London-based artist and music business development company Killing Moon Group has launched The Music Federation in partnership with Believe.
A number of domestic and international music companies are also due to come on board as members in the coming year.
The Music Federation provides scalable services-based distribution, as well as label services solutions and other benefits.
The scope of the membership includes Metropolis, Fierce Panda, Export Quality Records, Native.fm, Elephant Music, Polarface, Annabel Allum, Wild Paths and many more to be confirmed.
“With a focus on holistic and robust artist and business development for the next generation of music industry stakeholders, and largely in response to the big catalogue purchases of late predominantly taking place in the major label sector, The Music Federation is committed to pulling together a diverse range of skill sets unique to each of The Music Federation’s members,” said a statement.
It aims to secure the “best possible prospects and opportunities” for rights-holders, as well as accounting to its members at release-level for distribution revenues.
Services provided by The Music Federation to its members include free-at-the-point-of-use recording studio services, promotional services (PR, radio, DSP playlist pitching), access to The Music Federation Advances, free/discounted legal services, merchandise facilities that are free at the point of use in respect to tour supply items, general training and expertise provided by Music Federation staff, video production services, access to AI-based scouting, and more.
The Music Federation also recognises that most of its membership do more than just release records in order to generate revenue. So the Federation will provide an array of non-label services to members which range from live (creation of club shows, festival stages, and more) and artist management services, through to publishing, A&R management and mental health/wellbeing services, which can be opted into on a project-by-project basis.
The Federation also offers full day-to-day running of the label business. for catalogue owners or new curators and entrants to the music industry.
The model allows The Music Federation to draw new entrants into the streaming economy, particularly agents, promoters, festivals and venues.
The three principal architects - Killing Moon’s Achal Dhillon, Positive Subversion’s Siofra McComb and Believe’s Ben Rimmer - all met as directors on the board of the Association of Independent Music (AIM).
In operational terms, Killing Moon’s position and expertise in the live and artist management sectors becomes deployed along the entire membership of The Music Federation, with other third party services fulfilling other options.
There is a rigid set of admission requirements into The Music Federation in order to enforce compliance with member labels with the best spirit of the independent sector in terms of their business practice. Following launch, admission for new members into the Federation will be via approval of the Federation Board.
“Virtually zero research and development into automated and transparent accounting at release-level within distributors has taken place to-date, and I think we all know why that is (or check out the Select Committee’s recommendations to government on the recent DCMS inquiry into streaming, if you really don’t),” said Achal Dhillon, CEO, The Music Federation. “The Broken Record issues are not recent. What is recent, due to the pandemic, is having the time and lack of distractions to finally face up to the fact that the music industry works for a select few, and the rest of us are expected to wait politely for our turn to govern, whilst we are being robbed by those who already control everything.
“The Music Federation provides everything you could possibly need in terms of human resource and services to found, run and expand a music business - we’ll fund, distribute and market your releases, we can orchestrate tours for your artist, put together your merch business, allow you access to our advance-granting facility, kit you out with showcase festival stages - and none of it requires you to have money upfront, or catalogue to be necessarily involved. I see us as both being in the individual-potential business, and the holistic music business in its various monetised forms, at the same time and that really puts artist and business development on the same dining table for our members.”
“I’ve known Ach and Siofra for many years, having all sat on the AIM board together representing the UK independent community,” said Ben Rimmer, who heads up Believe’s direct labels & artists solutions UK, IE, Benelux. “Ach’s vision for a modern independent music services company is very timely and much needed in the current landscape.
“The Music Federation will provide bespoke artist and label services while partnering with Believe to power global digital and physical distribution, DSP editorial and retail marketing partnerships, video and audience development, and funding. The ability to tap into different levels of service on fair and reflective deals fully outside of major systems will enable artists and labels to be fully heard as part of The Music Federation.”
“There is power in creating a community that is built on a foundation of integrity, and there is money to be made in running your business in an ethical way,” said Siofra McComb, GM, The Music Federation. “With The Music Federation, Achal is building that community – one based on collaboration and a sharing of resources, while using its collective bargaining power to provide opportunities for its members and the artists they represent. It’s exciting to help him build this community. “
AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: “The AIM community is known for innovation, not just in music but also with business models and approaches to partnering for success. We are delighted to see this innovation demonstrated in the launch of The Music Federation, offering a novel approach alongside expertise and keeping independence at its heart. We wish the founders, their partners and all of the artists and teams looking to benefit from this launch all the best into the future.”
“If the 27 years we’ve spent serving, and just about surviving, in the feral record company trenches firing out mini-miracles by Coldplay, Placebo, Keane, The Maccabees and the like has taught fierce panda anything at all it’s this: no label is an island,” said Fierce Panda’s Simon Williams. “In today’s gleamingly streaming-driven industry even resolutely battered old independent lags like us need friends in high-flying places.
“To that end, Fierce Panda has spent the past half decade cruising the final frontier in a quest to find alternative partners with whom to share ideas and ideals for living in a manically evolving music business universe. Long-term gigging acquaintance Achal Dhillon finally proffered that like minded lifeline, and the heroically-named The Music Federation will provide that communal essence rare by pooling its expansively vivacious resources to make even the smallest indie individual stronger. All the while it will be offering essential moral and fiscal support, local and global sales expertise.”