Domino, the British independent label to the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand, is gaining a presence in the Asia-Pacific markets with SWAT Enterprises acting as its consultant for the region.

SWAT brokered distribution and licensing deals for Domino throughout Asia (excluding Japan). It also set up the Singapore-based Domino Marketing Services, which is headed by marketing manager Nikki Mahmood Chee and is designed to coordinate promotions, publicity and marketing campaigns in the region.

Additionally, the Singapore office acts as a liaison between the Asia-Pacific territories and Domino's London headquarters.

To date, Domino has struck licensing deals with Platinum in Thailand, Love Da in Hong Kong, and EQ Music in Singapore, with EMI handling distribution in India, the Philippines, Korea, and Taiwan. Domino plans to supply finished product for distribution in Malaysia and Singapore.

SWAT's CEO Stuart Watson says Domino is the first U.K. indie label to have structured such a deal in Asia Pacific.

"We believe in our artists and prefer investing in them independently," says London-based Dominos Records director John Dyer. "There's more short-term risk, but it also helps us understand the issues better while empowering our distributors."

Domino uses the same licensing and distribution model in Europe.

Following these licensing and distribution deals, the indie label plans to kick-start its Asian presence with the release of the Arctic Monkeys' sophomore album "Favourite Worst Nightmare" on April 23.

The 2006 Mercury Prize-winning band's critically acclaimed debut album, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not," was handled by EMI in Asia as a one-off album license deal.

"Our approach to marketing the new Arctic Monkeys album is customization for each territory," Chee declares. "We're hoping for a broad success across all platforms, including digital sales, and the kind of breakout success the band deserves."

SWAT's Watson feels that radio airplay coupled with an aggressive sales push is critical in breaking indie label artists.

"The hype for digital downloads is somewhat exaggerated," he suggests. "From a commercial standpoint, digital downloads is a profitable proposition. But it works only if there's a strong buzz - and nothing beats solid media support in terms of publicity, airplay, and heavy music video rotations."

SWAT has also brokered agreements for other indie labels, including Beggars Banquet, V2, and Rough Trade, and is currently setting up licensing deals with labels in the region.

Domino's expansion plan in Asia is generally perceived as bucking the current trend in doing output deals with the majors.

"Working deals on a per territory basis gives us control and a commitment to improving relationships over the long term," Dyer believes. "If we get the model right, we'll become better at supplying the needs of all our offices and partnerships worldwide."

Among Domino's priority acts in the second quarter include albums by Brazil's Bonde Do Role, the U.K.'s The Kills, and the U.S.'s Animal Collective.