There are big moves afoot in the digital distribution market this month, with INgrooves already having acquired Fontana Distribution from Universal Music Group. Now Billboard is reporting that digital distributors The Orchard and IODA are to merge, with Sony Music Entertainment a strategic investor in the new company. The latter element should come as no surprise, since Sony already owns a significant stake in IODA. The report suggests that Sony will have to acquire the whole company in order to push through the merger with The Orchard. The combined company is expected to have annual revenues of around $130m. The net effect of all this: UMG will have a minority stake in INgrooves Fontana, while Sony may own at least 50% of IODA/The Orchard.

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