Flashback: 2014 MIDEM Music Conference


Since my first day at Berklee Valencia, one of the highlights for all of the Global Entertainment & Music Business program Master’s candidates was the prospect of attending the Midem conference.  The annual music conference, Midem was held in Cannes, France from February 1st-February 4th.  This conference was the first official music conference that I’ve ever attended and it was also my first time visiting France.  Overall, these two factors contributed to a valuable and enjoyable experience.

Let’s briefly recap the events:

Initially on the first day I tried to remember all of the useful tips that had been driven and embedded to all of our heads. It could have been overwhelming at first sight—but fortunately I mapped out a game plan in advance and upon my arrival tweaked a few things with the assistance of the “Midem Smartphone App.”  My own personal interests were in the following areas: artist & repertoire field, music publishing, and digital streaming platforms.  I planned to attend events that catered to those specific areas.


The “Midem Smartphone App” was my best friend over the course of the three-day period that I was in attendance.  It sent reminders/alerts for some of the panels and events, and you could also select your favorite events to add to your own calendar within the app.  This allowed me to use my time efficiently in order to maximize my experience by visiting the different exhibitors and attending the panels that were of interest to me.  Many of the topics related to growth, sustainability and innovation since the theme for this year’s conference was “Get back to Growth? Make it Sustainable.”

“The one peculiar thing that struck a chord within me was the lack of music.  We were at a music conference that didn’t play much music at all.  During the evenings on site there were live shows here and there, but music wasn’t heard throughout the course of the day.  On one occasion there was a brief dance number performed by Brazilian dancers and a few drummers.”

One of the Midem Talks that I highly anticipated on attending featured Lyor Cohen and was moderated by Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy Records.  I really enjoyed the dialogue between Lyor and Tom.  Although I had been following Lyor’s career for some time, it was awesome to hear him and witness him tell it/re-live those moments firsthand.  It seemed as though two good friends were just catching up on old times.  They discussed Lyor’s journey and briefly scratched the surface of his new venture, 300.


Another highlight was the Midem Talk with emerging UK artist, Rita Ora.  I was somewhat familiar with her as an artist and I remembered her song “R.I.P” from a few years ago and of her Roc Nation affiliation, but outside of that I didn’t know much about her.  It was enlightening to hear about VEVO’s partnership with her to develop her as an artist while promoting her on their platform. She ended up debuting at #1 on the UK charts with the assistance of this partnership.  This showcased innovative ways of how artists are partnering with brands/platforms to assist in launching their careers.


Ultimately, I met a lot of wonderful people from across the globe and received and handed out numerous business cards.  I had a few successful meetings with different people from different companies.  It was a realistic portrayal because it wasn’t all glitz and glamour.  Two of my other scheduled meetings were no shows for different reasons (one person sustained an injury and the other forgot about it).  These experiences helped to weed out the people whom I would want to keep in touch with after the conference was over.

It was an amazing networking opportunity, and there are people who I’m already in contact with.  I didn’t enter this conference with the mindset of securing a job, but I knew that I would meet people who could potentially share the knowledge and resources that I’ve been looking for in regards to my career interests.

THINKBAND 6: Jagermeister delivers!

They are delivering CONSISTENCY, a simple word but hard to reach in the times when if something doesn’t work for a brand it’ll move into the next “big” thing.
Since their debut in 2002 the Jagermeister music tour has delivered the most extreme rock bands out there, from Slayer to Slipknot to Unearth. So, are metal bands selling that well nowadays to keep sponsoring them? The answer is YES. But not because these bands are selling billions of records, but for something they share and that give value to the brand’s equity.
















“With sales increasing up to 40% per year since 1985, Jägermeister is the most popular drink nobody likes.” Sally Hogsheads concluded on her “How to Fascinate” case study about Jagermeister, she also concluded that this phenomenon was due to 7 fascination triggers of attraction:

MYSTIQUE – Why we’re intrigued by unanswered questions
LUST – Why we’re seduced by the anticipation of pleasure
ALARM – Why we take action at the threat of negative consequences
POWER – Why we focus on people and things that control us
VICE – Why we’re tempted by novelty and “forbidden fruit”
PRESTIGE – Why we fixate on rank and respect
TRUST – Why we’re loyal to reliable options

If you think about it, these triggers are definitely shared with most of the extreme metal bands that take part of the Jagermeister Music Tour. Think of “Angel of death” by Slayer, it’s not just about the combination of visceral lyrics and loud riffs, it has a mystique on it’s own. The same with Korn’s lust and Slipknot’s power. This is not an extreme metal blog -I need one!- but you get the idea. In the end of the day the brand gets the most loyal FANS (not consumers!!) worldwide, just like heavy metal.

Near the end of her case study, the author concludes “Jägermeister has no competition. This brand is irrationally, irresistibly irreplaceable. A category of one.”

