ⓘ PIAS Group. PIAS is a London-headquartered international recording, licensing, distribution, sales and marketing company for independent music. The company was ..

PIAS Group

ⓘ PIAS Group

PIAS is a London-headquartered international recording, licensing, distribution, sales and marketing company for independent music.

The company was founded in 1983 by Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot in Brussels, Belgium and has over 250 employees, with 19 offices around the world.

The group funds and partners with like-minded independent labels and artists to market and release their music around the world.


1. Divisions

  • Artist & Label Services, the sales & distribution division providing custom marketing, sales, and distribution services to labels and artists on a national and international level.

2. Sublabels

Within Recordings

  • Inertia
  • Play It Again Sam
  • Different Recordings, the electronic music imprint with Etienne de Crecy, Vitalic, Motorbass, Tiga, Crystal Castles and Crystal Fighters
  • Urban.
  • Le Label
  • Jazz Village
  • Harmonia Mundi
  • World Village

3. History

Michel Lambot and Kenny Gates met circa September 1981 at Michel’s record store then called "Casablanca Moon", exclusively selling records from independent labels and they quickly became friends.

In June 1982 the store "Casablanca Moon" was closed down and they made plans to start an import company named "Play It Again Sam". Play It Again Sam started importing from the UK in October 1982 and were based in the basement of Kennys parents house in Brussels, Belgium. Michel and Kenny were then respectively 21 and 19 years old.

The company was incorporated in March 1983 with a starting capital of €5000 and the strategy rapidly became to be a "distributor" rather than an importer / wholesaler; that meant offering a full range of services to labels, such as promotion and marketing. Then extended its activities to production through the creation of its own label in 1984.

In 1990, acquired the Rough Trade Distribution in Benelux.


4. 2011 warehouse fire

On 8 August 2011, during the 2011 riots in England a Sony DADC warehouse in the London Borough of Enfield which also acted as PIAS primary distribution centre was destroyed by fire. Most of PIAS inventory was considered lost including records from the over 100 British independent labels which PIAS distributes. Several album and single releases were affected by the fire, including the Arctic Monkeys single "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala", the Battles single "My Machines" and the Charlie Simpson album Young Pilgrim. The total stock loss was reported to be between 3.5 million and 25 million units.

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