IMPALA Press Release – Madrid, 16 September 2009

IMPALA AGM brainstorms new French ministerial mission to rethink the internet

At its AGM held yesterday in Madrid, Impala members held a brainstorming session as part of Patrick Zelnik’s mission to fundamentally rethink how the internet can be used to the benefit of creators and consumers alike as well as to finance the cultural industries, particularly music, cinema, literature and press. Frédéric Mitterrand, the French Minister of Culture and Communication, asked Patrick Zelnik, Co-President of IMPALA, to lead the mission which is a vital and ambitious follow up to the French Creation and Internet law.  The recommendations produced will go to the French President for approval.  Patrick will complete his assignment in mid-November.

The IMPALA session is the first in a series of consultations Patrick will be holding as part of his mission.

As part of the AGM, hosted by the Spanish Independents Association, UFI, IMPALA also elected a new twenty strong Board representing independent music companies across Europe. These Board members will lead the way for independent labels in Europe in the two coming years. They kicked off with meetings with Spanish officials in preparation of the Spanish presidency of the EU in the first half of 2010.  

Patrick Zelnik (Naïve), Michel Lambot ([PIAS] Entertainment Group) and Horst Weidenmueller (!K7) were re-elected as Co-Presidents while Jonas Sjostrom (Edel, Playground) and Helen Smith will continue in their roles as Treasurer and Executive Chair respectively.  The full list of board members can be found below.


Patrick Zelnik, Co-President of IMPALA said: “It is a great honour to receive such overwhelming support from my peers.  Yesterday's meeting was a excellent opportunity for the mission to benefit from some of the most innovative brains in the business.  I've worked with these people for years so it was no surprise that the ideas and creativity were very inspiring.  I feel we’ve already made great progress.”

Helen Smith, Executive Chair, IMPALA said: ”France has led the way in Europe to ensure that music and other creative industries can properly engage with the online market.  Patrick's appointment reflects his unique blend of commercial and political experience as well as the importance of the independents who create over 80% of all new releases in Europe today."


The new Board members are:

Stephan Bourdoiseau, Wagram  
 Larry Bringsjord, FONO - Norwegian Independents Assoc.  
 Johan Ekelund, SOM - Swedish Independents Assoc.  
 Christof Ellinghaus, VUT - German Independents Association  
 Claudio Ferrante, PMI - Italian Independents Assoc.  
 Martin Goldschmidt, Cooking Vinyl  
 Nicolaj Hylten Cavalius, DUP - Danish Independents Assoc.  
 Mark Kitcatt, Ufi (Spanish Indepndents Assoc.) / Everlasting  
 Branko Komljenovic, Menart  
 Tapio Korjus, Indieco – Finish Independents Association
 Michel Lambot, [PIAS] Entertainment Group  
 Martin Mills, Beggars Group  
 Jérôme Roger, UPFI - French Independents Assoc.  
 Jonas Sjostrom, Edel / Playground
 Helen Smith, IMPALA  
 Marcus Turner, CNR Entertainment  
 Hein Van der Ree, Epitaph  
 Horst Weidenmueller, !K7  
 Alison Wenham, AIM - Association of Independent Music  
 Patrick Zelnik, Naïve

IMPALA was established in April 2000 to help independent music companies represent their own agenda and promote the expansion and competitiveness of independent music in the interests of entrepreneurial and cultural diversity.

99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists - they produce more than 80% of all new releases. SME’s also produce 80% of Europe’s jobs. Their potential is enormous but is hampered by complex barriers to trade and severe market access problems. The impact on diversity, consumer choice and pluralism is clear. Over 95% of what most people hear and see, whether on radio, retail or the internet, is concentrated in the hands of four multinationals, known as the majors.

Cultural and creative SMEs are now officially recognised by the EU as “the drivers of growth, job creation and innovation”.  IMPALA expects the EC and its member countries to put in place key investment, digital and market access measures. Fostering Europe's economy of culture and diversity is one of the EU's top priorities in becoming the world's leading knowledge economy. Culture is a bigger earner than any of chemicals, automobiles or ICT manufacturing and provides more than 3% of Europe's jobs.

IMPALA has its own award scheme to help promote cultural diversity and new talent and highlight the artistic contribution of independent music. IMPALA award winning artists include Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Carla Bruni, Manu Chao, Corneille, Katie Melua, Franz Ferdinand, The Prodigy, Placebo and Ibrahim Ferrer (Buena Vista Social Club).

IMPALA has 4,000 members including the top independents: !K7 (Germany), Anaconda Productions (Poland), Beggars Group (UK), Bonnier Amigo (Sweden), CLS Music (Hungary), CNR (NL), Cooking Vinyl (UK), Edel (Germany), Epitaph (US/NL), Everlasting (Spain), Gazell (Sweden), Menart (SIovenia), Musicvertrieb (Switzerland), Naïve (France), Odyssey (Ukraine), PIAS Entertainment Group (Benelux, UK and France), Playground (Sweden), Red Bullet (NL), Soyuz Music (Russia), SPV (Germany), Wagram (France), as well as national trade associations from the UK (AIM), France (UPFI), Germany (VUT), Spain (UFI), Italy (PMI), Belgium (BIMA), Denmark (DUP), Norway (FONO), Israel (PIL), Finland (Indieco) and Sweden (SOM) and the Catalonian association APECAT.

For further queries, please see or contact IMPALA on T: + 32 2 503 31 38, IMPALA, Coudenberg 70, B-1000, Brussels.