German label SPV, which counts albums by Alice Cooper, Sepultura and Motörhead among its rock-heavy roster, has signed a global deal with The Orchard for digital distribution.
Founded in the German city of Hannover in 1984, SPV is one of the world’s largest independent metal and rock labels, releasing around 130 albums a year with an extensive catalog that includes records by Whitesnake, Saxon, Kaiser Chiefs, Type O Negative, Everlast, Monster Magnet, UFO, and Scorpions.
SPV also operates a number of in-house labels, including Steamhammer, Oblivion, Long Branch Records, SPV Recordings and Laute Helden, all of which are included in The Orchard deal. Last year, Steamhammer celebrated their most successful year, scoring more than 60 international chart entries and Top 10 records in Germany from home-grown metal acts Sodom and Running Wild.
“We are excited about the new digital opportunities this cooperation offers us and our labels,” SPV CEO Frank Uhle said in a statement announcing the partnership. He said that The Orchard’s centralized platform and “passionate global team” would ensure the company’s catalog was “best positioned for a healthy and prosperous digital future.”
“The Orchard could not be more excited to drive SPV’s major upcoming releases and renowned catalog with the digital support they deserve,” added Orchard CEO Brad Navin. “As metal continues to become a major player in the digital landscape, we look forward to working closely with the SPV team to help their artists thrive.”
The Orchard’s partnership with SPV comes just a few months after the Sony-owned company signed a physical and digital distribution deal with indie rock label Triple Crown Records, whose catalog includes works by Brand New, Caspian, The Dear Hunter and Kevin Devine.
2017 has also seen The Orchard embark on a significant restructure and expansion program as it celebrated its 20th anniversary. In June, it was announced that Sony Music Entertainment was to combine its regional independent distribution groups around the world into The Orchard.
The same month saw Sony Music’s U.S. independent services company RED merge with the New York-based company, as well as the integration of Sony Music’s Essential business in the U.K. into The Orchard — moves that helped make it the largest indie distributor in the world, operating across 30 global markets and with revenues estimated at over $500 million in June.
Other acquisitions completed in the past year include deals for leading European distributors Finetunes and Phonofile – acquisitions Merlin CEO Charles Caldas criticized at the time for being a worrying example of “the majors, via their faux-indie imprints, land-grabbing independents rights in order to bolster their market shares” and “extract disproportionate value” when negotiating with digital services.