Lionsgate music goes digital via Orchard


Lionsgate has signed a deal with New York-based digital distributor the Orchard under which the Orchard will digitally market and distribute soundtracks and scores for the studio's film and TV projects.

The agreement covers such current Lionsgate releases as the theatrical comedy "Employee of the Month" and the Showtime series "Weeds" as well as music in the company's library, including that from "Monster's Ball," "Akeelah and the Bee" and "Secretary."

The Dane Cook-Jessica Simpson vehicle "Employee" includes a cover of Cheap Trick's "Surrender" by Camp Freddy, a new supergroup featuring Scott Weiland of Velvet Revolver, Dave Navarro of the Panic Channel, ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, Cult member Billy Morrison and Donovan Leitch, son of folk-rocker Donovan. The film also features music by Teddybears, Sugarcult and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

The "Weeds" soundtrack carries tracks by Elvis Costello, Sufjan Stevens and Regina Spektor, among others.

The agreement will cover such upcoming Lionsgate productions as Kevin Williamson's series "Hidden Palms," bowing on the CW in January, and the features "Pride," starring Terrence Howard and directed by Sunu Gonera, and "Bug," directed by William Friedkin and starring Ashley Judd.

The Orchard also will act as a music publishing source for Lionsgate and will supply tracks for use in the studio's film and TV productions.

Said Lionsgate president of music and publishing Jay Faires: "The Orchard feels like a great old independent distributor, and there's a real passion for the music there. And, looking at where the business is going, I want to have the right partner as the digital side grows to 25%-33% of the business."

Faires said the arrangement also is "about trying to find songs and hooks that are going to help open our films and build awareness on the TV side."

Added Orchard chief executive Greg Scholl, "We share Jay's passion for great music, his independent and entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to seeking creative marketing approaches in the digital sphere."