Hamburg, 24th September 2015

IMPALA held its annual general meeting this Thursday at Reeperbahn Festival, electing 26 members to its Board for the next two years. The meeting also marked the start of a year of initiatives for IMPALA’s 15th anniversary.

The President, Chairman and Treasurer for the past two years were all re-elected to serve a new mandate. Jonas Sjöström, representing Playground Music Scandinavia, Edel and Swedish association SOM, was re-elected to President. Kees van Weijen, representing [PIAS] Rough Trade Distribution Benelux and Dutch association STOMP, was re-appointed Chairman, and Geert De Blaere, representing Belgian association BIMA, was re-elected as Treasurer. All three will continue working alongside Executive Chair Helen Smith.

The Board’s priorities will be to maximise value for the sector and for independent artists. This includes driving new commercial opportunities online, increasing investment and levelling the playing field for the independent sector.

Helen Smith, Executive Chair, commented: “IMPALA’s members should be very proud of what they have achieved in 15 years of successful collective action. This is a time of opportunity for the independent sector and IMPALA’s work will continue to increase value for our labels and our artists.”

President Jonas Sjöström added: “As President for a second mandate, my priority will be reinforcing our voice in the online market. Alongside that, we need to bring the WMG divestments process to completion. The 2% market share uplift should be in play – it’s a key milestone in IMPALA’s first 15 years.”

Chairman Kees van Weijen commented: “I wish IMPALA a happy 15th anniversary and thank the Board for its trust in electing me as Chairman for another two years. I see this as a crucial time for the independents and believe IMPALA’s role will be even more important as we witness powergames in the digital market like never before. We will need Europe to be an ambitious referee.”

Geert de Blaere, Treasurer: “My priority will be maximising the opportunities for new investment. Just one example is the EU’s loan guarantee scheme which will become operational next year. We should make sure we grow the independent sector.”

The full list of IMPALA members elected to the Board is (in alphabetical order):

!K7 (represented by Horst Weidenmüller)

8Ball Music (represented by Robin Van Beek)

AIM (represented by Alison Wenham)

AMAEI (represented by Nuno Saraiva)

Beggars Group (represented by Martin Mills)

BIMA (represented by Geert de Blaere)

Cooking Vinyl (represented by Martin Goldschmidt)

Cosmos Music Group (represented by Fredrik Ekander)

DUP (represented by Kasper Find)

Edel (represented by Jonas Sjöström)

Everlasting Records (represented by Mark Kitcatt)

Epitaph (represented by Roger Dorresteijn)

FONO (represented by Larry Bringsjord)

IndieCo (represented by Tapio Korjus)

IndieSuisse (represented by Andreas Ryser)

Kobalt Music (represented by Johan Ekelund)

[PIAS] Music Group (represented by Michel Lambot)

[PIAS] Rough Trade Distribution (represented by Kees van Weijen)

Playground Music Scandinavia (represented by Jonas Sjöström)

PMI (represented by Francesca Trainini)

SOM (represented by Jonas Sjöström)

STOMP (represented by Kees van Weijen)

UFI (represented by Noemi Planas)

UPFI (represented by Jérôme Roger)

VUT (represented by Christof Ellinghaus)

Wagram Music (represented by Stephan Bourdoiseau)


IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs (for more information, see the features of independents). IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector, return more value to artists, promote cultural diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise perceptions of the music sector. See the organisation’s key achievements in IMPALA’s first 15 years in milestones. IMPALA has its own award schemes which highlight the artistic contribution of independent music. IMPALA award winning artists include Caribou who was voted winner of the last Album of the Year Award, Guadalupe Plata, The xx, Armin van Buuren, Caro Emerald, Adele, M83, Mogwai, Metronomy, Arctic Monkees, Justice, Soap & Skin, The White Stripes, Royksopp and Andrea Bocelli. IMPALA’s Digital Action Plan published earlier this year is a key reference for growing the digital market.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

Rue des Deux Eglises 37-39, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM

+32 2 503 31 38