IMPALA and IAO release a proposal for a GECAT Pass (for Geographical European Cultural Area Touring), with the idea to get small and medium sized music tours back on the road quickly and efficiently. The approach involves creating a new cultural area with a single touring permit, instead of treating Europe as a number of distinct blocs and countries.

First European diversity survey launched to collect and exchange information on best practices and start to build a picture of diversity in the sector in different countries in Europe.

Ten point streaming plan adopted – to make streaming work, IMPALA sets out key recommendations for services to change how they generate income and how they allocate it, and other asks.

Sustainability task force set up and programme adopted with first sector targets (carbon neutral target by 2026 and net positive by 2030), charter and practical tips for members.


Diversity and inclusion charter adopted, first one dedicated to the European independent sector. 

IMPALA launches One Step Ahead, digital intelligence facility for the independent sector with Merlin grant. 

Culture recognised as one of Europe’s fourteen priority sectors for recovery. 

IMPALA works to ensure that the independent music companies’ voice is heard in the Brexit negotiations.

IMPALA establishes a COVID-19 Task Force and takes on key role in driving the sector’s agenda for addressing the impact of the crisis by adopting a crisis plan, mapping tool and a recovery package, as well as a set of second wave recommendations.


The EU adopts a new copyright directive to address the value gap, as called for by IMPALA and the broader music sector.

Culture is recognised with its own cluster in one of the EU’s biggest programmes, for research and innovation 2021-2027.

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). 


European Commission puts specific focus on music in the next EU culture programme 2021-2027, another first. 

Very first European programme dedicated to music sector launched by the European Parliament, Music Moves Europe.


Launch of IMPALA Balkans Focus Group.

Divestment process with WMG reached completion, resulting in a strengthening of the independent sector.


WIN, the Worldwide Independent Network is re-launched to boost the international independent network, with the support of IMPALA.

The “value gap”, a key priority for IMPALA’s members, is recognised formally in Europe for the first time anywhere in the world.

The first EU level loan guarantee instrument for cultural and creative SMEs, another priority for IMPALA, launches with a budget of €120m.


IMPALA celebrated its 15th anniversary with a dedicated set of initiatives including a young label spotlight FIVEUNDERFIFTEEN to shine a light on their work.

Adoption of IMPALA’s Digital Action Plan.

IMPALA listed as top influencer by the Commission in Europe’s online market strategy.

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


Two thirds of labels signing WIN’s Fair Digital Deals Declaration are European.

IMPALA launches complaint on YouTube, Merlin secures deal after platform threatens to remove independent labels’ videos.

Guarantee scheme agreed to by the EU to support loans to IMPALA members and SMEs in other sectors.


Divestment process with WMG gets underway to move 2% market share into the independent sector.

IMPALA and Merlin announce agreement with Warner Music Group to strengthen the independent sector.

Launch of the Independent Music Publishers Forum.


Biggest ever set of merger remedies secured – Universal ordered to divest two thirds of EMI and respect 10 year behavioural undertakings.

IMPALA takes a stance on Universal/EMI and SONY/EMI mergers.

First pan-European independent charts launched with Nielsen.


First pan-European portal service for members on mechanical licences.

Launch of European Mercuries – IMPALA’s Independent Album of the Year Award.


Adoption of IMPALA’s Action Plan for Finance, which introduces a sports style transfer fee.

Publication of IMPALA’s Code of Conduct for Collecting Societies.

Launch of IMPALA’s friends programme for companies working with the independent sector.


First official cultural and creative platform launched by EU.


Adoption of IMPALA’s Action Plan for Music including measures to secure market access and finance.


IMPALA signs ground-breaking deal with WMG to rebalance the market in face of increasing concentration.

IMPALA helps create Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector.


IMPALA wins key European judgement – SONY/BMG merger clearance annulled.

Launch of IMPALA Sales Awards.

Creation of WIN, the Worldwide Independent Network, to tackle worldwide industry issues.


UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions introduces a new principle of fair and equitable access.


First class action against Sony-BMG merger launched.


Agreement concluded between independents and iTunes.

VAT campaign launched for reduced VAT on music.


IMPALA blocks Warner and EMI’s attempt to merge.

Agreement signed with Napster to license members’ repertoire.


IMPALA is created.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

Coudenberg 70, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM

+32 2 503 31 38