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SONY MERGES INDIE OPS

Sony Music has started what's believed to be a worldwide consolidation of distribution and marketing services for indie artists and labels, as U.K. services arm Red Essential has been merged with the London office of The Orchard.

The new company, helmed by Ian Dutt and Mike Chadwick under the nameplate of The Orchard, will provide “unparalleled” support to indie labels and artists in Blighty said Sony Music U.K. boss Jason Iley.

“Separately, Red Essential and The Orchard have shown they are two great, innovative artist-focused companies,” Iley said. “By partnering, and with the backing of Sony Music globally, the merged business will continue to provide support and benefits to independent artists and labels alike that is unparalleled in the U.K.”

Red Essential formed last year when Sony bought Essential Music & Marketing from Cooking Vinyl and merged it with its artist and label services division, RED. Distributor The Orchard, which has recently bolstered its operations in Europe with Germany’s finetunes and Norway firm Phonofile, was another previous independent that Sony acquired in 2015.

Previously, Dutt lead RED while Chadwick helmed Essential. The duo were named Co-Managing Directors of Red Essential after the merger last year. The newly formed company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment. It will offer artists and labels a slate of services including physical and digital, sales, marketing, promotion, synch licensing, neighbouring rights, strategy and analysis in more than 30 markets across the globe.

The amalgamated companies have fostered partnerships with artists such as 2016 Mercury Music Prize and 2017 Ivor Novello winner Skepta as well as Run The JewelsGiggsJoey BadA$$Lower Than AtlantisAlter Bridge and Anderson .Paak. There are also ongoing relationships with labels including Cooking Vinyl, Cherry RedSnapperRed Bull RecordsDemonThirty Tigers and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Said Dutt and Chadwick: “There is no other company that comes close to what we offer. Our team’s expertise and first-class business relationships, combined with the global sales and marketing network and cutting-edge technology, gives our clients everything they need to maximize their success.”

Colleen Theis, Chief Operating Officer, The Orchard, said: “The Orchard has always worked on a global scale. Combining forces in the U.K. with Red Essential to create a single company with an incredible roster of independent artists and labels allows all of our clients to benefit from market strength and a strong competitive advantage, both at home and abroad. The collaboration will create unique opportunities to market and drive revenue for our clients.”

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