The Orchard acquires dance distributor Above Board: ‘We’re supercharging our standing within the style’ | Labels

The Orchard acquires dance distributor Above Board: ‘We’re supercharging our standing within the style’ | Labels

The Orchard has acquired UK dance music distributor Above Board, Music Week can reveal.

As a part of the strategic deal, Above Board’s roster can have entry to The Orchard’s full suite of world distribution and artist & label providers. The Above Board model will proceed as a part of the deal. Phrases weren’t disclosed.

Above Board founder and managing director Dan Hill will stay on the firm, reporting to The Orchard’s UK MD Ian Dutt. Above Board’s places of work have been merged into The Orchard’s UK headquarters. 

“The brand new relationship provides Above Board the worldwide infrastructure and assets to match our artists’ and labels’ ambition, plus provides them the platform to make sure they maintain the rights to their music,” stated Hill.

The deal follows The Orchard’s first ever UK No.1 single with Raye’s Escapism (feat. 070 Shake), which reached the summit in January.

The settlement with Above Board comes amid a growth in dance music consumption on streaming platforms.

Following 15 years of progress since Above Board was launched in 2007, Hill determined that the time was proper to just accept a suggestion from The Orchard. Main labels have more and more been spending huge cash on licensing offers within the dance sector as a supply for hits.

“It received to the purpose in the previous few years, with digital music persevering with to explode, the place we have been preventing off licensing or upscale offers from the  competitors,” Dan Hill advised Music Week. “We perceive that The Orchard is owned by Sony. Nevertheless it’s a case of arming our artists to be sure that they’ll proceed to retain their rights and don’t should license their music on, as a result of we received to the purpose the place our hits have been getting licensed away.”

“To have the ability to proceed to compete, we have to have [a big company] behind us,” he added. “We have at all times been solely impartial. I nonetheless really feel like I’m in an impartial workplace although we’re primarily based in Sony, as a result of it is all impartial [music] coming by way of this ground.”

The Orchard acquires dance distributor Above Board: ‘We’re supercharging our standing within the style’ | LabelsDan Hill, Above Board founder & MD

“Everyone inside the business has been conscious about the power of home music over the previous few years,” stated Ian Dutt. “It is without doubt one of the genres that undoubtedly flourished by way of lockdown, and among the figures which have come out of the IMS over the previous few years are fairly excellent with regards to home music consumption.

“It is an space I needed to strengthen The Orchard’s standing in. However the necessary factor for me was to do it in a culturally appropriate manner. We needed to verify now we have folks inside our organisation that lived and breathed digital music, that would speak to DJs and artists and label house owners in a fashion through which they felt very snug. We needed to be sure that the best way that music is offered to DSPs was finished in a really culturally appropriate manner. So from our perspective, we needed to accomplice with an organization who was completely invested in digital music and Above Board was the apparent selection.”

We needed to accomplice with an organization who was completely invested in digital music and Above Board was the apparent selection

Ian Dutt

The partnership marks a brand new chapter for Above Board, which is a distribution and artist/label providers firm devoted to the digital and dance music area. Since its inception in 2007, Above Board has performed an integral position in creating the discharge technique and roll-out for digital music acts operating their very own labels or signed to independents within the sector, together with Peggy Gou, Charlotte de Witte, Patrick Topping, Jamie Jones and Maceo Plex. 

Above Board has new releases in March from Charlotte De Witte, Enrico Sanguiliano, Robert Del Naja, Leon Vynehall, Mella Dee feat. Bernard Sumner, Radio Slave, Joshwa, Pale Blue, Partiboi69 and extra.

Based on Official Charts Firm knowledge, Patrick Topping’s Be Sharp Say Nowt is the largest monitor within the UK for Above Board as a distributor over the past 5 years. It has chart gross sales thus far of 278,817 (primarily based on 27.4 million streams and seven,796 downloads). Peggy Gou’s Starry Evening is the second greatest with 176,696 (primarily based on 17.7m streams and 5,893 downloads).

The brand new partnership will improve Above Board’s service choices to incorporate The Orchard’s know-how, digital and bodily distribution, analytics and enterprise improvement alternatives, promoting, publishing administration, neighbouring rights, and the worldwide attain of groups working in 45 territories worldwide. Hill has been tapped to assist signal and develop international dance/digital expertise to The Orchard’s roster. 

“There are many pluses being on this infrastructure, whether or not it is neighbouring rights or simply methods within the digital sphere that may be shared across the completely different campaigns,” stated Hill. “It provides us that further oomph for brand new offers, and in addition retaining the offers now we have and persevering with to develop the artists that we work with.”

The Orchard’s roster of dance labels consists of Liquid State/Dimitri Vegas, Amtrak, TMRW Music Group, Rose Avenue, and extra. Current label signings embrace Excellent Havoc (UK) and Solomun’s DIYnamic (Germany). 

“Dance music is on a roll now,” stated Dutt. “I believe it is a a lot neglected side of the impartial sector – impartial, DJ-owned labels. We frequently speak concerning the impartial sector by way of rose-tinted glasses of the impartial labels of previous, from the final 20 or 30 years, however in all probability probably the most flourishing impartial space is DJ-owned labels who’ve been extremely profitable in their very own proper over the past 4 to 5 years.”

Ian Dutt, MD, The Orchard UK

Based mostly on US knowledge, The Orchard is the main distributor of EDM within the territory. The addition of Above Board to The Orchard, together with key hires within the US and Europe, underlines the corporate’s growth into the dance/digital music style. 

Dutt stated the corporate’s market share for dance is rising.

“One of many greatest advantages of investing in home and digital music is that there aren’t any language obstacles to accommodate music – a file could be as common in Poland as it’s in Canada,” he advised Music Week. “The language of home music may be very common. So we have at all times been very lucky – as a result of The Orchard has at all times had a really international leaning to [the operation], now we have a superb standing inside the style. What we’re doing is supercharging it by bringing in Above Board.”

“It’s completely different to the ’90s when it blew up massively,” stated Hill of the style’s progress. “Now it’s a way more international phenomenon, there’s way more infrastructure in South America with excursions and festivals, there’s an enormous digital competition in India. 

“We’re primarily based out of London, however now we are able to faucet into each market. [The Orchard] has received unbelievable folks throughout their German, Australian, American and South American places of work that we are able to speak to right away about what’s poppin’ off and what’s coming down the pipeline.”

Above Board and The Orchard will mark their new partnership with a particular occasion throughout Miami Music Week.