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Jan
2014

PandoDaily:”Not only is it cool to be an indie artist, it’s also beginning to pay off”


Posted in News by A2IM

PandoDaily
Not only is it cool to be an indie artist, it’s also beginning to pay off
Cale Weissman
1.28.14

Republished from PandoDaily Below

The Grammys have come and gone, and Macklemore is now officially cool, his street cred rising high since beating down a real rapper. Or do the Grammys make you not cool? I have trouble keeping track.

Nevertheless, one thing to note is that independent artists did exceptionally well this year. They did well last year, too. And the year before that, and leading up to 2011 Indie artists won album of the year four straight years. Sense a trend?

At any rate, about half of the artists who won Grammys this year were considered “independent.” Which is to say the artists were not represented by a major music label. These included Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Vampire Weekend. Note, too, that Taylor Swift is considered an indie artist.

This shouldn’t come as a huge shock, says Rich Bengloff, the president of the American Association of Independent Music. Over the last few years, independent music has gotten a whole lot more popular. The reason: online music services like Pandora and, now, Beats. They are changing music consumption habits, nichifying music and helping listeners to find artists they might not have come across in the past.

“We happened to get lucky because society has become more niche oriented,” he says.

It’s been a long road, though. He’s been working for the last eight and half years at A2IM, trying to help labels who wouldn’t otherwise be picked up by the majors. “Our mantra is access and monetization,” he says.

And thanks to services like Pandora, et al, which frequently showcase artists who aren’t represented by major record labels, access has definitely increased. And with more access, comes the possibility for smaller labels to make more money. Which, according to Bengloff, is happening —  with his help, of course.

Bengloff’s role as president is largely acting as an advocate for smaller labels. Right now his organization represents more than 325 labels, along with about 125 associated members. His work is to make sure these labels get the credit they’re due. This means being aware of new music services that may promote independent musicians, as well as help burgeoning artists and labels network with others.

While major labels are looking to sell millions of record and using the most expensive equipment available, Bengloff’s metric for success is slightly different. Many of his musicians aren’t looking for overt acclaim from the masses, or to be played on every radio station around. Instead, all they want is to record an album and sell enough to continue doing what they love. For many labels, selling 20,000 records is the perfect amount to pay both those behind the booth as well as the artists performing.

And now he sees these artists getting even more due — the Grammys being a perfect symbol for that.

The next hurdle he sees is to ensure that music-playing platforms continue to remunerate artists. “Consumers have to be re-taught that music shouldn’t be free,” he says. This seems to be slowly happening. According to Billboard Magazine, independent labels control 34.6 percent of the music market.

And, in my opinion, this new widespread indie music love is a boon for society too. More music artists are able to focus on their craft and still make a living.

Or, as Bengloff explains it, “our community looks to produce a body of work.”

I’m not sure if the same thing can be said for Justin Bieber.

Jan
2014

Independent Music Takes 50% of GRAMMY Awards


Posted in News, Press Releases by A2IM

Independent music reigned at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards taking home 50 percent of the evening’s honors, the highest percentage of wins since A2IM began tracking the awards in 2006. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took home awards in four categories, including Best New Artist and Best Rap Album, for their independently released album, The Heist. Accepting one of his Grammys, Macklemore said, “we made it independently and appreciate all the support.” A2IM voting members had honored Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with a “Video of the Year” award at the organization’s 2013 Libera Awards.

Leading all independent labels, Concord Music Group artists took home six Grammy Awards including Best Blues Album, Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best American Roots Song. Concord President Glen Barros expressed his honor and appreciation, “To all our Grammy winning artists and nominees, I’m so glad that Grammy Love Has Come For You. It’s time to Get Up! Spread your Wings and celebrate! Congratulations to all. It’s a great honor to work with such amazing talent.”

XL Recording’s Kris Chen said of Vampire Weekend’s win for Best Alternative Album, “XL Recordings is so proud of Vampire Weekend for their Grammy win. They created the best album of their career so far, and certainly the best album released last year.””

Said Naxos USA CEO Jeff Van Driel, who counted two label Grammys and two more for projects distributed by Naxos: “It no longer seems to be a question of whether independent labels will fare well at the Grammy Awards. To that point, the Naxos of America distribution family includes hundreds of independent classical, world, and jazz labels that continue to get the attention of the Academy voters and this year is no exception. We are proud of all of our nominees and winners and look forward to more years of Grammy success.”

A2IM Vice President Jim Mahoney remarked of Independent music’s strong showing at the 56th annual Grammys: “Independents take the risks, start every music trend, every new genre but sometimes it’s easy to forget that independents also bring the hits. From Macklemore to Vampire Weekend to all of the important genre category winners who make music listening so much more rich and interesting, A2IM thanks the GRAMMY voters for providing the ultimate level playing field recognizing the independent contribution with 50% of the Awards presented tonight.””

Quotes from other independent GRAMMY Award winning A2IM members include:

Tuff Gong Worldwide label head Orly Marley celebrated a Best Reggae Album GRAMMY saying, “We are proud and thrilled as an independent label to be recognized by The Recording Academy.  Ziggy Marley’s latest offering is a true testament that good music live or studio is timeless and should be celebrated.”  Tuff Gong Worldwide owner and GRAMMY Award winner Ziggy Marley added, “We are honored and humbled by this award. I’d like to thank the Grammys and all the people out there who support us. Thank you.”

Mike Carden president of operations Eagle Rock Entertainment, winner of 2 GRAMMYs for Paul McCartney’s Live Kisses expressed his gratitude, “I would like to thank all independent A2IM Grammy voters for their continued support of Eagle Rock’s great music films.”

