AIM launches strategic partnership with EY to accelerate independent sector growth

EY to empower AIM's members through a range of initiatives focused on key issues facing creative entrepreneurs. Inaugural event on 25 Oct to foster collaboration and growth amongst the sector's leading businesses. Further events to include AIM x EY: Finance Breakfast Sessions and AIM x EY: Digital Bootcamp event series EY to also participate in the AIM Angel Investment Syndicate and its Investment Readiness Programme.

London, 25th October 2023

The Association of Independent Music (AIM) is entering a strategic partnership with professional services firm, EY to accelerate growth in the UK’s thriving independent music sector.

The alliance, developed over the past 12 months, is the first of its kind between EY and the independent music community, the fastest growing segment of the global recordings business.  It will enable independent music leaders to level up their businesses through access to a raft of expertise, connections and skills.

To mark the beginning of this unique partnership, EY and AIM will host an interactive session on 25th October. Titled ‘AIM Presents: EY 7 Drivers of Growth’, this is set to be attended by a number of AIM’s key stakeholders, which represent some of the world’s biggest names in independent music.

The event will harness EY’s strategic growth framework to assist AIM members in identifying  key factors to help deliver a sustainable growth strategy. The event will be hosted at the London office of leading legal and commercial law firm, Simkins. Simkins recently partnered with AIM as part of the Friend of AIM scheme, reinforcing their commitment to providing their expertise and guidance to independent talent, rights-holders, and entrepreneurs, and contributing to the sector’s growth.

The partnership with EY follows recent AIM initiatives to foster growth and investment in the independent community including its Angel Investment Syndicate. Launched in partnership with the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), the Syndicate creates access to capital for music entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses, including an investment readiness programme, to which EY will now contribute training resources.

Other planned events include an ‘AIM x EY: Finance Breakfast Session’ for AIM member CEOs and finance teams to network and brainstorm ideas to foster growth in the UK’s independent space. There will also be an ‘AIM x EY: Digital Bootcamp’ event series, with the first instalment set to discuss opportunities and challenges posed by AI to the sector.

Details of further events will follow over the coming months, as the partnership continues to develop.

Ben Wynter, Director of Business Development & Partnerships at AIM, commented: “The independent music community is set to hit a projected sixth consecutive year of growth in 2023. Through initiatives like the AIM Angel Investment Syndicate and strategic partnerships like the one forged with EY, we remain steadfast in our commitment to equipping the community with the essential tools for triumph. Addressing the challenges outlined by the British Business Bank – access to capital, knowledge, and networks – AIM continues to innovate, fostering fresh partnerships and opportunities that dismantle these obstacles, opening doors to sustained success within our vibrant creative entrepreneurial ecosystem. The new alliance between AIM and EY promises to lay the groundwork for meaningful collaborations and the exchange of transformative ideas, poised to orchestrate lasting success and expedite the growth of the independent sector.”

Callum Johnson, Head of Partnerships at AIM, said: “We’re really looking forward to working with EY to help AIM’s members to take their businesses to the next level and are excited to launch what will be a first-of-its-kind resource for the UK independent sector. We’re also grateful to Simkins for their continuing support in AIM’s mission to foster entrepreneurship, growth and connections to the sector.”

Joe Cannon, Tax Partner at EY, said: “We’re really pleased to be entering into this exciting partnership with the Association of Independent Music, as part of our long-term support of the UK’s arts sector.Our goal is to empower AIM’s membership of creative entrepreneurs to fulfil their potential, via a structured programme that provides access to our expertise, exceptional people, and technology.  We have worked closely with AIM over the last 12 months to develop this initiative and look forward to launching our first event later this month.”

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About AIM

AIM is the not-for-profit organisation representing and supporting the UK’s independent music community, which makes up a third of the UK’s recorded music market. Now in its 24th year, AIM’s members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to DIY or self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music. These include 4AD, Black Acre, Beggars Group, Blue Raincoat, CTRL Music, Dirty Hit, Domino Recording Co, FAMM, Finesse Foreva, Hospital Records, Ninja Tune, Numbers, Partisan, Transgressive, Secretly Canadian, Stones Throw, Supernature, Warp, and XL Recordings.

AIM exists to level the playing field for UK independent music businesses – the beating heart of music. No matter their genre, their background, how much money they have, how they identify or their age, AIM provides access to the knowledge and contacts creative entrepreneurs need to create, build and win. AIM supports its members, not only through the difficult times, but also on a day-to-day level with practical support that makes a real difference to their lives and work, helping them take their businesses to the next level.

About Ernst & Young

EY exists to build a better working world, helping to create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.


AIM is the not-for-profit trade body exclusively representing the UK’s independent music sector. Our members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music.