How you like them apples?

“Folded into,” is a phrase heard more and more in this industry and age of consolidation. But sometimes, that phrase can represent more of synergistic marriage than a swallowed whole.

In a behemoth move amongst behemoths, Sony Music has consolidated its independent distribution with Play MPE partner The Orchard, and RED Music, worldwide.

The move means a literal move for current RED distribution folks who will head to The Orchard HQ in NYC.  It’s part overall of Sony’s RED Essential now falling under Orchard umbrella in the UK.  The change will see The Orchard employ over 300 peeps across 30 offices worldwide.  The deal also makes The Orchard officially the largest distributor in the world.

The Orchard CEO Brad Navin will continue to man the ship, sharing “Our newly merged company is unique in structure, scale and reach. Coming together as one company that is both truly global and locally-focused will allow us to take the service we provide to our artist and label partners to the next level.”

The Orchard proudly lays claim to being the “only global comprehensive digital and physical distribution platform with its own delivery, sales, distribution and reporting systems built specifically for independent clients. With a single deal clients have the ability to deliver their music to every leading global and local digital and physical retailer and reach music fans around the world.”

Two decades in, as The Orchard’s messaging proclaims “We’re a 21st century distribution company with a global presence and a local feel.”  From the start, The Orchard’s goal has been to provide independent artists with the ability to sell their music to mainstream audiences. As such, The Orchard naturally and quickly become the first independent distributor to hit one million paid downloads and streams.

Meanwhile, Sony RED will now morph into RED Music, a dedicated full service marketing agency and label services company.  President Bob Morelli stated ““For our label and artist partners in the U.S., we are significantly multiplying the levels of quality service we provide with these exciting new changes.”

‘Stache Media, the indie marketing and promotion group stands along frontline label services group (formerly RAL), providing marketing, promo, and release planning to Sony backed labels and joint venture imprints. Launched in 2007 out of New York City in NY, they went on to put down roots in Nashville. They proudly lay claim to marketing efforts behind artists including Ingrid Michaelson, Santana, Shaggy, and Joey Bada$$ to name a few.

Sony reps have shared that they are giving independent labels a “single point of entry into a global distribution system with an end-to-end solution through the entire supply chain to digital services and retailers around the world.”

For releases across all corners of RED and The Orchard, of course log onto your handy dandy Play MPE Player.

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