Orchard Global Media Inks Pacts with Rhapsody and Musicmatch

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – The Orchard Global Media Group (GMG), the world's largest distributor of global, independent music, has inked distribution deals with digital music services RealNetworks' Rhapsody and Musicmatch, and has begun to supply the services with its catalogue of more than 120,000 songs. These songs are supplied to The Orchard by more than 2,500 record labels and thousands of artists from more than 48 countries, spanning 120 subgenres of music. The Orchard thus becomes the first company outside of the major labels to supply all of the legitimate digital music services in the U.S. and Europe — a landmark accomplishment benefiting independent artists and labels around the world, and a watershed moment in accelerating the shift from physical to digital distribution by making the largest and most diverse catalog of global, independent music available wherever digital music is legally sold.

In addition to the deals just completed with RealNetworks' Rhapsody and Musicmatch, the company already supplies iTunes, MusicNet, Napster, BuyMusic and EMusic in the US. In Europe, The Orchard supplies Dot Music, HMV, MSN UK, Freeserve, Blueyonder, Tiscali, Ministry of Sound, Playlouder, MTV Europe (UK); Tiscali, Alapage, Fnac, Wanadoo, NCNumercable (France); WOM, Tiscali, Mediamarkt, Karlstadt (Germany); Tiscali (Italy); Belgacom/Skynet (Belgium); Los 40 (Spain); TDK (Denmark). In Japan, The Orchard supplies Digital Music Initiative (DMI).

"Since its inception, The Orchard has been a pioneer in representing independent music. The Orchard blazed new trails when it became the first CD distributor in history to offer retail access to all artists. We are thrilled to make this landmark announcement, and extend our tradition into the digital space. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves in partnership with these digital music services and on behalf of our artists and labels to ensure that the content we represent is available everywhere digital music is legally sold, and appropriately positioned and merchandised," said The Orchard President &CEO Greg Scholl.

"We've amassed a large, loyal customer base of millions of music lovers who are a perfect audience for The Orchard's content," said Musicmatch President and COO Peter Csathy. "Our sophisticated, proprietary recommendation service helps people find and experience great new music and perfectly complements a catalog as rich and diverse as The Orchard's. We're thrilled to partner with The Orchard to bring independent music from all over the world to our customers."

"Working with The Orchard enables RealNetworks to offer our subscribers an even wider variety of music from independent artists," said Ranah Edelin, general manager of Business Development and Label Relations, RealNetworks. "Rhapsody is already the number one music subscription service and adding music from The Orchard's large and diverse catalog enhances our existing library of independent music."

In addition, over half of The Orchard digital music service partners utilize The Orchard to manage the vast number of artists and labels interested in selling their music on their services, which allows them to offer their customers a wide variety of music without having to manage tens of thousands of additional licensing relationships.

John Jones, MusicNet's vice president of Programming, Artist and Label Relations, commented: "Independent music is a key component of our catalog of hundreds of thousands of tracks. Working with The Orchard allows us to have one single point of contact in the marketplace for their extensive catalog of outstanding independent music making it quick, easy and streamlined to add their content to our system so it can make its way to our distributors for consumers to enjoy." –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

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