Looks like a virgin territory, headbanging entrepreneurs ready?
Jagermusic website:
Lastly, you can find the Sally Hogshead article here:

Thinkband 4: The best ideas come from the most basic questions.

There are quite a few apps and websites that I can’t live without right now, all of them share something in common: they were born from very basic questions that we all ask ourselves everyday. It’s hard to believe that some of these ideas were created just about a couple of years ago (months in some cases). Since you are probably a musician or a music fan I’ll show you a couple of great apps/websites that came from these basic needs.

Question: ¿Where can I find a drummer that shares my music taste, live in a nearby area and is available RIGHT NOW?
Idea- Fandalism: gives you the ideal band member in just seconds, you can do the search with lots of relevant filters to match style, area, age, amongst others.

Q: ¿Where can I find REAL backing tracks? (if you are a musician you know what I mean, we all hate midi-based backing tracks)
I: Jammit: gives you the possibility of having the actual songs of your preference by channels, in an exclusive mixing software platform. If you are a musician you’ll love it:


Q: ¿When is my favourite artist going to play here, in my city? (without having to surf for each artist’s tour)
I- Bandsintown: gives you the chance to track your favourite artists in a one-only step for the first time, then it uses the built in GPS to determine your exact position, giving you the dates, prices and, since it’s integrated with Facebook, you can see which of your friends are also attending the desired gig.

Finally, I’d like to share a few questions that I have right now:

Q: Which bands will open for Fear Factory’s concert here in Valencia? (I did my research and couldn’t find anything about this, as usual for startup bands)
I: A community for bands that are just starting out and are opening for big artists that you are tracking on Bandsintown, so a partnership with them can be convenient for promoting this soon-to-be-wellknown bands.

Q: Am I the only one going to Barcelona to see Steve Vai in December?
I: A Facebook app that detects the friends of your friends that are planning to take a short/long trip to see their favourite artists, so your direct friends can introduce them and have a safe new musical friendship that can last just for the concert or for life.

Q: Where can I find a place to play with my band right now?
I: Yes, Tickstage again, but I still have the same question: thinkband-open-think-tank-for-the-music-industry

What kind of questions do YOU have right now? You may become a successful music entrepreneur soon.

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #7 Birdman

The purpose of this blog is to inform the class of America’s “Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012” and the various business ventures in different industries that contributed to their individual successes.

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #7 Birdman

Name: Bryan Williams

Stage Name(s): Birdman, Baby

Age: 43

Forbes Hip Hop’s Top Earners List: #7 of 9

How Much in 2012??? $20 MILLION

Birdman has been in the music industry for almost two decades now, and it is clear he has no plans on leaving anytime soon. Co-founder of Cash Money Records (with his brother, Ronald “Slim” Williams), Birdman has an impressive lineup of artists under his label. Nicki Minaj, Jay Sean, Lil Wanye, DJ Khaled, Drake, Tyga, and Bow Wow are just a few of the major acts that contribute to the enormous success of Cash Money Records in the music industry.

His eye for talent in the music scene isn’t the only asset he has under his belt; he’s also skilled in finding new business opportunities that bolster his position in the industry. Few of his recent projects include:

1. In 2010, he ventured into one of the most lucrative businesses in the world, oil and gas. He and his brother decided to create their own company called Bronald Oil and Gas and it was “self-reported” that the company turned $100,000,000 the first year. (There are rumors that the company no longer exists, but no one is exactly sure what of the situation of the company.) Source: http://realtalkny.uproxx.com/2010/01/topic/topic/news/birdman-gets-into-the-oil-business/

2. In 2011, Birdman decided to do a joint-business venture including a production company with DJ Khaled and his own label, “We the Best.” Birdman and DJ Khaled expects to launch a number of new materials this year which include: books, movies (a book is already rewritten for film), Lil Wayne’s new clothing line “TRUKFIT”, and the new GT Vodka. Source: http://theversed.com/2012/03/28/cash-money-ceo-birdman-talks-upcoming-business-deals-including-a-potential-film/

3. He has his own clothing line YMCMB, which stands for Young Money Cash Money Billionares. Source: http://www.ymcmbofficial.com/

4. He has been working on his new album with his long time friend Rick Ross that will be released in the near future. With a monstrous lineup under his label already, there will be no problem getting features for his album – automatically making every track an instant hit.

Birdman claims that he will be the first hip hop artist to reach a billion dollar net value. As of 2012, he is net valued at $125 Million – trailing his fellow hip hop artist and mogul, P Diddy, who is currently net valued at around $500 Million. Although Birdman has quite a ways to go, I would not be surprised if he does actually become the first to reach the billion mark.

Birdman is the 7th most successful and influential hip hop entrepreneur in the year of 2012 – coming in with $20 Million.

(In a couple days, I will post up #6! So please stay tuned! Let’s count down to #1 together!)

