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AIM boss to stand down at the end of this year

By | Published on Tuesday 16 August 2022


The chief of the UK’s Association Of Independent Music, Paul Pacifico, has announced he is standing down from the role later this year. He is currently approaching the end of a second three year term in the job, but will stay on a little longer while a replacement is recruited.

Pacifico joined AIM in 2016, having previously been CEO of the UK’s Featured Artists Coalition. The independent music community that AIM was set up to represent had grown and evolved considerably in the years prior his appointment, and one of Pacifico’s key objectives was growing and evolving the organisation in the same way. So that it continued to speak for and support the more conventional independent record labels, but was also relevant to all the different kinds of businesses and entrepreneurs you find across the independent music rights sector.

Achieving that involved a range of educational and outreach initiatives, as well as producing the ‘Distribution Revolution’ report with CMU Insights that put the spotlight on the ever changing role of the music distributor and the rise of artist services businesses. And then subsequently launching a new free associate membership tier and annual Future Independents event. There have also been a number of initiatives to encourage more diversity – as well as environmental sustainability – within the indie music community and beyond.

More recently AIM and Pacifico have been speaking up for the independent music sector within the highly public economics of streaming debate that began in the UK Parliament and led to a number of committees and working groups being convened by the government.

With so many business models now employed in the independent music sector – including by artists who run their own labels in partnership with distributors and managers – Pacifico and his team played a key role in ensuring all those different approaches were considered as the workings of the streaming business and record industry were scrutinised, and proposals were made to address some of the issues that have been raised by artists and songwriters.

Confirming his departure yesterday, Pacifico said: “I came to AIM six years ago faced with the challenge to refresh it as one of the most energised and relevant voices in music to represent both the established but also the up-and-coming creative entrepreneurs in our sector. I feel I have done much of the work I came to AIM to do and I’m proud to leave AIM in a position of huge strength for the future of the community, the members and the team”.

“I am hugely grateful for the support from the community, my board and my incredible team over the last six years”, he added, “which has enabled me to deliver on so much of the promise AIM represents and to shine a light on the vibrant and innovative UK independent music community. I look forward to the road ahead and the opportunities that no doubt await”.

Meanwhile, the trade body’s Chair Nadia Khan added: ”It’s been a very rewarding experience to work closely with Paul and see first-hand his commitment to values-driven leadership, investment in promoting open communication and building a culture of equitable and transparent leadership”.

“AIM’s board, team and membership are the most diverse they have ever been, we have levelled out access to resources and opportunities for creative entrepreneurs, and Paul’s impact and legacy are towering embodiments of this”, she continued. “I am truly sad to see him leave, and I wish him the best in his future endeavours”.

Pacifico’s departure means that both the UK trade bodies that speak up for the label community – BPI and AIM – will be under new leadership next year, with BPI CEO Geoff Taylor also recently announcing he was standing down. Though, unsurprisingly, with both jobs becoming vacant at the same time, there is already speculation that Pacifico might be interested in the BPI role. Although on social media Pacifico himself says he has no fixed plans as yet regarding what he does after AIM.