American Association of Independent Music
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 34.4% of the music industry's market share in the United States in 2015.
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, 2005 to represent the needs of the independent music label community. The organization has some 370 independent music label members and over 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.
Equity and Leadership in Commerce
A2IM is committed to ensuring Independent labels are at the forefront of negotiations with digital services. We oppose organizations that treat Independent labels and their artists as a second-class tier of content in licensing negotiations with our community.
Access to Media
Independent music has historically been underrepresented in mainstream media, including broadcast radio and television. A2IM reminds media broadcasters and elected officials that diversity on the public airwaves is in the best interest of the public. The fact is Independent music dominates on-demand digital service playlists illustrating that fan appetite for Independent music is greater than current commercial radio and television representation. A2IM works closely with broadcast partners and the FCC on greater representation for Independent music in mainstream media.
A2IM represents the Independent sector’s interests in government and legislative issues. Current initiatives include greater transparency in direct sound-recording licensing, fair rates for music usage to ensure sound recording owners and their artists are fairly compensated while providing for sustainable business models for digital services, establishing a terrestrial radio sound recording royalty to prevent AM/FM Radio from using and profiting from music content without compensating rights holders, and efforts to combat music piracy. A2IM is a proud support of Fair Play Fair Pay.
Growth in International Partnerships & Trade
A2IM acts as a guardian and representative for the interests of U.S. independents relating to multilateral trade negotiations and agreements that affect the Independent sector.
A2IM sponsors trade missions and programs to promote international commerce and connectivity for its members.
Providing Business Opportunities Through Member Networking
A2IM events, such as our flagship conference Indie Week, and presentations throughout the year establish a gateway for advertisers, agencies, digital services and distributors to access the Independent label community directly and efficiently.
A2IM's CEO is Richard James Burgess. The organization's board of directors is composed of the following: ATO Records VP of Finance and Licensing Stephanie Alexa; Razor & Tie CEO and Co-Founder Craig Balsam; Yep Roc Records Founder Glenn Dicker; INgrooves EVP and GM, Amy Deitz; Epitaph Records/Anti General Manager Dave Hansen; Big Machine Label Group COO Andrew Kautz; Beggars Group Founder/CEO Martin Mills; Hopeless Records Founder/CEO Louis Posen; Dualtone Records CEO/Co-Founder Scott Robinson; Tommy Boy Founder/CEO Tom Silverman; and Secretly Label Group Co-Owner Darius Van Arman
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.
- Roberts, Paul F. (March 20, 2007). "The fate of indie music as we know it". Salon. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Christman, Ed (2016-01-05). "US Recording Industry 2015".
- "'Fair Play, Fair Pay Act' Introduced, Seeks Cash from Radio Stations | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-14.