Founded in 2013 by Graphite Media director and International Music Summit co-founder Ben Turner and entertainment lawyer Kurosh Nasseri, AFEM connects and represents the common interests of companies and artists whose business is electronic music.
The non-profit organisation includes more than 250 members across 25 countries, representing all industry sectors within the electronic genre. Silvia Montello will be replacing Greg Marshall.
“Silvia has established herself as a powerful voice in the electronic music industry throughout her impressive career along with a proven track record of establishing and growing companies to their full potential,” said Ben Turner & Kurosh Nasseri, co-founders and chairs of AFEM. “From the moment she joined AFEM as a committee member in 2019, the organisation benefited from her insightful contribution.
“She will be the first female CEO of AFEM, which exemplifies our own growth as a trade organisation over the past decade. We are grateful to Greg for his incredible work over the last four years, steadying the AFEM ship, showing huge empathy with our membership community in our toughest times as an industry.”
Montello first joined AFEM as a committee member in 2019, playing a key role in their rights management and livestreaming working groups. Prior to joining AFEM, Montello’s 30-plus years of music industry experience included senior executive positions held at Our Price Music, Gramophone Publications, PolyGram/Universal, BMG and Kobalt Music/AWAL, where she served as the senior vice president of operations.
More recently, Montello served as the head of business development at Blokur, prior to joining Audio Network as its head of operations in 2021.
In 2011, she founded and continues to serve as the CEO of VoiceBox Consulting, a music industry consultancy offering marketing, communications, project management and business planning services. She is also the co-founder and current director of #RemarQabl, an electronic music record label championing upcoming female, LGBTQ+ and ethnically diverse talent.
Our industry continues to evolve at a pace, forever bringing with it new opportunities and emerging technologies
Silvia Montello, who is based in London, said: “I am hugely excited to be joining AFEM as its new CEO, truly aligning my professional industry experience and personal energy into the music which has been my lifelong passion. AFEM has already achieved so much in its first 10 years and I thank Greg and the team for their incredible work laying the foundations for the Association to further extend its reach, efficacy and voice for the global community.
“Our industry continues to evolve at a pace, forever bringing with it new opportunities and emerging technologies. I look forward to helping bring together an amazing ecosystem of platforms, organisations, professionals and creators in building sustainable success through innovation, diversity, inclusion and collaboration.”
“It has been a privilege to lead AFEM over the past four years, laying the foundations and structure to grow ever-more effective in service to the electronic music industry,” said Greg Marshall, leaving as general manager of AFEM. “The time is right for me to adjust my balance of focus between AFEM and consulting on other projects within electronic music.
“I feel exceptionally positive about the appointment of Silvia Montello as the new CEO of AFEM, a person of deep integrity, industry experience, and with capabilities to take the organisation to new heights. I will remain involved on a consultancy basis to ensure Silvia is fully supported during this transition and look forward to seeing AFEM flourish further under her leadership.”
Over the decade since AFEM’s launch, the global electronic music industry grew nearly 75%, from $4 billion a year to a pre-pandemic level of $7 billion in 2019, according to the 2019 IMS Business Report. However, it experienced a slump during the pandemic and the focus will be on the sector’s return to pre-Covid levels of revenues.
“The electronic music genre has been at the forefront of new technology adoption from DJ set live streams, NFTs and music metaverse platforms, to continual progression of the mediums DJs and artists use to perform and reach new audiences; the market is poised for continued growth,” said AFEM in its statement.
Silvia Montello will give one of the opening keynotes at this year’s International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza, taking place April 27-29, to commemorate a decade of AFEM: Association for Electronic Music. It will be her first public speaking role since taking on the role.