How well do you know the independent music sector? IMPALA’s discovery series takes us on a journey of the independent sector across the whole of Europe. Each month we look at a different aspect of the sector from IMPALA’s milestones, national associations, venueslabels, managers, and much more.

20ThingsToKnow#4

ICONIC EUROPEAN INDEPENDENT LABELS (20+)

They are household names of the independent music world and have released some of the most important European independent records in history. Here, we look at 20 iconic European independent record labels that have been in existence for more than 20 years.

1. COBALT MUSIC HELLADISC (Greece)

Established in 1962 and headquartered in Athens, COBALT MUSIC is Greece’ leading independent record label. representing an impressive portfolio of Greek artists. The company also explore other music genres through its imprint as FAMILY THE LABE.COBALT MUSIC is also active as a publisher, managing a very large repertoire of works of household names of Greek music such Manos Hatzidakis or Lefteris Papadopoulos. A perfect mix between respectable tradition and enthusiasm for young and emergent artists.

A few artists to watch out for: STELIOS KAZANTZIDIS, GEORGE MAZONAKIS, SAKIS ROUVA

2. CRUNCHY FROG (Denmark)

Established in 1994 in Copenhagen by the four members of the band THAU, Crunchy Frog borrows its name from a Monthy Python sketch involving a pair of policemen who question the head of a confectioners about his new assortment, which include a “Crunchy Frog”. The record label focuses on “alternative music” and aims at leaving full creative control to its artists. Nowadays, it is also involved in publishing (Crunchy Tunes) and promotion (Bobkat Agency) while also partnering in two Copenhagen-based bars: the Whammy Bar and the Mudhoney.

A few artists to watch out for: POWERSOLO, THEE ATTACKS, THE RAVEONETTES

3. DANCING BEAR (Croatia) 

Based in Zagreb and founded in 1990, Dancing Bear Records is one of the leading Croatian record labels and is also the Warner Chapell representative in the country. Taking its name from a 60s hit by U.S. act The Mamas and the Papas, it is also active in publishing and runs two records stores in Zagreb and Osijek. 

A few artists to watch out for: former IMPALA album of the year nominee BAMBI MOLESTERS, THE STRANGE, MAGNETIC 

4. ECM – EDITION OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC (Germany)

ECM is a record label best known for its jazz releases. It was founded in 1969 in Munich and its motto is “the Most Beautiful Sound Next to Silence”, taken from a 1971 review of ECM releases in a Canadian jazz magazine. Having built a strong reputation for daring and innovative releases, its album covers were profiled in two books: Sleeves of Desire and Windfall Light, both published by Lars Müller. ECM is the recipient of numerous industry awards (MIDEM, JazzWeek, etc) and has also developed a very strong relationship with the film industry, many of its releases being used or created for movies. 

A few artists to watch out for: KEITH JARRETT, JAN GARBAREK, STEVE REICH, PAT METHENY 

5. EXCELSIOR RECORDINGS (Netherlands)

Excelsior was founded in 1995 by Ferry Roseboom and Frans Hagenaars under the name “Nothing Sucks Like Electrolux”, releasing a few limited-run 7’ singles. The name Excelsior Recordings was adopted in 1996 and quickly became known for releasing quality alternative rock albums in Benelux.

A few artists to watch out for: ALAMO RACE TRACK, TOMMIGUN, TRIGGERFINGER 

6. IRASCIBLE (Switzerland)

Turning 20 this year, Irascible was established in 2001 and quickly developed into a distribution, promotion and publishing company for many international and Swiss labels and artists. It is also active as a PR agency for music festivals and of course as a record label (IRASCIBLE RECORDS) aiming to build up Swiss talents and export them successfully.

