NEW YORK (Hypebot) – Massachusetts based music and video distributor Traffic Entertainment has moved to The Orchard for both digital and physical distribution, Christian Hedlund of Traffic and The Orchard's head of Physical Distribution Michael Bull told Hypebot in an exclusive interview. Previously, Traffic used IODA for digital distribution in addition to direct sales to iTunes and brick and mortar.
The alliance with Traffic, best known for releases including EMC's "The Show", Vaughn aka MF Doom's "Vaudeville Villain", De La Soul's "Mission Impossible" and Lil Scrappy's "Silence & Secrecy" marks the first time that The Orchard has opened their marketing and promotion to another distributor. The Orchard recently proved its muscle by delivering a gold single for Pitbull.
Many labels had separated their physical and digital distribution, but bringing both back under one roof is becoming a popular option for indies. Sales declines at brick and mortar, as well as, bankruptcies and consolidation has led to fewer physical distribution options for indies. And for digital distributors like The Orchard via its recent purchase of TVT and INgrooves through investor UMG's Fontana arm, adding physical counters downward pressure on sales fees caused by Tunecore and others.
Founded in 2002, Traffic Entertainment Group has carved a niche servicing smaller distributors, one-stops, and boutiques globally with a catalog of classic hip-hop, funk, soul, and disco supplied in CD, vinyl and digital formats. Their in-house Master Restoration Lab reanimates lost tracks, bringing to life sought-after music considered gone forever, and revitalizes aged and weathered record jackets.
In July, The Orchard will physically distribute the upcoming Biz Markie best-of and digitally and physically distribute new albums by Killah Priest, and Masta Ace & Edo G, and a new DVD by Beastie Boy’s videographer Ricky Powell. In August, The Orchard will handle the physical distribution of the deluxe reissue of De La Soul’s "De La Soul is Dead".
But both Bull and Hedlund pointed toward deeper alliances between the two companies. “Traffic will lend its street credibility and grassroots marketing expertise to select Orchard-sourced projects, along with its own label releases,” stated Christian Hedlund of Traffic Entertainment. He added, “Traffic’s highly-focused brick & mortar retail, web, and radio promo mechanisms, combined with The Orchards online marketing muscle will create a partnership model that can fully support new breaking acts and global stars alike.”
“In a corner of the business historically notorious for unsavory practices, the gentlemen of Traffic live and breathe music and treat their partners with integrity and respect. This ethos, combined with their uncanny ability to recognize street trends and the creative, grassroots marketing expertise make them a great partner for The Orchard." added Bull.