The Orchard (company)

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The Orchard
Subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment
Industry Music and entertainment
Genre Various
Founded 1997
Founders Richard Gottehrer, Scott Cohen
Headquarters New York, NY, United States
Area served
Services Digital distribution, marketing, technology, media encoding, metadata management, film distribution
Parent Sony Music Entertainment[1]

The Orchard is a music, film, and video distribution, marketing, and sales company and top-ranked Multi-Channel Network that works with independent artists, labels, and other content providers to distribute content to hundreds of digital and mobile outlets around the world, as well as physical retailers in North America and Europe.[2] The company was founded in 1997 by producer Richard Gottehrer[3] and music manager Scott Cohen[4] to foster independence and creativity in the music industry. The Orchard is fully owned by Sony Music Entertainment, but it operates separately from its parent company.[5]


Founding, expansion

The company was founded in 1997 by Richard Gottehrer and Scott Cohen in New York, NY.

Its clients include independent artists and labels such as Daptone Records,[6] (representing artists such as Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings[7] and Charles Bradley (singer)[8]), Cleopatra Records[9] (with artists including Blackburner, Queensrÿche,[10] Sons of Hippies[11] and William Shatner) and Frenchkiss Records (Bloc Party,[12] Drowners,[13] Les Savy Fav,[14] Local Natives[15]), who partnered with The Orchard in 2012 to create Frenchkiss Label Group in addition to their digital and physical deals with the company.[16] In 2014, the partnership expanded even further with The Orchard's acquisition of both Frenchkiss Records and Frenchkiss Label Group.[17]

Some artists have signed individual deals with The Orchard. They include Dionne Warwick,[18] Adrian Younge,[19] Tracy Lawrence, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah,[19] Boyz II Men,[20] who released their album of re-recorded classics “Twenty” in 2011, Simply Red[21] and Rhett Miller.[22] Additionally, The Orchard distributes the music of Sesame Workshop[23] and the non-profit cultural catalog of Smithsonian Folkways.[24]

The company also licenses music for use in advertising, television and film. Heineken,[25] Target, Southern Comfort,[26] and the LU family of brands[27] have used songs from The Orchard’s catalogue in their advertisements. The Black Angels' "Yellow Elevator #2"[28] and The Raveonettes' "Aly, Walk With Me"[29] were featured on True Blood, Frankie Avalon's "Venus" was played on Dexter, the Dum Dum Girls' "Coming Down"[30] and Kina Grannis’ "The One You Say Goodnight To"[31] were heard on season 5 of Gossip Girl and various artists from The Orchard's catalog were heard throughout Season 2 of Vice on HBO.[32] Songs distributed by The Orchard that have made it into film soundtracks include Faye Adams' "Hurts Me To My Heart"[33] and Mozart's "Rondo No. 2 in C Major for Violin and Orchestra, K.373: Allegretto Grazioso" in Lee Daniels' The Butler[34] The Red Army Choir of Alexandrov's "Soviet National Anthem" in X-Men: First Class,[35] Frankie Avalon's classic "Swingin' on a Rainbow" in The Help[36] and Macon Greyson’s "Black Light" in The Wrestler.[37]

The company has offices in New York,[38] London,[39] Barcelona,[40] Berlin,[41] Paris,[42] Sydney,[43] Singapore,[44] and other countries around the world, amounting to operations in more than 25 markets globally.

Merging with IODA and sale to Sony

Main article: IODA

On March 5, 2012, Billboard reported that IODA and The Orchard were merging, with Sony Music Entertainment serving as a strategic investor in the combined entity. The report suggested that Sony, which already owned 51% of IODA, would accelerate the acquisition of the remainder of the company to complete the deal with the Orchard. The following day, IODA and The Orchard announced an agreement to combine their global digital distribution businesses in a merged company called The Orchard. Sony, which owned 50% of the new venture, had the option to buy the remainder of the merged company at a later date.[45][46] In March 2015, Sony acquired the remaining 49% of the company it didn't own from Dimensional Associates, making The Orchard a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.[47]

