AIM Innovator and Indie Champion Award winners announced

Merlin chief executive Charles Caldas and Eleven Seven Music chief executive Allen Kovac are to be honoured at the upcoming AIM Awards.

Caldas, who heads up the digital rights agency for the independent sector, will take home the Indie Champion Award.

During his 12 years as chief executive, Merlin’s membership has grown to include over 850 members in 63 countries. Covering 20,000 independent record labels and distributors, they command in excess of 12 percent of the digital recorded music market.

Caldas said: ‘Working on behalf of so many members of AIM, alongside their global Merlin member compatriots, has been a privilege.

‘To have that work recognised in this way by an organisation that has been such a trailblazer in advocating for UK independents and such an important and valued supporter of Merlin since its launch, is humbling, and a true honour.’

Elsewhere, artist manager Kovac will take home the Innovator Award, presented in association with Amazon Music. During his career, Kovac has worked with platinum-certified acts including Motley Crue, Duran Duran, Meat Loaf and Blondie.

An early advocate of Nielsen SoundScan, he also helped revolutionise the way record sales were counted.

Kovac said: ‘Technology and innovation have the same impact as hearing great music for the first time and asking technology experts how their products work has created new opportunities for my artists.

‘This award belongs to the experts who have given me new adventures that led to new endeavours, that I’ve brought to our independent community. The main challenge isn’t technology but clinging on to our old culture.’

Nominees for the publicly voted Best Live Act Award in association have also been revealed. They include AJ Tracey, Calpurnia, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Gerry Cinnamon and IDLES.

The winner — the act with the most votes — will be announced on the night of the awards on 3 September.