Association of Independent Music

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Association of Independent Music
Association of Independent Music Logo.jpg
PurposeSupporting the UK's independent music companies
HeadquartersChiswick, London
Coordinates51°29′11″N 0°15′03″W / 51.486477°N 0.250788°W / 51.486477; -0.250788Coordinates: 51°29′11″N 0°15′03″W / 51.486477°N 0.250788°W / 51.486477; -0.250788
Key people
Paul Pacifico, CEO

The Association of Independent Music (AIM) is a non-profit trade body established in 1998 by UK independent record labels to represent the independent record sector, which in 2016 constituted approximately 23% of the UK market. Its members include record labels, self-releasing artists and distributors.

It runs Indie-Con, an annual conference for the independent music industry.


Alison Wenham OBE founded AIM in 1999, and spent 17 years as its chair and CEO. She moved on to become CEO of Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) in 2016, which she had helped to found in 2006 and been involved with ever since. As a driving force in helping indie labels being able to compete worldwide with bigger companies, Wenham featured in Billboard’s "Top Women in Music" every year since publication.[1]

In 2004, AIM featured in the press over their contract negotiations with Apple for rights to distribute their labels' content on the iTunes service.[2][3] AIM was ultimately successful in negotiating equivalent terms for its independent labels members that Apple had originally only offered to the 'major' labels.

In September 2008, AIM became a founding member of UK Music, which represents all aspects of the UK music industry.[4]

In November 2016 AIM appointed Paul Pacifico as CEO.[5]

The 2016 WINTEL report showed that the indie sector constituted about 23% of total market share.[6]

On 24 September 2018, Pacifico co-represented IMPALA, the body representing European indie record labels, at the expert workshop organised by the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (BOZAR), the European Cultural Foundation and the British Council about Brexit and the cultural sector. The goal was "to reaffirm our shared intent and common values, and to produce practical recommendations from the cultural and creative sectors that go beyond those that have already been made", and a list of recommendations was afterwards published on the IMPALA website.[7][8]

AIM Awards[edit]

The AIM Independent Music Awards are hosted by the Association of Independent Music (AIM) and were established in 2011 to recognize artists signed to independent record labels in the United Kingdom. Award categories include:

  • Best Small Label
  • Best 'Difficult' 2nd Album
  • Special Catalogue Release of the Year
  • Hardest Working Band or Artist
  • Golden Welly Award for Best Independent Festival
  • Independent Breakthrough of the Year
  • Indie Champion Award
  • Independent Video of the Year
  • Best Live Act
  • Independent Track of the Year
  • Independent Album of the Year
  • Independent Label of the Year
  • PPL Awards for Most Played New independent Act
  • Innovator Award
  • Pioneer Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music Award

The 2018 awards were held in partnership with Young Urban Arts Foundation and saw bands and labels like IDLES, Let's Eat Grandma and Partisan Records nominated.[9][10]


The inaugural music industry conference, the AIM Indie-Con took place in 2012 in the Glaziers Hall London, returning there each year until at least 2018.[11] The inaugural music industry conference, Indie-Con took place in 2012 in the Glaziers Hall London, returning there each year until at least 2018.[12]

Aim Connected[edit]

The Association of Independent Music launched a new networking event in 2019, called Aim Connected. Spread over three days in March, the event strives to connect business, tech and people. The event includes industry expert panels, workshops and one-on-one networking sessions. Aim Connected's 2019 speakers included executive producer of 'Surviving R. Kelly' dream Hampton, London's Night Czar Amy Lame, Hospital Records founder Chris Goss, and VICE creative director, Emil Asmussen.

Unrelated Australian version[edit]

From 2017, a separate event known as Indie-Con Australia has been run in Adelaide, under the auspices of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), with support from the South Australian government.[13]

Significant labels under AIM[edit]

Significant artists under AIM labels[edit]


  1. ^ Brandle, Lars (13 December 2018). "Alison Wenham is stepping down as CEO of WIN". The Industry Observer. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Europe launch for Apple's iTunes". 15 June 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2018 – via
  3. ^ "Independent bands out of tune with 'world's biggest jukebox'". 16 June 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  4. ^ "UK Music". 26 September 2008. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Paul Pacifico Appointed CEO of U.K. Indie Body AIM". Billboard. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ Eliezer, Christie (4 September 2017). "New report puts Aussie indie labels at 30% revenue share, in Top 10 of global indie markets". The Music Network. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  7. ^ "IMPALA supports key Brexit recommendations for cultural sectors". IMPALA. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Brexit and the Cultural Sector". European Network of Cultural Centres. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  9. ^ "AIM Independent Music Awards: IDLES, Let's Eat Grandma & Partisan Records Score Nominations". Billboard. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  10. ^ "IDLES, Zeal & Ardor and Wolf Alice are all up for gongs at the AIM Independent Music Awards". Upset. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  11. ^ "AIM Indie-Con". UK Music. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  12. ^ Hanley, James (7 December 2017). "AIM's Indie-Con confirmed for 2018 return". Music Week. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  13. ^ Brandle, Lars (27 June 2017). "Indie-Con is coming to Australia". The Industry Observer. Retrieved 27 August 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]