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The Orchard Launches Innovative New Label-Owned Store Offering

World's Largest and Leading Marketer and Distributor of Digital Music Now Enables Artists & Labels to 'Sell Direct' to Their Fans

- First of The Orchard's Label Stores to Open Today -

NEW YORK and LONDON, Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orchard, the world's leading distributor and marketer of independent music, today announced an innovative new digital retail option for The Orchard's label and artist clients.

Now, in addition to supplying music to the leading digital music services around the globe, The Orchard will create independent digital stores for its record label clients. The new service offering offers a robust, turnkey digital retail store solution with no upfront build-out costs to labels. Artists and labels can choose to sell their music in MP3, WMA or AAC formats; in US Dollars, British Pounds Sterling, or Euros; and consumers in the UK can even pay by SMS. Artists and labels set the retail price and have the option of merchandising the store themselves, or having it managed by The Orchard's merchandising team at no extra cost. Payments are fully integrated into The Orchard's industry-leading web-based online accounting system.

The first of The Orchard label stores open today and include a combination of leading labels and hot independent artists:

SLAMjamz http://www.theorchard.com/store/artist_store.php?store=slamjamz

Crash Records

Amulet Records

Blazin' Squad

Pedro http://www.theorchard.com/store/artist_store.php?store=pedro

The Orchard will launch more stores in the coming weeks from labels including Lookout! Records, Aquarian Nation, Alliant Music Group, French Kiss and others.

"In this rapidly changing digital landscape, investing in innovation is key. Through our new label-owned store offering, we are offering our artists and labels yet another creative way to get their music to the people who want it," said Greg Scholl, chief executive of The Orchard and managing director of Dimensional Associates, the company that owns The Orchard, eMusic and Dimensional Music Publishing. "Until now, there has been no streamlined, cost-efficient way for an independent labels and artists to open their own digital music stores. Our new sales solution empowers labels and artists to take even more control over pricing, merchandising and how their music is sold. We expect our label partners to embrace this option, which further reinforces The Orchard's mission of creating new markets and marketing methods for independent music and the people who create it."

Amulet Records' Billy Martin (also of Medeski, Martin and Wood) enthused, "We have an active and devoted fan base for our label's music so we're excited to be able to sell them directly. It solidifies our bond with fans, and also delivers higher profits for us. And The Orchard has made it simple to do; they already distribute our music to the major digital music stores, so we just said 'go' and a few short weeks later our download store has launched."

"The Orchard is always ten steps ahead in this digital music game," said Chuck D, of hip-hop stalwarts Public Enemy, and who now runs SLAMjamz. "Other distributors just get you into traditional digital retail outlets. The Orchard certainly does all that, but they also are always thinking about creative marketing ideas that will help their labels sell more music and also connect directly with consumers."

About The Orchard

The Orchard (www.theorchard.com) is the leading distributor and marketer of independent music in the world, representing thousands of labels spanning 72 countries and every music genre. The Orchard supplies its catalogue of more than 600,000 tracks to all of the leading legal digital music stores and services throughout the world. Headquartered in New York, The Orchard maintains operations in London, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv and Melbourne.

About Dimensional Associates, Inc.

Dimensional Associates, Inc. is the New York-based private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, Inc. Its portfolio companies include eMusic, The Orchard and Dimensional Music Publishing (formerly DreamWorks Music Publishing).

About SLAMjamz

SLAMjamz, the 21st Century record Label, is run by rap pioneer and digital music guru Chuck D. SLAMjamz is an "urbanish futuresoul" label that has embraced technology from day one, and intends to follow in the footsteps of Stax, Motown, Atlantic, Rhino, and Blue Note ... replete with cross-roster collaborations, non-stop studio sessions, and teams of songwriters and producers. The label is aiming for a roster of 25 artists by 2007, and expects that all of their artists give back to their communities, as opposed to simply "get rich or die trying."

About Amulet Records

Amulet was founded in 1995 by Billy Martin, drummer of the avant-funk trio Medeski Martin and Wood. Primarily formed as an alternative to Martin's steady gig with the renowned trio, Amulet Records features creative musicians and performers from any cultural background who are more or less self-taught and have a strong artistic vision. Martin has recently developed a break-beat series that features his drumbeats, inviting remix submissions from all corners of the world as a collaborative effort aptly titled illy B Eats.

About Crash Records

Mark Nawara founded Arizona-based underground extreme metal label Crash Music in 1993. Crash's 150+ titles include music from Single Bullet Theory, Transport League, Malevolent Creation, Throcult, Mortician, Hate Plow and Brick Bath. Before Crash, Nawara introduced bands like Crowbar and Kreator to the U.S. market and ran the BMG-distributed Pavement Music.

About Blazin' Squad

This ten-MC North London rap/pop group has dominated U.K. pop charts since its 2002 debut single, the #1 hit "Crossroads." Since then, Blazin' Squad has unleashed four more Top 10 singles and two hugely successful full-length albums, resulting in magazine cover stories and a sold-out headlining tour. Blazin' Squad member Kenzie even competed on the U.K.'s hugely popular Celebrity Big Brother reality TV show earlier this year.

About Pedro

Twenty-two-year-old Brazilian singing sensation and Orchard artist Pedro blends R&B beats with Brazilian roots. In addition to providing guest vocals to two new Blazin' Squad EPs, Pedro has spent the past year writing and recording his new album "All that Drama Turned to Love Songs" with Richard Taylor (Blue, Westlife), Mark Owen (Take That), Big Pockets (Liberty X), Obi (Blazin' Squad, Blue) and Walter Junior, a close friend and flamenco guitarist from Brazil. For more info: www.pedrolive.com.

Media Contact:
Andy Morris
Andy Morris & Company

Source: The Orchard

CONTACT: Andy Morris, Andy Morris & Company, +1-212-561-7465,
andy@amc-pr.com, for The Orchard

Web site: http://www.theorchard.com/

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