Last week, the media was buzzing about indie trade group Impala's support of a potential EMI acquisition by Warner Music Group. Indies supporting majors? I guess! In addition to heavyweights like Beggar's Group (Matador, 4AD, Too Pure, XL, etc.), Cooking Vinyl, !K7, and Tiny Mix Tapes U.K. Edition, Impala also lists The Association of Independent Music (AIM) as one of its members, another indie trade group from the U.K. that evidently also boasts Beggars Group, Cooking Vinyl, !K7, and maybe even TMT U.K., too (wink).
Since the announcement, however, two members have announced their intentions to leave AIM because of its support of Impala's support of WMG's intentions to support EMI with a takeover bid, which is a support system these former AIM supporters can't support. Do you know what this means? EMERGENCY MEETING TIME!! AIM has convened an "emergency" board meeting for this week to vote on AIM's position on this hot topic, and you my friend, are invited.*
The first member to leave AIM was Ministry of Sound. Although hardly known in the U.S., MoS is actually the largest indie label in the U.K., so its intentions to split with AIM isn't being taken lightly. MoS was "shocked and outraged" that it was not consulted about the decision and read this cute little poem to the media:
As far as we are concerned IMPALA support appears to have been bought by Warner in order to avoid the costly legal implications of another long winded merger investigation by the European Commission. On top of that we believe that any concessions made by Warner are in effect rhetoric and in reality impossible to enforce on a day-to-day operational basis. The music industry is a very fast moving business and should Warner choose not to honour its commitments, recourse through litigation is impractical, slow and too expensive for any independent to undertake.
The second member to announce its intentions to leave AIM is independent music firm Gut. Yep, Gut. There are several sources claming as many as half a dozen other members are considering leaving too, although AIM suggests most of its members support AIM's support of Impala's support of WMG's intentions to support EMI with a takeover bid.
The meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday in London. If you're a major label tycoon, you should consider protesting. Fuckin' G8 summit up in this.
* You may or may not be invited.