We (Magnatune) just got back from the MIDEM 2004 music trade show in Cannes, France, where we exhibited. It's the biggest of the "Big Music Industry" shows, and I was very curious to see how they'd react to the not-evil thing we do.
The show was amazing for us -- we handed out over 3000 compilation disks (all 6 genres were popular, suprisingly), and lots of t-shirts. We had plenty of interest by the International classical press, had many music licensing inquiries (hopefully some of them will come through) and created a lot of buzz (a major label record exec was offended by the "we are not evil" slogan and told us so, but otherwise response was extremely positive).
As you can see from our photographs, the lower floor of midem was like a set from DOOM -- perfect rectangular partitions, a maze, dim lighting, smoke everywhere. The upper floor was roomy, but quieter -- mostly pavilillions representing different countries' music.
Some big items:
We negotiated a deal with www.emusic.com to have our music available on their site to their subscribers. This should produce some revenue, which I'll be splitting with our artists as always.
iTunes et all:
Our music will be distributed through several online stores including iTunes, Rhapsody, the new Napster.com, and others. Again, this should generate more sales revenue, which we'll be splitting with our artists.
We're negotiating to create CDs-on-demand of all our catalog, so that people can receive a perfect-quality CD in the postal mail of any of our music. This is still several months away. I'm trying to get the price to around $4, so it's cheap enough to keep Magnatune CDS less expensive than what you find at a store.
We also talked with other companies about representing our catalog, especially those where we fill significant genre holes in their offerings. Again, this should generate licensing revenue that we split with our artists.
The next conference we will be exhibiting at is SXSW (South by SouthWest) in Austin Texas, on March 12-21st.