On the way back from Berlin's Mlove and a very heated discussions with @SoulBizNus Rocky and Balls and others on the impact of mobile on the future of music. I was approached in June recently approached by Midem to collaborate around their upcoming event I though . In case you didn't know about midem it is probably the largest music industry event.
The rare occurence was an obvious sign telling me I had to blog about music and technology and capture some of the points discussed in both occasions.
It's true the music industry is often seen by the software world as slow and resistant to change … Especially when it comes to DRM.
But frankly the tech industry too has its DRMs … API rather than data access (Programmable web vs RDF website), license servers, government regulations on net neutrality / Intellectual property / citizen protection, anti-virus software, government incentives to semicos / creative industries /research, Flash vs html5, iOS vs Flash, OS X vs OS Y …
All technology players have their evil side (yes you too Mr G).
So the difference is obviously not in the approach to problems (everyone uses protectionism after all) and even less so a problem with innovation or inventiveness …
If you think in terms of evolution the difference is probably more about the tools both are using. The tech industry, in constant fight with the tech industry all armed with latest CPU, programming language, social media experimentation, hire the hacker… The music industry triying to fight the tech industry with feelings, emotions and a bit of legislation…
This is probably a bit of a harsh and black&white picture, but it will certainly resonate. However there's every reason to think it couldn't evolve by refocusing from innovation to innovation with the right tools and the right amount / type of people.
This is where the MidemNet Lab initiative comes in… a developer gathering, and a small start-up competition focused on the music sector. So if you have any cool music app / B2B service / B2C service you're looking to show off or simply find customers this is the way to go! The criteria used : small company, international & innovative product, release quality and useful and relevant to the music industry.
What's in there for you?
If this was purely a code for $$ (<- Big bucks) like all these million dollar competition I probably wouldn't bother writing such a long blog
Obviously you could save the entire music industry and this could be a jackpot..
More realistically though it could help you build a business on good basis, legal, customers, VCs… As we know the tech industry has its issues too. The mobile app space in particular. Legal access to content to create new forms of entertainment is definitely one. As is getting paid for coding through a service contract rather than hope for downloads.
And this is exactly what this competition has to offer to all participants : contacts, visibility with the people who matter whether VCs or music industry (customers)… And for the winner press coverage and exclusive networking.
So if you're a small start-up you looking at music products you know what's left to do. Enter in the MidemNet Lab competition, save the music industry and jump in the spotlight!