SOURCE: The Orchard

September 21, 2006 04:28 ET

The Orchard Licenses Catalogue to top100.cn, China's Top Legal Digital Music Service

Ground-Breaking Deal Brings World's Largest Library of Western Independent Music to China

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 21, 2006 -- The Orchard, the world's leading digital distributor and marketer of independent music, today announced a ground-breaking licensing deal with top100.cn, one of China's first legal online music services and the country's largest in terms of content. Under the agreement, The Orchard's catalogue becomes one of the first Western independent music libraries available for legal download in China.

"China accounts for half of the home broadband connections in all of Asia. This makes it a market that's long overdue for an explosion in digital music commerce," said Greg Scholl, chief executive of The Orchard. "This expectation is borne out in research by leading firms like InStat, which forecasts that the Chinese digital music market will grow at a compound annual rate of 317% between 2005 and 2008. Against this backdrop, we are very pleased to support the rise of legal online music in China -- as we have in other highly pirated markets with great promise, such as Russia -- through our partnership with top100.cn."

"As we continue to grow top100.cn's position as China's leading digital music source, The Orchard's catalogue goes a long way toward expanding the selection of international music available to our customers," said Gary Chen, co-chairman & CEO of top100.cn. "We are looking forward to working with The Orchard to grow the audience for Western independent music in China as the country takes its place as one of the top digital music markets in the world."

"Music has been an integral part of the Chinese civilization for the last 4,000 years and The Orchard's licensing arrangement with top100.cn marks an important milestone of music and cultural exchanges between China and the West. I am honored and privileged to be part of it, and personally, am excited that great, cutting-edge Western music can now be enjoyed by my countrymen and women," said Yao Ming.

Top100.cn was launched in Beijing early 2006 by Orca Digital, a digital media company founded by Houston Rockets NBA star Yao Ming, industry pioneer Gary G. Chen (Chen Ge), and Ming's agent, Erik Zhang. The licensing agreement between The Orchard and top100.cn was spearheaded by Daniel Cheung, managing director of The Orchard's Asia office and a digital media executive with more than 25 years experience in telecom and global information technology, including a tenure with Cable & Wireless.

About top100.cn

Top100.cn is a pioneering legitimate digital music store and mobile service with the largest content offerings in China. Since its official launch on March 15, 2006, top100.cn has accumulated more than one million registered members, built the largest legitimate music database in China, programmed more than 500 playlists for Chinese fans to discover music, signed more than 30 strategic partners, established a national sales channel with four Chinese telecom operators, and applied a systematic marketing approach to the sale of digital music. Top100.cn's goal is to build a bridge between worldwide music and Chinese music fans, and to benefit all parties in the digital music value chain.

About The Orchard

The Orchard is the world's leading digital distributor and marketer of independent music, with a catalogue of more than one million tracks representing 73 countries, thousands of labels, and every music genre. This catalogue includes titles from multi-platinum acts such as Green Day, Coldplay, Ray Charles, and Barenaked Ladies, as well as from breaking bands like The Hold Steady, Bedouin Soundclash, and Immortal Technique. The Orchard supplies all the leading legal digital music stores and mobile operators throughout the world and markets its labels' catalogues for sync song placements in films, commercials, and television shows. The company is owned by Dimensional Associates, the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, Inc. whose portfolio companies also include eMusic and Dimensional Music Publishing. The Orchard is headquartered in New York and London, with offices in 23 countries and six continents. For more information, please visit: www.theorchard.com.

Contact Information

  • MEDIA CONTACTS

    For The Orchard

    Paul Verna
    Director of Corporate Communications
    The Orchard
    212-300-2824
    Email Contact

    Jonathan Morrish
    The Outside Organisation
    011-44-20-7436-3633
    Email Contact

    For top100.cn

    Veronica Li
    Assistant to CEO
    Orca Digital Inc.
    +86 10 85653248(o)
    +86 13910820677
    Email Contact