|Occupation(s)||Co-founder and Managing Director, Essential Music & Marketing|
|Years active||1976 - present|
|Labels||Essential Music & Marketing|
Mike Chadwick is the co-founder and managing director of Essential Music & Marketing. Having spent his whole career in the music industry, Chadwick’s past roles notably include owner of Revolver Distribution, co-founder of Heavenly Records and managing director of Vital Distribution.
Mike Chadwick began his career in 1976 as a sales assistant at Revolver Records in Bristol, which became a notable branch of Rough Trade’s independent distribution network, the Cartel, at its inception in 1979.  Chadwick became joint owner of Revolver Distribution in 1981, before buying the company outright in 1989.
A year later, in 1990, Revolver left the Cartel and set up as a sales & marketing bolt-on to distribution company Pinnacle, one of the first of its kind, offering a unique European distribution network. 1990 also saw Chadwick co-found Heavenly Records with Jeff Barrett. During Chadwick’s tenure the company signed such acts as Saint Etienne, Flowered Up and Manic Street Preachers.
In 1993 two of the UK’s leading distribution companies, Chadwick’s Revolver and PIAS-owned APT, merged to launch Revolver/APT, before changing the name to Vital Distribution a year later. By 1999 Vital, with Chadwick as managing director, was one of the most successful independent distributors in the UK, working with top labels and artists. Famously this included over 4 million album sales for Britpop stars Oasis.
Essential Music & Marketing
Chadwick co-founded Essential Music & Marketing in 2003, along with Cooking Vinyl owner Martin Goldschmidt, after leaving Vital (now PIAS). Essential was initially founded to offer marketing and distribution services to select US independent labels looking to release across the UK and Europe. Today it provides a comprehensive service incorporating all aspects of releasing records from physical and digital sales and marketing to product management.
In the UK and Europe Essential represents a wide range of independent labels including Cooking Vinyl, R&S, Stones Throw, Passion Music, Loose Records, Napalm Records, FatCat Records, Nettwerk, Snapper Music, Cherry Red, Kemado, Innovative Leisure, Peacefrog, Full Time Hobby and Thirty Tigers, as well as working with artists like Joss Stone, Lucy Spraggan, Idlewild, Scroobius Pip, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and C.W. Stoneking on a services basis.
Universal EMI Merger
In 2012, after Chadwick’s interview with Music Week was quoted as evidence in a U.S antitrust hearing, Chadwick wrote to clarify his position to the U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee saying: "My considered view is the increase in market share and market power of the merged company would give it too much leverage with important gatekeepers such as radio, TV, music magazines and other media, as well as across retail.” 
In March 2016 Essential Music & Marketing was acquired by Sony Music Europe and merged with the existing RED division so create Red Essential. Red Essential is now one of the UK's top Sales & Marketing companies helping Independent labels succeed in the fast changing music business environment. Chadwick is co-Managing Director with Ian Dutt, a former colleague from Vital Distribution.
Chadwick was educated at Harrow Grammar School, going on to attend Lancaster University between 1971-1974. During the 1970s Chadwick worked as a reggae DJ in Bristol, playing shows alongside punk bands. He is a supporter of Arsenal Football Club.
- "Q&A:Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing". Complete Music Update. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
- "Mike Chadwick: 'It's always a great time to be independent'". Music Week. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
- "Industry Profile: Mike Chadwick". CelebrityAccess. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
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