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The Best, The Weird, The Most Unforgettable of SXSW 2015

Bullethead_Hanly_SXSW2015It’s Thursday (#tbt anyone?) and just about exactly a month since SXSW, so basically: the perfect time to reminisce.

The Orchard was in full effect at SXSW this year and what an amazing time it was! Working at a distributor, there is no shortage of shows, events, panels and meetings to attend. We asked some of our super star Client Relations team members to put together their highlights, be it the best, weird, or most unforgettable.

We’re already looking forward to next year!

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Spotify The Easy Way: 6 Steps to Streaming Success

Spotify New Official LogoStreaming is continuing to grow, and having worked closely with Spotify over the past few years, we feel that all independent artists and labels should strengthen their presence on the service.

To help, we’ve compiled these 6 super easy action items we’re confident will make a difference. Try them out!

1. “On Air, On Spotify”

If your music is “On Air” — meaning on the radio, on YouTube, SoundCloud, or anywhere online — it should be available to stream on Spotify. This way, you’re both monetizing your music and encouraging playlist adds and profile follows for continued listening.

2. Verify Your Profiles

By verifying your profile — artist or label — similarly to Twitter, you are giving your artist the ability to directly communicate with fans, and be highlighted with Spotify’s check of approval. These profiles not only show off an artist’s discography but also house tour dates, merchandise, biography, photos, and allow you to toggle over to view your playlists on your user profile. Your verified profile is a way to communicate with your fans within Spotify through the Spotify Social and Discover feeds, and in-­client messaging. Every time a new piece of content is released ­(new single, EP, album), your fans get a push notification, and every time you add tracks to your playlist, all followers of that playlist will get notified.

It’s simple to request a verified profile — just contact your client rep.

3. Tell Your Fans That You Are On Spotify and Grow Your Followers

Think of Spotify as a social network that allows you to monetize your own content in a creative, promotional way. On Spotify, you can gain a follower base, which in turn becomes a promotional channel­ — these Spotify followers receive notifications about updates to your content and your listening habits. Sharing your Spotify profile across your artist properties and socials will drive fans to follow you on Spotify, and allow you to engage in conversations with your fans.

Here are some practical ways to grow your Spotify followers:

  • Follow artists you like to help your fans discover the music you’re listening to
  • Create and share your playlists
  • Share across external social networks. Encourage conversation when sharing: ask fans what tracks they’re into
  • Share single tracks and albums you’re listening to and asks fans what playlists you should follow
  • Add Spotify links to YouTube and other video descriptions
  • Add the Spotify Follow Button to your website ­– putting this button on your website allows fans to follow you in an easy single click without leaving your website.

4. Playlisting

Similar to how a DJ would curate a mix for a radio station or club, streaming services use playlists as an easy way to share tracks and promote discovery.

Keep these in mind when creating your playlists:

  • Ensure your account is never empty, and that you have at ­least 1­2 public playlists available.
  • Focus on one playlist –­ choose one to maintain, and add to consistently.
  • Update regularly –­ Adding tracks on a regular basis is key. The more frequent the adds and the bigger the playlist, the better. Each time you update your playlist, it will appear in fans’ Discover feeds, and followers of the playlist will be notified.
  • Share it. Actively clicking “share” ensures you reach your fans. You’ll find the “share” button towards the top of each page, or right click (cmd+click on Mac) any title to copy and paste the link to be shared across other social platforms.
  • Share with messages: Include text when you share to help your story stand out.
  • Listen to music from your Spotify account. You’ll appear in the live ticker feed (on the right side of the Spotify client), and you’ll generate stories through Discover.
  • Add themed playlists. Once you’ve grown one playlist, add more niche, smaller playlists around certain events or themes.

5. Spotify Play Button

Spotify provides a quick and easy embeddable code that you can put on your website so that your fans can listen to your playlists and discography. By putting this Spotify Play Button on your website or Tumblr, your fans can listen to your music while continuing to engage with your site.

  • It’s easy to get the Play Button: just right click on the playlist, track or album on Spotify and select “Copy Embed Code.” This copies the link to your clipboard.
  • Paste the code into into your website and the Spotify Play Button will show up on your site.

6. Metrics

Next Big Sound provides free up-to-date analytics for your artists. When you log in, you can see your growth in followers, streaming data, and the effects of your social media campaigns. You can see how doing all of these best practices grows your streams and revenue.

  • Apply to see your Spotify data here.
  • Read this overview for a full breakdown of how to use Next Big Sound.

*For a full description of Spotify Best Practices ­ visit the Spotify Artists Hub.

MUSO Continues The Fight Against Piracy with New Updates

September 16, 2013 Client Tool, Featured News 1 Comment

muso_DR_featOur anti-piracy Marketplace partner, MUSO, has some exciting updates to share in their constant fight against illegal downloads and sharing. Here to introduce them to us in this guest post is Co-Founder and Music Services Division Head, Andrew Chatterley.

