American Association for Independent Music

Music and the artists who perform are represented by record labels, which assist in the recording and distribution of musical works. Some labels are heavy weights in the industry, wielding a lot of power and influence. However, there are just as many independent labels struggling within the industry, and therefore the American Association for Independent Music was created in 2005 to be of assistance to these labels. With its headquarters located in New York City, the organization is able to reach far across the country by means of offshoots of the American Association for Independent Music located in California, Pacific Northwest, Nashville and Chicago.

The American Association for Independent Music has grown to have one hundred and thirteen associate members and more than two hundred and fifty music labels as members. They are a nonprofit organization that works toward the development of independent labels by fighting for transparency and equality for their members. By doing so, they ensure fair trade, better access to advertising media such as radio and television, and distribution of music through the latest technology available. They also protect the rights of independent labels in regard to legislative matters and also form part of World Independent Network which reaches out to labels in different countries, such as South Africa, Germany, Brazil and Sweden.

There are four main members in the American Association for Independent Music, namely Rich Bengloff (President), Jim Mahoney (Vice President), Jennifer Masset (Director of Membership Services) and Al Verik (Operations Manager). A board of directors assist the main members by performing various duties and comprise of members from various companies and labels, such as Kill Rock Stars, Concord Music Group, Razor and Tie, Lookout!Records, Epitaph Records, Sub Pop, Beggars Group and Tommy Boy Entertainment. Together they are able to create improved business conditions for smaller labels as well as opportunities within the music industry. Fighting for better pricing and the same treatment big name labels enjoy, helps independent labels to better their chances of success within the industry and affords them the opportunity to be a part of a community that cares about music and each member within this sector.