Dear Members of The IGDA:

Many thanks to Joshua Caulfield and the staff of IGDA for inviting us to address you directly.

As the worlds of digital entertainment converge, and lines are blurred between product types and industries, there seemed to be no better time than now to explore new partnerships and collaborations with other facets of the digital entertainment space. NARM sees engaging and working with a broad spectrum of technology companies -- especially gaming -- as a critical step in cultivating a flexible and streamlined music commerce ecosystem. We'd like to take this opportunity to introduce NARM and invite your community to engage with our organization and our membership more directly.

What Is NARM?

A quick introductory video to NARM can be found here.

NARM started in the late 50s as the National Association of Record Merchandisers, bringing together music retailers, wholesalers, distributors and record labels. As the market has become more fragmented, NARM has transformed from simply advancing the business of physical music to being the sole trade organization that touches every facet of physical, digital and mobile music commerce. Simply put, we are the sole music industry organization that represents the nexus of content and commerce.

Members of the organization include the four major labels (EMI, Sony, Universal, Warner) and a host of leading independent labels. Digital and mobile companies such as Nokia, Verizon, eMusic, Apple, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster, and Microsoft have all joined -- not only as members, but to serve as board members and committee chairs. Retail members such as Best Buy, Target and WalMart not only sell our physical products but your creations and hardware, creating powerful potential for collaboration and cross-platform content opportunities for music and gaming.

The NARM committees, including our Digital Think Tank, consist of the greatest minds from our digital and mobile constituencies who have organized into specific work groups to address key issues, including operational efficiencies in the digital and mobile supply chain, metrics and research, mobile apps, and product development. NARM believes that game developer input on these issues is critical to our building the systems and protocols required to meet the challenges and overcome the barriers to making more engaging, customer-friendly and profitable products.
Avenues For Collaboration

There are many opportunities for the music and the gaming developer communities to collaborate.
NARM sees incredible potential in the Independent Gaming, console DLC and mobile apps worlds. Our Association is interested in providing game developers of all sizes with connections and opportunities to engage with top decision-making executives at music retailers and content providers. This can mean anything from licensing soundtrack content, obtaining rights and clearances, creating product showcase events, and establishing best practices and channels for creating artist-oriented games. While we recognize that some of the bigger players may already have these opportunities, we believe that a collaboration between NARM and IGDA will engage and inform more participants.

Incremental revenue from music content sales is another potential benefit for IGDA members. Our partner companies from Apple to LaLa to Zune all offer various ways to plug commerce opportunities directly into gaming. White-label content store partners such as Neurotic Media can provide turnkey digital and mobile music store operations with minimal fuss and licensing issues.
It would be our pleasure to work with IGDA on establishing event programming and collaborative work groups to expand upon the ideas above, and we look forward to your feedback. Please let Joshua and his team know any ideas you may have, or feel free to reach out to me or to our Director Of Digital Strategy & Business Development, Bill Wilson. Our information is below.


Jim Donio
National Association of Recording Merchandisers

Bill Wilson
Director of Digital Strategy & Business Development

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