AIM’s Distributor membership offers a complete range of services to support independent companies as well as connecting you to over 800 label and DIY artist members. The annual cost of AIM membership is just £750 + VAT and we would like to offer any of your clients that aren’t already AIM members a 25% discount on the joining fee.
To become a full member of AIM, you must be a record label, distribution company or a person or company owning rights in sound recordings.
An ‘independent’ music company is one which is 50% or more NOT owned by a major label (Warner Music, Sony Music or Universal Music or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries). It is permitted for AIM member companies to have deals with majors, including joint ventures, but the AIM member must own at least 50% of the company to meet our definition of ‘independent’.
AIM members must be based (or have representation) in the UK or Ireland.
Masterclass & Networking events
AIM offers a programme of regular conferences and networking events, allowing members to learn about key areas of label business and make important new contacts in those areas.
Some events are exclusively open to members, whereas others are open to all with a significant discount for AIM members. Visit the Events section to find out what events we have planned right now!
Sync Licensing To TV, Film, Adverts & Games
Held annually (usually in February), this is a chance to see music supervisors from TV, ads, games and film talk about what they’re working on, how they select music, the kind of deals done and what music they are looking for right now. It’s also a chance to get feedback on your own music from the panel in the popular listening session, as well as meet the music supervisors during networking drinks afterwards. Keynote interviews at our sync events have included Thomas Golubic (Music Supervisor on Breaking Bad) and PJ Bloom (Music Supervisor on Glee).
Music Connected is a 1-day digital music conference taking place in London each April. Watch digital marketing campaign presentations and panels on key digital music issues, whilst meeting all the key digital service providers in the ‘digital market place’. A one-stop-shop for getting your digital music business knowledge up to speed and making the contacts needed to do successful business in the digital realm. This event is significantly discounted for AIM members, and attracts digital music figures from across the globe.
Women in Music & Entertainment
AIM is commited to encouraging greater diversity in the music industry, and part of that is our Women in Music & Entertainment evening, which takes place each summer. The idea is to bring women from across the creative industries together to encourage them to achieve their goals, network with other people in the industry and hear from some inspiring speakers. Past speakers have included Harriet Harman (MP), Kanya King (MOBO founder), Jo Wiley (Radio 2) and many more. Men are welcome of course!
Indie-Con is AIM’s 1-day conference covering all areas of label business. There are panels, presentations and sessions on PR, marketing, sourcing funding, fan engagement, artist management, getting your music on the radio, managing your live business and much more. Taking place each November, this is another must-do event for anyone running an indie label.
Some events focus purely on networking; as the saying goes it’s ‘who you know, not what you know’ in the music business. Actually we believe it’s both!
We hold regular socials in London and elsewhere around the UK (recently we have visited Cardiff and Leeds). We hire out a bar, all AIM members are invited, and we make sure that there are great labels on the decks and plenty of friendly AIM folk and other labels to enjoy a few drinks with.
AIM Digital Marketing Training – Intensive Courses
We offer regular 1-day intensive courses called ‘AIM Digital Training’, for anyone looking to take their digital business to the next level. Significantly discounted for AIM members.
Every new member is invited to a free Induction Meeting at the AIM office, giving you the chance to meet the team, receive expert advice on all areas of establishing your business, meet other new members and find out how to make the most of your membership. A must-do for anyone joining AIM.
AIM members are also invited to our AGM each summer and our Christmas party, both of which offer great opportunities to meet other like-minded independent companies in the AIM community.
Discounts & Special offers
Discounts and Special Offers on Industry Services
AIM has secured a great range of special offers and discounts for members in a variety of business areas: CD pressing, industry news, press advertising, royalty packages, bar codes and much more.
Many of these come from our ‘Friends of AIM’ – associate members who make an important contribution to AIM in return for the opportunity to be part of AIM’s independent community. We don’t share members’ details with these companies, but we do send out a weekly email to members on their behalf with the latest deals or news from Friends of AIM. Look out for these, there are some great deals for members.
AIM has a special deal for members with GS1, who issue bar codes in the UK. Members of AIM can register for bar codes from GS1 for £25 each, and companies with a turnover of under £100,000 can join GS1 UK without having to pay a joining fee under the ‘Unique Music’ Scheme established by AIM, BPI and GS1.
With the use of GS1 UK’s unique numbers, music distributors are able to accurately track record sales through direct and indirect sales channels and pay accurate and timely royalties to artists.
AIM members get a discounted registration rate for just about every industry event in the UK and overseas. The UK events our members can get a discounted rate for include: The Great Escape, Liverpool, Sound City, MMF / MPA Training Courses and many more. Overseas we offer discounts on: Midem, SXSW, Amsterdam Dance Event, Womex, International Music Summit, Sonar, Iceland Airwaves, Noorderslag and others.
AIM’s professional and enthusiastic team are always on hand to offer advice to members on all areas of their business.
Whether you are looking for distribution, wondering whether to go ahead with a synchronisation licence, planning to hire new staff, struggling with collecting international performance royalties or looking for marketing opportunities, we can help.
AIM’s in-house team includes staff knowledgeable in the areas of marketing, digital distribution, legal and business affairs, finance and funding and international. If we can’t help with members’ queries, we will almost certainly know someone who can. Advice from AIM’s friendly and informed team is the service most highly valued by our membership according to our annual survey.
AIM provides members with a number of opportunities and resources to help them trade overseas, from hosting the British Stand at international trade fairs, to organising trade missions to key and emerging territories, to providing market research reports and other online resources.