YouTube programming

The Orchard's YouTube multi-channel network has more than 1,000 channels across the globe and uses technology, built in-house, called B.A.C.O.N. (Bulk Automated Claiming on The Orchard Network) to crawl, claim and track YouTube videos to monetize for their clients.[48] It was ranked 7th in the U.S. in July 2014.[49]

YouTube users have expressed concerns about The Orchard claiming copyright ownership of music used in user-generated content that may or may not belong to them. According to an article posted on The Daily Rind,[50] if audio is matched to a particular copyright owner via YouTube's content identification system, then one or more links will be placed under the video in order to help promote the copyright owner's music, with the video remaining available. If the claim has been made in error, The Orchard's UGC team will remove it after review. In this context, The Orchard has been criticised by YouTube users for accusing them without justification. In many cases, The Orchard did not own any copyrights at all. In some cases, The Orchard tried to claim copyrights on songs that appeared in no form in video.[51][52][53][54]

It also appears that The Orchard is claiming copyright ownership rights against videos of artists under one of the participatory label. A recent (August 2015) example is videos from the band Wintersun, which is under contract with Nuclear Blast. Many videos, including promo videos, on both the band's official YouTube channel and members channels, have been subject to copyright ownership claims.[55][56]

Distributed labels

Some of the better known record labels distributed by The Orchard are Cleopatra Records, Daptone, Eclipse Records, Versitile Entertainment, Frenchkiss Records, Pure Noise Records, Lamon Records, Mancini Entertainment Group, Nuclear Blast Records, Relapse Records, Sesame Street, Shrapnel Records, TVT Records, Kult Records, UGF Entertainment, and Shoot to Kill Music, Heaven Music, The Spicy Effect, FM Records, Deck of Cards Music, The Spicy Effect, MLK - Chromodiastasi, Sosa Music Group and Alpha Records in Greece.[57]


In 2014, The Orchard acquired online music channel BalconyTV.[58] BalconyTV features acoustic performances of musicians playing on balconies around the world. The sessions began in Dublin in June, 2006. Since then, BalconyTV has hosted over 12,000 shows on balconies in 50+ cities and 25+ countries worldwide. Shows include performances from acts such as The Script, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Mumford & Sons, Vance Joy and more.

Film distribution

In 2015 The Orchard began distributing films theatrically, with Digging for Fire as first release.[59][60] Prior to releasing films theatrically, the company originally released straight-to-video on demand titles.[61] In June 2015, the company set a seven film deal with the Duplass brothers, Mark Duplass, and Jay Duplass.[62]


