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Influence Music Signs Landmark Partnership with Provident Distribution

Influence Music's new partnership with Provident Distribution will enable new releases from Influence Music to be distributed in major retail outlets.

Influence Music, a label owned by My Healthy Church, has announced a partnership with Provident Distribution, a division of Sony Music, that will place upcoming Influence Music releases in retail stores nationwide.

Provident is the Christian music arm of Sony, the world's second largest music distributor. It currently has distribution agreements with multiple labels representing such artists as MercyMe, Kirk Franklin, Jamie Grace, Reliant K, Phillips Craig & Dean, and many more.

Sol Arledge, the Assemblies of God COO, says that Influence Music was launched by My Healthy Church in 2013 as a conduit for bringing local worship leaders' songs to churches around the world. "We have so many wonderfully gifted worship leaders and songwriters whose music would otherwise only stay in their church," Arledge explains. "The purpose of Influence Music is to share their music with the world."

Through the partnership with Provident, Influence Music releases will now be available in "brick-and-mortar" stores as well as digital retailers already carrying Influence albums. Some of the stores Provident distributes to include: Mardel, Lifeway, and Family Christian stores as well as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and other national and regional chains and independent stores.

"This relationship with Provident is huge," Arledge says. "Individual churches can now have access to a national distributor as prestigious as Provident with representation through Influence Music."

Chris Estes, Digital Sales and Marketing director for Influence Music, says this type of partnership is unique.

"They are very selective in this kind of relationship," Estes says, "but once they heard the vision and mission of the label coupled with AG ministries, that solidified a lot of things." Specifically, Estes says, Influence Music is working on the right kind of projects, such as AG's Fine Arts program, the new album launching at General Council, and what they heard previewing the Modern Hymns of Revival album.

"The timing was perfect," Estes says. "This whole partnership - really God-ordained."

Arledge says Influence Music is not just about finding good music and "getting it out there." He explains that much of the focus is on investing in worship leaders and songwriters and, as a result, producing incredible music. Influence Music offers worship leaders/songwriters retreats, training, and guidance on music administration, which involves copyrights for both master recording owners and song owners; mechanical and performance rights licensing; registrations; royalties; and the option of Influence Music handling the music administration portion for worship leaders and churches.

In addition, three-time Dove Award winning producer John Hartley is helping shape what Influence Music is becoming through A&R and working closely with worship leaders in their craft of songwriting and production. Hartley has produced more than 60 albums; has worked with the likes of Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Stuart Townend, Leigh Nash, and Paul Baloche; and as a songwriter, has seen more than 200 of his songs appear on albums.

The first Influence album Provident will handle is the upcoming release of the 2015 General Council CD, SOAR - Spirit Empowered Worship. On that album, each song is from a different church and different worship leader.

"We want church and worship leaders to hear these songs and use them in their own worship services," Arledge says.  "And now, through our new partnership with Provident, many more people will discover and have access to this incredible music."

For more information on Influence Music and to experience some of the songs and videos, see influencemusic.com.  My Healthy Church is owned and operated by the Assemblies of God.

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.