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Back That Stat Up

Pie ChartSocial Media is a beast. Am I right? And don’t even get me started on Social Media Analytics. One day the world is reeling about one service, one hot new tool, and just when you think you’ve got it… you wake up to something harder, better, faster, stronger. I’ve found it to be essential that when you’re managing social aspects of your band/label or company you learn to love the hunt for new services and go with the flow.

So now that you’ve got me started… I wanted to take this post to tout a few of my fave social media analytics sites that have a FREE or small membership fee version that is useful for tracking The Orchard’s social media activity. I know you can piecemeal a bunch of different tools together but I try to keep as much under one (or two) umbrella(s) as I can, though I do manage  our Twitter activity and Facebook activity separately. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how you analyze your social media profiles and activity, so if you have any suggestions, hit me up in the comments!

Hootsuite (Twitter)

I don’t use Twitter direct anymore. I only use Hootsuite, main reasons being timed tweets and analytics. We usually have a large amount of news that we want to blast out to the world, so instead of hitting you all at once, I can space them out throughout the day. Alternatively, if I have a busy day, I can schedule as many as I like to post throughout the day and then let ‘em fly! Their analytics tool is robust and since we fork over the minimal monthly fee for their Pro Package ($5.99), I can customize what reports we generate so only the Orchard-applicable info is included. I do gather Facebook analytics with Hootsuite in addition to Twitter because it pulls directly from Facebook Insights (it’s nice to have it all in one analytics report). That said, I don’t publish actual Facebook activity using Hootsuite because you cannot tag your posts, which is mega important for us.

Crowdbooster (Twitter)

Great potential here. You can access daily follower increases, top tweets and top influential followers. You can schedule tweets here, too. They’re still hammering out custom date range counts, which is very valuable to me and this is one of the main reasons I haven’t fully committed to Crowdbooster, yet. It’s also difficult to dig deep into each stat they report and break it down further. I’ve emailed with the CEO and he’s assured me they are working on fixing the date range issue (I appreciated the quick feedback). I like these guys, not just for their platform that seems to keep getting better, but especially for their customer service!

TweetStats (Twitter)

Light-hearted company voice (their tag line is: In ur Tweets, Graphin’ Your Stats!) and accuracy take lead over fancy interface, but this service delivers stats impressively and that may be enough. If you’re looking to identify when you’re tweeting most (density), who you interact with most, and which interface you’re using most, TweetStats is great. If you catch them on a busy time of day, it could take up to 5 minutes or so to load, but it’s worth the wait. I have to admit, I prefer the more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing dashboards of other services but still appreciate these guys for cutting through all the b.s. and delivering solid stats.

Question for Readers: I’m still looking for the most accurate RT count per month (not total retweets)! I know I can manually count RTs but have you heard of anything less labor intensive?

Facebook/Facebook Insights

Well, to be honest, I really don’t dig Facebook Insights. Luckily, I’m only tracking very basic analytics such as likes/post reach/people talking about this etc., which I can get through Hootsuite and track together with my Twitter analytics there. There are also quite a few hoops you have to go through to get data from a certain date range (for some stats you want within a defined time period, you have to download the spreadsheet then sift through that, instead of just getting it straight from the Insights dashboard). That said, I’m pretty much 100% Facebook when it comes to actually posting, capturing data and interacting socially.

I’m waiting for the day that my wildest social media dreams are met with a full, comprehensive dashboard that handles all my social media profiles. Yes, yes… there are websites that can put all of your social profiles in one place to view (Cyfe for instance), however, I have not found that any are more functional, efficient or accurate than using separate services or tools to analyze each.

Thanks to these products for helping me along… I’m looking forward to seeing who beats out who amongst the multitude of services — new and not-as-new — that offer social media analytics. I’ve checked out the following and for different reasons, they haven’t met all of my needs but I will keep them on my list to “keep an eye on:” PeopleBrowsr, Twenty Feet, SocialBro.

Happy trackin’!

