American Association of Independent Music

American Association of Independent Music
American Association of Independent Music
Formation 2005
Type Trade Association
Legal status Non-Profit
Purpose/focus Fairness and Equity for Independent Music Labels
Headquarters New York, NY
Region served USA

The American Association of Independent Music, or A2IM, is a not-for-profit trade organization serving the Independent music community as a unified voice representing a sector that comprises over 30% of the music industry's market share in the United States (and 38% of SoundScan digital sales). The organization represents the Independents’ interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community.

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.

Launched on July 4th, 2005 to represent the needs of the independent music label community, this year A2IM celebrated its fifth anniversary as the sector's pre-eminent advocacy group and trade organization. Currently, the organization counts over 280 music label members and 140 associate members (companies who don’t own masters but rely upon, provide services for, or otherwise support Independent music labels).

A2IM seeks fairness, equity, and transparency for Independent labels via lobbying, commerce, and member services.

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 is a member of the World Independent Network, or 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.

A2IM was preceded by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors, or NAIRD. In 1997, the 25th anniversary of the group, it changed its name to AFIM (Association for Independent Music).

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 Membership Services Jennifer Masset and Operations Manager Sheryl Cohen. The organization’s board of directors is composed of the following: Concord Music Group President Glen Barros; Sub Pop Vice President of Business Affairs Eric Brown; tinyOGRE Entertainment COO/General Counsel Jim Cooperman; Epitaph Records General Manager Dave Hansen; Yep Roc Records Co-Owner Tor Hansen; Alligator Records Founder/CEO Bruce Iglauer; Beggars Group CEO Martin Mills; Kill Rock Stars President Portia Sabin; Naxos of America, Inc. CEO Jim Selby; Tommy Boy Entertainment Founder & CEO Tom Silverman and Razor & Tie COO Victor Zaraya.

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.

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