Frequently Asked Questions

  • WHAT ARE THE AIM INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS?
  • The AIM Independent Music Awards has been championing UK independent artists, labels and outstanding individuals since 2011.
  • WHERE ARE THE AIM INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS?
  • The AIM Awards are at the Roundhouse, London. 
  • WHEN ARE THE AIM INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS?
  • The AIM Independent Music Award ceremony takes place Wednesday 28th September 2022. Details of how to attend the ceremony will be announced closer to the event.
  • HOW DO I SUBMIT TO THE AIM INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS 2022?
  • To make a submission to the AIM Independent Music Awards 2022:

    Step 1: create a new account (you will need to do this even if you've made an account in previous years)

    Step 2: Take a look at the categories and criteria here.

    Step 3: Take a look at the guide to gather the information you need to nominate here.

    Step 4: Nominate by midnight, Tuesday 31st May 2022.

    Please note you can now save drafts of your nominations and submit them later. If you are an AIM member (Rightsholder, Distributor, Friend of AIM), please note only one account should be made per member business. Please decide with your team who will be creating the account. The login details for this one account can then be shared within your team to submit entries.
  • WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO MAKE SUBMISSIONS?
  • Please see the guide here which shows what we ask for with each category.
  • WHAT AWARDS CATEGORIES ARE THERE?
  • See the full list of categories, with information on criteria, cost and how the nominees and winners are decided here.
  • WHICH CATEGORIES ARE NEW FOR 2022?
  • New for 2022
    - Music Entrepreneur of the Year
    - Best Independent EP / Mixtape
    - Best Creative Campaign (FKA Best Creative Packaging)


    New for 2021
    - Diversity Champion
    - Best Independent Remix

    See the full list of categories, with information on criteria, cost and how the nominees and winners are decided here.
  • WHEN IS THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT?
  • The final submissions deadline has been extended to midnight, Tuesday 31st May 2022.
  • IS MY RELEASE ELIGIBLE?
  • Projects submitted for the following categories must have been released between 4th May 2021 and 26th April 2022:
    - Best Independent Track
    - Best Independent Remix
    - Best Independent EP / Mixtape
    - Best Independent Album
    - Best [Second] Difficult Album
    - Best Independent Video
    - Best Creative Campaign

    See the full list of categories, with information on criteria, cost and how the nominees and winners are decided here.
  • WHAT DOES INDEPENDENT MEAN?
  • An ‘independent’ music business could be any music business, including a self-releasing artist’s own imprint, which is not a ‘major’ (Warner Music, Sony Music or Universal Music or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries) and is not more than 49% owned by one of those. Such independent music businesses may have deals with majors, including distribution agreements and even joint ventures. Additionally, an ‘independent’ music business cannot, for the purposes of these awards, control more than 5% of the total UK recorded music market.

    See criteria for all the categories here.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO NOMINATE?
  • Every single submission is free for AIM Rightsholder and Distributor member businesses.

    Submissions for these categories are free for everyone:
    - One To Watch (In association with BBC Music Introducing)
    - Best Boutique Label (FKA Best Small Label)
    - Music Entrepreneur of the Year (New category)
    - Diversity Champion
    - Independent Champion

    There is a fee to submit to the following categories (except for AIM Rightsholder and Distributor member businesses who pay nothing):
    - UK Independent Breakthrough
    - International Breakthrough
    - Best Independent Track
    - Best Independent Remix
    - Best Independent EP / Mixtape (New category)
    - Best Independent Album
    - Best [Difficult] Second Album
    - Best Independent Video
    - Best Creative Campaign (FKA Best Creative Packaging)
    - Best Live Performer (FKA Best Live [Streamed] Act)

    These categories do not take submissions:
    - Best Independent Label
    - Innovator Award
    - Outstanding Contribution to Music
    - PPL Award for the Most Played Artist New Independent Artist
    - Local Heroes

    See the full list of categories, with information on criteria, cost and how the nominees and winners are decided here.
  • HOW CAN I NOMINATE SOMEONE ELSE FOR ‘ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR’, ‘INDEPENDENT CHAMPION’ AND ‘DIVERSITY CHAMPION?
  • Do you know someone whose skills, talent and achievements in these areas deserve all the recognition? People can nominate themselves for these categories at aimawards.co.uk by midnight, Tuesday 31 May. But, as we know, we can't always rely on our heroes to shout about, or even recognise, their achievements. This could be down to a lack of confidence or self-doubt, a preference for bigging up others over themselves, or just because of how busy they are!

