RioPort and The Orchard.com Announce Deal to Expand Online Distribution Outlets for Independent Musicians

RioPort and The Orchard.com Announce Deal to Expand Online Distribution Outlets for Independent Musicians

Business Editors & High-Tech/Entertainment Writers

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 10, 2000

RioPort Inc., a pioneer in the digital audio download market, and The Orchard, the largest supplier of independent music to the Internet stores, announced today plans to offer for-purchase digital downloads and albums via RioPort Inc.’s growing network of online distribution partners.

RioPort will handle all security packaging for the safe transfer and sale of artists’ music via digital download.

Under the agreement, The Orchard will make available to RioPort its entire music catalogue ranging from new musical talent to former major label artists who have either been shut out of the system or have simply chosen to press and distribute their own CDs.

“Partnering with The Orchard underscores our commitment to supporting a broad range of developing and established artists in the digital audio revolution,” said J.D. Heilprin, executive vice president and general manager at RioPort. “The Orchard has done a great job of offering artists a solid form of alternative distribution and we’re excited to add their extensive catalogue of music to our expanding library of content. In doing so, we’re providing solutions that not only protect artists’ rights, but also introduce The Orchard’s artists to our ever-growing distribution network.”

The Orchard offers every artist and record company worldwide, non-exclusive distribution, and guarantees that its product will be sold at the major Internet record stores including Amazon.com, CDNow, Barnes and Noble and CD Universe. The company offers a unique distribution method for all artists who are looking to get the most media output for their music.

“Our goal is to reach as many people all over the world as we can,” said Scott Cohen, president of The Orchard. “We want to continue to expand the vast array of artists and labels that we offer, and having RioPort as our download partner is definitely a huge asset to us. Our relationship will bring much success and another venue for independent artists to sell their music,” said Scott Cohen, president of The Orchard.

About RioPort, Inc.

RioPort, Inc. is redefining digital audio by delivering an integrated, secure platform for acquiring, managing and experiencing music and spoken audio programming from the Internet. A pioneer in the digital audio market, RioPort partners with companies to provide them with an easy-to-use platform that includes access to a wide range of digital audio content, customizable software solutions, technology services, and device design services. For consumers, RioPort provides easy access to a variety of popular and innovative music and word programming through its network of distribution partners and through its RioPort.com digital audio site. In addition, RioPort markets the RioPort Audio Manager, an easy-to-use jukebox application for the acquisition, management and playback of digital audio content from the desktop or RioPort compatible portable appliances. RioPort also provides content companies with production services, including encoding and secure packaging, allowing them to easily get their content into the hands of digital audio enthusiasts. RioPort’s investment partners include Vulcan Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, MTVi Group and S3, Inc. RioPort web site is www.rioport.com.

About The Orchard

Currently, the largest supplier of music to the Internet stores, The Orchard distributes over 2,000 labels from around the world ensuring that these labels’ releases will be available at all major Internet stores, in both physical and secure digital form. The company is steeped in music history with a team led by famed producer and co-founder of Sire Records, Richard Gottehrer.

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