NARM (or the National Association of Recording Merchandisers) has been around since 1958, the year the first stereo LP was introduced. Fifty-five crusty years later, and this is an organization undergoing the knife.
As of today, the association is combining with its digital industry hub, digitalmusic.org, to become the all-important-sounding Music Business Association. Which means, the organization formerly known as NARM finally has a shot at remaining relevant.
NARM has been addressing digital issues in the industry since 2007, but they “always knew” they “were going to need to take a more dramatic move to go beyond categories like ‘physical’ and ‘digital’ and redefine the organization as a whole”, according to Rachelle Friedman, the Chairman of the Board of the new association.
The Music Business Association has established various sectors that will focus on different areas within the industry, including digital, IT, physical, and knowledge. In 2014, the Artists, Management, Touring Sector and the Legal & Business Affairs Sector will be added. Sector chairs hail from a variety of companies, including Amazon, Slacker, and the major labels.
Hopefully, this points towards wider recognition that non-traditional markets are not anomalies, they’ve become the norm.