    To overcome this, for these three categories, anyone can put their role models forward by filling in a very quick form which is separate to the AIM Awards submissions process. Please check eligibility beforehand here. We will then get in touch with them directly to let them know they’ve been put forward, and give them next steps if they would like to progress their nomination.

    These forms takes just two minutes (we just need their name and contact details) and we recommend doing this as soon as possible to allow enough time for us to contact them and hear back etc.

    Find out more here.
  • I’M AN AIM MEMBER. WHAT DO I NEED TO ENTER SUBMISSIONS?
  • AIM members (Rightsholder, Distributor and Friends of AIM) should enter their Member ID when creating their account. To find your Member ID, log into the member-only area here. The ID will be on the dashboard.

    For any questions on this, contact AIM’s Membership Administrator, Sophie Netter.
  • WHO CAN I SPEAK TO ABOUT SPONSORSHIP?
  • To show your support for independent music and independent music business, contact AIM’s Friend of AIM Manager – Callum Johnson.
  • HOW ARE THE WINNERS DECIDED?
  • Panel of expert judges (to be announced):

    - UK Independent Breakthrough
    - International Breakthrough
    - Best Independent Track
    - Best Independent Remix
    - Best Independent EP / Mixtape
    - Best Independent Album
    - Best [Difficult] Second Album
    - Best Independent Video
    - One To Watch (In association with BBC Music Introducing)

    Decided by the AIM Board:
    - Best Independent Label
    - Best Boutique Label
    - Music Entrepreneur of the Year
    - Independent Champion
    - Best Creative Campaign
    - Innovator Award
    - Outstanding Contribution to Music

    Decided by the AIM Board and the AIM Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Group:
    - Diversity Champion

    Decided by public vote:
    - Best Live Performer

    PPL Award for the Most Played Artist New Independent Artist
    - Decided through PPL UK Broadcast usage data (from 1st May 2020 to 31 April 2021) and statistics from the Official Charts Company (OCC).

    See the full list of categories, with information on criteria, cost and how the nominees and winners are decided here.
  • KEY DATES
  • Submissions open – 30 March
    Submissions close – deadline extended to midnight, Tuesday 31 May
    Nominees announced – watch this space
    Tickets to attend the Ceremony available – watch this space
    Ceremony – 28 September, 2022 at Roundhouse, London

    Sign up for updates here.
  • WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ‘BEST INDEPENDENT LABEL’ AND ‘BEST BOUTIQUE LABEL’ CATEGORIES?
  • ‘Best Independent Label’
    · Businesses of any size and scale are eligible to win
    · No public submissions
    · Final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.


    ‘Best Boutique Label’
    · Recognising music businesses who prove that you don’t have to be big to win big!
    · Must have annual turnover of less than £250,000 and/or fewer than three full-time members of label staff worldwide
    · Submissions are free for all
    · Final nominees and winners of this award will be decided by the AIM Board.

    See the full list of categories, with information on criteria, cost and how the nominees and winners are decided here.
  • WHAT IS THE ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC?
  • AIM is the not-for-profit trade body exclusively representing the UK’s independent music sector, which makes up a quarter of the recorded music market. Now in its 21st year, AIM’s members range from the largest, most respected record labels and associated music businesses in the world to self-releasing artists and the next generation of entrepreneurs in music. AIM promotes and supports this exciting and diverse sector globally and provides a range of services, commercial opportunities and practical help to members, enabling them to innovate, grow and break into new markets.

    Rightsholder, Distributor or Friend of AIM Membership: Find out which membership tier or tiers would benefit you and your business here.

    If you are interested in finding out about AIM membership, contact us here.

    Sign up for news and updates from AIM here.

    See aim.org.uk for more details.
  • WHO HAS PREVIOUSLY WON AN AIM AWARD?
  • The AIM Independent Music Awards are proud to have honoured a wide array of extraordinary independent artists including: Adele, Alt-J, Arlo Parks, AJ Tracey, Björk, Christine and The Queens, Daughter, Dave, Debbie Harry, First Aid Kit, Georgia, IDLES, Johnny Marr, Jorja Smith, Little Simz, London Grammar, SBTRKT, SOPHIE, Stormzy, Tony Allen, The Prodigy and Wolf Alice.

    The AIM Independent Music Awards have also highlighted the amazing work from the independent community’s leading labels and industry figures including: 4AD, Charles Caldas (Merlin), Allen Kovac, Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), Hyperdub, Martin Mills (Beggars Group), Scruff of the Neck, Steve Beckett (Warp), Partisan Records, Transgressive, and many more!