Issues of online piracy and the likely impact / attitude of ISPs were bubbling under today at MidemNet, but for me today’s conference was all about the data.The wha’? The data, generated by everything music fans do online – listening to music, browsing artist websites or social network profiles, buying songs, chatting about music on blogs or Twitter… There’s a mass of data points around how fans interact with music online (or on mobiles), which is ripe for analysis.The big questions are a.) who’s going to do that analysis, b.) how it can be best acted upon to make money for the artists and industry, and c.) who’s going to own that data – and by extension the direct relationship with fans that generates much of it. I think there’s a conflict brewing between labels and managers on that latter point.Other key points from today (or takeaways – Web 2.0 lingo is truly de rigeur at MidemNet this year): some of the big set-piece sessions didn’t quite come off. Michael Robertson versus Eric Nicoli in person would have been more entertaining than Michael tuning in via Kyte (although what an advert that was for Kyte’s potential).Meanwhile, Nokia’s Tero Ojanpera and Myspace Music’s Courtney Holt didn’t actually say that much of note. Both Comes With Music and MySpace Music are important, innovative steps forward, but their respective on-stage interviews didn’t quite live up to expectations. You could have predicted most of what both men said beforehand.The question of how ISPs could and should be engaging with music and the music industry was the second key theme of the day, what with our (Music Ally and The Leading Question’s) research showing that many fans want their ISPs to be supplying their music, and then the afternoon debate on ISP strategies.The ironic thing about the latter was that it was four people talking about the need for collaboration and communication, in a session that involved back-to-back prepared speeches, with no interaction between them. That comes tomorrow morning in the second ISP session, I think, but I was itching for the four speakers to be cross-examined by each other today.Still, it’s interesting to see the intersection between the music industry and the technologists at this MidemNet. As a bona-fide geek, I’ve been excited about the potential of Twitter and Kyte in particular for artists for a while now, so to hear some tales of how both services are being used effectively was good today.Roll on tomorrow. It’ll be interesting to see just how big a splash BlackBerry makes in its keynote address, while our own Music Ally New Business Showcase promises to be a lot of fun.

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