Aim partners with CMU to demystify the digital supply chain

The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has teamed up with CMU Insights to provide a benchmark study of the music distribution market, while clarifying the 21st century digital supply chain.

Distribution Revolution is the first industry report to provide comprehensive analysis of modern distribution.

The report investigates how the role of music distributors has changed over the last two decades, as they have diversified into artist and label services.

It then goes on to outline essential knowledge music creators need before selecting a new partner for distribution and more.

Distribution Revolution identifies challenges facing rightsholders including transparency issues relating to DSP deals, the sharing of value from DSP deals, balancing upfront and long-term benefits and the allure of the advance and whether it’s worth it.

The report also covers the need to plan for an exit strategy, the risk and complexities of competition and distribution partners and the short and long-term impact of new models in the market.

The report concludes with a number of recommendations suggesting the independent music community should agree on codes of conduct for rightsholder-distributor partnerships to make existing best practice become an industry standard.

It additionally recommends learning to identify the whole digital supply chain to increase transparency of choice and promotes a distribution checklist to help all rightsholders make informed decisions when selecting distribution partners.

You can sign up to download a free digital copy here.

The official launch for the report takes place today (Wednesday) in London, where Chris Cooke will present the report’s key findings and recommendations.

AIM’s head of legal and business affairs, Gee Davy, will cover the next steps AIM intends to make.

Gee Davy, head of legal and business affairs, AIM, says: ‘Anyone who wants to build a career or business in releasing music must find a route for the music to reach fans. Distribution is arguably the least understood aspect of releasing music, and yet a good distributor is key to maximising reach and financial return, and plays an essential part in its success, or failure, of a release. The report’s findings provide vital insights and knowledge which can be used to help musicians and music businesses, and their distributors to be better business partners.’

Chris Cooke, report author and CMU Insights managing director, adds: ‘As the digital music market has grown over the last two decades, most attention has been given to the evolution of the consumer-facing digital platforms. However, behind the scenes, the companies that help labels and artists deliver their music to those platforms have also been evolving. It’s great to be able to put the spotlight on that side of the business. Based on a survey of the independent music community and interviews with experts from across the distribution sector, ‘Distribution Revolution’ provides a thorough overview of the world of music distribution as we head into 2020, while summarising some of the issues and challenges both rights-holders and their distribution partners continue to tackle.’

Simon Wills, director, Absolute Label Services comments: ‘With the distribution model in so many different forms, understanding what an individual needs and who can best deliver it for them is tricky. This report allows for an informed starting point.’

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