IMPALA's mission is to grow the independent music sector, promote cultural diversity and cultural entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise the perception of the music industry. IMPALA is a not-for-profit trade organisation representing the European independent music label community in the areas of advocacy, commerce opportunities and member services, details of our activities can be found at www.impalamusic.org. IMPALA was established in 2000 to ensure that independent music labels, all of whom are small and medium size enterprises (SME's) were properly represented in the music community so they would not have to endure the business barriers to entry that occurred in the old music paradigm that are no longer viable in the emerging new digital economy.
IMPALA's membership is made up of more than 4,000 Independent music labels located across Europe that have banded together to form a central voice advocating for the health of the Independent music sector. Our membership includes independent music label leaders like Beggars Group, PIAS Entertainment Group, Epitaph Europe, Rough Trade Benelux, Naive and !K7 but it should be noted that our membership is not just made up of these market leaders. IMPALA membership also includes music labels of varying sizes (in terms of staffing, number of releases and revenues), and varying genres. Many of our member labels are located across Europe, in addition to the traditional London, Paris and Berlin music bases. For example we have members like CLS Music in Hungary, Playground Music in Scandinavia, Musikvertrieb in Switzerland, Pitch Black Records in Cyprus, or Anaconda Records in Poland, as well as representative national associations in Norway (FONO), Finland (Indieco), Italy (PMI), Spain (UFI), Israel (PIL) and Denmark (DUP) among others.
All of our label members have one thing in common: they are small business people with a love for music who are trying to make a living and compensate their artists and generate and maintain jobs.
Our members, as small creators whose sector comprises over 20% of European recorded music sales, are having their livelihoods challenged by unauthorized unpaid content acquisition over the Internet. Independent music labels are not luddites and the Internet has been the great equalizer for us on our ability to market, promote, monetise and introduce new music. The Internet has opened up countless opportunities for us and we would not do anything to jeopardise this improved access. Additionally, our members have embraced new business models that allow for efficient distribution of music, such as the licensing of free-to-the user streaming services and webcasting, one price per month subscription services, bundled mobile services, etc. We honestly feel there is no other industry that has embraced new forms of economic and delivery models as completely as the music industry. Our members also, on their own terms, give away free content to reward existing fans and cultivate new fans of their label's artists.