Levelling the playing field for independent music companies and their artists across Europe





IMPALA and A2IM partner with Julie’s Bicycle to launch a pilot project supported by Merlin to use IMPALA’s Carbon Calculator in the US. 

IMPALA’s 2024 Changemaker Award recognises Black & Irish, an Irish not-for-profit organisation advocating for the black community in Ireland, fostering connections within Irish society and championing an anti-racist ethos.

Independent sector calls for a joined-up approach internationally on GenAI, to build on the EU AI Act around key WIN principles promoting safety, transparency, respect for copyright, a human-centered approach, ethics, and cross border consistency.

IMPALA welcomes first Ukranian member, independent record label ‘POMITNI‘.

Renewed set of global values for independent sector adopted via WIN to promote the collective position of the sector in today’s evolving music landscape.

Ahead of the 2024 European Parliament election, artists and labels across Europe call on the EU to address the consequences of the EU “RAAP” case regarding terrestrial broadcast and public performance rights.

2024 edition of “100 Artists to Watch” published in partnership with YouTube showcasing diversity in the European independent music scene.

IMPALA’s streaming plan is published in 5 languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese and Korean) by WIN. 

IMPALA calls for an end to the value gap for Tiktok and other moment economy platforms and warn of the “unintended consequences” of proposed streaming reforms across digital service providers. 

EU AI Act adopted – world’s first framework supporting effective transparency and record keeping for AI operators.


Negotiations in Europe proceed at full speed to secure a new EU framework for AI companies, with IMPALA and other stakeholders calling for effective transparency and record keeping.

Continuing its work on streaming reform, IMPALA raises concerns about the impact of a possible two-tier system involving the allocation of revenues, following proposals for reform by various streaming services.

IMPALA and other European music organisations call for EU member states to launch a dialogue on mobility as a vital component of competitiveness within the sector.

IMPALA releases its first membership Carbon Calculator report footprinting independent labels and examining initial trends amongst users. 

For the second edition of its Changemaker award, IMPALA honours the UK not-for-profit organisation Women in CTRL, for their work developing and supporting music creators and music professionals from under-represented groups. 

Two year anniversary revamp of IMPALA’s ten-point streaming plan after a month-long review. The new call to action issued in April 2023 builds on IMPALA’s initial recommendations to make streaming fairer and provide a dynamic, compelling, and responsible future for creators and fans.

Release of IMPALA’s climate standards report establishing a framework on sector-wide benchmarks and standards. This was developed within IMPALA’s EC supported project IMPACTS with input and approval provided by climate experts represented by Thema1 and Julie’s Bicycle.

IMPALA prioritises work on AI framework and promoting commercial opportunities for members.

IMPALA and other organisations join the Human Artistry Campaign as the pre-eminent creative community voice in the fast-moving AI debate. 

2023 edition of “100 Artists to Watch” in partnership with YouTube, this year’s list features 35 genres among 30 countries to showcase the wide diversity of talent in the European independent sector.


Report on first sector diversity and inclusion survey published – Towards a more diverse and inclusive independent music sector.

Launches Changemaker Award to put the spotlight on projects working on equity, diversity and inclusion, with POWER UP first winner and list of other Changemakers promoted here.
Release of First bespoke carbon calculator for the sector, powered by the Julie’s Bicycle Creative Climate Tools platform, with core group of members supporting
New programme launched “100 Artists to Watch” to boost diversity in the European independent music sector, in partnership with YouTube.
IMPALA opposes the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and welcomes moves by members to respond, collates list of initiatives across Europe for members to consider.


IMPALA supports the Music Climate Pact, initiated by the UK Association of Independent Music (AIM) and record labels association the BPI, as a response to COP26 and the urgent call for collective action to combat the climate crisis.

First diversity annual report released one year after our diversity charter, taking a look at the past year, what we have achieved so far and the work that still needs to be done. 

IMPALA launches new initiative to promote diversity among board members.

IMPALA and IAO release a proposal for a GECAT Pass (for Geographical European Cultural Area Touring), with the idea to get small and medium sized music tours back on the road quickly and efficiently. The approach involves creating a new cultural area with a single touring permit, instead of treating Europe as a number of distinct blocs and countries.

