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Killing Moon launches new services business and membership network for independent music companies

By | Published on Thursday 12 August 2021

The Killing Moon Group yesterday launched a new label and artist services business with a difference called The Music Federation.

The new venture is basically a membership network that will allow participating independent labels and music companies to access a wide range of distribution, marketing, studio, content, merchandise, event, legal and other services. Labels within the network will also interact with and support each other – with some also bringing services to the table – and each member will have an input on the evolution and development of the wider venture.

Explaining the motivation for launching a music services business that runs as a membership network, Killing Moon CEO Achal Dhillon tells CMU: “The inspiration for calling, and indeed treating, our clientele as members very much comes from both my work at the Association Of Independent Music and also a lot of stuff Killing Moon has done in the past three years with a Soho-based members club called The House Of St Barnabas”.

At St Barnabas, he adds, “the members club element is the revenue-generating entity that services the core charity that aims to lift people out of homelessness. These places and their regular activities have taught me how to value people in this business far beyond their catalogue worth. That may seem like child-like thinking or at least that’s what I’ve been consistently told. Yet, here we are. Funny”.

As for how new music companies will join the network, Dhillon says: “Admission is based on – similar to any other members club – do we feel you and your organisation share the same values based around community and collectively gathering and sharing skills, knowledge and, ultimately, services … We need to know that you’re a personality fit first and foremost: a demonstration of how, in your own way, you are trying to improve things or procure societal change is a good way of going about that. That’s how the House Of St Barnabas admits members, and we like the way those guys do things”.

Each member will then identify what services they want to access via The Music Federation and a deal will be done for how the company will charge for those services. Distribution and streaming service relationships will be handled by Believe, which is also backing the new venture.

On the Believe tie-up, Dhillon continues: “We are a new distributor and we had to find allies whose delivery pipes we could use, as well as a few friendly faces, given the experience we have had with certain distributors lately. Believe genuinely feel like the last true big indie distributor left standing, and that sentiment was very much felt during negotiations with my good friend Ben Rimmer [Believe’s Director Of Artists & Labels Solutions for the UK, Ireland and Benelux] who also served on the AIM board and knew exactly what we were trying to do”.

“Believe have provided us with the money we needed to get going with this thing in the first place”, he goes on. “The deals that we have in place with them also mean that we can sign whoever we feel like signing to the Federation, and we have their complete backing from the conception stage upwards in respect to any member or individual who wants to become a member. It is nice to feel that supported since conceiving the project, and to grow our distribution business within another that has thrived with a good heart and head on them”.

Launch members of The Music Federation include Metropolis, Fierce Panda, Export Quality Records,, Elephant Music, Polarface, Perceptible Records and Wild Paths. As well as Dhillon and Rimmer, the other person involved in the creation of the new venture is Siofra McComb from label management consultancy Positive Subversion, who will also be General Manager of the new business.