The connections between brands and music are becoming ever closer and creative, the cooperations ever more diverse. Many brands have firmly anchored music sponsoring in their marketing strategies, the use of music and songs in advertising and film is increasing, influencer marketing in the field of music is a natural part of the mix. Agencies create innovative analog and digital formats online and offline, build new platforms and develop new forms of cooperation. In short: the cooperation between the music industry and the advertising industry is more established than ever before. And it is fully accepted by fans - if it is well done and offers added value. In the ideal case, the result is a win-win-win situation - for artists, for brands and for fans.

On Thursday, May 2, 2019, the programming section BRANDS & MUSIC will bring together all those who contribute to the success of such mutually enriching cooperations: advertisers, marketers, media makers, musicians, rights holders, the music industry and the advertising industry. For a whole day, we offer insights into the relevant topics and present cases, discuss with agencies, consultants, companies, managers and music makers about the status quo and the future of the connection between music and brands – artists and advertising.

We will address the question of how music in general and advertising music, in particular, control our emotions. We will examine what interests need to be reconciled, not just business interests, when a song comes together with a clip or a musician with a brand. We will gain insights into the music strategies of major international brands. We will ask why some brands suddenly have their own festivals. And we will investigate how festivals themselves become brands in order to be perceived as tourist events. For the finale, we will listen to the first interactive song with voice-controlled assistant Alexa - and will hear about the story behind it. And we will offer all participants a platform to enter into new cooperations themselves.



Since the beginning of digitalization, the music industry has been a driving force behind key technological developments and trends to establish new business models and revenue opportunities for creative professionals. The DIGITAL MUSIC section of the c/o pop Convention 2019 on May 2 and 3, 2019 will bring together professionals from the music, creative and digital industries to discuss key issues and challenges facing the music industry in the digital age. The latest technological findings, developments and visions will be examined from the perspective of the music industry in various thematic focuses. At the same time, we want to develop guidance for politics that focus on creative people and their interests.

One focus is devoted to the increasingly urgent need for innovation in the music industry. As a stimulus, we will present interesting new ideas and cases from the fields of audio and video, label work, data management and artificial intelligence. In a blockathon, we will be working on bringing a breath of fresh air into the ecosystem of the music industry. We will also talk about new licensing models that are not only driven by new technologies, but also by a new willingness to cooperate.

We will explore how musicians can use digital platforms such as Bandcamp to generate revenue, and show how music streaming could be improved, so there will be something remaining for the creators in the end. We will outline how green technologies can make clubs and festivals more sustainable. And we will offer time and space for the exchange of creative people and digital start-ups, authors and distributors, thinkers, doers and users.


Networks are the main arteries in the globalized field of action and work of the creative and music industries. Be it in the local or transatlantic network of music creators and consumers, of business and politics, of institutions and companies - the exchange of knowledge and information is more important than ever.

Within the EXCHANGE & CONNECT section, we will be presenting examples of how networks occupy and deal with topics, how they are used to articulate and disseminate interests, and how they generate new ideas and at times also add new value.

These are some of the topics that will be discussed on May 2 and 3, 2019: What is the significance of a night economy for cities and regions? Do we need a night policy in addition to cultural policy, and what might this look like? How can we move from a strategy of prevention to one of empowerment? What concepts are there to protect live music venues from the spiral of gentrification? Are live music venues cultural assets and therefore worth protecting? How can networks be used wisely to set the right course?


To bring music successfully into the world, more precisely into the world of media and social networks, to the shops, clubs, and concert halls - that is the job of music managers, bookers, and promoters or label operators. But not every musician and every small label can afford to have all these experts work for them, but they have to take on these jobs themselves. This is not an easy undertaking, especially since most of them only want one thing: to make their music. That's why basic knowledge from and about the music industry can't hurt, and you also need to get in contact with them and maintain it.

On Friday, May 3, 2019, as part of the c/o pop Convention, in the NEW TALENT program section we will once again impart practical industry expertise, establish networks and offer assistance. Experts will share their knowledge and advice with you, and you will learn how you can effectively promote and market your music.


