Publishers and retailers talk shop at Musikmesse

ICMP assembled a group of esteemed executives from the music industry at Frankfurt Musikmesse today to discuss the relationship between publishers and retailers and the opportunities for growth in a digital era.

Chris Butler, of Music Sales, UK; Claudia Dorn, at Harrassowitz, Germany; Wolfram Krajewski, of DE-PARCON, Germany; Antonio Monzino, of the Monzino Group, Italy and Michael Petry, an independent management consultant, acknowledged that while music retailing may face some challenges, there is a bright future for those who develop a long-term approach to their business strategy and harness the added value that is intrinsic to the sale of music.

Moderated by Nicholas Riddle, Managing Director of Peters Edition and Member of the ICMP Board, the panel focussed on the need to provide a quality service to end-users, whether online or in music stores, as essential to the survival of the music retailing business in the digital era. “Retailers must be creative as there is more than just the sales, the hook for retailers is added value” said Michael Petry.

Variety was also deemed crucial to a successful retailing mix with Chris Butler espousing the value of independent music shops as necessary to ensure quality and choice and noting that the experience of browsing in a shop and exploring physical products will always be attractive to end-users.

In a broad ranging discussion the panellists went on to look at the need to develop joint information systems with retailers, provide accessible and up to date real time information and in answering a question from the floor regarding licensing urged caution as music publishers need to keep control of their most valuable asset, the copyright they hold and have a great duty of care towards their composers.
Musikmesse, one of the largest international trade fairs, got under way on Wednesday the 24th for a four-day gathering of publishers, retailers, producers and instrument makers from the worldwide music industry. ICMP members exhibiting and present included Hungary, Sweden, Finland, UK, Latvia, the Netherlands and France, all engaged in business in the cavernous and bustling sheet music exhibition hall. DMV, ICMP’s German Music Publishing Association was on home turf with a stand representing its 400+ members and played a big hand in supporting the panel initiative.

The above is reproduced from an ICMP press release