Sony Music Entertainment and indie digital distributor IODA have joined forces in a partnership that allows Sony and its independent distribution subsidiary RED to tap into IODA's digital distribution system worldwide. Sony has also made a strategic investment in the company as well.

According to Thomas Hesse, president of Sony's global digital business, U.S. sales and corporate strategy, the goal of the partnership is to offer potential distribution clients more options. While RED has digital distribution services, Hesse says IODA's digital services are far more expansive, with better inroads into international accounts.

"RED is traditionally very strong in the physical distribution side," he says. "They're very strong at providing marketing services to labels. IODA is very strong on the digital side. So when a label comes to us and wants physical distribution, worldwide digital distribution and marketing services, we now have a very broad portfolio to offer."
RED does and will continue to offer digital distribution services, but IODA will be an option for clients who desire more than RED can provide, specifically more indie-focused marketing and global distribution services.

Exactly how RED and IODA will work together is not clear at this time. Hesse says the two will be "joined at the hip," but declined to provide any details on whether they will share staff or services.

IODA, meanwhile, gains a strong marketing partner in Sony. The major will sell IODA services alongside its own, as well as offer new and existing IODA labels both physical and mobile distribution services through RED.

"It encompasses a lot of things and will allow us to provide our labels with a lot more benefits and connect them with a deal network that can provide mobile and video support and deal support," says IODA founder and CEO Kevin Arnold, stressing that IODA will remain an indie-focused outfit. "Despite Sony's strategic investment, IODA retains the same staff and will remain in the same offices. This tie-up will simply allow us to move up to the next level."