A few artists to watch out for: ONE SENTENCE. SUPERVISOR, BLIND BUTCHER, WOLFMAN

7. MAGNEOTON (Hungary)

The Magneoton record label was founded in 1990 and was one of the first privately-owned record labels created during the regime change from communism to free market economy in Hungary. In 1992, Warner Music Group acquired the company, which became Warner Music’s sub-publisher of Hungarian so-called “light music” performers. The company launched the Aquarium Studio in 1999, one of the most modern sound studios in Hungary. In 2004, two directors of Warner Music Hungary, László Pásztor and István Joós, started a new business called mTon, which took over the maintenance of Magneoton’s catalogue and the release of other Hungarian albums. Elephant House Records was launched in 2014 to focus on works by electronic music performers.

A few artists to watch out for: NAPOLEON BOULEVARD, CALIDORA, NEOTON FAMILIA 

8. MTJ (Poland)

Agencja Artystyczna MTJ is a Warsaw-based independent label established in 1990 by Tomasz Bujak and Maciej Pluciński. First operating in distribution and as a warehouse store, it properly launched its label operation in 1995 after signing a recording deal with singer Ryszard Rynkowski. MTJ has released more than 1.500 records in its existence, in various music genres, collecting many platinum and gold records in Poland in the process. It also runs diverse imprints focusing on rock and heavy metal (Mega Czad), electronic music (Disco Polo) and children’s music (Male MTJ).

A few artists to watch out for: MAGDA UMER, STAN BORYS, MAGDA FEMME 

9. NINJA TUNE (United Kingdom)

Ninja Tune is a London-based independent record label. Their ninja logo is probably one of the most well-known in the industry. It was established in 1990 by Matt Black and artist Jonathan Moore aka Coldcut. The label was created as a means to escape the creative control of major labels and as a way to release underground music. Recognised as one of the most innovative independent record labels worldwide, Ninja Tune is often referenced to as visionary and consistently excellent. Ninja Tune MD Peter Quicke, is also one of the driving forces behind the Music Declares Emergency initiative. 

A few artists to watch out for: DJ FOOD, MR. SCRUFF, AMON TOBIN

10. PIAS RECORDINGS (Belgium)

PIAS Recordings was founded in 1983 in Belgium as Play It Again Sam by Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot, focusing first on importing and distributing foreign records in Belgium, before quickly expanding into other territories, with offices in France, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom among others. Its name is a reference to the Casablanca movie with Humphry Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Nowadays, [PIAS] has grown into one of Belgium’s largest and most dynamic music companies with a team of 40 people now based at the iconic building of the former socialist newspaper Le Peuple in the heart of Brussels. The [PIAS] office in Brussels serves both as the administrative HQ of the [PIAS] Group and as the home of [PIAS] Belgium, the longest established team in the [PIAS] family of labels.

A few artists to watch out for: FRONT 242, IMPALA album of the year award winner AGNES OBEL, BLANCHE 

11. PREISER RECORDS (Austria)

Preiser Records is a Vienna-based company that combines the labels PREISER RECORDS, PREISER Classics and Lebendige Vergangenheit/Legendary Voices, PREISER Jazz and EXTRAPLATTE. Together with its own distribution arm, PREISER is one of the leading independent record companies in Austria. Established in 1952 by Otto Preiser, the label promotes high-quality recordings in the areas of classical music, cabaret and Wienerlied (Viennese song). With several hundred releases, the PREISER catalogue is considered to be one of the most prestigious and authoritative sources of documentation on the leading singers and musicians of the past 100 years. 

A few artists to watch out for: ELISABETH KULMAN, SEILER UND SPEER, THE WIENER TSCHUSENKAPELLE

12. RASTILHO RECORDS (Portugal)

Rastilho Records is one of Portugal’s historic record labels. Established in May 1999 by Pedro Vindeirinho and headquartered in Leiria, its first release was “Walls of Shame ” by Intervenzione, a classic Portuguese punk band of Portuguese Punk 90s . With strong DIY ethics. In June 2010, the label launched Rastilho Metal Records, an imprint dedicated exclusively to metal and hardcore releases. Rastilho Records has become known in recent years for their vinyl editions of some of the biggest names in the Portuguese music.

