Gives global access to state-owned repertoire.

San Francisco-based Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) has signed a deal giving the exclusive right to digitally distribute worldwide the repertoire of state-owned music company China Record Corp. (CRC).

Announced Sept. 27, the two-year deal is between IODA and Beijing-based CRC Jianian Cultural Development Co. Ltd., which is responsible for distributing CRC's huge back catalog. The deal went into effect Sept. 1. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"The music is of interest to the very large Chinese-speaking population around the world as well as non-Chinese audiences," says IODA CEO Kevin Arnold. "We'll aim to focus specific attention on reaching the large Chinese populations in cities on the west coast of the U.S. and in Canada, as well as metropolitan areas around the globe."

IODA plans to market the CRC catalog to all the major music-download services.

"As the CRC catalog is so vast and has virtually never been shared with the world outside of mainland China, we will concentrate on the older portion for the initial releases, giving us the opportunity to introduce this rich and ancient culture to the globe," says CRC vice president, music Jackie Subeck.

Subeck adds that the deal is well-timed, given the increasing worldwide interest in China in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Founded in 1949, CRC is China's oldest record company, whose catalog comprises both traditional Chinese music and contemporary releases.