First European diversity survey launched to collect and exchange information on best practices and start to build a picture of diversity in the sector in different countries in Europe.

Ten point streaming plan adopted – to make streaming work, IMPALA sets out key recommendations for services to change how they generate income and how they allocate it, and other asks.

Sustainability task force set up and programme adopted with first sector targets (carbon neutral target by 2026 and net positive by 2030), charter and practical tips for members.


Launch of IMPALA’s first podcast series 20MinutesWith and other projects as part of our 20th birthday year, see the blog here

Diversity and inclusion charter adopted, first one dedicated to the European independent sector. 

IMPALA launches One Step Ahead, digital intelligence facility for the independent sector with Merlin grant. 

Culture recognised as one of Europe’s fourteen priority sectors for recovery. 

IMPALA works to ensure that the independent music companies’ voice is heard in the Brexit negotiations.

IMPALA establishes a COVID-19 Task Force and takes on key role in driving the sector’s agenda for addressing the impact of the crisis by adopting a crisis plan, mapping tool and a recovery package, as well as a set of second wave recommendations.


The EU adopts a new copyright directive to address the value gap, as called for by IMPALA and the broader music sector.

Culture is recognised with its own cluster in one of the EU’s biggest programmes, for research and innovation 2021-2027.

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). 


European Commission puts specific focus on music in the next EU culture programme 2021-2027, another first. 

Very first European programme dedicated to music sector launched by the European Parliament, Music Moves Europe.


Launch of IMPALA Balkans Focus Group.

Divestment process with WMG reached completion, resulting in a strengthening of the independent sector.


WIN, the Worldwide Independent Network is re-launched to boost the international independent network, with the support of IMPALA.

The “value gap”, a key priority for IMPALA’s members, is recognised formally in Europe for the first time anywhere in the world.

The first EU level loan guarantee instrument for cultural and creative SMEs, another priority for IMPALA, launches with a budget of €120m.


IMPALA celebrated its 15th anniversary with a dedicated set of initiatives including a young label spotlight FIVEUNDERFIFTEEN to shine a light on their work.

Adoption of IMPALA’s Digital Action Plan.

IMPALA listed as top influencer by the Commission in Europe’s online market strategy.

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


Two thirds of labels signing WIN’s Fair Digital Deals Declaration are European.

IMPALA launches complaint on YouTube, Merlin secures deal after platform threatens to remove independent labels’ videos.

Guarantee scheme agreed to by the EU to support loans to IMPALA members and SMEs in other sectors.


Divestment process with WMG gets underway to move 2% market share into the independent sector.

IMPALA and Merlin announce agreement with Warner Music Group to strengthen the independent sector.

Launch of the Independent Music Publishers Forum.


Biggest ever set of merger remedies secured – Universal ordered to divest two thirds of EMI and respect 10 year behavioural undertakings.

IMPALA takes a stance on Universal/EMI and SONY/EMI mergers.

First pan-European independent charts launched with Nielsen.


First pan-European portal service for members on mechanical licences.

Launch of European Mercuries – IMPALA’s Independent Album of the Year Award.


Adoption of IMPALA’s Action Plan for Finance, which introduces a sports style transfer fee.

Publication of IMPALA’s Code of Conduct for Collecting Societies.

Launch of IMPALA’s friends programme for companies working with the independent sector.


First official cultural and creative platform launched by EU.


Adoption of IMPALA’s Action Plan for Music including measures to secure market access and finance.


IMPALA signs ground-breaking deal with WMG to rebalance the market in face of increasing concentration.

IMPALA helps create Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector.


IMPALA wins key European judgement – SONY/BMG merger clearance annulled.

Launch of IMPALA Sales Awards.

Creation of WIN, the Worldwide Independent Network, to tackle worldwide industry issues.


UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions introduces a new principle of fair and equitable access.


First class action against Sony-BMG merger launched.


Agreement concluded between independents and iTunes.

VAT campaign launched for reduced VAT on music.


IMPALA blocks Warner and EMI’s attempt to merge.

Agreement signed with Napster to license members’ repertoire.


IMPALA is created.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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

+32 2 503 31 38