A few artists to watch out for: MARVEL LIMA, BIZARRA LOCOMOTIVA, MATA-RATOS

13. ROCKADILLO RECORDS (Finland)

Rockadillo Records is a Finnish record company driven by IMPALA board member Tapio Korjus. It started its activities in 1971 as a concert agency named Suomi-Pop. The name of the company was changed to Rockadillo three years later, inspired by the song of the same name by Dave Lindholm. The company grew to become one of the most respected indie names in the region.

A few artists to watch out for: DAVE LINDHOLM, NURIA, PIIRPAUKE

14. ROTON (Romania)

ROTON is one of the most successful Romanian indie labels in existence. It celebrated its 25 years of existence in 2019. Roton is home to some of the most acclaimed Romanian artists: INNA, Akcent, Mihail, Sistem etc. and is also the Romanian representative of world-renowned acts such as Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, Bob Sinclair, Lost Frequencies and Fedde Le Grand among others.

A few artists to watch out for: INNA, SOFIA VICOVEANCA, AKCENT

15. RUNE GRAMMOFON (Norway)

Founded in 1998 by Rune Kristofferson, Rune Grammofon specializes in experimental electronic music, jazz and improvised music released by Norwegian artists. The label is home to the widely respected improvisational group SUPERSILENT and also releases the solo works of the band’s members. 

A few artists to watch out for: SHINING, ALOG, SKYPHONE 

16. STARTRACKS (Sweden)

Startracks, run by Fredrik Holmgren, has been in existence for a bit more than 20 years. Already active in the 80s with a fanzine and a DIY mail order selling punk rock records, Fredrik went on to become active in all aspects of the business, from his collaboration with Chickenbrain Records to working in record stores or becoming involved in artists management. Loyal to its DIY ethics, the label keeps working quietly on regular underground releases. 

A few artists to watch out for: KRISTOFER ASTRÖM, REFUSED, LEIAH 

17. SUBTERFUGE RECORDS (Spain)

Madrid-based Subterfuge Records was founded in 1989 by Carlos Galan. Its name comes from the fanzine Subterfuge, a reference in underground culture from the very first issue. With Devil Came to Me by the band Dover, Subterfuge has released the best-selling album in the history of independent music in Spain, pocketing no less than 6 platinum records. 

A few artists to watch out for: MCENROE, ARIZONA BABY, AUTUMN COMETS 

18. SUGAR MUSIC (Italy)

Based in Milan, Sugar Music is a family owned, independent record label and publisher. The company was established in 1932 by Ladislao Sugar and soon made a name for itself as the foremost independent record company in Italy. It is also one of the most prominent Italian music publishers. The company serves as a creative hub run by Filippo Sugar, representing the third Sugar family generation. Filippo is the only child of Piero Sugar and Caterina Caselli, a key figure in talent scouting and record production in Italy. The label’s catalogue includes over 80,000 titles from household names such as Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Umberto Tozzi, Lucio Battisti and Paolo Conte. The company recently clinched a double number one in the charts, both in Europe and in the U.S. with a release by Andrea Bocelli. 

A few artists to watch out for: NEGRAMARO, IMPALA album of the year nominee ANDREA BOCELLI, MALIKA AYANE 

19. SUPRAPHON (Czech Republic)

Based in Prague, Supraphon is one of the oldest European record labels. It is mainly oriented towards classical music, with an emphasis on Czech and Slovak composers. The Supraphon name, originally used for a renowned electric record player, was first registered as a trademark in 1932! In the post-war years, SUPRAPHON became the label for Czechoslovakian albums produced for export, playing a significant role in building the fame of Czech classical music worldwide.  

In Czechoslovakia, it was one of the three major state-owned labels, the other two being Panton and Opus. Nowadays, Panton is a division of Supraphon.

A few key releases nicely highlighted on the Supraphon website.

20. WAGRAM MUSIC (France)

WAGRAM MUSIC is French independent record label established in 1996. It is based in Paris, with offices in Berlin and Los Angeles, and is part of WAGRAM STORIES, a global independent company involved in film and series production, book publishing, live music and communication. The label is divided in 6 six imprints, each with a different music colour: Cinq7, 3ème Bureau, Chapter Two Records, WLab, LaBréa and Belem. 

