The Orchard and Digital Music Group to merge


MUMBAI: Digital distributor and marketer of music The Orchard Enterprises and Digital Music Group Inc (DMGI) have entered into a merger agreement. The combined business will retain DMGI’s NASDAQ listing and change its name to The Orchard. Current Orchard president and chief executive Greg Scholl will lead the combined company.


The combined company will control a substantial catalogue of entertainment assets, with over one million music recordings available for sale and thousands of hours of television, film and video programming, and will be a market leader for independent distribution of digital music and video, with powerful marketing, promotion, distribution and operations capabilities throughout the world.


The company will continue to serve artists, labels, music publishers, television, film and video library owners and other rights holders by developing new and inventive ways to market and sell digital content. In addition, for digital and mobile retailers, advertisers, consumer brands and technology companies, the company will continue to provide a single point of access to one of the world’s largest and highest quality digital content catalogues that spans global superstars and niche and specialty artists, together with state-of-the-art marketing, promotion and programming capabilities.


An array of label clients, including India’s Saregama, take advantage of The Orchard’s offering, ranging from leading North American independents like Discos Musart, Definitive Jux, Delicious Vinyl, Shanachie, Surfdog, SST, Smithsonian Folkways, Cleopatra Records, Norton Records, Park The Van/Cornerstone RAS and Dim Mak; leading European independents like Greensleeves, Fierce Panda, Sanctuary, Snapper, Proper Records and Nuclear Blast; and global non-Western powerhouses like Rotana and Mu-Yap.


In addition to its own impressive catalogue of digital rights and master recordings, DMGI’s music distribution and exclusive licensing partnerships span landmark independent labels including Kill Rock Stars, Ipecac and Barsuk Records, and artists ranging from hip-hop stars Daddy Yankee, Chamillionaire and Lil’ Flip to classic rock and r&b including Johnny Cash, Ike and Tina Turner and The Commodores. 


Mitchell Koulouris, who currently serves as chief executive of DMGI, will leave DMGI to pursue other interests, and Karen Davis, DMGI’s chief financial officer, will serve as DMGI’s interim chief executive officer until the closing of the merger.


“DMGI and The Orchard create a powerful combination in the rapidly growing digital media industry. There are substantial opportunities for combined revenue synergies and cost reductions. DMGI adds exciting new artists and record labels to The Orchard’s already extensive music catalogue, and provides the combined company an immediate and significant leadership position in the digital distribution of independently owned TV, film and video content,” said Scholl.


The Orchard’s proprietary V.E.C.T.O.R. content delivery platform, launched in 2007, will be used to efficiently supply hundreds of digital retail and mastertone storefronts with the combined company’s music catalogue and new music releases, as well as manage direct delivery of all video assets. Scholl added, “With this merger, we will provide our combined clients with an advanced global infrastructure of digital marketing, promotion and distribution resources, and we’ll continue to serve as a true business partner to independent music labels, artists, music publishers and television, film and video library owners.”


Scholl continued, “The combined financial resources of the two companies will be available to fuel future growth, innovation and co-investment. DMGI’s owned library of digital rights and master recordings provides a natural platform for Orchard’s expansion into co-production and other creative financing and development initiatives with our artist and label clients.”