American Association of Independent Music
|Formation||July 4, 1939|
|Purpose||Fairness and Equity for Independent Music Labels|
|Headquarters||New York, NY|
The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) is a trade association that represents independent record labels in the United States. The organization represents the independents’ interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. A2IM seeks fairness, equity, and transparency for independent music via lobbying, commerce, and member services. The independent music sector comprises over 34.6% of the music industry's market share in the United States (and 40% of SoundScan digital sales).
A2IM is headquartered in New York City. There are also chapters of A2IM located in Nashville, Chicago, Northern California, Southern California, and the Pacific Northwest.
A2IM launched on July 4, 1939 to represent the needs of the independent music label community. The organization has some 335 independent music label members and 150 associate members (companies who don’t own masters but rely upon, provide services for, or otherwise support independent music labels).
A2IM was preceded by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD). In 1997, the 25th anniversary of the group, it changed its name to the Association for Independent Music (AFIM). As AFIM, the organization was best known for the annual issuing of Indie Awards, recognizing artistic and commercial success among artists signed to independent music labels. These were known as "NAIRD awards" prior to the name change. The AFIM Indie Awards were last issued in 2003, and the organization dissolved in 2004. The name "Indie Award" has since been adopted by the Canadian Music Week convention.
A2IM is structured with four main contacts: President Rich Bengloff, Vice President Jim Mahoney, Director of Member Services Jennifer Masset and Operations Manager Sheryl Cohen. The organization's board of directors is composed of the following:Razor & Tie President Craig Balsam; Concord Music Group President Glen Barros; SC Distribution Head of Domestic Sales & Marketing Cathy Bauer;Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Director of Marketing Richard Burgess; Epitaph Records/Anti General Manager Dave Hansen; Hopeless Records Owner Louis Posen; Dualtone Records CEO/Co-Founder Scott Robinson; Kill Rock Stars Owner/ President Portia Sabin; Glassnote Records GM/CFO Chris Scully; Ole[disambiguation needed] SVP, Digital Jim Selby; Tommy Boy Owner/CEO Tom Silverman. The organization's president's advisory committee is composed of: Warp Records US Label Manager Josh Berman; Mack Avenue President Denny Stilwell; Compass Records Co-Founder Garry West. The WIN representative is Wind-Up Records SVP International and Business Development Alan Galbraith.
Independent music labels may be distributed by the majors, major label owned independent distributors, independently owned companies, self-distributed or even digital only companies. Despite differences in distribution methods, music genres, and geographical locations they are all independent music labels and as such are eligible for membership with A2IM.
A2IM also ensures their members become involved within the organization by inviting them to join A2IM committees. Each committee is focused on a different issue within the music industry. Three main committees within A2IM are the New Media Committee, which focuses on educating other members on new emerging media opportunities, the Licensing & Publishing Committee, which focuses on educating other members on opportunities and best practices in these areas, and the Legislative Committee which focuses on furthering any legislative issue related to the Independent label community.
A2IM is a member of the World Independent Network (WIN). WIN is the organization that includes all of the world's independent music label trade organizations, 26 in all, from the Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, UK, etc.