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The Orchard Joins A2IM

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

The Orchard has joined the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) as a founding associate member and the first digital distributor to financially support the new organization. Based in New York, The Orchard is the leading distributor and marketer of independent music worldwide and is the music industry's preeminent independent trade association in the US.

Newly incorporated, A2IM was created to represent the interests of independent labels in business, government and the media. It will also serve as the leading edge for the exploration of new and innovative forms of music exposure and distribution.

Representing thousands of independent labels and artists spanning 72 countries and all music genres, The Orchard distributes and markets to more than 120 of the world's leading digital music stores, including iTunes, eMusic, Napster, MSN, MusicMatch, Real/Rhapsody, and Yahoo! In addition, The Orchard provides content to the leading mobile companies around the world, including Sprint, Dwango Wireless, Zingy, 9 Squared, HIFI Ringtones, IAM Mobile, Securycast, Arvato Mobile and Hudson Soft.

"The Orchard is proud to be a founding associate of A2IM," said Greg Scholl, chief executive of The Orchard and managing director of Dimensional Associates, Inc, the private equity fund that owns The Orchard, eMusic, eMusicLive and Dimensional Music Publishing. "A2IM speaks to the issues facing independent artists and labels, and will help level the playing field which for years has disproportionately favored the major labels. We are confident that the A2IM team will focus on the right issues in a constructive and participatory manner, and will play a pivotal role in maintaining a strong voice for independents during this critical transition period from physical to digital."

"The Orchard is a leader in facilitating independent music into the digital world," said Don Rose, acting president of A2IM. "We are proud to embrace them as a founding associate member and thank them for their support for the independent label community."

In addition, Orchard Records, a subsidiary of The Orchard, also joined A2IM as a founding member. Headed by songwriter, producer and Orchard co-founder Richard Gottehrer, Orchard Records will issue its first release in September of new material by Dion. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen