The recently-appointed CEO of UK indies body AIM, Silvia Montello, has given her first ’State of Independence’ address at its annual AIM Connected conference.
Montello hailed the growth of the independent music market globally – “the largest single segment of the market worth almost $11bn and a healthy market share nudging towards 35%”.
However, she also warned of challenges including a slowdown of streaming growth in mature markets, falling Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for streaming services, and the “huge growth in volume of tracks available to the consumer now… a further overall devaluation of digital music”.
Montello also addressed the growth of the DIY and self-releasing artists sector, hailing it as “a great artistic talent pipeline for independent rightsholders and the music industry ecosystem, as well as nurturing the future leaders in the indie sector.”
Meanwhile, she talked about concerns from AIM’s members about “the increasingly blurred lines between labels, publishers, label services and artist services companies, rightsholders and distributors”, as well as the impact of major-owned distribution and label services companies.
“Can you be independent if you use a major distributor’s pipes and services as your route to market?” said Montello, summarising the question being chewed over by AIM members. “Where does independence now start and end?”
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