Jaime Gough Takes The Mic on MIDEM

Thursday, 12 Mar 2015

Tell us a little bit about Native Tongue and how you are involved in the music industry. 

I am the General Manager at Native Tongue, a full service independent music publisher with offices in Melbourne, Auckland and Los Angeles. Over the past ten years we have developed a strong roster of local songwriters and international catalogues. We handle royalty accounting for songwriters. Pretty simply, it’s mutually beneficial for us to increase our writer’s royalties, so it is our job to help make this happen. This ranges from the very basics of vigilant registration/tracking/collection, to procuring creative licensing opportunities for our writer’s songs (sync’s), and facilitating creative collaborations between our writers and artists, and so on.

How have you found your experiences at MIDEM so far? 

I first attended MIDEM in 2007 and have now been seven times. MIDEM has been a very successful conference for us. It is the most important conference for music publishers to attend. All of the world’s leading publishers are there, so if you wish to seek them out to discuss business you can find them all in one place. Some of the relationships forged in 2007 didn’t result in a deal being signed until 2010.

How is MIDEM different from other music industry events like SXSW or Canadian Music Week? 

MIDEM is not for the feint hearted. It is very business driven and far less about live music and entertainment value for attendees than some of the other music conferences around the world. Conferences like SXSW, CMJ, Canadian Music Week and our own Bigsound have a day time conference programme, yet the primary focus is on the live showcases. In fact most of these conferences have daytime showcases starting at midday, so a lot of meetings are scheduled at venues, in bars, watching acts perform etc. MIDEM is quite different. Most meetings are held in the hotel lobbies, hotel rooms, restaurants or at the conference hall. With limited time to fit in an abundance of meetings, scheduling is tight. It is basically 4 straight days of meetings every half hour. 

I guess another main difference is the attendees at MIDEM differ somewhat to the other trade shows. MIDEM for us is a pure publishing focused conference. MIDEM is an opportunity for us to meet with our own network of sub-publishers from all over the world. It is also often the only time in a year we can meet with other publishers that we represent or wish to represent in the future.

Can you tell us what you’re most excited about in terms of this year’s MIDEM program? 

To be honest, the date change from late January to early June is very exciting. There has been talk of the date change reinvigorating MIDEM, so I am intrigued to see if there is a stronger focus on live music and outdoor events this year. The weather will also be much better in June.

Describe a memorable moment that you can’t forget from your previous experiences at MIDEM.

I think it was my first MIDEM, in 2007. It was opening night, which used to be a big showcase event at the Martinez, a majestic hotel on the Cannes Croisette. One of our songwriters was traveling through France so had dropped into Cannes for the night. He didn’t have a conference badge so wasn’t able to enter the hotel, and Amy Winehouse was about to perform. Just as I met him out the front a security gate opened and two vans drove past, entering the hotel complex… we followed. It was another band loading in. We joined the procession, through the hotel kitchen, and made it in just as she was starting. An unforgettable performance.

Most of our APRA AMCOS members are songwriters, composers and music publishers. Some of them are new to the music industry and some of them are already very established. From your perspective, what value is there in APRA AMCOS members attending MIDEM? At what stage in one’s career is it the most valuable? 

If you are a publisher member looking to grow your business I would definitely attend MIDEM. It is a great place to start relationships. For writer members, if you are an artist I would approach MIDEM with caution. I think there is going to be a larger emphasis on the live music side of MIDEM moving forward, so it may become a worthwhile event on the showcase calendar, however at the moment it might be best for your manager to attend in the first instance.


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