New York-based Koch Entertainment has signed exclusive North American distribution deals with new hip-hop label I.M. Records and Christian/gospel label Alliant Music Group.

New York-based Koch Entertainment has signed exclusive North American distribution deals with new hip-hop label I.M. Records and Christian/gospel label Alliant Music Group.

Through its deal with Nashville-based Alliant, Koch will distribute the company's recently formed Vertical Records label. In 2005, Vertical will issue albums from Gospel Gangstaz, Claudius Craig & Loose the Familiar, Bishop William Toney, Leesa Jordan and Kloud 9.

Alliant was previously handled by Nashville-based Compendia Music Group. The company's catalog will be slowly integrated into Koch by the third quarter, says an Alliant spokesperson.

Atlanta-based I.M. Records is the label arm of I.M. Productions, which was launched five years ago to represent hip-hop act EDUBB. A first release from the hip-hop trio is due in May. Other releases planned from the label include R&B singer Kindrea and rapper Malikah Jones.

A Koch spokesperson says the company hopes to have at least two more video distribution deals finalized in the next week.