Further focuses on Latin marketplace.

Indie digital distributor the Orchard has inked deals with several
independent labels in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Catalog belonging to MCD Records, Music Brokers, Discos CNR, Circo Beat and La Oreja -- including tracks by Argentina’s Fito Paez and Chile’s Lucho Barrios and José Luis Arce -- is now for sale through the online music retailers served by the Orchard. This includes most online retailers worldwide, including Beon, the digital music service of giant Mexican giant retailer Sanborns, which was launched in April.

The Orchard’s expansion of its Latin catalog, compounded by its affiliation with Beon and with Brazilian online retailer iMusica, underscores the distributor’s growing interest in Latin product as well as in the Latin marketplace. Although most online music sales currently take place in the United States and Europe, sales in Latin America are projected to grow exponentially in the coming months and years.

“A big percentage of digital business in Latin America is mobile,” says Greg Scholl, chief executive of The Orchard, which also distributes to nearly 200 mobile operators, including dozens in Latin America.

“The download digital business will be [developed] in the next two years,” adds Scholl. “And the content of the region will have global market potential. The immediate opportunity for content holders in Latin America is that there is a global costumer base for their music.”

In addition to distributing digital content, The Orchard also markets it in the various sites it services. Online music sales are still nascent in Latin America, where high speed Internet access isn’t widely available. But the explosion of mobile services has raised labels’ awareness to the potential of the marketplace. The Orchard first forayed into Latin America last year via a partnership with Argentine manufacturer, distributor and indie label Epsa. Epsa, which is headquartered in Argentina, is The Orchard’s aggregation and licensing partner for the region.

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