Some 60 record labels that vanished from the UK market with the collapse of distributor Codaex last June are back with the emergence of New Arts International.
Ginny Cooper, former managing director of Codaex UK, is handling marketing, press and promotion for NAI in Britain, while Proper Music, operating as Proper Note, is responsible for physical distribution.
Proper Note already distributes the Challenge Classics label, which gained ownership of NAI as a result of demise of Codaex. Many of the labels distributed by Codaex ‒ mainly small European companies ‒ jumped ship when the Netherlands-based company’s problems emerged but Ms Cooper said about half had signed with NAI. They include producers of new recordings such as Atma, Australia’s ABC Classics and MDG, catalogue specialists such as Australian Eloquence and historical labels such as Preiser.
Ms Cooper said NAI had established a central warehouse at Almere in the Netherlands which would supply European clients within 24 hours and offered export facilities for more distant markets. Proper Music had ‘welcomed NAI with open arms’ as an extension of its strategy of moving into classical distribution after establishing itself in jazz and other specialist genres.
NAI is a ‘very creative company’, she said, which had responded to changes in distribution which had contributed to the downfall of Codaex. It has developed content management software for the growing number of artist-owned labels that are selling direct to the public and Ms Cooper will be showcasing the system to artists and management companies.
The difficulties facing distributors as bricks-and-mortar stores face declining demand for CDs, and online physical sales and downloads grow, was also exemplified recently by Gem Distribution’s announcement that it was moving out of music. Many distributors have had to seek new logistics operations that provide warehousing and fulfilment services. RSK is the most recent, having signed with Sony DADB.