the meaning of babble, silence and cronyism, or why Germany will never make it

just read the rumor, Popkomm is moving back to Cologne. Now come on, guys –  where is the press, wake up?

July 16th, Popkomm launched a sparing press release simply stating to postpone the event for one year, as not enough visitors applied so far.

Same day, Dieter Gorny (right / former founder of Popkomm, founder of music TV channel VIVA, member of various steering committees, leading music lobbyist in Germany) hijacked this bits of news plugging his own press release on it without further coordinating this with Popkomm. He simply stated the reason for postponing Popkomm: a decline in business due to piracy, and everybody bought it.

Now something weird happened.

The short original press release was copied/pasted in the usual channels, even made it into the TV news, prime time that evening, but that was it. Silence hereafter. No background info, no statements, no interviews or research in any trade press.

Musikwoche as well as main competitor Musikmarkt both recommended as leading german trade magazines went silent.
The german independents association VUT just repeats it‘s quote from the original Popkomm press release. Same with the german music industry association, posting the same text on it‘s website as VUT does. German Music export Association Initiative Musik? Nothing, Popkomms website? Void! Any business representatives that normally do comment anything granting them a quote in the press?
Nothing, no comments, no excuses, no explanations no bashing, no opinion.

A brief excursus – ever since Popkomm happened to be more than a national event, it became kind of a tradition to bash on this event. A bad habit, neither german press, trade press nor companies just could shake off. Popkomm was accused to be
– majors only (1.600 attending companies, approx. 20 majors*),
– no new music (around 500 bands from 40 nations each year, approx. 40% not signed in their non domestic territories yet*)
– no companies just associations (most international indies where purchasing reduced tickets via their national indie-associations – the associations didn‘t represent themselves but offered services / a plattform for their members)
– no international companies (75%  companies attending have been international*)
– no deals being made (well who’s fault might that be…)
*due to data from the official numbers/festival guides/catalogue

Just weeks ago, everyone was following this anti-Popkomm polemic as usual. You may ask yourself, why the hell did everyone follow and sport this so persistently? Not really adding value to your national industry/business, does it?
And why is it that no one comments on what happened now as it‘s gone? Isn‘t it odd, that no Popkomm officials, no representative of any trade association or at least some business executives speaks out?
All you get is rumours, that Popkomm is hoping for governmental support, moving back to collogne, that there will be an open source substitute for Popkomm in Berlin, that there will be no Popkomm at all…

The only statement to be heard is Indie saviour Tim Renner (left above / ex Universal Music CEO and Motor.fm) who rants in his blog

‘Eine Mogelpackung war die Popkomm schon immer. Eine Messe ist dazu da, die Waren auszustellen, doch wo waren auf der Popkomm die CDs und LPs der Neuheiten, wo konnte man an den Ständen überhaupt Musik hören?’

…in a nutshell: Popkomm was a fake as there was no public allowed but music is for the people, not for companies. (??? Well that’s how business and trade shows work….)

I‘m pretty sure Renner didn’t confuse things, he rarely does, but intended to bash Gorny, maybe being annoyed that all this anti Popkomm polemic didn‘t support his own business, but only Gorny and his plans again.

Whatever – I’m astounded the b2b press doesn’t show the slightest interest in getting things sorted out.

Gorny is following other plans but Popkomm now, mainly involving his person into cultural politics and becoming in charge of distributing subsidies and funds for the music industry.
And as long he didn‘t confirm his position, nobody dares to move?

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