Earlier today, The Orchard, the Sony Music Entertainment-owned music distribution company that also provides artist and label services, announced that it was opening a fully-staffed fice in Tokyo.
Japan is currently the world’s second-largest music market, with the US remaining the top show. Among the other top-ranked markets, the UK industry’s forecast is now extremely unpredictable, which could be making putting greater focus on countries like Japan and Germany.
According to the announcement, Yuuki Kaneko, whose title is Vice President, Japan, will head the fice and report directly to The Orchard’s New York headquarters. Previously, Kaneko worked for Amazon Japan for 11 years in its music department, and before that he worked for Tower Records Japan.
The Orchard Japan will fer similar services to the company’s US-based fice, including music distribution and services for music artists, labels and management companies. This will give Japanese artists and companies access to opportunities both in Japan and around the world.
Japanese artists and companies will further have access to The Orchard’s technology platform. The platform is available in Japanese and 11 other languages and provides a host data, reporting and marketing tools for managing musical assets, both physical and digital.
Of course, Sony itself is a Japanese mega-conglomerate, which makes the move into Tokyo unsurprising.
But The Orchard is also spreading its footprint. In the last year, The Orchard has opened numerous new fices around the world, bringing its total to 40. In addition to Tokyo, new fices include Taipei, Seoul, Warsaw, and Madrid.
The company has also been expanding its current fices in Nashville, Sydney, Moscow, Copenhagen, Milan, and Barcelona, all which indicates that the indie industry — and the services it demands — continue to increase.
Interestingly, Japan remains a major stronghold for both downloading and physical formats, though that iceblock appears to be thawing. Brad Navin, who is the CEO The Orchard, said that the company is excited to enter the Japanese market and work with local artists and labels to help them continue to transition toward streaming as the dominant method music distribution.