After 17 years at the helm of the The Association of independent Music (AIM), which represents over 800 UK independent music companies, Alison Wenham is stepping down as Chair/Chief Executive of the organisation to take on a new, global role at Worldwide Independent Network (WIN)
Until now WIN, which represents the interests of the global independent music community worldwide, had not been allocated its own infrastructure, dedicated staff or resources but had been administered by AIM as an informal umbrella organization for the global independent music trade association community.
WIN will now launch as a standalone trade association once a new Chief Executive has been found for AIM, and will be headquartered in London. Alison Wenham will become Chief Executive of the organization.
AIM have announced the commencement of their search for a new Chief Executive and will announce Alison Wenham’s successor in due course. AIM and WIN will continue a close working relationship.
AIM was launched in 1999 by a number of independent labels who felt that, in response to increasing consolidation amongst a dwindling number of majors and sweeping changes in the marketplace, it was imperative for the Independent community to have its own representation and voice in the industry. Alison Wenham, who had until then worked at a senior level in both the independent and major label sectors, was appointed as AIM’s founding Chair/Chief Executive and has held the position ever since.
AIM was launched to unite the interests and strengths of independent companies, and to ensure they were not locked out of crucial new markets. Over the last 17years the organization has successfully ensured that the collective voice of its membership is heard by legislators at UK parliamentary and European levels, and in key commercial discussions across the industry, and has created many initiatives which have gone on to become part of the fabric of the UK record industry.
WIN was originally launched in 2006 in response to business, creative and market access issues faced by the independent sector across the world.
Playing a vital role in gathering intelligence so that its members have a global overview of the key issues affecting the independent sector, WIN ensures that the independent music sector is anticipating and confronting challenges before they become a problem.
WIN holds collection societies around the world toaccount, and continues to monitor their efficiency, accuracy and transparency. This links closely to WIN’s ongoing work representing the sector in international developments around data and rights management at a technical level. In an era where metadata and rights management is becoming central to the industry’s commercial performance, the independent community will now be professionally represented in this important work.
It also continues to confront and fight market abuse around the world and seeks to maintain a level commercial playing field while preventing large corporations from creating an anti-competitive environment.
Alison Wenham said, “As the music marketplace becomes ever more global it is time for the worldwide independent music community to focus its collective attention on the big issues affecting all of us. I am extraordinarily proud of our achievements at AIM, which I know will continue to effectively represent and help the UK’s independent music companies, but I am relishing the challenge of taking on this new position at WIN and representing our sector on a global level. The music industry continues to evolve at a pace and it is vital that our membership has a voice and a place at the top table when decisions affecting the livelihoods of independent music companies and the artists they represent are being decided.”
Martin Mills, Chairman of the Beggars Group and one of the original founders of AIM, commented “ Alison has been a force of nature in the growth of AIM, to the extent that it is impossible to imagine the UK record industry without it. However, we live in a global business, and her guidance is now needed on a broader canvas. Happily, AIM has grown to the point where with the identification of a new Chief Executive and the continuing work of its experienced and skilled management and staff, we can be confident in its continuing success and growth as a core member of WIN “