The Orchard and IODA Announce Merger

The Orchard and IODA have announced an agreement to combine their global digital distribution businesses. The new company will operate under the name of The Orchard and aims to create a new market leader for digital distribution of music and video.

Brad Navin, CEO of The Orchard, will serve as CEO of the new company, and IODA founder/CEO Kevin Arnold will take on an advisory role to the Orchard’s Board of Directors. Arnold will also work on strategic projects for Sony.

“The Orchard and IODA were both founded to maximize opportunities for independent labels and artists. This deal opens doors for everyone by creating the preeminent platform for distribution, sales and marketing,” said Navin. “We’re combining two talented teams supported by a scalable infrastructure, which will give us more flexibility than ever to stay focused on our clients while continuing to work with the independent label community to improve the future of the industry.”

Billboard reports that Sony, which owns 51% of IODA, will own at least 50% of the merged company.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. IODA clients include Allegro, Arts & Crafts, Ghostly International, London Symphony Orchestra and more. The Orchard’s clients include Barsuk Records, Daptone Records, Frenchkiss Records, and more.

The news follows the recent announcement that Universal Music’s Fontana Distribution has been acquired by digital leader INgrooves, and Universal will own a minority share in the new business.

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