  1. "Manager, Online Marketing & Publicity". March 15, 2013. [dead link]
  2. "Entrepreneurial Innovators Series: Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard". American Express OPEN. 
  3. Sisario, Ben (September 13, 2010). "Gone Digital: Music Man Stays in Game". New York Times. 
  4. "Businessweek Profile: Scott Cohen". Businessweek. 
  6. Sisario, Ben (6 March 2012). "Digital Notes: Indie Distributors Merge and Live Nation Buys". New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  7. Wollach, Diana. "Case Study: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings "Give The People What They Want"". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  8. Wollach, Diana. "Case Study: Charles Bradley "No Time For Dreaming"". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  9. "The Orchard Music Distribution". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  10. "Geoff Tate’s Queensryche To Release ‘Deluxe’ Version Of ‘Frequency Unknown’". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  11. Cleopatra, Records. "Sons of Hippies – Griffons at the Gates of Heaven – Album Review". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  12. Young, Alex. "Bloc Party signs with Frenchkiss Records". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  13. "Drowners signed to Frenchkiss". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  14. Big, Ben. "Syd Butler - Les Savy Fav - Frenchkiss Records - Interview". Pinpoint Music. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  15. Weiss, Jeff (4 December 2009). "Local Natives Sign to Frenchkiss, Go Global". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  16. Jackson, Dan. "Frenchkiss Partners With The Orchard For Label Group". CMJ. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  17. Brown, Harley. "Exclusive: The Orchard Acquires Frenchkiss Label Group and Frenchkiss Records". Billboard. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  18. Press Releases, The Orchard. "The Orchard Signs Legendary Dionne Warwick To Release "Now" on November 6th, 2012". The Orchard. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 Peters, Mitchell. "New Signings: The Orchard Signs CYHSY, Angaleena Presley Joins Slate Creek, Round Hill Music Nabs Tesla". Billboard. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  20. Lipshutz, Jason. "Boyz II Men Release New Album on 20th Anniversary". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  21. Rush, Susan. "The Orchard to Distribute Mastertones". Wireless Week. 
  22. Houghton, Bruce. "The Orchard Celebrates 15th Year With Expanded EU Staff & New Signings @ #MIDEM". Hypebot. 
  23. Sisario, Ben (September 13, 2010). "Gone Digital: Music Man Stays in Game". New York Times. 
  24. "Smithsonian Folkways Selects The Orchard As Exclusive Digital Distribution Partner". Goliath. 
  25. "Heineken "Deja Vu" Commercial". YouTube. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  26. Comfort, Southern. "Southern Comfort | Dance | Whatever's Comfortable". YouTube. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  27. "LU, C'est Vous: le piege". YouTube. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  28. "Cold Grey Light of Dawn". TuneFind. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  29. "And When I Die". TuneFind. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  30. "Gossip Girl Music: Season 5: 511: The End of the Affair?". The CW. 
  31. "Gossip Girl Music: Season 5: 515: Crazy, Cupid, Love". The CW. 
  32. Cosgrove, Bryan. "Seeing the World Differently with HBO and Vice". The Daily Rind. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  33. Rasool, Carlos. "Faye Adams - Hurts Me To My Heart (High Quality)". YouTube. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  34. Hutchings, Hope. "Setting the Tone on "The Butler"". The Daily Rind. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  35. "All 8 Songs from the X-Men First Class Soundtrack". Reel Soundtrack. 
  36. "August 29, 2011 - The Help on Top Musically and Critically, Screamin' Jay Does Double Duty on TV". Way Back Attack. 
  37. "Macon Greyson "Black Light" Video". NME. 
  38. "Offices". The Orchard. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  39. "Offices". The Orchard. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  40. "Offices". The Orchard. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  41. "Offices". The Orchard. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  42. "Offices". The Orchard. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  43. "Offices". The Orchard. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  44. "Offices". The Orchard. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  45. Christman, Ed (March 5, 2012). "Orchard, IODA Merging; Sony Music To Invest In New Company". 
  46. Morris, Christopher (March 7, 2012). "Aggregators the Orchard, IODA merge". Variety. 
  48. Alex Pham, "The Orchard Serves Up Multi-Channel Network with a Side of BACON",, 11 October 2013
  49. Lella, Adam. "comScore Releases July 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings". ComScore. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  50. Staff, The Orchard (6 December 2011). "YouTube Copyright Claims". 
  51. "Google Discussiegroepen". Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  52. YouTube Copyfraud & Abuse of the Content ID system
  53. "YouTube Copyrightpocalypse". TheChrisD. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  54. "The Orchard Music vs FFSTV". FFSTV. 
  55. "Wintersun 2015 Sabaton Open Air". WintersunJari. Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  56. "Jari Mäenpää Wintersun's Facebook page". Jari Mäenpää Wintersun. 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  57. "Music Distribution - The Orchard". Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  58. Staff, Billboard. "The Orchard Acquires BalconyTV (Exclusive)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  59. "Film / TV Distribution". Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  60. "Digging for Fire - Movie Trailers - iTunes". Retrieved 2015-08-23. 
  61. Setoodeh, Ramin (June 17, 2015). "How The Orchard Became the Hot Film Distributor of 2015". Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  62. Hipes, Patrick (June 22, 2015). "Duplass Brothers Ink Seven-Film Slate Deal With The Orchard". Retrieved January 2, 2016. 

External links