January 27, 2021

AIRCO – What You Should Know

Airco logo
Image Credit: www.airco.org.za

The South African music industry is one of the most formalized and organized in the world.

We have so many structures in place which are set up to assist all the stakeholders.

And Airco is one of them. The Association of independent record companies (AIRCO) has been in existence since 2007 and in this article, I will explain to you the role of AIRCO in the South African music industry.

What is AIRCO?

As mentioned above, Airco is the acronym for Association of Independent record companies in South Africa.

The non-profit organization was set up to represent Independent record labels across all genres.

What AIRCO Can Do for You

According to the Airco website, their main vision is to help grow the market share for Independent Music and to increase the visibility for independent artists among others.

If you have a record label (recently formed or trading) then it would be in your best interests to register on their database because they can assist with collecting royalties for music videos released by your record label.

RISA and Airco are similar organizations. But airco was created specifically for Independent record labels whilst RISA is the Industry body which represents all record companies in the country (majors, Indies and distributors).

In order to register your record label on the airco database, you would have to part with an annual fee of R300.

Once registered you’ll be able to network with other members whenever there’s an event (organized by the association), Annual General Meetings and workshops.

The majority of members (if not all) serving on the board are highly experienced music professionals and record label owners themselves.

Should you have any issues concerning your label or anything which is industry-related, they will be able to assist free of charge.  

Airco also works closely with the organizers of MIDEM which is an annual music conference held in Cannes, France. Registered members have access to discounted rates on flights and accommodation.

What AIRCO cannot do for you

Airco is just an association and it’s limited in terms of what they can do for your record label.

For example, the organization does not provide any financial aid in the form of loans and grants to members.

Although the board members are experienced in the music industry (as mentioned) but they do not dish out any legal advice and can only recommend an entertainment attorney to assist you.

What you need to register your record label

In order to register your label on the Airco database, you would need the following:

  • CK/Company registration documents
  • An ID Copy
  • The proof of address
  • R300 registration fee

You can do the registration online by sending them an email or you can visit their offices in Auckland Park South Africa where you can fill out the application form.

Final Thoughts

If you have an Independent record label in South Africa, it’s not compulsory to register with AIRCO.

But doing so would be beneficial for you on a self-development standpoint (especially if you are still new) because their workshops often share tips about the industry and on how to run a record label successfully.

The Association of Independent record companies was created to represent the Indies but is often overlooked and many a young artist does not really understand what the association is all about.

If you were unsure about airco prior to reading this blog post, I hope that I have given you a better insight.

If you any questions and thoughts that you might want to share, please comment below.