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Orchard IODA merger confirmed

By | Published on Wednesday 7 March 2012

The Orchard

Independent distributors The Orchard and IODA have confirmed they are merging after reports to that effect circulated yesterday morning.

Though some might see it more as an acquisition of IODA by The Orchard, even if equity in the two companies will be shared out 50/50. The merged company will operate under The Orchard’s name and will be run by The Orchard CEO Brad Nevin. Kevin Arnold, founder and CEO of IODA, will have an advisory role on the new company’s board and work on “strategic projects” with the firm’s part owner, Sony Music.

It’s still not entirely clear how big a share of the new company Sony Music will control. The music major owned 51% of IODA, but Billboard’s sources reckoned the company would exercise an option to buy the firm outright before merging it with The Orchard, giving it 50% of the new entity. Some reckon as part of the deal, due to be completed this side of the summer, Sony might have the right to buy out The Orchard’s current owner Dimensional Associates at some point in the future, so to take complete ownership of the combined indie label distribution and marketing firm.

Confirming the deal in an email to its labels, The Orchard said yesterday: “The main point is: We’re Better Together. We have more negotiating power so we can better assert your rights. We also have more resources to build better tools for you to connect with your audiences”.

Meanwhile in a blog post on the company’s website, Brad Navin noted: “Richard Gottherer, co-founder of The Orchard, loves to remind us that our tagline during our early years was ‘A Place To Grow’. As we started working with larger independent labels we dropped the tagline (although Richard will argue that even the most sophisticated of businesses still has room to grow), but we’ve never stopped growing the opportunities for our clients. We want our clients – new and old – to have better opportunities to grow their audiences and businesses, which will enable them to spend more time making music, music videos and films. The Orchard will continue to be a pioneer and a devoted partner to our clients as we combine these two great companies”.