UK Music Indie Body AIM Hires Silvia Montello as CEO – Billboard


LONDON — Lower than a 12 months after being appointed chief govt of the Affiliation for Digital Music, Silvia Montello is exiting the worldwide commerce physique to turn out to be CEO of AIM, the London-based Affiliation of Impartial Music. 

Montello takes up the brand new submit on Jan. 31. She’s going to succeed Paul Pacifico, who leaves AIM later this month to go up the Saudi Music Fee, the place he will probably be answerable for creating and championing the music sector within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.   

In April, the London-based Montello was appointed the primary feminine CEO of the Affiliation for Digital Music (AFEM). The New York-headquartered non-profit group, based in 2013, represents the pursuits of over 250 digital music firms throughout 25 international locations.    

Montello’s appointment as CEO of AIM — which represents greater than 1,000 U.Okay. indie labels, artists and music firms, together with Beggars Group, Domino, Warp and Ninja Tune — comes on the again of one other robust 12 months for unbiased labels and artists in the UK. In keeping with labels commerce physique BPI, independently launched music made up 29% of the U.Okay.’s recorded music market within the first 10 months of 2022, up from 27% for the entire of 2021 — when whole recorded music gross sales reached £1.3 billion ($1.6 million) within the U.Okay. — and a rise of 30% from 2017, when independents claimed a 22% share. 

Independently launched albums which have topped the U.Okay. albums chart this 12 months embrace Arctic MonkeysThe Automobile, Wet Leg’s self-titled debut, Fontaines D.C.’s Skinty Fia and rapper Central Cee’s 23.    

“The expansion of the indie sector has been unbelievable to see and what’s actually thrilling about it’s the rise in grass roots unbiased artists who’re self-releasing and creating their very own groups and discovering methods of having the ability to construct their very own fanbase,” Montello tells Billboard.  

Regardless of the expansion, it stays troublesome for a lot of DIY and unbiased artists to make an honest residing from streaming alone, she says, echoing well-publicized discontent from the creator group over low returns from music streams.  

In her new position as CEO of AIM, Montello — who has been an lively member of the U.Okay. commerce physique for a number of years — says she is going to proceed the group’s push for an “equitable and honest” break up of streaming revenues however may even deal with educating and coaching unbiased artists and companies about how they’ll monetize their artwork within the fast-changing music ecosystem.  

“Wanting exterior of the reliance on simply the main streaming platforms goes to be extra of a major dialog and pattern going ahead,” she says, citing the metaverse, Web3 and progress of neighboring rights revenues as potential avenues for artists to maximise their future incomes potential.   

“We all the time should be wanting ahead and ensuring that we’re making an attempt to anticipate the place there could also be new alternatives for our members, but in addition anticipate the place there could also be challenges arising and ensuring that we’re on top of things with all the things,” says Montello.  

Previous to heading AFEM, Montello held senior govt roles on the U.Okay. arm of Common Music Group, the place she labored as director of catalog advertising between 2006 and 2010, and BMG, the place, in line with her LinkedIn profile, she served as group senior vp of recordings operations and integrations from 2014 to 2016. She was subsequently appointed senior vp of operations on the then-Kobalt-owned artist providers firm AWAL, a submit she held from 2017 to 2020.  

Extra just lately, Montello held senior posts at music rights information platform Blokur and Audio Community, a U.Okay.-based creator and writer of music for movie, tv and digital content material. Since 2011, she has additionally acted as CEO of Voicebox Consulting, which has labored with music firms and charities that embrace BMG, PIAS and the Teenage Most cancers Belief.  

Montello co-founded and is director of #remarQabl, an digital music label providers and publishing firm that champions feminine, LGBTQ+ and underrepresented artists, and is a trustee for U.Okay. charity Assist Musicians.  

In a press launch asserting Montello’s appointment, AIM chair Nadia Khan known as the chief a “unbelievable chief” whose “intensive trade background, contact base, enterprise improvement expertise, ardour for variety and inclusion, and imaginative and prescient for the long run convey renewed management to AIM.”  

Affiliation for Digital Music co-founders Ben Turner and Kurosh Nasseri congratulated Montello on what they known as a “landmark appointment” for each her and the style of digital music.   

“It’s superb to see a company as influential as AIM seeking to our sector and really to our personal commerce physique AFEM for his or her subsequent chief,” Turner and Nasseri say in an announcement. They thanked Montello for “her beneficial enter into AFEM in her brief time with us” and stated the group has begun the method of recruiting a brand new CEO to succeed her.  

Montello says she appears ahead to “actually getting underneath the pores and skin of AIM” and doing all that she will to make the unbiased music enterprise flourish, assist artists keep away from burnout and add to the “richness and variety” of music popping out of the UK.    

“As a result of if we don’t have that from the unbiased sector, the place lots of the creativity comes from the grass roots, the margins and underrepresented teams who have gotten one thing to say,” she says, “then all music lovers are going to overlook out.”

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