Dualtone Music Group CEO Scott Robinson celebrating the well deserved recognition for Guy Clark said, ”Dualtone is deeply honored to have Guy Clark as part of our Dualtone family.  Troubadours like Guy come around rarely…a storyteller, a songwriter, a poet, a guitar builder, and a painter.  After seven nominations, Guy finally gets the Grammy recognition that he long deserves.  Congrats Guy Clark!”

This year marked the sixth consecutive year that independent labels and artists led the industry with 50% of all nominations, earning 199 of 398 non-producer nominations.

Additional Grammy Press:

Hypebot
Independent Music Wins 50% Of 2014 Grammys
Bruce Houghton
1.27.14

Billboard.biz
Independents Claim 50% Share of Grammy Wins, Largest Share in A2IM History
Reggie Ugwu
1.27.14

Jan
2014

“Why The Grammys Matter To Indies: Guest Post by A2IM’s Rich Bengloff”


Posted in News by A2IM

A2IM’s President has a guest post this week on Billboard.biz on indies and the Grammy’s. Did you know “This year independents scored 50% of nominations and last year independents took home over 40% of the awards. These wins are not just for the important niche genres, but also for top categories like Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album and the last five Album of the Year GRAMMYs have been signed to our A2IM Indie label members.” Good Luck to all our A2IM Member nominees on Sunday Night!

*Fact Check- Last Five Grammy Album’s of the Year:
2009- Raising Sand- Robert Plant/Alison Krauss-Concord/Rounder
2010- Fearless-Taylor Swift-Big Machine
2011-Acade Fire-The Suburbs-Merge
2012-Adele-21-Columbia/Beggars XL-Marketed by Columbia in the U.S. but signed to Beggars/XL  and licensed to Columbia (and believe it or not a bigger hit outside the U.S. where it was released a month earlier and marketed by Beggars)
2013-Mumford & Sons-Babel-Glassnote
(2014- Hopefully Macklemore & Ryan Lewis or Taylor Swift to keep it going!!)

Read the article full HERE.

Dec
2013

Billboard Voter Guide – Special Member Opportunity


Posted in News, Special Offers by A2IM

Once again The Recording Academy will team with Billboard to provide a special opportunity to members. Billboard’s 56th GRAMMY Awards Voter Guide will be sent to all members and provide you the ability to add extra awareness for your nomination, as well as special rates if you’re an independent artist. Please contact Billboard at the numbers provided for more information. Please be aware that given the earlier show date, this opportunity will end soon. Details below.

GRAMMY BILLBOARD VOTER GUIDE

Dec
2013

VOTE Independent: 56th GRAMMY Nominations Underscore the Strength and Diversity of Independent Label and Artist Community


Posted in News by A2IM

The final nominations for the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced and independents once again were celebrated by the voting members of The Recording Academy scoring 50% of the non-producer category nominations and dominating the nominations in numerous categories.

Independent artists and labels were nominated in 67 of the 80 counted categories including placing two of the five nominees for Album of the Year (a category which has been won for 5 consecutive years by artists signed to independent labels).  Independents were also recognized with 100% of the nominations in 16 of the GRAMMY categories.

For a full list of A2IM member nominees, click HERE.

If you are an A2IM label member who received a nomination that is not listed on the attached document please let us know.

Congratulations and good luck to all of our members and their artists at this year’s GRAMMY Awards.  For voting members of The Recording Academy, please don’t forget to VOTE INDEPENDENT!

See A2IM’s official press release from Shore Fire Media below.

ShoreFire Logo

Independents Score Nods in Top GRAMMY Categories; Earn Half of all Nominations for 4th Year Running

A2IM, the American Association of Independent Music, congratulates this year’s Grammy Award nominees, and specifically recognizes the independent music labels and artists that earned 199 nominations out of 398 non-producer category nominations – half of all nominees for the fourth consecutive year. Independents showed their diversity and might scoring a majority of nominations in 39 of the 80 non-producer categories. For 16 of the evening’s categories, including Best Folk Album and Best Pop Instrumental Album, Independents secured 100% of the nominations. Leading the way for the Independents were labels Concord Music Group, Big Machine, and Beggars Group while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ 7 nominations were joined by Independent label artists Queens of the Stone Age, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift with 3 nominations each to put a point on this celebration of Independents by Grammy voters.

Jim Mahoney, A2IM Vice President, says, “Again, The Recording Academy did a great job of recognizing some of the incredible and diverse music out on Independent labels this year. We couldn’t be more thrilled for these dedicated, deserving labels to be recognized this year for their hard work, it’s truly impressive.”

Mahoney continued, “Congratulations to all of the nominees and here’s to a celebration ringing with independent spirit come January.”

Oct
2013

VOTE INDEPENDENT: 56th Annual Grammy Entries – Ballots Due Oct 30


Posted in News by A2IM

GRAMMY Ballots Must Be Received (NOT POSTMARKED) By October 30, 2013

1st round ballots for the 56th Annual GRAMMYs have now been distributed to voting members of The Recording Academy. We are not asking anyone to vote for any particular artist, but we can’t afford those expensive advertisements so all A2IM is asking you to do is VOTE INDEPENDENT!

This LINK is a list of A2IM’s independent label member entries in order as they appear on the GRAMMY ballot. It will continue to be updated as we receive more entries from A2IM members. If you have a project on the first round ballot that you would like added to this link, please send 2013 Grammy entries to Louis Joachim (louis@a2im.org) using the LINK FORMAT worksheet. Ballots must be received by The Recording Academy by Oct 30th.

Please forward this to all of your artists, artist managers, and other contacts who are (or may be) GRAMMY voters and ask them to VOTE INDEPENDENT.

Thank you.

A2IM