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AIM launches new report on the revolution in music distribution

By | Published on Wednesday 13 November 2019

Distribution Revolution

The Association Of Independent Music today launches ‘Distribution Revolution’, a new report on the music distribution sector produced in partnership with CMU Insights.

It looks at the evolution of digital distribution over the last two decades, and reviews how the role of the distributor has changed significantly over that time.

In particular it considers how and why distributors have expanded the range of services they offer well beyond distribution, so that a label today can, if it so chooses, outsource ever more of the work involved in releasing records to its distribution partner.

The report also reviews how distributors now work with a wider range of clients, in particular self-releasing artists and their single-artist-labels. That, of course, includes grass-roots DIY artists and more established acts who basically set up their own labels, often in partnership with management.

These changes have had a positive impact for labels and artists alike, but also create challenges. One big upside is that labels and artists now have more choice, but that also means more decisions to make. One of the aims of ‘Distribution Revolution’ is to help to inform that decision making process.

There is also arguably a need for more transparency across the digital supply chain and to agree some industry standards for the modern distribution sector, to help better manage the expectations of artists, labels and distributors alike. AIM has confirmed that, based on this research, it will now work with the independent music community on agreeing a code of conduct for the distribution side of the business.

Ahead of the official launch of ‘Distribution Revolution’ this evening, AIM’s Head of Legal & Business Affairs, Gee Davy, said: “Anyone who wants to build a career or business in releasing music must find a route for the music to reach fans”.

“Distribution is arguably the least aspect of releasing music”, she added, “and yet a good distributor is key to maximising reach and financial return, and plays an essential part in its success, or failure, of a release. The report’s findings provide vital insights and knowledge which can be used to help musicians and music businesses, and their distributors, to be better business partners”.

Click here to register to get a free copy of the report.