Digital Music News recently ran an article called "The Gray Art of Counting Indie Sales," which underlined the confusion of tallying purchases of downloads or CDs based on the music's "independent" classification. According to the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), 32 percent of album sales in 2008 came from independent artists, but Nielsen Soundscan puts that number at 12.8 percent. Part of the difficulty in differentiating between an indie and a major the fact that many indie labels enter deals with distribution companies owned by the majors, such as ADA (95% owned by Warner) or Fontana (owned by Universal). read more
Washington, DC â€“ On October 22, 2008, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) released the results of a comprehensive study they conducted of a wide range of independent labels. The report collects feedback from the independent label community about radio’s progress in complying with the 2007 FCC Consent Decree and Rules of Engagement, which put specific anti-payola guidelines in place for four of the largest commercial radio broadcasters (CBS Radio, Clear Channel, Entercom Communications, and Citadel Broadcasting). Around the same time, the independent music community, led by A2IM and the FMC, signed a separate, voluntary “Rules Of Engagement” agreement with the radio chains promising more local and independent artists, 4,200 hours of independent music, and new anti-payola guidelines. read more
Independent Labels and Commercial Airplay 18 Months After the FCC Consent Decree and the "Rules of Engagement"
Justin Jouvenal for FMC and A2IM
Monday, October 20, 2008
This survey of A2IM label members conducted by investigative journalist Justin Jouvenal finds that indie labels are still having difficulty getting airplay on commercial radio. The report reveals near-unanimous sentiment among label owners: little has changed over the last year and a half, with 92 percent of label respondents describing their relationship to commercial radio as ?the same? as before the Consent Decree and Voluntary Agreements. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – Future of Music Coalition — whose 2002 examination of radio station ownership consolidation Radio Deregulation: Has It Served Citizens and Musicians? has been cited as essential evidence by FCC Commissioners and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals — has released a new publication that provides an overview of payola in the radio industry. Released in collaboration with the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Change That Tune: A Payola Education Guide for Musicians and Citizens makes the case that little has changed since the FCC enacted voluntary agreements between radio groups and major labels in April 2007.
In its reply comments, FMC highlights concrete ways for stations to make localism a priority, and urges the FCC to take definite steps to collect playlist data so it can track and analyze playlists in order to ensure that stations fulfill their public interest obligations. For the past four years, FMC has articulated a four-part “Fixing Radio” agenda. This agenda is focused on specific, tangible and commonsense policies that will greatly enhance the role that terrestrial radio can and should play in our society and culture.
A Payola Education Guide for Musicians and Citizens
Adam Marcus for FMC and A2IM
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Change That Tune looks at the history of payola, the development of the “indie promoter” system, the investigations by the New York State Attorney General and the FCC from 2003-2007, and the contents of the “Rules of Engagement” signed by the four largest radio companies to provide context of what it means for musicians and independent labels, and how artists are interacting with radio in the 21st century. read more
On June 11, 2008, FMC filed reply comments in the FCC’s ongoing localism docket (04-233). FMC’s comments offered highly targeted proposals designed to aid stations’ service to their local communities. FMC also urged the FCC to take definite steps to track and analyze playlists in order to fulfill their public interest obligations. read more
Washington, D.C.– The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) officially endorsed the Rock the Net campaign Tuesday bringing a powerful new voice to the fight for net neutrality. A2IM epresents the independent music community on legislative, economic and legal issues. Music on independent labels makes up more than 30 percent of the music industry’s market share. A2IM has more than 200 members including Lookout Records, Tommy Boy Records and the Concord Music Group. read more