CMU INSIGHTS RESEARCH HUB

Distribution Revolution

Mapping the 21st Century digital music supply chain




‘Distribution Revolution’ is a major new report from the Association Of Independent Music and CMU Insights.

It explores how the role of the music distributor has evolved over the last two decades as distribution companies have expanded the ways that they work with independent music businesses, increasingly moving into so called artist and label services.

It then explains the options now available to those independent music businesses – including self-releasing artists (or ‘single artist labels’) – who are seeking a new distributor, outlining the essential knowledge that is required before selecting any new partner, for distribution and beyond.



SELECTING A DISTRIBUTION PARTNER
Among other things, ‘Distribution Revolution’ identifies twelve things to consider when choosing a distribution partner, including:

• Price.
• Advance.
• Commitment and reach.
• Platform or portal.
• Range of services.
• DSP deal specifics.
• Genre or regional expertise.
• B2B marketing abilities.
• Physical distribution abilities.
• Scale.
• Independence.
• Key people.



CHALLENGES & ISSUES
It then also discusses eight key challenges and issues for the independent music community as the distribution sector continues to evolve, including:

• Transparency issues relating to DSP deals.
• Questions around the sharing of value from DSP deals.
• Balancing upfront and long-term benefits.
• The allure of the advance – is it worth it?
• The need to plan for an exit strategy.
• The risks and complexities of competition with distribution partners.
• The short and long term impact of new models in the market.



You can download a free copy of ‘Distribution Revolution’ from the AIM website here.