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9/09/2005

 
The Orchard Announces South Africa Partnership With Next Music

The World's Leading Distributor and Marketer of Independent Music Continues Global Expansion

- Next Music Helmed by Charles Kuhn, Formerly CEO of Gallo Music Group -

NEW YORK, and SANDTON, South Africa, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orchard, the leading distributor and marketer of independent music in the world, today announced its expansion into Southern Africa through a partnership with Next Music. Southern Africa marks the thirteenth non-US region to launch Orchard operations to sign local music for global distribution.

Next Music is a dynamic new independent music company, based in South Africa. The company was launched in April this year under the executive management of Charles Kuhn, who left his long-serving position of CEO at Gallo Music Group and Gallo Africa Limited to create and develop Next Music. During his tenure at Gallo, Kuhn steered the company to market dominance with representation of the Warner Music International license and the development of major domestic artists like Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Lucky Dube. Kuhn is joined at Next Music by former key Gallo management, including Paul De Klerk, who previously helmed Gallo's independent labels division RPM Records.

As part of this initiative, The Orchard will market and sell Next Music's catalogue - including major domestic South African artists such as Stefan Ludik, 2 Khaphulasi, Elizma and Thabonage - across its global distribution platform, which encompasses more than 125 of the world's leading digital music stores globally, including iTunes, eMusic, Napster, MSN, Real/Rhapsody, and Yahoo!/Musicmatch. In addition, The Orchard will supply the content through its distribution partnerships with the leading mobile companies around the world, the largest mobile network of any distributor, spanning over 200 global services including Sprint, Dwango Wireless, Zingy, 9 Squared, IAM Mobile, Arvato Mobile and Hudson Soft.

The addition of Next Music further extends The Orchard's global partner network, which includes The Orchard Japan, Carmel Music (Middle East & North African), EPSA (South America), Amped Music (Australia & Pac Rim), ECD/AMDL (China & Phillipines), Saregama (India), New Sound (Palestine), K-Digital (Spain), The Orange Record Label (Canada) and many more.

The Orchard has a proven track record introducing indigenous music styles to western audiences. It began distributing the music of India in September 2004, highlighted by the leading Indian label, Saregama, and is about to launch a major initiative around the music of China in late September 2005. Thus far, The Orchard's international programs have performed exceptionally well, providing unique content to digital retailers and new revenue streams to non-Western music copyright holders.

"Early on, we made a commitment to establish a powerful international network of savvy and strongly-positioned music companies to take advantage of The Orchard's leading market position and marketing capabilities," 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. "Our partnership with Next Music significantly extends our reach in Africa. Charles Kuhn is a major figure in the South African music scene- someone who's always been on the cutting edge of global artist development and distribution. We look forward to introducing South Africa's rich musical heritage to global audiences digitally, and similarly to exposing South African audiences to The Orchard's unrivalled catalogue."

"I am delighted that The Orchard has chosen Next Music as its partner for Africa. The distribution and development of The Orchard's impressive catalogue of leading independent artists and labels in the digital and mobile space is an exciting opportunity for us to be part of," said Charles Kuhn. "The marketing and revenue generation opportunities in our region are bound to increase exponentially and we want to be at the frontline with each new progression. The Orchard offers a dynamic distribution platform to reach global music consumers and fans for our own artists, as well as other South African and African labels with which I anticipate us working closely with."

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 73 countries and every music genre. The Orchard supplies its catalogue of more than 600,000 tracks to all of the leading legal digital music retailers and mobile operators throughout the world. The company is headquartered in New York and London, with operations in Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Toronto, Kolkata, Johannesburg, Moscow and Melbourne, and local representatives in Paris, Milan, Barcelona, and Ramallah.

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).

Contacts:
Andy Morris & Company
Andy Morris
(212) 561-7465
andy@amc-pr.com

Source: The Orchard

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

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




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