The American Assn. of Independent Music (AAIM) is "very close" to appointing a chief, and is likely to launch in the next few months, Billboard.biz has learned.

The American Assn. of Independent Music (AAIM) is "very close" to appointing a chief, and is likely to launch in the next few months, Billboard.biz has learned.

Although the search for the trade body's first leader has not yet come to an end, sources say a handful of executives have been identified for the role and more than 100 potential candidates have been viewed.

AAIM's founders gathered at the MIDEM trade show today (Jan. 23) to discuss the project. Based in New York, the AAIM will be broadly based on the United Kingdom's Assn. of Independent Music (AIM). AIM CEO Alison Wenham is understood to have been closely involved in developing the AAIM structure over the past year.

AAIM will serve its members on collective rights bargaining, and will lobby at the highest levels. Associate membership will be extended to distributors, clubs and other independent music-related parties.

"We can speak for everyone," said a MIDEM source. "We don't have anything like this in the United States, and that's bad for the world."

The structure of membership fees has been decided, but the make-up of the executive board has not yet been settled.

Tommy Boy Records' president Tom Silverman, who has been a key player in the creation of the organization, is expected to make details on AAIM public during an address at the first-ever MIDEM international indie summit on Monday (Jan. 24).