CMC19 Programm is complete – Register now!
CMC19 Programm is complete – Register now!

What is the status of "culture as an area of freedom" in Cologne? We will discuss this from the point of view of music at the second Cologne Music Conference on Monday, October 21, 2019 starting from 12:30 pm at the Stadtgarten in Cologne - the program is now completed. Come along and discuss with us! Advance registration is obligatory due to limited capacity.

In three roundtables, we will talk to high-ranking politicians, representatives of institutions, club owners, festival organizers and freelancers from the Cologne music scene about current developments in the music city Cologne.

What actually constitutes a "City of Music" in the eyes of the artists living in it? Which hard facts and which soft facts play a role in this? This will be discussed in the first panel: Hans Nieswandt (Institute for Popular Music at Folkwang University of the Arts Bochum), Suzie Kerstgens (Klee), Katja Hermes (Managing Director Sound Diplomacy Germany), Keshav Purushotham (Keshavara) and Stefanie Schrank (Locas in Love & solo artist).

In the cities, which are becoming more and more densely populated, the development of buildings is increasingly leading to conflicts between music venues and local residents. Could conflicts of interest in urban development (keyword: Ehrenfeld) be identified early or even avoided in Cologne using a club registry like that in Hamburg? We will discuss the situation in Cologne in the second panel: Thore Debor (Managing Director of Clubkombinat Hamburg e.V.), Susanne Laugwitz-Aulbach (Assistant Head of the Department for Art and Culture), Markus Greitemann (Assistant Head of the Department for Urban Development, Planning and Construction), Iren Tonoian (Founding Member of artrmx e.V., Co-initiator of CityLeaks Festival) and Heiko Rühl (Board Member of Klubkomm Köln e.V.).

No other federal state unites more companies and employees in the media and creative industries than North Rhine-Westphalia. How is it possible to network effectively in this context? That's what we're discussing in the third panel: Katja Lucker (Managing Director Musicboard Berlin), Linn Meissner (Project Manager popNRW, Board Member Music Women Germany), Norbert Oberhaus (Managing Director cologne on pop GmbH), Lorenz Deutsch (Member of the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, Spokesman for the Committee for Culture and Media) and Heike Schätze (Chairwoman Live Initiative NRW - LINA e.V.).

11. Cologne Music Week

The eleventh Cologne Music Week will start directly after the Cologne Music Conference. From October 21 to 26, the little sister of the c/o pop Festival will once again be welcoming a multitude of promising acts from Cologne and North Rhine-Westphalia to various venues in the Belgian Quarter - for the most part free of charge. You can find the full program here.

Start signal for the c/o pop Convention 2020 - Tickets are available now!
Start signal for the c/o pop Convention 2020 - Tickets are available now!

New date, new location, new programming and ticket structure: There's a whole lot of news to announce! The next c/o pop Convention will take place from April 23 to 25, 2020, and thus for the first time also on the Saturday! With our new location at Herbrand's in the Cologne district of Ehrenfeld, we will also be getting even closer to the c/o pop Festival. Seven indoor and outdoor spaces offer new possibilities for new formats. Next year, one of the focal points will be the interaction between technology, creativity and business - for instance in the new thematic thread CREATIVE TECH. Further information can be found below. Ticket sales for the c/o pop Convention 2020 has started - you can get your tickets here.


In 2020, the c/o pop Convention will once again be the year's first industry meeting for the music industry and cooperating sectors such as the digital economy and games. Over three days, the c/o pop Convention 2020 will focus entirely on how the music industry can utilize future prospects - and which role new technologies can play for the entire value chain.

The programming sectors CREATIVE TECH and DIGITAL MUSIC will bring together professionals from the music industry, the creative industry and the digital economy on Friday, April 24 to examine the interactions between technological developments and the music industry - the creative side will be discussed just as much as business aspects.

On Saturday, April 25, NEW TALENT will provide practical industry knowledge for tomorrow's musical pros. In addition, there will be further program items in connection with c/o Ehrenfeld.