A few artists to watch out for: former IMPALA album of the year nominee ORELSAN, IMPALA platinum award recipient CORNEILLE, DOMINIQUE A 

20ThingsToKnow#3

ICONIC EUROPEAN CONCERT VENUES

Touring is vital for independent artists, both in terms of visibility and income. And the live music experience will definitely be more important than ever for music fans once music venues are finally allowed to re-open their doors post-covid. Here, we look at 20 iconic European music venues.  

1. A38 (Budapest, Hungary)

The A38 (or A38 ship) is an entertainment and cultural venue on the Danube river, opened in 2003. It is based on a repurposed decommissioned Ukrainian stone-carrier ship, now permanently anchored at the bottom of the Petofi Bridge. On top of the concert hall (capacity: 400), it also hosts a bar, a restaurant and an exhibition hall.

2. AKC METELKOVA MESTO (Ljubljana, Slovenia) 

Metelkova City is an autonomous social and cultural centre located in downtown Ljubljana. With a rich historic heritage and very unique aesthetic, it is considered as one of the most important venues dedicated to youth and independent culture in Slovenia. Located in old army barracks, it hosts a series of clubs including Channel Zero, Gala Hala, Klub Gormka and Menza pri Koritu. It is also one of the venues used by MENT, the leading festival and music conference in the region. 

3. ANCIENNE BELGIQUE (Brussels, Belgium)

Known under this name since the 1930’s, the Ancienne Belgique (French for « Old Belgium”) is located in the historic heart of Brussels, within walking distance of the IMPALA office. It has a solid reputation for incredible acoustics and consists of two concert halls with three set-ups: the main hall (capacity: 2,000), the AB Box (which is a revisited cosy set-up of the main hall, with a capacity of 800) and the AB Club (capacity: 250) aimed at young up-and-coming acts.

4. BARBY (Tel-Aviv, Israel)

A well-known venue in the Tel Aviv indie-rock scene, the Barby club is a long- established music venue in the south of the City. The club, with a capacity of 600, hosts concerts almost every night, largely from more established local performers or international artists. 

5. BERGHAIN (Berlin, Germany)

The Berghain club opened in 2004. Its name comes from the two city quarters that flank the south and north sides of the buildings: Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain and means “mountain grove” in German. It has become one of the world’s most (in)famous clubs with a solid reputation for its techno nights. With a capacity of 1,500, the venue is established in a former power plant and was formally recognised as a cultural institution in 2016. 

6. Centro Cultural Vila Flor (Guimaraes, Portugal)

The Centro Cultural Vila Flor is the main concert venue of Guimaraes, the first historical capital of Portugal. It is made of the restored Vila Flor Palace and its Gardens, and the construction of a new building for the theatre. Inaugurated in September 2005 with a Madredeus concert, the CCVF has a large auditorium with a capacity of about 800 seats and a small auditorium with 200 seats. The new building also houses a restaurant, a café and an exhibition area. It is also the seat of the municipal assembly, as well as the central venue of the Westway Lab festival and conference.

7. COLOURS Music Festival (Ostrava, Czech Republic)

Colours of Ostravaor simply Colours, is a multi-genre festival, the biggest international music festival in the Czech Republic and one of the biggest music events in Central Europe. Although a festival, it has been chosen by IMPALA’s national association PLatforma as it is such a significant national venue because of its unique location in an old industrial site of former ironworks and steelworks in Dolní Vítkovice in the city of Ostrava, and also because it makes such an important role in the local music sector. Colours features 16 stages including 4 big open-air stages (the main one with a capacity of 15,000), 6 indoor stages, a theatre stage, a workshop stage, a kids’ stage, a cinema and live discussions. It encompasses all major music genres, as well as avant-garde music.

8. EL SOL (Madrid, Spain)

Since 1979, El Sol has thrived and stood the test of time. El Sol is a classic venue founded during Madrid’s “Movida” movement era and has hosted the best pop and rock artists from the national and international scene. Artists like Alaska y los Pegamoides, La Unión, Radio Futura have all performed there. El Sol also hosts book and record launches as well as award ceremonies. It has also been used to record films and music videos.

