AIM unveils free tier and new board members at diversity-focused AGM

AIM unveils free tier and new board members at diversity-focused AGM

The Association Of Independent Music (AIM) has introduced a new free Associate Membership tier and elected five new directors to its board. 

The changes were unveiled at AIM’s online AGM, where CEO Paul Pacifico (above) spoke about community, activism and social justice in the music industry, as well as the body’s 2020 acitvity.

AIM’s new tier will be open to every client of AIM’s independent distributor members, with the aim of providing a new generation of independent music entrepreneurs with resources.

Set to be launched in 2021, the new tier is expected to see AIM’s total membership grow from around 1,000 to 100,000. It is intended to ensure that nearly anyone building a career or business in music can access crucial resources for free.

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM said: “The launch of our Associate Membership tier is a huge moment for AIM, not only in terms of our reach and structure, but in our commitment to activism and social justice. We are bringing thousands of the next generation of music entrepreneurs into our community, giving them a significant boost and instigating substantive and much-needed change across the industry. I believe that the Associate tier exemplifies AIM’s values of fairness, innovation and entrepreneurship, and reinforces the strength of our Member businesses and the independent sector as a whole.”  

Simon Wills, director of Absolute Label Services and chair of AIM’s distribution committee, said: “We’re delighted to help establish this new membership with AIM. The free access it will provide to industry knowledge, resources and contacts will provide a boost for many of our clients and those of our fellow distributors in the independent sector. With this, we can continue to move forward together in a meaningful way with a shared objective to help and support the independent community.”   


We know that we have to do more

Paul Pacifico, AIM


Ammo Talwar MBE, chair of UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce, said: “Breaking down barriers, listening and collaboration are the key drivers to making change and challenging systemic issues. AIM's new free Associate tier of membership shows leadership and action by delivering critical social capital to the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs. This is what real change looks like.” 

AIM’s AGM also confirmed five new female executives as new board members. Clare Mckinney (Domino Recording Company), Maya Kalev (Stones Throw Records), Nicole Mckenzie (MIC Records), Rachael Patterson (!K7 Music) and Suzanne Lachapelle (Cooking Vinyl) are the new additions. 

The five outgoing members of the board are: Adam Velasco (Cherry Red Records), Chris Goss (Hospital Records), Harry Martin (Domino Recording Co), Paul Trueman (AWAL) and Rachael Patterson (!K7 Music) 

AIM’s board now has10 female members out of a total of 18, and the organisation underlines its commitment to the PRS Foundation’s Keychange pledges, which include ethnicity as well as gender representation on its board. 

The AGM was themed around ‘activism, business and community’ and featured a panel discussion between Dal Darroch, head of diversity & inclusion programmes for The Football Association (FA), writer/director Rubika Shah, Natasha Guthrie, partnerships & marketing manager, Young Urban Arts Foundation (YUAF) and Sharan Dhaliwal, editor-in-chief of Burnt Roti magazine. 

In his address, Paul Pacifico confirmed the creation of the new role of entrepreneurship and outreach manager at AIM, with the incumbent to be announced soon.

“Breaking down structural barriers to social justice and equality is one of the greatest challenges ahead,” Pacifico said. “And it is important to note that whilst this year there has been huge focus on race, these barriers and this prejudice persists also against women, people of differing sexual orientations and identities, people with physical disabilities, people who are neuro-diverse and people from different geographic locations in the UK.”

He continued: “Structural barriers prevent our market being a truly meritocratic one. A diverse and meritocratic independent music sector is one that will continue to discover the best and brightest talent, the best and most exciting new music and the next generation of the most successful music entrepreneurs.  It is absolutely about social justice but we see time and time again that doing the right thing for the community leads to better business outcomes over time.”

Pacifico promised further action from AIM. “It is not enough to sit back and say, ‘Anyone is welcome to join AIM’,” he said. “We know that we have to do more – we have to be active in reaching out to and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs in order to break down those barriers that prevent them from reaching us. We have got to make the first move and help deliver social capital at the very start of people’s careers.”

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