EXCHANGE & CONNECT invites participants on all days to cross-disciplinary and international networking activities.The opening will take place on Thursday, April 23.


While this year's c/o pop Festival has already taken place mainly in Ehrenfeld we will follow suit next year. The c/o pop Convention will take place in the perfectly suited premises of Herbrand's - and thus right in the midst of the action. We thank the IHK Cologne for their generous hospitality over the past years and are looking forward to the new cooperation with Herbrand's. "Since its opening in May 1993, Herbrand's has been a constant fixture in Ehrenfeld and an important meeting place for business people and individuals," says Metin Izman, Managing Director of Herbrand's. "On an area of 5,000 square metres with restaurant, club, event hall, conference rooms and beer garden, we offer a varied culinary, musical and cultural program, which the c/o pop will further enrich starting in 2020," continues Izman, "and we are therefore looking forward to a very exciting project!"


The c/o pop Convention 2020 will start with a new and simpler ticket structure. The c/o pop Convention Professional ticket for 85.00 euros opens the doors to all c/o pop Convention events on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, 2020 ( exept for "invitation only" events), the music showcases which are part of the c/o pop Festival on all days and the opening of the c/o pop Convention 2020 on Thursday, April 23, 2020. The c/o pop Convention NEW TALENT ticket for 35 euros allows the ticket holder access to the correspondingly marked events of the c/o pop Convention on Saturday, April 25, 2020.

Both tickets give you priority access to concerts at c/o Ehrenfeld on April 25 and 26, 2020 in selected locations - up to 15 minutes before admission.

The c/o pop Festival, which will take place from April 22 to 26, 2020, primarily in Ehrenfeld, Cologne, has announced the first three highlights: Nura, Mia Morgan and GoGo Penguin. Here, too, the ticket sale has already started.

In 2020, there are also combination tickets for both events together. Click here to get to the ticket shop.

Cologne Music Conference | c/o pop joins Keychange
Cologne Music Conference | c/o pop joins Keychange

Despite yet another heat wave, we are working at full stretch on the program for the c/o pop Convention at the end of April 2020 in Cologne. Our goal is it to make the event even more rewarding for you. Without giving away too much: A lot will change - spatially, but also structurally. The c/o pop Convention 2020 will also be (even) more women-oriented, as we are now part of the Keychange Initiative - read more about this in the newsletter below. If you want to meet us before then (and if you feel connected to the Cologne music scene), you will have the opportunity to do so at the second Cologne Music Conference on October 21, 2019.

More information about the c/o pop Convention 2020 will follow soon, ticket sales will start shortly - stay tuned!


How is the situation regarding " Culture as an Area of Freedom" in Cologne, to which the new Kulturentwicklungspla Köln (Cultural Development Plan Cologne) is committed? We want to discuss this from the point of view of music at the second Cologne Music Conference on Monday, October 21, 2019 starting from 12:30 p.m. at the Stadtgarten in Cologne.

When it comes to art and culture, Cologne usually does very well in a national comparison with its many spaces and creative artists. Cologne's clubs receive many awards, and hardly any other city (except Berlin) attracts so many artists from Europe. The city of Cologne now wants to strengthen art and culture with the new Cultural Development Plan Cologne . It is clearly committed to Cologne as the "City of Music" - two of the three initial projects are closely linked to music: the subject of "Management of Spaces" and the new "Preis für Popmusik" (Prize for Popular Music).

But who has access to this " Space of Freedom", who has to stay outside? How do we keep the balance between culture as a locational advantage and art freed from factual constraints and marketing talk? Can the value of culture actually be measured, and what is the value of culture to us? In three panels, we want to talk to high-ranking actors from politics, administration and the music industry about the music city Cologne. Confirmed so far: Katja Lucker (Managing Director Musicboard Berlin), Thore Debor (Managing Director Clubkombinat Hamburg e.V.), Markus Greitemann (Alderman Department for Urban Development, Planning and Construction) and Norbert Oberhaus (Managing Director cologne on pop GmbH).

