China Telecom’s Apple defence Orchard deal

Perhaps in preparation for the Apple invasion of China, leading aggregator The Orchard has inked a deal with China Telecom, releasing its catalogue through the carrier’s music service, to be dubbed, iMusic.

We know that China Unicom is the likely carrier to end up seizing Apple’s iPhone, which strongly suggests launch of an iTunes Store in China….now it looks like competing carriers are putting their own infrastructure together.

The Orchard today announced that it has entered into an exclusive, multi-tiered marketing and licensing partnership with China Telecom. Utilizing The Orchard’s top one hundred thousand songs, the partners will power and program the English language genre sections of China Telecom’s new version of the service, iMusic.

With this deal, The Orchard becomes the first international digital music distributor to introduce such a large selection of western music to China’s massive 388 million internet and mobile internet users.

The new iMusic service launches in September, with the partners agreeing to program the English language section of the iMusic storefront with a strong focus on independent music discovery via digital compilations, editorial content, playlists, etc.

The Orchard will also provide marketing and creative services to China Telecom’s national campus campaign, targeting the iMusic service to millions of college students at campuses throughout China.

“Bringing The Orchard’s most popular western music and equally importantly, their world class retail programming expertise to China Telecom through our multi-faceted relationship with ZTEMT will ensure that all Chinese music fans with Wi-Fi enabled devices will have access to sounds from western superstars to cutting edge, emerging independent music,” commented Dr. Yingbo Zhu, Deputy General Manager of China Telecom’s iMusic.

“We are proud to have been selected to program the western music section for one of China’s leading mobile operators,” commented Greg Scholl, President and Chief Executive for The Orchard.   “Again, The Orchard shatters barriers that prevent great independent music from being heard wherever globally there are music fans, and in a way that fairly compensates artists and label. In China, hundreds of millions of music fans don’t discriminate between ‘independent’ and ‘major label’ music.”

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