5 Big Ideas for the UK Association of Independent Music

The Association of Independent Music (AIM) recently put out a call for ‘big ideas’ to be discussed at their Annual General Meeting.

“The goal is to produce and publish by the end of this year a manifesto which sets out 10 big ideas to help the indie sector to thrive in the coming years.”

I’m not a member, but not shy to give a bit of unsolicited advice.

Here are my 5 big ideas:

Streaming exclusives

The indie sector needs to widely speak out against streaming exclusives. After years of hard work, we’re now sending music fans back to pirate services. Let’s keep working on sustainability, instead of sacrificing it for short-term gains.

  • Streaming exclusives may be making the music piracy problem even worse >>>
  • Why streaming exclusives are bad for the music business >>>
  • Spotify: Streaming exclusives are bad for artists and fans >>>
  • Why exclusives are terrible for fans, artists, and the streaming music business >>>

Startup license

Establish a framework which allows startups to quickly and flexibly license music from indie labels for a set duration. The prospect of spending years in licensing negotiations stops entrepreneurs and investors from supporting innovation the independent music sector desperately needs. Let’s remove the necessity to negotiate for the most common use cases.

  • The case for a startup license: why startup founders choose to ignore music copyright law >>>

Focus on dance

The Netherlands is stealing the UK’s spotlight as the centre of global dance music with events like Amsterdam Dance Event, major DJs, and a huge global dance event business. The UK has a rich history of dance music and is home to some of the best artist, clubs, and labels in the world. It needs an action plan to assert itself. With Sadiq Khan as London’s Mayor, there has never been a better time.

  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan is looking for the UK’s first night czar >>>


Develop an initiative to help artists and aspiring musicians among the refugees arriving to the UK. They bring a unique cultural and musical perspective, which could blend into the UK’s rich multi-cultural musical tradition. They need material assistance in the form of access to equipment and instruments, as well as contacts in local radio stations, venues, etc. Besides the musical benefit, there is also the advantage of contributing to better assimilation of new arrivals.

New anti-piracy research

A research initiative looking into the return on investment of money spent on countering digital piracy. With countless anti-piracy companies popping up, it should help indie artists and labels determine whether their money’s best spent growing their fanbase and making more music. It’s important to know what anti-piracy methods pay off, and what’s just a way to use the threat of piracy to get musicians to pay up.

Foster my ideas

Since I’m not a member of AIM, I cannot officially submit these ideas. If you’re an AIM member and interested in fostering the streaming exclusives, dance music, or refugees idea, get in touch: bas@musicxtechxfuture.com