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Emerging markets, new consumer habits and digital sovereignty discussed at MaMa 2014

November 6, 2014
Three major topics - “Festivals”, “Artists” and “Recorded Music”- marked the fifth edition of MaMA, the music festival and convention which took place in Paris, October 15-17. The 4,372 attending professionals had the opportunity to debate the current economic and social changes in the music industry.

Launched in 2009, MaMA has once more confirmed its status as one of the main international events in the field of the music industry. With no less than 67 nationalities represented this year and a rise in attendance from Africa, Asia and Latin America, MaMA has established itself as a inspiring crossroads of  interactions between French and international artists and professionals. As we wrote in 2013, the idea at the very heart of MaMA is that openness to other cultures is the future of music.

This year, China has been in the spotlight as 2014 marks the celebration of the 50thanniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China (France-China 50). The round table "How to do business in China" provided a detailed overview of this vibrant and promising music market, potentially the biggest one in the world because of its vast population but still the 21st in terms of revenues (81M$ in 2013). This gap is due to the many barriers to enter the territory combined with strict controls by national authorities and copyright infringements that are still widespread, although reduced by some recent improvements of Chinese intellectual property law. Ed Peto from Outdustry Group estimated that the music piracy rate has fallen from 99% to around 60%. 

Yet things are changing. First of all, the live music scene is growing fast and provides opportunities for cross-cultural collaborations. Leonore Boisgisson from Kaiguan Culture gave the example of French singer-songwriter Mathieu Chedid, whose choice to collaborate with Shanghai trip-hop duo AM444 and to engage with young Chinese students contributed to the big success of his Asian tour.

In addition, the development of new digital services will be a key lever for the industry as in China 80% of music content is consumed online. The Internet has already had an impact on creativity by enhancing the cross-fertilization of music styles. "People in China had access to Western repertoire in one shot" said publisher Billy Koh "Chinese pop music is influenced by Western genres such as hip pop and American rap, and even by indie and rock".

Digital technologies were the backdrop to all the topics debated at MaMA such as the sharing of value, technological innovations, the role of the artist and new music practices. The digital revolution is a revolution of practices rather than an industrial revolution:  this is the main idea that emerged from the "Consumer habits" conference. Finally, highlights of MaMA 2014 include the roundtable discussion on “digital sovereignty”, defined by Skyrock founder Pierre Bellanger as the "capacity to control our lives on the digital networks". On one side, as pointed out by journalist and moderator Rémi Bouton, global networks have a positive impact as long as they enable each culture to reach out to a world audience. On the other side, mastering the digital world (through a greater control of distribution channels, a more responsible use of data, the strengthening of digital rights ...) was deemed vital by the panelists in order to preserve cultural diversity.

Find out more :

MaMA’s website

Our article about MaMA 2013 « MaMA: openness to other cultures is the future of music » (24 October 2013)

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