By: Aaron Kim (Duke)

Other sources: http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2012/0905_hip-hop-cash-kings.html

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #8 NICKI MINAJ

The purpose of this blog is to inform the class of America’s “Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012” and the various business ventures in different industries that contributed to their individual successes.

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #8 NICKI MINAJ

Name: Onika Tanya Maraj

Stage Name: Nicki Minaj

Age: 28

Forbes Hip Hop’s Top Earners List: #8 of 9

How Much??? $15.5 MILLION


So am I.

Don’t get me wrong, musically she is arguably the best female Hip Hop artist of all time. She has definitely earned her stripes in the game by being the first female solo artist (under Cash Money Records) to have seven singles on Billboard Hot 100 at the same time plus six BET Awards, two American Music Awards, two MTV Music Awards, and Billboard’s 2011 Rising Star Awards … all in just two years – kudos to her.

But come on, Nicki Minaj as the 8th most successful Hip Hop Entrepreneur of 2012?

I had to check for myself, and here’s what I found:

1. Fashion Industry: She signed a multi-million dollar endorsement with ADIDAS for their Fall/Winter 2012 marketing campaign, in collaboration with Jeremy Scott.

Source: http://hiphopwired.com/2012/04/12/cake-nicki-minaj-inks-adidas-endorsement-deal-photos/

2. Cosmetic Industry: Nicki is also endorsed by MAC Cosmetics, with her own MAC Lip Stick line (which made over $250,000,000!!!)

Source: http://mog.com/blog_post/content/4125/2534654

3. Beverage Industry: She signed a SEVEN-FIGURE endorsement with Pepsi to market and launch their new Pepsi product, POP.

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nicki-minaj-signs-seven-figure-301715

4. Cosmetic Industry: OPI Nail Polish endorsed Nicki’s launch of her first nail polish collection.

Source: http://rollingout.com/entertainment/nicki-minaj-launching-her-first-opi-nail-polish-collection

5. Toy Industry: She has her own Barbie Doll made by MATTEL (though only for charity, still a big accomplishment for her brand)

Source: http://www.billboard.com/news/nicki-minaj-barbie-doll-a-very-major-moment-1005603722.story#/news/nicki-minaj-barbie-doll-a-very-major-moment-1005603722.story

On top of all that, Nicki Minaj also has her new clothing line coming out soon and will also serve as a judge on the 12th season of American Idol starting this January.

Wow, who woulda thunk?…

So after doing a little bit of research, I was sold – coming in with $15.5 Million, our “Hip Hop Barbie” Nicki Minaj has automatically earned her spot as the 8th most successful and influential hip hop entrepreneur of 2012.

(In a couple days, I will post up #7! So please stay tuned! Let’s count down to #1 together!)

By: Aaron Kim (Duke)

Other sources: http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2012/0905_hip-hop-cash-kings.html

(awards source: wiki)

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #9 EMINEM

Image(Picture source: wir.skyrock.net)

The purpose of this blog is to inform the class of America’s “Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012” and the various business ventures in different industries that contributed to their individual successes.

Countdown Top 9 Hip Hop Entrepreneurs of 2012: #9 EMINEM

Name: Marshall Bruce Mathers III

Stage Name: EMINEM

Age: 39

Forbes Celebrity List: #71 out of 100

Forbes Hip Hop’s Top Earners List: #9 of 9

How Much??? $15 MILLION

What more could you ask for from a guy who sold over 32 million copies in his music career and has 13 Grammy’s under his belt? Nothing.

But Eminem decided to add to his already impressive resume by starting his own record company in 1999 called Shady Records and signing big-time acts such as D12, 50 Cent, Royce Da 5’9, Joe Budden, Slaughterhouse, and Joell Ortiz (just to name a few). In 2002, he took the film industry by storm, playing a leading role in a feature film called 8 Mile. The film grossed over $242,875,078 and won an Academy Award for “Best Original Song.” In 2003, Eminem made a huge splash in the fashion industry with his brand and clothing line, Shady Ltd., making an instant impact on urbanwear. (Shady Ltd. was eventually acquired by Rocawear, Jay-Z’s clothing line.) He also created his own radio channel, Shade 45, which first aired on Sirius XM Radio in 2004, featuring different hip hop artists and DJs while giving a platform for Eminem to connect with his fans all around the world. The popularity of his channel has been growing ever since.

Today, although he is not as active as before in front of the camera, he has been working fervently behind the scenes on many different projects as a music producer. He also announced in July 2012 that he was currently working on his 8th studio album that will be released sometime in 2013. He has made special cameo appearances in different films and television series such as Funny People and The Entourage.

From music, to movies, to TV and fashion, Eminem has made his an everlasting mark in the entertainment industry – easily placing him as the 9th most successful and influential hip hop entrepreneur in the year of 2012 with $15 Million.

(In a couple days, I will post up #8! So please stay tuned! Let’s count down to #1 together!)

By: Aaron Kim (Duke)