AIM works with other industry partners to host the British Music Stand at key industry trade fair Midem. If you are looking to make international contacts and do international licensing deals, register with AIM to attend Midem, and benefit from special facilities on the stand and discounted delegate rates.
AIM also offers discounted rates to members for SXSW, NXNE, Sonar, IMS, TGE and numerous other international conferences.
AIM offers annual trade missions to key and emerging overseas music markets, including the USA. A small group of music companies are taken to these territories annually for a programme of industry presentations, panels and networking events geared toward giving the labels the contacts and knowledge needed to trade successfully in that market. With preferential travel packages available and government funding, there is little additional cost to participants.
The AIM website offers a vast range of international resources, including market reports focusing on key territories such as China, India, the US and Japan, and information on funding available to develop your business internationally. AIM also has an International Email Ring – allowing members to put questions on international business to the wider membership.
For More Information Contact:
020 8994 5599
Legal & Business Affairs
General Legal and Business Affairs Advice
Gee Davy, AIM’s Legal and Business Affairs Manager, is on hand to answer members’ general queries relating to all legal and business affairs matters. This includes distribution agreements, publishing/PRS and mechanicals, PPL and international performance rights (aka ‘neighbouring rights’), VPL, Youtube and other video related issues, and any number of other areas affecting independent music companies from a legal or commercial perspective.
AIM does not offer a full legal service and cannot offer specific contractual advice, but we offer solid general advice and invaluable business context to our members such that they are better placed to make informed decisions for themselves. Where necessary, we can put members in touch with expert private practice lawyers who will be able to offer bespoke legal advice, if necessary.
AIM industry support programmes
Since 2012 AIM has set up a number of industry level support programmes for its members.
PPL: AIM has a regular monthly meeting programme with PPL, whereby AIM members have their PPL related questions and issues raised by a dedicated contact at PPL, to ensure questions are answered and any issues are solved quickly and easily. Members send their questions to AIM’s legal team to collate and raise in each monthly meeting; responses are then fed back to the member either by AIM or PPL.
Youtube: Likewise since 2013, AIM is in regular contact with Youtube to assist AIM members with specific issues relating to Youtube which are not covered in any of Youtube’s large library of online support materials.
Please contact Gee Davy for more details.
Industry Checklists and AIM Guides
AIM offers a useful collection of short guides to signing artists, distribution, overseas licensing and other areas. We also publish a weekly newsletter with matters of concern and interest to indie labels.
Members can also find a wealth of information on the business affairs aspects of running a label in the free ‘AIM Guide to Survival and Success in the Music Business’.
Lobbying & Campaigning
AIM acts as a voice for the independent sector to government and within the wider industry, championing the issues that matter to indies and ensuring indies are treated fairly by commercial partners.
Representing a body of over 800 small companies, AIM has the collective strength to act as a ‘fourth major’. AIM, therefore, lobbies government on the key issues affecting independents, and contributes to industry consultations as a member of UK Music, the body representing the interests of the UK music industry to government.
In the commercial world, small companies are often offered poorer deals than the major labels. AIM’s collective strength allows us to negotiate and campaign on behalf of the independent sector to ensure independents get fair deals from commercial partners. We also work to get good access to media for our members. In the past we have negotiated and campaigned on behalf of the sector with iTunes, the BBC, MTV and numerous others, resulting in significant extra revenue for our members.
We currently have an ongoing dialogue with BBC radio, to ensure independents have good access to the Radio 1 and Radio 2 playlists, something which was highlighted as a key concern by members at our 2009 AGM.
Independent labels usually have shoestring marketing budgets compared to the huge amounts spent by the majors, but that does not mean that you cannot have a successful marketing campaign.
The independent sector is known for its creative and innovative marketing, and we have gathered a wealth of information and advice to help members succeed in this area.
Marketing Health Checks
Members can sign up for a subsidised 2-hour ‘Marketing Health Check’ meeting, allowing them to have an indepth meeting with an experienced marketing consultant in which to draw up a marketing plan for a forthcoming release. Expert marketing consultants often charge considerable fees for their time, but this service is subsidised by AIM and available to members for £180+VAT.
Marketing Information & Opportunities
In our weekly e-bulletin we update members on all marketing opportunities that we offer or are aware of: when and how to register entries for the Music Week Awards, the Impala Awards, the Mercury Music Prize and other awards, deals on advertising, opportunities to get your music to the media and so on.
There are also a number of videos, contacts directories and guides on the AIM website under the Marketing section.
Members only website
The Members-Only section of the AIM website offers a vast range of resources and information to assist with all areas of business, including market research reports, contacts directories, fact sheets, how-to guides and e-books.
You will be able to access:
- Videos from all of our recent events (the sync conference, Music Connected digital conference and more)
- The AIM E-Guide to Sync Licensing, with contacts directory of hundreds of music supervisors and sync industry decision-makers
- Discounts and contact information for key suppliers including manufacturing, promo, printing and more
AIM’s Mini-Guides to Digital
- The AIM Guide to Survival & Success in The Music Business – a comprehensive guide to running your label
Information and contacts for radio – including info on XFM pitch meetings and contacts lists for BBC radio producers
- Member newsletters
All members receive a weekly newsletter from AIM, packed with news and industry information. Read this every week to get information including: industry diary dates, special offers on events and services, deadlines for event registrations, marketing opportunities, AIM news and announcements, industry news affecting independents, and much more.
Everyone at your company can register to receive this newsletter, ensuring you don’t miss out on any important industry news, deadlines and events.