.
The African Forum, running throughout Midem, will host high-level discussions involving African and international music industry leaders, politicians and official institutions. In addition, it will provide a platform to promote African musical creativity, a Midem Night dedicated to African music and opportunities to share knowledge and professional training.
“It is such an exciting time to be an artist and especially in Africa, where there are so many talented and creative musicians who are breaking boundaries and whose music travels throughout the world, ” says Yemi Alade, Nigerian Afropop megastar, whose single ‘Johnny’ has set a new record for over 85 million views on YouTube, making it the most-watched video from a African artist.“However there are still many challenges and, to take it to the next level, we need to come together and work on strengthening and structuring of our music business in Africa. I’m very pleased to be part of the Midem African Forum and hope that sharing my experience as an artist will highlight the immense opportunities for African artists, not only in the continent, but globally,” adds the multi-award winning artist and fashion designer.
Alongside the African Forum in June, Midem is organising local meetings in the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa and Republic of the Congo. Taking place from April 4 to April 12, this series of one-day events will bring together African and international music professionals for meetings, conference debates, workshops and live showcases. Attendees will include labels, mobile operators, rights collection companies, streaming platforms, music publishers, artists, media, politicians, influencers and professional associations and institutions.
According to mobile telephony data, Sub-Saharan Africa currently accounts for one tenth of the world’s mobile telephone subscriber base and the market is growing faster than any other region in the world. Estimates are the Sub-Saharan smartphone users will number 498 million in 2020 compared to 300 million in 2016.*
“The convergence of the massive take-up of mobile telephony in many African countries, combined with the growth a young generation that is passionate about music, offers huge potential to structure and develop the African music scene both at home and internationally. Artists have a unique opportunity to reach new fans who are listening to music on mobile devices, while work needs to continue to protect those artists’ rights and generate a fair share of revenues. The High-Potential Markets Programme is a long-term initiative to support the growth and international reach of national and regional music ecosystems. We hope that the African Forum will help grow Africa’s share of the world music market and provide the global platform that African music deserves,” adds Midem’s Alexandre Deniot.
*Source GSMA: Mobile Economy 2017.