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AIM Music Connected Day May 5th 2011 - The Report

Music Connected is an annual Music Industry conference organized by AIM – the Association of Independent Music (kind of a Union for Independent Labels/Artists). It is held at a great venue below London Bridge and is the highlight in the Independent Music calendar. The event is specifically aimed at digital/online companies and attendance is always 400-500. There is a conference downstairs and a ‘marketplace’ upstairs with around 20 companies. It is always a mixture of start-ups, Industry organizations and some of the more established digital companies like Ditto Music. Established names this year include Soundcloud, we7, Spotify, Nokia, Napster,Last FM and start-ups include AudioLock and 3DiCD.


This was our fifth year attending, our fourth year exhibiting and most of us had travelled down the night before – Liverpool is a LONG way from London.


The day kicks off at 10am with an introductory presentation from all the exhibiting companies. This is great as it gives you an idea of whom you do (and do not) want to talk to later. Very interesting presentations from The Official Charts Company, AudioLock (anti-piracy) and others. It was also a perfect opportunity to announce our free iTunes option – in typical dramatic style. Feedback on that was amazing and it was the talk of the conference.


10:45am and the presentations had finished. CEO Matt Parsons, VP Jay Kerr and DCM James Cherry, RM Paula Mason were on the stand to talk to a crowd of interested labels and artists. The phrase ‘Free iTunes’ usually does that.

11:15am and the panel downstairs were discussing ‘The Real New Tastemakers’, looking at how fans find music these days. This featured folks from Gracenote, DIS, Music Ally and more.

12:15pm was the most anticipated panel of the day – ‘Spotify Under The Spotlight’, hosted by the head of Spotify Europe. Loads of interesting stats and suggestions for how to better market using Spotify.


Throughout the whole morning (especially in-between the panels) the Ditto Music stand was very busy and it’s a great time for us to meet old and new artists and labels. Bianca (Marketing), Amy (Finance) and Laurie (European Label Manager) were present for the afternoon and enjoyed the event immensely.


The afternoon sessions began and more panels.


‘The Real Cost Of Direct To Fan’ hosted by our good friends David and Sam from Good Lizard Media showed us the comparison of new to old marketing models.


In ‘Digital Marketing To Suit Any Budget’ Toby Lewis from Music Ally shared his tips on effective digital marketing.


Finally ‘Digital Marketing NOW’ featured panelists Kurt from Domino, Matt from Hospital Records and more and looked at all the new digital marketing possibilities and examined which ones are here to stay.


There are many different conferences worldwide and we at Ditto Music go to pretty much all of them. It’s a great chance to meet our artists, get some new ones and network with great companies and friends. AIM Music Connected day is our personal favourite as we meet the entire Independent Music sector. Highlights include Judith Govey from AIM, Javier Lopez from Midem, Dave from Soundcloud, Martin from the Official Charts Company, Olivia from Universal and even ex-Ditto employee Neil Ward.


On a personal note is great to see how far Ditto Music has come since Lee and I started it from our flat in Birmingham in 2005. Lee now runs the US Office in Nashville with 4 other staff and I head up the UK Office in Liverpool with 7 staff along with our 5 strong tech team.


Beside Music Industry organizations, Ditto Music are the only company that exhibits every single year. We are here to stay. This year we had 7 staff at the event, more than any other company. We’ve come a long way and we are grateful to all of the amazing artists we have worked with over the years. Here is to more success for independent artists around the world.


Matt Parsons

CEO Ditto Music

Twitter - @ceomattparsons