Indie labels meet to discuss record distribution crisis

Grim times predicted after the collapse of Pinnacle Entertainment

The independent labels trade body Association Of Independent Music (AIM) held an emergency meeting yesterday (December 4) to discuss the bankruptcy of distribution company Pinnacle Entertainment.

As NME.COM previously reported, Pinnacle – which worked with over 400 indie labels including Rough Trade and One Little Indian – was declared bankrupt on December 3.

The company had distributed records by the likes of Morrissey, The Libertines and The Strokes.

In a statement, AIM said: “It is quite clear that this is an extremely serious situation for the labels caught by the sudden collapse of Pinnacle. The meeting this morning was conducted in the presence of a barrister, Mr Philip Flower, who is a specialist in corporate insolvency.”

The trade body also suggested that independent labels would have to work together to overcome the distribution crisis.

The statement added: “It is a unique feature of the independent sector that, in troubled times, competitors can take steps to help each other out. We are sure that, although this is bad news, the effect on labels can and will be minimised as much as possible by the support of AIM and the community.”

Meanwhile, Peter Thompson, managing director of Pias, another large UK independent distributor, told The Financial Times that some indie labels may fold as a result of the crisis.

“I can’t rule out that small indie labels will have to close. It has been a tough year for everybody and a blow like this at this stage of the year will hurt,” he said.

“Nobody is likely to be paid for October or November and some labels will struggle to pay bills,” Thompson added. Some of the large labels will find new deals and get a cash injection, but others won’t be able to.”