In a move to further underline its commitment to the country's indie label community, trade body the British Phonographic Industry has appointed Jon Webster as director of independent member services.

In a move to further underline its commitment to the country's indie label community, trade body the British Phonographic Industry has appointed Jon Webster as director of independent member services.

A former managing director of Virgin Records U.K., Webster brings with him an extensive track record in the British music business. He will play a vital role in the BPI's mission to step-up services to its indie membership. "What this appointment is about is ensuring we have a heavy-hitter who is focused 100% on independents concerns at all times," comments BPI chairman Peter Jamieson.

Working from the BPI's London office, Webster will also chair a new BPI Independents Committee, which will be tasked with ensuring that indie's interests are reflected across its activities.

Earlier this year, the BPI instigated a campaign designed to enable more independents to take advantage of its services. This involved a change in its subscription formula for indie labels and a pledge to lobby online music services to give priority to indie releases.

Webster adds, "My job is to ensure independents' concerns are at the very heart of what the BPI does, and that we deliver value to them on a daily basis."

Webster's 27-year association with Virgin -- latterly as a consultant -- ended in late 2001. In 1983, he was part of the Virgin Records team -- alongside Jamieson -- which created the market-leading '"Now... That's What I Call Music" compilation brand. He sat on the BPI Council from 1985 until 1992, and was instrumental in the creation of the annual Mercury Music Prize.

Webster joined London creative communications firm Clinic in 2002 in a consultancy role. He also runs the Internet-based sales label Aquarian Nation and manages various acts.

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