The Orchard Setting Foot in Brighton for The Great Escape

the orchard the great escape the crookes the big sleep hey sholay hollie cook soundsystem

Put your party pants on people. We’re going to Brighton. Yes, you guessed it – to The Great Escape Festival. TGE runs UK’s leading music business conference (programmed by CMU) alongside the Brighton venue-hosted music festival that showcases 300+ new bands from around the globe. Of course we had to get in on this so The Orchard is hosting its very first TGE Showcase. We also put together this Spotify Playlist so you can hear some tracks from Orchard bands attending the festival. Details on our showcase below:

Saturday May 12th
Noon to 4PM
The Hope on Queens Road (Nr Church Street)
*Get in free with a TGE badge or wristband

12:15PM The Crookes
1PM The Big Sleep
2PM Hey Sholay
3PM Hollie Cook Soundsystem

We have some great partners for this event as well. A revolving door of unique and exciting content, Strongroom Alive is one of the UK’s foremost digital radio stations and is a one-stop shop for the latest on music, fashion and art. They broadcast straight from the heart of London’s Shoreditch area. Also on board is Killing Moon Ltd who have become one of the UK’s leading music blogs and are continuously on the pulse of what is what and who is who in indie music, in addition to signing some of these acts to their own singles label. Finally, we have MusicMetric who empower artists by strengthening their marketing, promo and sales through impressive analytics, trends identification and data analysis.

Come out and see us if you’re there. Don’t hesitate to email us if you want to meet up, learn about The Orchard, or touch base! (UK/Liz @ and US/Mollie @

Dive Into The Orchard’s Best of 2012 (So Far)

the orchard best of 2012Given the breadth of our catalogue, it is a fun (albiet daunting) task to pull together some of our favorite tracks of the year so far. So, we did it and you’ll love it!

We have a little bit of something for everyone. If you fancy some chill but cheery blues/jazz/gospel don’t miss the lovely Ruthie Foster. Need more metal in your life? Obvi Nuclear Blast‘s Meshuggah is included in the mix. Perhaps you want a fuzzy romantic indie tune? Radiation City‘s “Find It Of Use” will do it for you. Fancy some mildly offensive entertainment? Check out Bobby Light (AKA Rob Dyrdek)’s satyrical track “Do You Right” that has all the youngins dancin’.

Decide for yourself what your favorites are… We’ve got links to both Spotify and Rdio below, as well as our friends at ShareMyPlaylists — or you can listen to the playlist right now by just clicking Play below!

Best of 2012 (so far) on Spotify
Best of 2012 (so far) on Rdio
Best of 2012 (so far) on ShareMyPlaylists

15 Services That Have Changed The Way We Discover And Consume Music And Video

the orchard 15 anniversaryIf we could take a snapshot of the state of the digital music industry when The Orchard was first born in 1997, it would hardly be recognizable.

With the foresight of industry veterans and young, tech savvy entrepreneurs alike, digital music innovations were a-brewin’ back then and slowly making their way to the fingertips of consumers.

We’ve put together 15 companies, services and products that we feel have changed the way we discover and consume both music and video.


  1. Napster (the unlicensed version)
  2. iTunes
  3. YouTube
  5. Pandora
  6. Winamp
  7. Rhapsody
  8. CDNow
  9. MySpace
  10. Netflix
  11. eMusic
  12. Spotify
  13. Hulu
  14. RioPort + Rio PMP300
  15. Deezer

Honorable Mentions

  • Shazam
  • Facebook

… Continue Reading

We’re All Playing In The Same Sandbox, You Know?

sandbox, interactive, meetup, music, techWith a quick Google search I found 6 Music/Tech meet ups in the next 2 months just in NYC. The Orchard itself hosted a NYC MusicTech meet up in January and we hope it was the first of many. We also did some fine schmoozing at a meet up hosted by Fanbridge last night AND we are planning on hanging (and educating ourselves) at the NY Music:Tech Meetup next week… whew!

The term Interactive has been around for a while (although I still remember when I’d talk about the IA portion of SXSW and people would question what this meant exactly) but I can’t help but be intrigued by the ever-expanding definition of the word. After attending both the IA and Music conferences at SX this year, it’s more obvious than ever that now, the lines between Interactive, Tech, Digital Music, etc. are being blurred, bringing them all under the same umbrella.

My observation is simple and something I’m sure you all know already but again, quite interesting to watch. As the lines between industries blur, this shifts a focus to the importance of education, relationships and the sharing of ideas and needs between the afore-mentioned industries. Digital music companies should be channeling their inner geek and educating themselves on technology and innovation because now,  if you and your company can’t keep up, you’ll very quickly be left in the dust. Similarly, Technology companies (and the like) need to put their headphones in and listen to not only the music but also the fans to figure out what they want, how they can build it and then how to deliver it.

The action item is this: Embrace it. Initiate meet ups, get togethers, focus groups, hack-a-thons etc. Music companies, even if you’re not in the digital music space (promotors, bookers, managers, etc.), you already know where music is headed so why not know exactly how it is getting there? You may be surprised at how it’s not all because of you!

Image courtesy of Flickr user Stephen Cummings

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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