BIME 2022 Highlights: From Rosalía’s Back to Basics to De La Ghetto’s Business Advice

From deconstructing Rosalía’s success to announcing a novel partnership between See Tickets and Spain’s powerful media conglomerate Grupo Prisa, networking, technology and live events were at the forefront of the tenth annual edition of BIME, the international music industry gathering that took place in Bilbao, Spain, Oct.26-29.

Created by entertainment company Last Tour, best known for its live events, BIME remains focused on bridging the Latin American and European markets, with a focus on live events.

This year’s anniversary event highlighted a recovered, post-COVID scene, with some 2,500 in-person attendees for both the “Pro” side of the event (made up of panels, speed dating and networking) and over 60 live shows through out Bilbao. Here are some stand out moments:

1. Rebeca León on her gut instinct and Rosalía’s au natural posts:  “The pendulum has swung to the less pretentious,” said super manager León when asked about Rosalía’s frequent clean-faced, home-made posts. “It’s more about hand-held videos as opposed to showing things like a private plane.” And while León’s instinct may have served her well when she signed a still-unknown Rosalía several years ago, León admits she sometimes has to quiet her gut to take stock of opportunity. “Even when my intuition says run, run, run, I stop and listen. It’s important to consider all offers.”

2. De La Ghetto gets pragmatic: The Puerto Rican reggaetonero with multi-genre sensibility displayed sophisticated business savvy and was generous in his advice to up and coming artists. He is involved “in every single aspect of my business,” he said bluntly. In his early days, he recounted, he was relentless in giving away his music–CDs were still around—so fans would get to know him. Now, he uses social media relentlessly for the same objective. “Believe in yourself,” he said. “No one thought someone who looks like me, and who sang with an R&B sensibility would do well.” More important, he stressed, never sign anything that your lawyer doesn’t look at. “I have my lawyer, my manager has his lawyer,” he said. “Having a lawyer is the best investment.”

3. Ady Harley and Nerea Igualador on digital marketing strategies: Harley, Meta’s head of music label partnerships for Latam and U.S. Latin, and Igualador, VP of digital business for Sony Music Entertainment, provided a roadmap for effective social media marketing and promotion. “Today, you can create a marketing plan on social media that leads to consumption,” said Harley.

It starts with generation an audience, says Igualador, and that requires three steps: “Discovery; I need my audience to discover me. It’s one of the biggest challenges. There are 60,000 songs released per day, and you have to define their place and audience.” The second step, she says, is taking that audience to consume the music. “All our actions have consumption as a final objective.” And finally, there’s engagement. “Once my audience discovers me, how do I keep them engaged.”

4. James Cruz gets emotional: In a conversation with BBC London’s Beatriz de La Pava, the rap and hip-hop producer lamented the loss of community in rap music. “I come from hip-hop where we really tried to help each other,” he said. “I don’t see a unified front anymore.” Cruz also recalled growing up Latin at a time when being Latin was far from appreciated. “When I see the growth of Latin music, I get tears in my eyes. It’s incredible. We had to take the jobs no one wanted to do […] We had to create our on status and our own algorithm.”

5. See Tickets and Grupo Prisa Announce partnership: The global ticketing platform, which operates in 10 countries, and the Spanish media conglomerate announce an exclusive alliance. Not only will See Tickets sell Prisa’s many festivals and concerts, it will also receive promotion and placement on Prisa’s multiple media platforms, including leading Spanish daily El País, leading radio network 40 Principales and its social media.

6. Billboard announces the launch of Billboard Español: Billboard officially launched Billboard español Sept. 15. A little after the one month mark, visits to the all-Spanish site are growing 24% week by week. The site was officially presented to the Spanish industry during BIME.

Leila Cobo