Orchard Selects Loudeye for Global Music Fulfillment and Distribution

Loudeye Corp., a leading provider of services for the management, promotion and distribution of digital media, was chosen by The Orchard, one of the largest distributors of non-major label music in the world, to provide digital media fulfillment and distribution services to support the digital delivery of The Orchard's music catalog to customers, retailers and partners worldwide. The agreement creates a complete digital distribution channel for retailers, digital music services and other music businesses to offer their customers music from artists and labels from around the world without managing thousands of label and artist relationships.

Under the agreement, Loudeye is encoding, processing and distributing more than 120,000 songs from over 30 genres in The Orchard's music catalog, which will be integrated with Loudeye's current music archive of more than 3.3 million tracks. The Orchard holds agreements with more than 3,000 record labels and 10,000 artists from over 30 countries.

Using Loudeye's digital media infrastructure and systems, The Orchard significantly reduces its time to market and costs for the worldwide digital fulfillment and distribution of its catalog. The Orchard's global customer and partner base can license a subset of the catalog from Loudeye, which will be transferred by FTP, digital linear tape, magnetic tape storage, or hosted by Loudeye on behalf of the customer or partner.

By managing thousands of label and artist relationships while maintaining one of the largest and most diverse catalogs in the world, The Orchard enables music retailers (physical and digital) to easily integrate and sell non-major label music, and allows any artist or label in the world to reach the same consumer base major labels reach.

Additionally, Loudeye will leverage The Orchard's relationships with labels to accelerate the process of enabling labels to ingest their content into the Loudeye samples service and into the digital distribution channel. By selecting The Orchard as the one stop shop for the aggregation of non-major label content, Loudeye will rapidly expand its content catalog and the quality of service for the thousands of non-major label content creators.

"For decades, tens of thousands of artists and labels have faced challenges in tapping major distribution channels for promoting and selling their music to a worldwide audience," said Richard Gottehrer, chairman of The Orchard. "Digital distribution removes many of these barriers and today's distribution agreement with Loudeye reflects our commitment to leveraging this channel for our artists and labels as well as customers. Loudeye's years of experience and reputation for quality work make them an ideal partner for the digital distribution and fulfillment of our catalog."

"Major and independent labels are realizing significant cost savings, a reduction in time to market, and are able to provide higher quality music content by outsourcing critical encoding, management and distribution services," said Jeff Cavins, Loudeye's president and chief executive officer. "The Orchard adds tremendous value to music businesses seeking to drive additional music sales and gain a competitive advantage through a more comprehensive selection of music. As the next generation of music businesses penetrates the marketplace and issues of uncertainty are lifted, we believe our proven infrastructure and services will continue to serve as the primary backbone for these businesses."

Orchard was founded in 1998 by Gottehrer, multi platinum producer (Blondie, The Go Go's), hit songwriter ("I Want Candy," "My Boyfriends Back") and co-founder of Sire Records (Madonna, Talking Heads, The Ramones), The Orchard provides the largest gateway in the world for any non-major label artist or label to distribute music alongside major label artists by utilizing similar technology and distribution systems. As a result, the Orchard controls one of the largest and most diverse catalogs of music in the world and has emerged as the largest supplier of non-major label music to the new digital music services.

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