9. EXPIRAT (Bucharest, Romania)

The Expirat club is functioning in one of Bucharest’s old factory buildings. Established in 2002, Expirat is one of the most successful live venues in Bucharest. With a capacity of 400, Expirat is the place to go see all the established alternative/indie bands play, but also welcomes up-and-coming bands from Romania and abroad.

10. FLEX (Vienna, Austria)

FLEX is a nightclub located between underground station Schottenring and Augartenbrücke in Vienna. Many international indie acts have played in the club, which is rated as one of the best nightclubs in Europe. Its sound system is also widely considered one of the best on the continent. Active since the 90s, the club hosts multi-cultural events from all over the globe, focusing primarily on DJ sets and live acts. Building its reputation on drum and bass, Flex has adopted a seven-day cycle with different musical themes each night of the week. 

11. KORJAAMO (Helsinki, Finland)

The Korjaamo culture factory is based in the Taka – Töölö district of Helsinki and is an old tram repair yard that also houses the local tram museum alongside the culture factory itself. Opened in 2004, it uses the former tram halls as various spaces for cultural activities including live shows, restaurants, cinema and art gallery. 

12. LOPPEN (Copenhagen, Denmark)

LOPPEN is an alternative not-for-profit concert venue housed in an old army hall in Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen. Opened in 1973 to support the local underground scene, it has welcomed alternative, aggressive, provocative and danceable music since then. The building is also home to a flea market, a restaurant and an art gallery.

13. L’USINE (Genève, Switzerland)

L’Usine is both an alternative and self-managed cultural centre and a structure bringing together 18 collectives and associations. It is established in the former Geneva gold roughing factory, a building located on the banks of the Rhône, made available by the municipality in 1989. The association’s ethics (for life and work) are  based on “self-management, pleasure and openness to others”. The venue includes concert halls, nightclubs, art galleries, theatre, cinema and various branches dedicated to development of creative and recreational activities.

14. OLYMPIA (Paris, France)

The Olympia hall is a concert venue located in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, between the Madeline church and the Opéra Garnier. It was opened in 1888 by the co-creators of the Moulin Rouge venue, and built a reputation for hosting opera, ballet and music hall performances. The Olympia was converted into a cinema before WWII before re-opening as a music venue in 1954. It currently has a capacity of 1,996. 

15. PARADISO (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Located in Amsterdam’s city centre, the Paradiso is housed in a converted 19th century church building that dates from the 19th century and that was used until 1965 as the meeting hall for a liberal Dutch religious group. The main concert hall has high ceilings and two balcony rings overlooking the stage area, with three large, illuminated church windows above the stage. In addition to the main concert hall, there are two smaller cafe stages, on the upper floor and in the basement. The venue is known for its eclectic range of programming, which also includes lectures, plays, classical music, and crossover artists.

16. PARCO DELLA MUSICA (Roma, Italy)

The Auditorium Parco Della Musica is a modern multi-functional complex, blending cutting-edge architecture and state of the art acoustics encompassing three enormous concert halls and a 3000-seat open-air arena. Designed by Renzo Piano, the Auditorium is the centre for many spectacular live music concerts such as classical, abstract contemporary, art music, chamber and sacred music while hosting many cultural events in Rome such as the International Film Festival. The Auditorium is also home to one of Italy’s finest orchestras, the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

17. PROGRESJA (Warsaw, Poland)

Progresja opened in 2003 as a small rock club. In the following years, the club moved to bigger venues to become Poland’s biggest music club. Although for many years the club has been mostly associated with rock and metal music, its stage currently hosts shows by mainstream stars, pop singers, electronic and alternative bands or even jazz groups.

18. PUSTERVIK (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Since the early 20th century, Pustervik has been a part of the entertainment and culture scene in Gothenburg. Today, it’s the most prominent club and concert venue in town. In what used to be both a cinema and theatre, there is now a music stage complete with two bars and a balcony, with a capacity of 900 people.

