AIM launches free Associate Membership tier to expand network

AIM launches free Associate Membership tier to expand network

Launching today, non-profit trade body AIM (Association of Independent Music), has opened a new free Associate Membership tier in Beta (tested by Secretly Distribution and EmuBands) for all AIM Distributor Members. 

The new tier was announced last October and is focused on reaching equality following the British Business Bank’s findings that Black, Asian and other ethnic minority entrepreneurs have received less access to free advice. As part of the Associate Membership tier, AIM will now offer free access to resources needed for those working towards a career or business in the music industry, from artists to managers and more.

Members will now have access to industry knowledge through the Associate Knowledge Base, a new AI search engine through Zendesk’s customer service platform. The base will allow members to search through music business guides, digital distribution guides, educational webinars, tip sheets, and other general advice and support. 

Spotify, Amazon, Facebook and YouTube are also involved by updating members on how to engage with their services through a Platform Gateway. Members will also have free access to AIM conferences and networking opportunities. 

The tier is hoped to bring AIM’s membership to more than 100,000, up from the current 1,000+ of labels and associated businesses. It will launch at AIM’s free Future Independents conference today (June 3), with YouTube and Google’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen, AIM and CTRL Records’ Nadia Khan, and Because Music’s Emmanuel de Buretel offering a look into independent music.

On the announcement, AIM CEO, Paul Pacifico said: “The launch of our Associate Membership tier is a significant milestone for us at AIM. Opening up access to industry knowledge and networking opportunities is one of the most important steps towards creating much-needed change across the industry and supporting the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs. As we broaden our reach and expand our membership, we hope to strengthen both AIM’s Member businesses and the UK independent music sector as a whole.”

Simon Wills, MD Absolute Label Services, and Chair of AIM’s Distribution Action Group, added “AIM’s new Associate Tier is a fantastic addition to the benefits AIM Membership delivers to its distributor members and will help us in supporting our clients as they grow their businesses in music.”

A new community support manager has been appointed to tie in with the launch, as Char Walsh will now be responsible for managing the Associate Membership tier after having spent almost a decade working with music licensing and memberships, in addition to holding roles at PPL.

Walsh added: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining AIM at this key moment. Promoting equal access is essential if we want to drive meaningful change and foster innovation across the music industry. We look forward to welcoming our very first members and seeing the AIM community continue to grow.”

Chief impact officer, British Business Bank, Shanika Amarasekara, commented: “Our recent ‘Alone Together: Entrepreneurship and Diversity in the UK’ report highlighted that a lack of social capital can be a significant barrier to success for some groups. AIM’s new Associate Membership tackles this directly by making resources and knowledge freely available, which will help to drive diversity and to build a more equitable industry.”


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