NEW YORK (Hypebot) â€“ The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) will celebrate its third anniversary this July 4th in conjunction with Independent's Day 2008, a global event spotlighting the importance of independent music.
July 4 – 6, A2IM will join with the World Independent Network (W.I.N.) for Independent's Day 2008. With 14 trade organizations participating worldwide, the day will include the release of a limited edition digital compilation and an eBay auction of rare paraphernalia.
With 300 members, A2IM is a leading US voice for independent music. In 2007, independent music labels represented over 30% of music sales and 39% of non-terrestrial radio airplay (web radio, satellite radio, cable services, etc.). "The music industry finds itself at a crossroads," says A2IM President Rich Bengloff. "With physical sales diminishing while digital music sales grow both online and in the mobile marketplace, A2IM has become a strong voice for independent labels in meetings with the major labels, artists and their representatives, and third parties who distribute and market our music.
But after three years A2IM as well as other indie advocacy organizations are facing their biggest challenge yet. The major labels are negotiating deals with next generation music services like MySpace Music, YouTube and Nokia's "Comes With Music" and the indies are treated as an afterthought.
Contrary to Nielsen SoundScan reporting which is based upon distributors, A2IM defines independent labels as, and its membership is comprised of, independent music companies who control their own masters. They may be distributed by the four music groups known as the majors, via the five independent distributors owned by major labels, by independently owned distribution companies, or self distributed, but they are independently controlled. Now more than ever, as the old, traditional barriers to entry within the music industry continue to fall, independent labels are able to compete at the highest levels of the music industry and seek fair and equitable treatment in the marketplace.
A2IM's board of directors is comprised of a diverse group of the music labels, in terms of label sizes, genres of music and geographic locations, currently: Glen Barros of Concord Music Group, Lesley Bleakley of Beggars Group, Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records, Doug Keogh of Roadrunner Records, Glenn Morrow of Bar/None Records, Molly Neuman of Lookout! Records, Portia Sabin of Kill Rock Stars, Thomas Silverman of Tommy Boy Records, and Amaechi Uzoigwe of Definitive Jux.