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What The #&@$ Do You Do, Jeff?!?

JeffStempeckJeff Stempeck
Manager, Global Business Development
Joined The Orchard in November 2010 as a Client Representative

From Client Rep to Business Development Manager, not to mention Valentine’s Day male Orchard stand-in, we’re a bit at a loss as to what the #&@$ do you really do. Enlighten us?
Orchard modeling really doesn’t pay the bills so my main focus has been on the business development side. What this means is focusing on new and existing music services, applications and other partnerships that feature The Orchard’s audio catalog and making sure that our labels are fairly compensated.

As the digital music landscape has rapidly changed, so have the business models, usage rules and fee structures around those avenues and the business development team oversees this constantly changing environment. There’s also a lot of upkeep in executing our deals, from managing the reporting and delivery integration to leading internal communication and compiling analytics on services’ growth.

Lastly, I work under Tom Wheeley, which means I tangentially listen to a lot of late-90s Brit-Rock against my will.

Ha! Tom spares no victims when it comes to Brit-Rock.

In terms of developing business, which areas are growing the most and what challenges do you face in incorporating them into The Orchard’s distribution landscape?
Tough question! Soundscan sales and downloaded tracks have long ruled as tangible benchmarks in our industry but they’re no longer an encompassing, standalone view of what success means today. We’re moving to a more audience-focused, data-centric approach and it’s our team’s job to pursue and provide our content in as many opportunities possible to navigate this landscape as it develops.

In addition to investigating new models, it’s also important to remember that we’re still breaking ground on a lot of new territories where smartphones, digital music services, and copyrighted, licensed music in general, haven’t taken hold. For example, we’re starting to see multiple streaming services make a serious push in to Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and other developing markets with very little historical precedent of digital music penetration. We’re also encountering entirely new degrees of specialization as services are diversifying via genre-specific streaming models and reduced catalog, playlist-focused offerings that aim to undercut the standard $9.99 subscription market rate. There’s not a cohesive “one-size-fits-all” digital music service so it’s our job to make sure we’re in as many as possible if a compelling opportunity exists.

It appears you’re a well respected music tastemaker and run the blog, along with Spotify and Songza playlists that you update regularly. How did you get into that, and what’s your favorite thing about it?
Can’t say I’d call myself that but thanks! I was an early HypeM and music-blog devotee in college and have always enjoyed the discovery process, which nowadays is a lot easier with the amount of streaming and algorithmic recommendation options. My favorite thing is being able to catch incredibly good artists for $10-15 at smaller venues before they play larger, more expensive venues that I loathe. Some names to watch: Years and Years, Shura, Seinabo Sey, Ryn Weaver, Josef Salvat.

Awesome! Pushing play….now. Thanks for sharing what the #&@$ you do, Jeff! We hope to see you pouty-face and all in our next high fashion Orchard spread.

how your first aid-bro kit came about (we’ve heard you’re the man to see for emergency body spray): I enjoy creating/subsequently treating hangovers for fellow employees.
drink of choice when out on the town: PBR tall-boy
how you felt when you won a second hand “Sexiest Man at The Orchard” award at our Holiday Party 3 years ago: Brave for accepting the award Charles Hendricks couldn’t handle.
random fact: I played tennis most of my life and in college and pretty much love any sport with a racket — tennis, squash, ping pong, kadima, etc.

Welcome, Julie!

December 17, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

JulieDanskerIntroducing Julie Dansker, Director, Sales & Marketing, Film/TV

Originally from the East Coast, I went to the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. I studied Film because I have always loved movies and storytelling in general, whether through film, music, podcasts, at a dinner party or around a camp fire. I interned at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart while in college but my first job in LA was at Endeavor, working in talent. After putting in my obligatory year in, racking up some crazy stories and making a few lifelong friends, I transitioned to work at New Line Cinema in Creative Development. This led me to the opportunity to work for the President of Spyglass Entertainment and when the senior management team was invited to re-manage MGM and bring it out of bankruptcy I joined MGM Studios. I quickly realized that I was interested in digital distribution and wanted to be part of this disruptive, fast changing business. I started as an Account Executive in the digital group and then became Worldwide Manager of Digital Sales, Marketing and Social Media.

I feel lucky to have found The Orchard and am confident we will flourish in our new LA office. As for hobbies, I love traveling (going to Thailand in December!), play tennis every week, into yoga and cardio barre, live at the beach and am a foodie who loves to share restaurant recommendations. Very excited to share this next new chapter with you all!

The Orchard Chart Toppers: November 2014

The Orchard Chart Toppers

We’re nearing the end of the year, and our November charts are in. Before Christmas music takes over for the year (who am I kidding? it already has!), we’d like to give a shoutout to all our charting artists and bands, namely: Machine Head for hitting #21 on the Billboard Top 200,  #2 on the Independent chart, #16 on iTunes’ Top 200 and #1 on iTunes’ Metal Albums chart, not to mention making it to Russia’s Top 20 on iTunes; Gemeliers, two Spanish brothers who have been on the Spanish charts for months now and don’t look like they’re going anywhere; and Oakley’s Action Sports film Snowboarding For Me, which stayed on the Top Documentary Movies and Action Sports Movies charts in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia for more than 3 weeks.

PS. This is only a snapshot of our artists’ chart positions. They’ve also placed in many genre charts on both Billboard and iTunes, but we’ve zoned in on the more general charts for the purpose of this post.