19. ROCKEFELLER MUSIC HALL (Oslo, Norway)

The Rockefeller is located in Torggata in downtown Oslo. The building, known as the “Market Street Bath” used to house a public bathing facility. The music hall was established in 1986 and can host between 1600 and 2000 people depending on the type of concert. The venue consists of a main hall, a large gallery, a smaller upper gallery, a rooftop with bar, and several lounge bars on the sides of the main music hall. Several popular podcasts and radio shows are regularly recorded at the Rockefeller.

20. ROUNDHOUSE (London, United Kingdom)

The Roundhouse is a performing arts and concert venue located in a former railway engine shed in Camden Town. It was originally built in 1847 as a circular building containing a railway turntable but was only used for this purpose for about a decade. After being used as a warehouse for a number of years, the building fell into disuse. It reopened in 1964 as a performing arts venue and was adapted as a theatre. It was closed again in 2004 for re-development and re-opened in 2006, hosting many concerts and various awards ceremonies since then. 

20ThingsToKnow#2

EUROPEAN NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

A huge part of IMPALA membership, national associations of independent record labels form our backbone. These structures, gathering the independent record labels active in a specific country or territory, work on a daily basis to facilitate the business of their members and monitor national developments likely to impact the music sector. Together within IMPALA, their knowledge and understanding of the music eco-system is second to none, allowing a permanent exchange of knowledge between territories, record labels and music executives all over Europe. 

IMPALA turns 20 this year and many national associations go a long way back in time. 

The first national associations appeared in Scandinavia as early as the seventies. Swedish association SOM was the European pioneer, being established as early as 1974. Norway followed closely, with FONO being born in 1980. The other Nordic countries followed in 2002 with the set-up of DUP and INDIECO in Finland.  

While Israeli association PIL was established as early as 1988, it is the nineties that saw the independents in the bigger European music markets get organised: VUT, the German association of independents was born in 1993 and is still, to this day, the biggest European association in terms of membership size with close to 1,200 members. French association UPFI followed in 1996 and AIM, the Association of Independent Music, was constituted in 1998, gathering the British independents. The three bigger European music markets now had independent representative groups firmly on the map. 

Collaborating with a few key independent labels based in territories with no national association at the time, a crazy idea was born making sure that independent record labels could also be properly represented at the European level, where more and more decisions were taken that would have an impact on the music eco-system. IMPALA was established in 2000, with most of the above as founding members. 

The noughties would, in the space of a few years, see more associations created, at first mostly in Western European countries: UFI in Spain and VTMÖ in Austria in 2003 or PMI in Italy in 2005. BIMA (in Belgium), STOMP (Netherlands), AMAEI (Portugal) and INDIESUISSE followed suit. 

The last decade saw things getting livelier in Central and Eastern Europe. PLATFORMA (Czech republic) was the first association of its kind to be established in the region, with more indie federations recently appearing in Hungary (HAIL), Romania (INDIERO) and Poland (ANPM). The Balkans even went one step further, with RUNDA (established in 2018) becoming the very first trans-national association of independent record labels, covering the seven territories of ex-Yugoslavia as well as Albania.

Last, but certainly not least, French federation FELIN joined IMPALA in 2020, becoming the second French indie alliance to do so after UPFI. It is not uncommon for European countries to have multiple groups of independents active in the same territory, based on historical differences or different realities (music genres, size, etc). Along similar lines, Italian association AUDIOCOOP is also represented within IMPALA by PMI.   

In a nutshell: 20 territories, for 22 associations and 27 European countries covered in total.

