Sony Music is acquiring Kobalt Music Group’s recorded music operations, including AWAL and its Neighbouring Rights collection agency. The units will become a new division within The Orchard; Lonny Olinick will remain AWAL’s CEO.

AWAL will continue to sign, develop and market its own artists. AWAL services include global marketing, creative, synch and brand partnerships, radio promotion and distribution as well as access to real-time comprehensive music analytics. AWAL artists will be able to capitalize on SME and The Orchard’s global distribution footprint.

“Our investment in AWAL’s continued growth gives us another level of service to offer the independent music community,” said Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group. “With their flexible solutions to building artist careers, together we will offer creators more exciting choices to connect with their audience worldwide.”

In the agreement, SME artists and The Orchard will be able to partner to capitalize on the infrastructure and collection network of Kobalt’s Neighbouring Rights division, which is led by CEO Ann Tausis.

“As part of the global Sony ecosystem, we can dramatically expand on this vision for them,” Olinick said. “We are also excited to build on our innovative neighboring rights as well as DIY platforms with extended support from The Orchard.'