Billboard Top Heatseekers
#8 — Jimmy Greene: Beautiful Life [Mack Avenue Records]

Italy Top Albums
#7 — Elisa: L’anima vola (Deluxe Edition) [Sugar Music]

iTunes Brazil Top Albums
#5 — Henrique e Juliano: Ao Vivo em Brasilia [Som Livre/Globo]
#8 — Sorriso Maroto: Eu Gosto Ao Vivo No Maracanãzinho [Som Livre/Globo]
#14 — Malta: Supernova [Som Livre/Globo]
#17 — Cristiano Araujo: In the Cities – Ao Vivo em Cuiabá [Som Livre/Globo]
#18 — Jorge e Mateus: Live in London at the Royal Albert Hall [Som Livre/Globo]

iTunes Lithuanua Top Albums
#3 — Biplan: Visi keliai veda prie jūros [M.P.3]

iTunes Latvia Top Albums
#2 — Ассаи: Другие берега [Studia Soyuz]

iTunes Poland Top Albums
#9 — Zuch Kazik: Zakażone Piosenki [SP Record]
#15 — Be-sides: We Were So Wrong [Fonografika]

iTunes Czech Republic Top Albums
#12 — Aneta Langerova: Na Radostii [Supraphone]
#19 — Karel Kryl: Live! [Supraphone]

iTunes Russia Top Albums
#4 — Ivan Dorn: Randorn [First Music Publishing]
#9 — Mezza: Mokba [Studio Soyuz]
#14 — Vladimir Visotsky: Izbrannoe [Volume Music Group]

… Continue Reading

Welcome, Shelby!

December 10, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

ShelbySchwimmerIntroducing Shelby Schwimmer, Executive Assistant, CEO

Born and raised in New York, I went to the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and studied Psychology & Sociology. I knew both concentrations would be useful in the entertainment industry, whether it be managing expectations and relationships, or knowing how to approach situations with the right mindset.

I actually interned at The Orchard during the summer of 2012 and instantly fell in love with the company. Once I graduated, I moved back to NYC and began working as a Post Production Manager at Cut+Run, an editorial company specializing in commercials and documentaries. Although the work was exciting, allowing me to witness the company’s and my hard work air on live TV, my heart remained in music, and with The Orchard. I found myself going full circle and making my way back to the company I fell in love with from the start. I actually am a singer myself, and enjoy jamming with friends and family for fun. I am extremely excited to be a part of such an influential team.

Take A Bow, 57th Grammy Award Nominees!

grammy-2015T’is the season… of awards! With that, Grammy nominations have just come in — and we couldn’t be more excited for our highlighted Orchard-repped artists and labels.

Between Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Ruthie Foster, The Stanley Clarke Band and more, so many great releases were unleashed into the world this year. The San Francisco Symphony gave us an incredible rendition of the musical classic West Side Story, Light In The Attic took us back to the late 60s with Lee Hazlewood, and Round Sky, Raveolution, Domo and Sounds True rep’ed hard in New Age. These (as well as many more who didn’t get nods this time around) deserve every bit of praise they get.

The awards go down February 8, 2015. Until then, here’s the full list of nominees from The Orchard:

Nomination Artist Album
Best R&B Album Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Give The People What They Want [Daptone Records]
Best New Age Album Paul Avgerinos Bhakti [Round Sky Records]
Ricky Kej, Wouter Kellerman Winds of Samsara [Raveolution Studios]
Kitaro Symphony Live In Istanbul [Domo Records]
David Darling, Silvia Nakkach In Love and Longing [Sounds True]
Best Jazz Vocal Album Gretchen Parlato Live in NYC [ObliqSound]
Tierney Sutton Paris Sessions [BFM Jazz]
Best Roots Gospel Album T. Graham Brown Forever Changed [MCM World Media]
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) Ixya Herrera Voz Y Guitarra [Rampart Latino]
Best Tropical Latin Album El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico 50 Aniversario – Volume 1 [EGC Records]
Best Blues Album Ruthie Foster Promise Of A Brand New Day [Blue Corn Music]
Bobby Rush with Blinddog Smokin’ Decisions [Silver Talon Records]
Best Regional Roots Music Album Bonsoir Catin Light The Stars [Valcour Records]
Best Children’s Album Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could Just Say Hi! [Bumblin’ Bee Records]
Best Musical Theater Album San Francisco Symphony West Side Story [San Francisco Symphony]
Best Instrumental Composition The Stanley Clarke Band for “Last Train to Sanity” Up [Mack Avenue Records]
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella Alfredo Rodriguez for “Guantanamera” The Invasion Parade [Mack Avenue Records]
Best Album Notes Various Artists I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-1970 [Light In The Attic]
Best Historical Album Various Artists Lee Hazlewood Industries: There’s a Dream I’ve Been Saving (1966-1971) [Light In The Attic]
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance Partch Harry Partch: Plectra and Percussion Dances [Bridge Records, Inc.]
Best Classical Compendium Partch Harry Partch: Plectra and Percussion Dances [Bridge Records, Inc.]
Mike Marshall & The Turtle Island Quartet Mike Marshall & The Turtle Island Quartet [Adventure Music]
Paul Daniel The Solent [Albion Records]
Best Classical Instrumental Solo Leon Fleisher All the Things You Are [Bridge Records, Inc.]
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album Anne Sofie von Otter Douce France [naïve classique]
Florian Boesch Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin, Op. 25, D. 795 [Onyx Classics]
Best Contemporary Classical Composition Orchestra 2001 Complete Crumb Edition, Vol. 16; Voices from the Heartland, Sun and Shadow [Bridge Records, Inc.]

Congratulations to all the nominees! We’ll be cheering for you come February.

About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

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