Meeting 1 – AIM

The first meeting of EDIT took place on Friday 1st of May, in the Board Room at AIM. In attendance were, Tim Binns – New State Entertainment, Max Bloom – Concept Music, Chris Goss – Hospital Records, Michael Fuller – AIM, Remi Harris – AIM, Ralph Lawson – 2020 Recordings, Sharon Matheson – AIM (Minutes), Trevor McNamee – Jalapeno Records, Mike Monday, Dave Philpot – Skint, Peter Pritchard – Nukleuz (Chair), Chris Rodwell – Cr2 Records, Will Saul – Simple Records and Ben Watt – Buzzin’ Fly.

The meeting set out the reasons for the founding of EDIT and the need for a dance committee as the first genre-based committee within AIM. All attendees were invited to share their goals, concerns for the dance industry and any ideas for rules or agenda points.

It was suggested that the point of the committee was to produce achievable goals, to be met within a suitable time period and that ideas from members were to be welcomed rather than treated as a threat. The committee reasoned that they could use AIM’s experience as a representative body to support the dance community as a whole, and that EDIT can front deals and disagreements, or deal with any issues as a collective rather than as individuals.

It can also strive to establish a level playing field for all labels, big or small, and that every member should be proud to be a part of EDIT, share in the collective success and that education should be part of the committee’s remit.

The committee also derived a collective set of ideas that should be goals for EDIT:

1) To compete with the larger players in the dance industry.
2) Improving income for dance independents
3) Improving exposure of dance music. Including increased access to public, via DJs / Heads of music / communities.
4) To cut costs and increase competitiveness.
5) To ensure there is a high standard of business practice which will increase chance of retaining artists and partners
6) To share beneficial information and to learn about new models being practiced by the most successful labels.
7) To avoid the effects of any future distribution collapse
8) To ensure revenue collected is going to the right place (e.g. collecting societies).
9) To encourage labels to join collecting societies to ensure labels maximum income from royalties.

There were also suggested rules put in place for committee members, such as No self-promotion, all members should display good attendance, subjects that divide the committee should be excluded, and that good working practice and solidarity should be shown.

What followed were a number of discussions that dealt with initial problems that the attendees felt faced the committee and the dance industry.

Members – A discussion on which labels/individuals should be invited to attend. Whether bigger players would be beneficial, an ‘opt in/opt out’ options system, and membership of AIM.

Collecting societies
– PPL/PRS, importance of members showing maximum proffesionalism when providing information to collecting societies.

Data collection
– DJs noting tracks played out for submission to PPL highlighted as a major concern. Multiple suggestions, such as noting tracks, ‘Black Box’ system and Twitter apps.

Anti-piracy
– Highlighted problems of Russian sites, and that the promotional period is when labels are worst hit by piracy. Merlin explained by Michael Fuller and Max Bloom. Labels urged to log releases with the BPI anti-piracy unit.

Other subjects discussed included the problems of illegal downloads immediate availability (compared to a scheduled release date), and that Radio 1 DJs are willing to play tracks illegally.

Beatport was also discussed, particularly in relation to their exclusion from chart sales, and that OCC are not taking on solutions at this time. iTunes also came up in a discussion over the Compilation rules that they currently employ.

The issue of physical product sales and distribution costs also arose, with the consensus that physical product sales and that distributors are becoming obsolete as a result.

The booming Mobile industry was also a point of discussion, and the use of digital aggregators that take a large amount of money away from labels, and the suggestion from Tim Binns that mobile providers could make the software available for labels to deal with them directly.

Accountancy was a major concern for the attendees, discussing how the a la carte system is problematic, there is no standardisation of metadata, that PIAS accountancy is proving extremely problematic and that if a particular system is used, there is worry that the company providing the system may one day collapse and all information is lost.

In relation to the goal of providing an educational platform for labels and DJs a discussion took place on what education is required.

Full minutes of the meeting are available on request – email electronicdanceindependence(at)googlemail.com

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