1. AIM – Association of Independent Music (United Kingdom)

2. AMAEI – Associação de Músicos Artistas e Editoras Independentes (Portugal)

3. ANPM – Alians Niezaleznych Producentow Muzycznych (Poland)

4. BIMA – Belgian Independent Music Association (Belgium)

5. DUP – Danske Uafhaengige Pladeselskaber (Denmark)

6. FONO – Norwegian Association of Independents (Norway)

7. HAIL – Hungarian Association of Independent Labels (Hungary)

8. INDIECO – Finnish Association of Independents (Finland)

9. INDIERO – Romanian Association of independent record labels (Romania)

10. INDIESUISSE – Association of Swiss Independent Music Labels and Producers (Switzerland)

11. PIL – The Israeli Federation of Independent Record Producers (Israel)

12. PLATFORMA – Association Czech of Independents Record Companies (Czech Republic)

13. PMI – Produttori Musicali Indipendenti, also representing AUDIOCOOP (Italy) 

14. RUNDA – Regionalna Udruga Nezavisnih Diskografa (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Albania)

15. SOM – Svenska Oberoende Music Producenter (Sweden)

16. STOMP – Stichting Onafhankelijk Muziek Producenten (Netherlands)

17. UFI – Union Fonografica Independiente(Spain)

18. UPFI – Union des producteurs phonographiques français indépendants and FELIN – Fédération Nationale des Labels et Distributeurs Indépendants (France)

19. VTMÖ – Verband unabhängiger Tonträgerunternehmen, Musikverlage und MusikproduzentInnen Österreich (Austria)

20. VUT – Verband Unabhängiger Musikunternehmer (Germany)

 

 

20ThingsToKnow#1

WHAT IMPALA HAS ACHIEVED IN 20 MILESTONES

1. In its first year, IMPALA plays a key role in the breakdown of the merger attempt between EMI and Warner – a deal withdrawn because of EU objections (see here) (2001)

2. IMPALA negotiates two landmark agreements with key online players – Napster, when was the world’s second most recognised brand (see here), and iTunes (see here) (2001)

3. IMPALA wins landmark court case on Sony/BMG merger clearance (see here) (2006)

4. World’s first merger remedy package negotiated with WMG to rebalance the market in the face of increasing concentration (2007) 

5. IMPALA helps create key international structures for the sector, Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector and also WIN, the worldwide network of independent associations (2007 & 2006)

6. Launch of IMPALA’s Independent Album of the Year Award (2011)

7. Biggest ever set of merger remedies secured following IMPALA’s complaint – Universal ordered to divest two thirds of EMI and respect 10 years behavioural undertakings (2012)

8. IMPALA and Merlin announce agreement with Warner Music Group on divestments to strengthen the independent sector, ultimately completing in 2017 (2013) 

9. Two thirds of labels signing WIN’s Fair Digital Deals Declaration are European (2014)

10. IMPALA launches a complaint against YouTube, Merlin secures deal after platform threatens to remove independent labels’ videos (2014)

11. Very first loan EU guarantee scheme is launched for the EU’s cultural and creative sectors to support loans to independents and other small actors (2014)

12. Apple’s attempt to discriminate against independents is thwarted by a united stance in Europe and across the world, improving terms for all labels, including the majors (2015)

13. Trade takes on a new dimension with the launch of IMPALA Balkans Focus Group (leading to establishment of RUNDA) and start of IMPALA’s Brexit work to ensure that the independent music companies’ voice is heard in the negotiations (2016 & 2017 and continuing today…) 

14. Music Moves Europe programme is launched, first European programme dedicated to music  (2018)

15. IMPALA acknowledges the climate emergency and commits to making the independent sector ecologically sustainable and regenerative, as well as using our voice to support Music Declares Emergency in Brussels (2019) 

16. Historic vote in the European parliament to adopt a new copyright directive to address the value gap (2019)

17. IMPALA establishes a COVID-19 Task Force and takes on key role in driving the sector’s agenda by adopting a crisis planmapping tool and recovery package, helping culture to be recognised as one of Europe’s fourteen priority sectors for recovery (2020)

18. Diversity and Inclusion Charter adopted, first set of commitments dedicated to the European independent sector (2020)

19. IMPALA launches One Step Ahead, digital intelligence facility for the independent sector (2020)

20. EU budget has focus on music for first time and whole culture programme receives top up of half a billion euros for total of 2.2bn (2020)

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

Coudenberg 70, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM

+32 2 503 31 38

info@impalamusic.org