The American Assn. of Independent Music (AAIM) president Richard Bengloff said the indie trade body has upped its membership to 121 labels. He revealed a slew of recent label additions at the annual NARM convention in Chicago.

Among the labels who have recently pledged to join the group are hard rock label Century Media, hip-hop imprint Stone's Throw, soundtrack-heavy label Lion's Gate Music, rock label The End, label and management firm Nettwerk Music Group, and Allen Kovac's Eleven Seven Music.

Bengloff addressed some Chicago member labels such as Touch & Go, Alligator Records and Hefty Records at an off-site NARM gathering, and laid out areas of interest for 2007. He notes that AAIM will be working closely with global licensing agency Merlin to ensure U.S. indies are included in the Kazaa settlement. Bengloff also noted that AAIM will work with Merlin to help guarantee that member labels receive the same rate from iTunes as EMI when it comes to selling higher-priced singles in the non-DRM format.

In other news from NARM:

-- Look for independent retail coalition the Music Monitor Network to launch a revamped digital download store in the coming months, according to coalition head Michael Kurtz. The coalition's chain of stores have been selling digital downloads for more than nine months, but all in the DRM-protected Windows Media format. The new site will sell MP3s, and the coalition's first partner is Redeye Distribution.