Come and discuss with us! A registration is necessary.


The c/o pop Festival and the c/o pop Convention have joined the Keychange Initiative - with this we set ourselves the goal of achieving a balanced gender ratio both on the festival stages and at the convention by 2022.

The Keychange Initiative, launched by the British PRS For Music Foundation in 2017, initially only focused on music festivals - more than 180 international festivals have so far joined the initiative. As of September 2019, this declaration of intent on gender equality will be extended to related areas in the music industry such as recorded music, publishing and music radio. Until 2023, the EU Commission has allocated 1.4 million euros to the programme which is now under the direction of the Reeperbahn Festival. "We have been discussing the under-representation of women in a pop cultural context for years in protected spaces. There are so many women who make fantastic music or have a keen sense of business. However, this is not only reflected in their successes. Men still dominate art and its market. The Keychange initiative now harbors the tremendous opportunity to eliminate this imbalance," says the newly appointed Keychange ambassador Joy Denalane. We are striving even more than in previous years for a high share of women among our speakers at the c/o pop Convention 2020 - we want to achieve the 50:50 quota by 2020 at the latest, in accordance with our agreement with Keychange.

Recap video #copopcon19 & #copopontheroad at Sónar
Recap video #copopcon19 & #copopontheroad at Sónar

In mid-July we will be at Sónar Festival and at Sónar+D in Barcelona and will be contributing some programming items as part of We Are Europe. In this newsletter you will find more information on this, plus the recap video for the c/o pop Convention 2019 with many great impressions of the hustle and bustle in and around the IHK Cologne!

Did you already save the date for 2020? We will see you at the c/o pop Convention on the 23rd and 24th of April 2020 and at the c/o pop Festival from the 22nd to the 26th of April 2020 in Cologne - more information will follow soon! In the meantime, we are wishing you a great summer!


On May 2 and 3, 2019, around 1.000 trade visitors from 25 countries met over two full days at the c/o pop Convention to have an exchange in the programming sections DIGITAL MUSIC, BRANDS & MUSIC, EXCHANGE & CONNECT and NEW TALENT. More than 100 top-class speakers provided practical input in keynotes, panels and workshops on current topics from the music industry, the advertising industry, the digital economy and cooperating fields. Our Recap video shows a couple of the highlights and gives some of our guests such as Susan Rogers, Vanessa Reed, Mavi Phoenix, Laura Aha and Jördis Hagemeier the opportunity to speak. Have fun watching!


In the middle of July we will be in Barcelona at the Sónar Festival (July 18th to 20th) and at the accompanying Convention Sónar+D (July 17th to 20th) as part of We Are Europe. At the festival we will be co-curating the concerts of Fennesz, Hauschka and Francesco Donadello. At Sónar+D we will present the following topics: On Thursday, July 18 from 10:30 to 11:10 a.m. Heiko Hoffmann (Beatport), Jack Bridges (Soundcloud) and Ronny Krieger will discuss how streaming and other digital technologies are changing DJ culture in the panel „Creative tools for future dj culture“. The second panel presented by us („Making Iconic Music Gear“) will take place on Thursday, 18 July from 5:30 to 6:20 p.m.. David Möllerstedt (Head of Audio, Teenage Engineering) and Mate Galic (CTO, Native Instruments) will talk to Peter Kirn (founder of CDM and a music technology wise man) about the way certain electronic instruments shape entire genres.

c/o pop Convention Director Ralph Christoph will be present and is looking forward to meeting you.

The c/o pop Convention 2018 in pictures.
The c/o pop Convention 2018 in pictures.

Keynotes, panels and talks on topics such as The Future of Spaces, NRW culture and club culture, Sync, Brexit, networking at Börsenplatz, live music from CARI CARI and KESHAVARA, interviews in the tbd. film studio, Art@Tech Exhibition, Kick Off muisicNRWwomen, press conference with C11 (Cologne Composer Collective), workshops for industry newcomers and much more.

Foto credits: ©Anna Jaissle, ©Büro Pong