Sony Music acquires 100% ownership of The Orchard
In the latest case of a major piggy-backing into independent distribution through buy-outs, Sony Music is taking out full ownership of The Orchard. The New York-based company covers independent music and video distribution and sales. With a reported turnover of US$200 million a year, it is one of the world’s largest independent operations.
The deal is set to go through on March 31, with Sony paying $200 million to Orchard Assets Holdings. Orchard Assets is a joint venture by Sony, with a reported 51% stake, and Dimensional Associates, which owned 49%.
Sony already owns RED, one of the biggest independent distribution and marketing companies in the US,covering 70 labels.
The Orchard was founded in New York in 1997 by songwriter, record producer and artist manager Richard Gottehrer (My Boyfriend’s Back, I Want Candy, Hang On Sloopy) and digital music pioneer and new business model advocate Scott Cohen.
Its clients included Daptone Records (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, singer Charles Bradley), Frenchkiss Records (Bloc Party, Drowners, Les Savy Fav) and Cleopatra Records (Queensrÿche, William Shatner) as well as Nuclear Blast Records, Relapse Records, Sesame Street, TVT Records, UGF Entertainment, Shoot to Kill Music, Eclipse Records, Purenoise Records, Lamon Records and Mancini Entertainment Group.
Direct artist signings were with Boyz II Men, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dionne Warwick and Tracy Lawrence.
It had operations in 25 countries, with offices also in London, Sydney, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and Singapore.
The Orchard full-acquisition was announced in Sony Musio’s fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2014. Sony’s recorded music and publishing reported sales of $1.36 billion, a 13.1% rise from the corresponding year in 2013. Profit was up 17% to $211.8 million.