NARM Renames Itself the Music Business Association, Expands Mandate

The National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), the trade organization founded in 1958 which represents music retailers, distributors, and others involved in the sale of music and related merchandise, has announced it is restructuring and renaming its organization to more effectively operate within the new realities of the music business which have emerged over the last decade. NARM will now be known as the Music Business Association. Digitalmusic.org, NARM's web-based arm, will also fall under the Music Business Association banner -- it's web address already redirects to the Music Business Association's new website, musicbiz.org.

“The music industry has changed dramatically over the past decade," said Music Business Association president Jim Donio in a statement. "More segments of the business than ever before now play an active role in the commerce side of the business, so the name ‘National Association of Recording Merchandisers’ no longer reflected everyone who can participate in the organization... for the first time in the organization’s history, the ‘M’ stands for music.” Donio's comments echoed a speech he delivered at the Music Biz Conference, operated by NARM, in May when referring to the broadening mandate of his organization, calling it "not physical or digital; we are the music business."

The sweeping changes include the appointment of six new board members, corresponding to six "sectors" that the Music Business Association will restructure itself around: Digital, Information Technology, Physical, Knowledge, Artists, Management, Touring and Legal & Business Affairs. The first four listed here will be Music Business Association's initial focus; as such only four of six new board members have been announced (the remaining two will be named next year). They are: Brad Navin (The Orchard), Darren Stupak (Sony Music Entertainment), Matt Signore (Warner Music Group), Jim Urie (Universal Music Group).

In addition to its new board members, each of the Music Business Association's new sectors is represented by a pair of co-chairs. Digital's co-chairs are Christina Calio (Microsoft) and Kevin Arnold (OpenAura); Information Technology's co-chairs are Shachar Oren (Neurotic Media) and Chris Read (Sony DADC); Physical's co-chairs are Mike Fratt (Homer’s) and Ryan Redington (Amazon); Knowledge co-chairs are Nicole Hennessey (Music Business Association) and Jim Donio (Music Business Association). These are further represented by subdivisional "Work Groups" -- for instance, the "Subscription Services" Work Group falls under the Digital Sector. Each of these Work Groups has a chair and/or pair of co-chairs, the details of which can be found at the Music Business Association's website.

“NARM was founded in 1958, the same year as the introduction of the first stereo LP. The Beatles had not even formed yet. Our organization has grown with the music business, and it’s time that our identity reflects that," said Music Business Association chairman of the board and CEO of J&R Music & Computer World Rachelle Friedman. "Everyone in the commercial music industry is an equal partner, with seats at the table to come up with innovative solutions for the business as a whole.”