Since making our service available in The Orchard Marketplace, we’ve continually expanded our suite of features to help rights holders deal effectively with piracy issues. MUSO‘s easy-to-use browser-based dashboard helps track illegal content from over 2 billion piracy webpages and facilitates the removal of illegal content across cyberlockers, torrents and illegal streaming sites. MUSO also automatically optimizes Google search results, giving rights holders a fighting chance to promote their content to potential audiences in the best way possible.

In its latest developments, MUSO recently announced a world first for online anti-piracy, signing a deal with Russian social networking site An alternative to Facebook, the site boasts 250 million users. VK is the second most visited website in Russia and is seen as their most important channel for social media marketing. The problem for rights owners is that the site is also widely used as a portal to allow free and easy access to one of the world’s largest archives of unlicensed music and video, with a reported 77% of files being unauthorized. This results in having a devastating financial impact across the global music industry costing potentially up to $1 billion to rights owners.

As Co-Founder and Head of the Music Services division, I always say that this is a landmark day for anti-piracy across the music industry. This agreement, which affects European and other global rights owners, will see commencement into the removal of hundreds of MP3 sites that are freely making available their entire audio library to 32 million people via’s interface. We are very happy to have agreed to a system of implementing the removal of infringing content with The rise of illegal MP3 one-click download and streaming sites are one of the biggest challenges facing the industry and MUSO is committed to staying one step ahead in helping our clients deal with their illegal piracy problems.

To expand a bit more, MUSO‘s agreement with VK allows the constant monitoring of their site, automatically sending takedowns if a VK user uploads the same track again. MUSO’s global client base will therefore be able to remove any illegal files available on VK’s API in an easy one-click process. Removing these live links from the hundreds of illegal sites linked through VK’s API will also help thwart the growing trend for English-language sites to use this API to provide downloads of not just MP3 files, but also videos and software. Websites like and are two such examples and lead millions of users to download unlicensed songs for free, preventing artists from receiving any revenue.

The new VK takedown tool is available immediately, and you can take advantage of it straight from The Orchard Marketplace.

Fuck Buttons Make Beautiful Noise on ‘Slow Focus’

July 29, 2013 Artist News No Comments

slow focus fuck buttonsUK Electronic duo Fuck Buttons just released their first album in four years and have already received an impressive amount of critical acclaim. The much-anticipated Slow Focus, out now on ATP Recordings, is the first self-produced album by members Benjamin John Power and Andrew Hung. With a haunting quality that will leave you wanting more, it doesn’t take much time to get caught up in Fuck Buttons‘ effortless ability to blend synth, percussion and rhythm tracks in an eloquent and consuming way.

Slow Focus has received the titles of “Album of the Month” from The Skinny and “Best New Music” from Pitchfork, who praise the album for being “smooth, polished, and lovingly molded.” British tastemaker NME states, “they can be proud of what they continue to achieve,” and The Guardian has dubbed the pair “kings of noise,” — one can see why after listening to their powerful and gritty beats that resonate like the soundtrack to an epic thriller.

Indulge in Slow Focus, and take what Mixmag describes as, “a grisly journey into the unknown” to see what the buzz is about. You can also see what the critics are raving about in person as Fuck Buttons tour throughout Europe and the USA this summer and fall. Full dates below.

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Between Bruce Springsteen and San Siro Stadium: Negramaro at The Biscuit Factory

July 25, 2013 Artist News No Comments

NegramaroBetween sharing the stage with Bruce Springsteen at the Hard Rock Calling festival and taking off on a new tour to celebrate their tenth anniversary album, Italian Rock band Negramaro found time to stop by and take over our London office.

Negramaro’s latest album, Una Storia Semplice, is a collection of 24 hits and 6 brand new tracks to celebrate their ten years in music. The upcoming tour in support of the album will also take them back to the San Siro Stadium in Milan, where they performed in 2008 in front of more than 40,000 people. A pleasant stop on the way, Negramaro performed for our Biscuit Factory Sessions, treating us to an acoustic version of some of their most famous hits and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire.” We also had the chance to ask them a few questions about their career and their take on digital.

In the past ten years, the band has put a lot of effort in trying to keep up with new technologies, both on the production and distribution side, using any digital platform that has proven itself useful and functional to their main goal, which is reaching out to and interacting with their fans. Negramaro is present on all sorts of social networks, where fans can access different types of content: high quality backstage and live videos, pictures, and info regarding the members’ tastes and personality, such as a selection of the band’s favorite movie posters on Pinterest.

To provide the best fan experience possible, the band often shoots pictures and short videos for any occasion (as it happened in our office), and posts them on their social networks to continuously offer fresh contents. In their words: “Our aim is building a relationship with our fans, keeping in mind that technology is only a tool that allows to interact with people.”

Catch Negramaro’s performances of “Estate” and “Parlami d’Amore” on our YouTube channel.

Post written by Sara Lunardelli.

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