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Plans for indie-labels playlist brand reach RFP stage


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alison-wenham-aimThe prospect of an umbrella streaming-music playlists brand for independent labels has moved a step closer, after trade body AIM released a request for proposal (RFP) for someone to run it.

The idea of a single entity to curate and promote playlists on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services has been a hot topic of conversation among indie labels for several months, as they mull the potential impact of Digster, Filtr and Playlistme – the playlist brands of the major labels.

“This project has been under development since April this year and we are now ready to move to the next stage,” said AIM boss Alison Wenham. “The independents are already doing very well in the streaming markets and on playlists in particular, but as this market grows we want to ensure that our success continues to grow.”

As streaming continues to grow, the major labels are putting more effort into their playlists, which sit alongside those created by Spotify’s editorial team and users of its service. A playlist with tens or even hundreds of thousands of subscribers can be an important launchpad for a new track or artist. A number of indie labels are curating their own playlists already, but a unified brand may carry more weight in the market.

There’s another issue bubbling behind the scenes, though: as Wenham suggested, indies ARE doing well on streaming playlists. Research earlier this year by Record of the Day found that indies accounted for 51% of the tracks on Spotify’s most prominent in-house playlists. Fears that major labels will exert pressure to bag more of those slots is another driver behind the moves to create an umbrella indie brand.

Cooking Vinyl’s Sammy Andrews, who has been one of the key voices calling for this, welcomed the latest news today. “I’m absolutely delighted at the response from the global independent community and trade bodies to the Independent Playlist Brand idea,” she said.

We’ve been making great progress behind the scenes and now we just need the right people to make this vision a reality to benefit the independent record label community worldwide.”

Anyone interested in the RFP is being asked to contact [email protected] for more details.


Written by: Stuart Dredge