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Indie music distributor IODA sees layoffs

Company that aggregates music from independent labels to iTunes and other Web stores reduces staffing but won't say by how much.

IODA, the indie-music distributor, has gone through a round of layoffs, the company confirmed Wednesday.

The "reduction in workforce" took place a couple of weeks ago and affected mostly the technology and administrative units, according to Heather Staples, a spokeswoman for the company. A source affiliated with San Francisco-based IODA, which stands for Independent Online Distribution Alliance, said the company trimmed staffing by 15 percent. Staples declined to disclose how many employees were let go, but she said it was less than 15. She did say the company now has 75 employees.

"There was some belt tightening while the company concentrates on reaching profitability next year," Staples said.

IODA, which was founded in 2003, distributes music from independent labels to retailers, such as iTunes, Amazon, and RealNetworks' Rhapsody. It's also one of the companies that hasn't been invited to MySpace Music.

The Internet is supposed to be fueling one of the best periods for independent artists. They no longer have to rely on big recording labels' and their huge promotion, marketing, and distribution machines to be discovered. Fans can discover bands on MySpace and other Web sites.

Still, file sharing affects independent artists just like it does marquee label acts.