Tuesday, April 15, 2008


VP Records Signs Distribution deal with KOCH Entertainment Canada

April 14, 2008 - Toronto, ON-- VP Records, the pioneering and dominant force in reggae music, today announced the signing of an exclusive distribution agreement with KOCH Entertainment, the largest independent distributor in Canada. Koch Entertainment Canada is a wholly owned division of publicly traded global independent entertainment content ownership and distribution company Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO)

The deal covers VP Records repertoire, including new releases and catalogue albums from artists such as Mavado, Wayne Wonder, Beenie Man, Morgan Heritage, Richie Spice and developing artists Tarrus Riley, Jamelody and Etana. It will also include the branded compilations Reggae Gold, Strictly the Best, Dancehall 101 and the critically-acclaimed Reggae Anthology. The newly launched 17 North Parade imprint will be a driver for catalogue development and repackaging.

"Signing a deal with VP Records marks a major moment in KOCH Entertainment's history," said Dominique Zgarka, President of KOCH Entertainment Canada. "We have grown into one of the strongest audio and video distributors in the industry, and now with the addition of VP Records, we are reaching the most enthusiastic customers for independent music. The label has become a crucial link between reggae music and culture and an ever-growing market of reggae enthusiasts around the world."

"KOCH Entertainment caters to a wide distribution network, while keeping a strong sense of community from the street level," said Randy Chin, President of VP Records.. "We’re looking forward to working with them to increase sales across our entire catalogue. With KOCH, we think we’ve Found the best partner to maximize distribution in Canada. We are confident about KOCH's ability to get the music to our consumers."

Darren Throop, CEO of the Company, said: "This deal represents another significant step in our strategy, further enhancing our position as a leading international film and music content owner and distributor. VP Records is the largest Reggae focused music label in the world. We are proud to have them join our Canadian family of exclusively distributed music labels. Our commitment to the music sector in North America remains strong."

Releasing an average of 60 Reggae and Soca albums per year, VP is known for the hottest Caribbean artists and compilations. VP's Reggae Gold series is consistently the best-selling compilation in Reggae. Presenting major hits like Sean Paul's "Gimme the Light", "Give It To Her" by Tanto Metro & Devonte (which spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart), Wayne Wonder's massive "No Letting Go" and Busta Rhymes' "Make It Clap" remix featuring Sean Paul is a Reggae Gold tradition.

Other VP compilations Strictly the Best, Dancehall 101 and the Reggae Anthology series have also proven to be popular brands selling consistently year after year. While Strictly the Best focuses on the latest singles from singers and deejays on the hardcore dancehall circuit, Dancehall 101 provides a crash-course for those who are just discovering the dancehall genre, delivering "must haves" from every era of the dancehall explosion. The Reggae Anthology series explores major artists and producers in depth, with expert insightful notes and hard-to-find tunes that tell the full story of legendary figures in reggae and dancehall.

The initial album releases from VP Records will include Reggae Gold 2008 and Soca Gold 2008 compilations, Richie Spice "Gideon Boot" and the new Morgan Heritage studio album "Mission In Progress".

About VP Records VP Records, based in Jamaica, Queens NY, is a pioneering force in the reggae music industry. From roots & culture to Soca and dancehall, VP Records is the only record label that represents the full spectrum of Caribbean music. For the past 25 years, VP has stayed true to the grassroots from whence it came, always serving its core audience first, moving swiftly to keep up with the sounds of the street. At the same time, with the international success of artists like Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder, Elephant Man, and Tanto Metro & Devonte, amongst others, VP has expanded its leadership in the effort to present Caribbean culture to a mainstream audience as worldwide demand for reggae rises to new heights. VP have been awarded Billboard's "Best Independent Record Label" several times and "Best Reggae Imprint Label." The reggae indie also nominated numerous times for Best Independent Record Label at the Billboard Hip-Hop & R&B Awards. The label's accomplishments have been highlighted in VIBE magazine as well as the NY Times, LA Times, Billboard, Time magazine and many other publications.
Website: http://www.vprecords.com

About KOCH Entertainment The Canadian operation of KOCH Entertainment has become the dominant force in independent music and video distribution. "Toronto-based KOCH Entertainment has been the independent market leader in Canadian distribution since opening in 1995" (Billboard Magazine). Its music label roster includes: KOCH Records, Death Row, Hopeless Records, Shanachie, Putumayo World Music, Relapse Records, Metal Blade Records, Bloodshot Records, BBE Music, Stones Throw, OM Records, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Savoy Jazz, Detroit Public Television, Foreign Media Group, Musicrama and many more.
About Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO)

Admitted to trading on AIM on 29 March 2007, Entertainment One Ltd's strategy is to build a leading global independent entertainment content ownership and distribution business which acquires films, television programs and music content and exploits these rights in all media throughout the world. Entertainment One is the largest distributor of home entertainment products in the Canadian market. Following the acquisition of Seville Entertainment in Canada on 20 August 2007, it also has a significant presence in the theatrical and international sales markets. Outside Canada Entertainment One owns Koch Entertainment, the largest independent record label in North America and a leading independent distributor of music and video in North America and Contender, one of the leading independent UK distributors of filmed entertainment. On January 9th, 2008 Entertainment One purchased RCV Entertainment. RCV is the leading independent film distributor in the Dutch and Belgium market.
http://www.entertainmentone.ca and http://www.entertainmentonegroup.com

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