Digital distributor The Orchard has signalled its intentions in Japan by creating a new position of Director, Japan, and recruiting industry veteran Ken Seki to fill it.
Seki joins after 25 years working for companies including YUI Music Factory, For Life Music Entertainment, MTV, Sony, Marvel Entertainment, Omnifone and Line.
He’ll be tasked with managing relationships with local artists, labels and retailers for The Orchard in Japan, reporting in to the company’s VP of global business development Tom Wheeley.
“His diverse and dynamic experience in the Japanese market makes him an ideal candidate to promote The Orchard’s business locally,” said Wheeley in a statement.
There’s a wider trend here: in October 2016, indie licensing agency Merlin opened its first office in Tokyo headed by another veteran, former Avex Music Publishing president Haji Taniguchi.
With streaming services finally gaining traction in Japan, digital opportunities for labels and artists of all sizes are opening up – but local representation will be crucial in taking them.