The Independent Distribution Cooperative (IDC), a consortium of five indie labels, has re-signed with the Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), but mainly for physical distribution.
The five labels -- Beggars Group, Domino Records, Merge Records, Saddle Creek, and the Secretly Canadian's Secretly Label Group -- formed a consortium to seek out a distribution deal that would allow them to control their digital destiny around this time last year.
As part of the deal, ADA will continue to provide physical distribution services to major brick-and-mortar chain accounts for the consortium of labels and their distributed labels too. ADA will also sell select indie accounts on a non-exclusive basis, meaning that the labels can also sell directly to indie accounts too.
But the big gain for IDC is digital distribution, although it also has the option of using third parties, including ADA, if it so chooses.
"All the members of IDC have had the good fortune over the years of growing with ADA… we are choosing to continue that relationship with the one major label distribution partner who has consistently demonstrated a willingness to allow independent labels to maintain control over the distribution of their independent content," Secretly Label Group managing partner Darius Van Arman said in a statement. "It is truly remarkable that ADA sees the strengthening of the independent music label community as an opportunity for all concerned."
Until last year, all the major label owned and affiliated indie distributors wanted both physical and distribution to sign a label. But the formation of IDC puts pressure on that distribution business model, which is why companies like ADA also offer a complete array of fee-based label services. For example, Domino Records used ADA's radio promotion team for the Arctic Monkey single, "Do I Wanna Know."
"ADA has a long and fruitful history with each IDC member," ADA worldwide president Mike Jbara said in a statement. "In addition to being such influential independent labels, they are business innovators. As music channels and consumer behavior evolve, we look forward to many more years of success together."
Last year, when news of the gambit first broke, Billboard estimated that the five labels have about $50 million in U.S. volume, of which about $20 million to $24 million is physical billing. Their artists and catalog include Vampire Weekend, Bright Eyes, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, the Buzzcocks, the Cult, Arctic Monkeys, Magnetic Fields, Gary Numan, Bauhaus, Franz Ferdinand, and Antony and the Johnsons.