- 50:50 gender balance: MOST WANTED: MUSIC achieves equal gender ratio
- 140 national and international speakers and more than 70 sessions at Germany’s most exciting music business & tech conference
- Central topics of the sixth MW:M were: sustainability, diversity, Africa as a growth market, Augmented Reality in live entertainment, new ways of monetising music, live streaming, AI & creativity as well as the social impact of music on society
- The first edition of music showcase MW:M Live presented 20 artists on 6 stages.
- Thrilling and immersive live performances: LiVKI, Ralf Schmid’s Pyanook and Tin Men And The Telephone
MW:M achieves keychange target ahead of schedule
MOST WANTED: MUSIC (MW:M) is one of the first music conferences to achieve the goal of gender balance as proposed by the Keychange Initiative. Diversity, along with sustainability and new technologies, was one of the focal themes of the convention, both on-stage and behind the scenes.
“This year, for the first time, we were able to achieve a balanced 50:50 gender ratio, both among the speakers and moderators, and the performing artists. We were thus able to improve the quality of our professional and communicative contribution to attendees. As a proud member of the Keychange Initiative, we are delighted to have achieved this goal before 2022: At the listen to berlin: Awards, women were in the majority – almost 60 percent – as laudatorss, presenters and prizewinners. The listen to berlin jury even consisted of 66% women. The diverse, inclusive and sustainable transformation of our industry is the basis for a better, more open and future-oriented cooperation and for more innovative solutions. An industry network must now go forward from here and identify new potential”.
– Olaf Kretschmar, CEO of the Berlin Music Commission
The music world needs more diversity, was also the central message of speaker Lana Wittig, Head of Partnerships, EDITION F: “MOST WANTED: MUSIC is the most modern music conference in Germany. Diversity is one of the central topics in many talks here. It’s very important to me that more women in the music industry come into key positions.”
MW:M made sustainability a central issue
Sustainability is an important issue for the music industry: music streaming is a major CO2 emission driver, as is the global touring business. The French Alliance des Managers d’Artistes (AMA) explained at MW:M: “Tours account for 10 to 20 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by the music industry.” In several rounds of talks, national and international initiatives discussed at MW:M how to bundle sustainability commitments across national borders and create synergies. Rüdiger Kruse MdB also addressed necessary measures for better sustainability in the live music industry: “This year, Berlin’s MOST WANTED: MUSIC conference grasped one of the most relevant topics of our time with a focus on sustainability. The topic concerns the music industry, in terms of transportation or the production of events, among other things. The international networking of the creative industry is one of the most important steps towards its own sustainability – MW:M offers a great platform for this,” says Kruse.
New technologies as an opportunity for creatives and the music industry
The exciting conference program continued to revolve around music and new technologies. How can the industry take advantage of rapid technological developments and turn challenges into opportunities? Scott Cohen, Chief Innovation Officer at Warner Music, analysed the value of music: “We devalue music when we say that it is captured in a download or streaming rate. We are not capturing the value by simply monetising the stream,” said Cohen.
Jannik Huelshoff, Head of DACH Partnerships & Content at Twitch, used the live-streaming tool Twitch Sings to address the (subjective) value within musical streams. According to Huelshoff, the value is mainly influenced by the personalities of the artists and less by the music performance itself. Twitch is just one of many examples that shows how the music industry can take advantage of trends from other entertainment industries, such as e-sports, to reach new target groups.
The Process of Diversity & Transformation
In her keynote speech “Become Who You Are: The Self As Sustainable Solution”, US entrepreneur and communications coach Holley M. Kholi-Murchison shared personal and business skills that actively create change. In a rapidly developing world driven by innovation and technology, she sees these soft skills as the key to developing your professional abilities.
Another highlight was the panel “How African Music is Reshaping the European Cultural Landscape,” featuring FOKN BOIS lead singer and music producer Bondzie “Mensa” Ansah and AFRO x POP founder Pamela Owusu-Brenyah. Berthold Seliger’s lecture “Imperial Business or Cultural Diversity – The Reality of Concert Business,” spoke out in favour of preserving cultural diversity in a live industry dominated by multinational corporations. The panel “(The Berlin Scenes) Beyond Techno” discussed cultural diversity from an artistic perspective, with Queens Against Borders activist The Darvish and SUBCURRENT MEDIA founder Eric D. Clark.
Impressive immersive live experiences using the latest technology
Among the emotional highlights were immersive live shows in the conference program. Amsterdam’s experimental jazz band Tin Men and the Telephone allowed the audience to directly influence their live sound and performance in real-time, via an app. The Neue Meister artist Prof. Ralf Schmid impressed the MW:M19 audience by controlling the sound of the piano with his digital mi.mu-gloves. The performance artist LiVKI launched the first day of the conference with an energetic live show.
listen to berlin: Awards and successful launch of MW:M Live
MOST WANTED: MUSIC’s programme included more events than only the two-day conference. At the listen to berlin: Awards 2019 ceremony on 5th November, ten winners were honoured at a celebration at Kesselhaus in Berlin. On the evening of November 6th, the first edition of the MW:M Live music showcase took place at House of Music, representing a further development of MW:M. “The launch of MW:M Live was a big success! Twenty artists presented their live shows on six stages for a B2B audience. Our aim is not only to directly support selected talents and their business partners by building their careers but to also create a larger platform, within the framework of MW:M, for the live music industry,” explains Stephan Hengst, Director, MOST WANTED: MUSIC.
Further comments on MOST WANTED: MUSIC
“The exciting thing about the music industry is that it initiates change beyond its own industry and thus stimulates the fundamental debate around digital transformation. At MOST WANTED: MUSIC, the most pressing questions of our time were asked; the conference’s title even says: Shaping the future of creativity! This is also one of our great goals, which we are now pursuing together with the BMC.” – State Secretary Christian Rickerts, Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises
“MOST WANTED: MUSIC joined the international Keychange Initiative to strengthen the position of women in the music industry. Homogeneity is boring! We fundamentally need more diversity for new and better ideas, including in areas other than gender, such as age, origin, cultural background or sexual orientation.” – Olaf Kretschmar, organizer, CEO and Cluster Manager of the Berlin Music Commission (BMC)
“The international relevance of MW:M increases from year to year because we are involving more and more partners from all over Europe and the world at speaker level, inviting many international experts. Meanwhile, MW:M has become the most important MusicTech conference in Germany and is unique at the interface between technology and the traditional music industry. Our topics range from Augmented Reality in the live music sector, platforms for monetisation of music, via live streaming, AI & creativity, to the social effects of music on our society. Most Wanted: Music is as diverse as the music industry itself.” – Matthias Jung, Head of Content, MOST WANTED: MUSIC
MOST WANTED: MUSIC is an event organized by the Berlin Music Commission on behalf of the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Enterprises as part of the Berlin state initiative Project Future and supported by funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
MW:M Live is supported by Initiative Musik gGmbH with project funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media and the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Enterprises.
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