PIAS Group

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PIAS is an international recording, licensing, distribution, sales and marketing company for independent music. PIAS has played a role in campaigns for artists like 2ManyDJs, Adele, Agnes Obel, Alt-J, Aphex Twin, Arctic Monkeys, Editors, Eels, Faith No More, Machine Head, Milky Chance, Moby, Muse, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Oasis, Pixies, Sigur Ros, The Strokes, Texas, The Gossip, The Prodigy, The War On Drugs, Tom Waits.

The group was founded in 1981 by Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot. Headquartered in London, the group has over 250 employees, with 16 offices including UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Iberia & Latin America, the United States,Canada, and Australia, Poland and Eastern Europe.

The group funds and partners with like-minded Independent labels and artists to market and release their music around the world. The partners include labels such as Wichita, Bella Union Transgressive, Moshi Moshi, Heavenly, Infectious, DFA and ATO.



Michel Lambot and Kenny Gates met circa September 1981 at Michel’s record store then called “Casablanca Moon”, exclusively selling records from independent labels and they quickly became friends.

In June 1982 the store “Casablanca Moon” was closed down and they made plans to start an import company named “Play It Again Sam”. Play It Again Sam started importing from the UK in October 1982 and were based in the basement of in Kenny's parents' house in Brussels, Belgium. Michel and Kenny were then respectively 21 and 19 years old.

The company was incorporated in March 1983 with a starting capital of €5000 and the strategy rapidly became to be a “distributor” rather than an importer / wholesaler; that meant offering a full range of services to labels, such as promotion and marketing.

They started up a distribution company in the UK in 1988; in the Netherlands in 1989, in France in 1994, in Germany in 1998 and in Spain in 2001. PIAS Recordings is the group's in-house recorded music division, comprising two labels, Play It Again Sam and Different Recordings, headquartered in PIAS's UK office in Bermondsey, London.

In early 2013, PIAS acquired Cooperative Music (and the Coop-owned V2 Records label) from Universal Music Group, forming the new business division PIAS Cooperative.[1]

2011 Warehouse Fire[edit]

On 8 August 2011, during the 2011 riots in England, a Sony DADC warehouse in the London Borough of Enfield which also acted as PIAS' primary distribution center was destroyed by fire. Most of PIAS' inventory was considered lost including records from the over 100 British independent labels which PIAS distributes.[2][3] Several album and single releases were affected by the fire,[4] including the Arctic Monkeys single "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala", the Battles single "My Machines" and the Charlie Simpson album Young Pilgrim.[5][6] The total stock loss was reported to be between 3.5 million[7] and 25 million[8] units.

Distributed Labels[edit]

PIAS distributes over 100 independent labels including the following:[3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]