New initiatives for MIC Norway

MIC Norway opens a new Bergen branch.

Svein Bjørkås, foto: MIC

The Music Information Centre Norway has now established a new Marketing Department in Bergen. The new department’s main objective is to own and develop two commercial ventures, the media company MIC Media AS and project development and financing institution MIC Innovasjon AS.

Says the centre’s director Svein Bjørkås: ‘For a number of years, MIC Norway has maintained ambitions to tackle more and greater challenges than the institution’s funds could possibly cover. The establishment of our new market department and the two companies in Bergen puts us in a position that enables us to utilise ‘collective benefits’ created by the flow of resources in the market place. This represents a key opportunity for MIC Norway to fulfil its ambitions in a better fashion.’

The Marketing Department has three years to develop the operations that are to be carried out by the two companies. The media company is to produce and publish MIC’s Norwegian site. The site’s desk is to constitute the core of a bigger corps of music journalists that are to offer editorial services to the various players of the domestic music scene by assuming the tasks of producing festival newspapers, information products for the main orchestras and various forms of music information publications. ‘The majority of such publications are presently financed by ads. The media company is to establish its own in-house advertisement department. By controlling the revenue generated by ad space, we will get hold of resources that enables us to offer better music journalism with better competence within all genres. In a small country such as Norway, a certain degree of coordination is required if such an increase of professionalism and quality is to be achieved. MIC Media is also to establish a publishing house. The publishing house is to assume some of MIC Norway’s current promotional tasks. ‘We will not run the publishing house in a traditional way’ says Bjørkås. ‘Instead, we’ll focus on profiling us as a form of management that is to work internationally on behalf of a selection of MIC and other publishers’ portfolio.’

MIC Innovasjon AS is to identify, develop and finance commercially viable projects for the domestic music industry. The innovation entity is also to work across the genre spectrum, and the company is also free to enter all forms of music related business ventures. There is a great need for channelling more competence and capital to the Norwegian music industry which is characterized by many small entities. Many high-quality productions are put out by Norwegian companies, but it is only the multi-national record companies and the largest media corporations that have the necessary knowledge and financial strength required to break through on the domestic and international markets. The innovation company is to contribute to increased development of the many small record companies, publishers, managements and promoters’ business models, enabling them to grow without having to share profits with the major companies. The innovation company is to achieve this by acting as a mediator between the music scene and Norwegian research-, business- and investment communities. ‘This is one of several ways we can contribute to increased dissemination and use of Norwegian music’ says Svein Bjørkås.

The composer’s societies and the association of Norwegian indie labels are among the owners of the new MIC companies. Local and regional authorities have also supported MIC financially as a contribution to the three-year long establishment phase.

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