Long-running annual music industry conference Midem has (like the industry itself) become increasingly tech-focused in recent times, as we found when we attended it in January this year. In 2013, its startup competition looks set to prove that innovative technology is now just as important as good music.

Midemlab is now in its sixth year, and along the way has provided early exposure for important startups like SoundCloud, The Echo Nest and Songkick. The search is now on for the thirty early-stage tech companies that will take part in this year’s competition across three categories: music discovery, recommendation & creation; marketing & social engagement; and direct-to-consumer sales & content monetization.

The juries for each category also show how much the worlds of music and technology now cross over. Names like Rackspace’s Robert Scoble; Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka; tech PR power player Colette Ballou, and venture capitalists Max Niederhofer and Jörg Binnenbrücker are all more familiar to the tech conference circuit than a music industry shindig.

2012’s Midemlab winners ranged from radio discovery app MPme, to guitar tutor game Wildchords, and demonstrated the breadth of the competition’s scope.

If you’re a startup with a product that could help music executives, artists and brands to engage and monetize audiences, you can apply for Midemlab until 31 October. Midem takes place in Cannes, France on 26-29 January and tickets are on sale now. See you there?

➤ Midemlab