20th December 2020

The first month of IMPALA's 20th anniversary celebrations




IMPALA has turned 20! We are celebrating with a year-long series of posts, interviews, playlists and more. Find out what we have prepared this month below and make sure to keep an eye on our dedicated IMPALA20 blog page. Mark your calendars for the 20th every month and expect an ICYMI newsletter in your inbox!


IMPALA playlists

20Tracks is a series of playlists to highlight the independent sector in all its diversity. Genre and language playlists are posted every month, curated by IMPALA’s members to celebrate music in Europe today.

20Tracks #1

IMPALA 20th anniversary #1 album of the year – the first 10 years

2 singles from each of the 10 “IMPALA European Independent Album of the Year” award winners


20Tracks #2 in Romanian, curated by our Romanian association INDIERO 

 This playlist features 20 tracks in Romanian by 20 Romanian independent artists from the last 20 years


IMPALA podcast on Spotify

Curated by Juliana Koranteng, key independent music figures talk about what goes on behind the scenes. This is a series of bite-sized and informative episodes curated by Juliana in London and edited in Brussels by Romuald Dagry. In the time it takes you to to back up your computer or walk your dog, get a closer look at what moves those who shape the landscape of independent music in Europe today. 

Episode 1: Helen Smith
Featuring Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA, on what brought her to Brussels, her experience at IMPALA, views on hot topics like Brexit, Covid-19, the copyright directive, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, as well as her tips for anyone wanting to work in the music sector.

Find it here.
Episode 2: Jason Rackham
In the second episode, Jason Rackam, MD [PIAS] UK, talks to Juliana about #LoveRecordStores – how it got started, the highlights so far, his vision for more collective action in the sector as well as tips for focussing on artists, whatever type of work you do in the music sector.

Find it here.


How well do you know the independent music sector? IMPALA’s discovery series takes us on a journey across the whole of Europe. Each month we look at a different aspect of the sector from labels, managers, venues and much more.


1. In its first year, IMPALA plays a key role in the breakdown of the merger attempt between EMI and Warner – a deal withdrawn because of EU objections (see here) (2001)

2. IMPALA negotiates two landmark agreements with key online players – Napster, when it was the world’s second most recognised brand (see here), and iTunes (see here) (2001)

3. IMPALA wins landmark court case on Sony/BMG merger clearance (see here) (2006)

4. World’s first merger remedy package negotiated with WMG to rebalance the market in the face of increasing concentration (2007) 

5. IMPALA helps create key international structures for the sector, Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector and also WIN, the worldwide network of independent associations (2007 & 2006)

6. Launch of IMPALA’s Independent Album of the Year Award (2011)

7. Biggest ever set of merger remedies secured following IMPALA’s complaint – Universal ordered to divest two thirds of EMI and respect 10 years behavioural undertakings (2012)

8. IMPALA and Merlin announce agreement with Warner Music Group on divestments and other merger remedies to strengthen the independent sector (2013), ultimately completing in 2017

9. Two thirds of labels signing WIN’s Fair Digital Deals Declaration are European (2014)

10. IMPALA launches a complaint against YouTube, Merlin secures deal after platform threatens to remove independent labels’ videos (2014)

11. Very first loan EU guarantee scheme is launched for the Europe’s cultural and creative sectors to support loans to independents and other small actors (2014)

12. Apple’s attempt to discriminate against independents is thwarted by a united stance in Europe and across the world, improving terms for all labels, including the majors (2015)

13. Trade takes on a new dimension with the launch of IMPALA Balkans Focus Group (leading to establishment of RUNDA) and start of IMPALA’s Brexit work to ensure that the independent music companies’ voice is heard in the negotiations (2016 & 2017 and continuing today…) 

14. Music Moves Europe programme is launched, first European programme dedicated to music  (2018)

15. IMPALA acknowledges the climate emergency and commits to making the independent sector ecologically sustainable and regenerative, as well as using our voice to support Music Declares Emergency in Brussels (2019) 

16. Historic vote in the European parliament to adopt a new copyright directive to address the value gap (2019)

17. IMPALA establishes a COVID-19 Task Force and takes on key role in driving the sector’s agenda by adopting a crisis planmapping tool and recovery package, as well as a set of second wave recommendations, helping culture to be recognised as one of Europe’s fourteen priority sectors for recovery (2020)

18. Diversity and Inclusion Charter adopted, first set of commitments dedicated to the European independent sector (2020)

19. IMPALA launches One Step Ahead, digital intelligence facility for the independent sector (2020)

20. EU budget has focus on music for first time and whole culture programme receives top up of over half a billion euros for total of 2.2bn (2018 to 2020)


Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA)
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