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Talking to iPluggers Founder Marvin Kuijs

Photo Marvin Kuijs at iPluggersAs one of our popular Marketplace apps, iPluggers provides a reliable and cost-effective platform for worldwide digital radio promotion. And as we know, radio promotion can accomplish great things for a budding artist. To highlight the benefits of his app, we sat down (virtually) with Founder and A&R Head, Marvin Kuijs, to pick his brain. Check out the interview below, and, if you’re an Orchard client, venture into the Marketplace and try it on for size! 

Hi Marvin, thanks for doing this interview with us. iPluggers has been available in The Orchard Marketplace for quite some time now. When did you actually start iPluggers and how did you get the idea to offer musicians radio promotion via a digital system?

Thanks for having me, I’m glad to shed more light on the inner working of iPluggers.

For musicians, the most important way to get heard and get more fans is airplay. But traditional radio promotion is a major investment that is not affordable for every musician or label and certainly independent musicians cannot afford traditional plugging in these times.

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Crowdfunding: A Modern Day Staple for Musical Projects

Brian Meece, ukulele playerWe partnered with RocketHub back in 2011 when we first launched The Orchard Marketplace. Crowdfunding was already starting to boom back then, and it hasn’t slowed down since. With the heart to see your projects succeed and the goods to back it up, RocketHub provides a solid platform for any crowdfunding campaign. To show you how it’s done, we bring you Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub, with 6 key tips to make your project succeed.

With the advent of social networking (and sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), and a habit of building a mailing list, musicians are more connected to an extended network of fans and supporters than ever before.

As the CEO of RocketHub, one of the world’s leading crowdfunding platforms, I have seen thousands of projects raise funds and awareness via this new form of micro-patronage. Crowdfunding platforms can offer the credibility and infrastructure necessary to successfully harness the financial power of the crowd, but because crowdfunding is a relatively new trend, many artists misunderstand how to effectively leverage the tools available to them.

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Muzooka: Make Filtering Through That Pile of Demos Fun

Muzooka-LogoAt The Orchard, we get to work with a lot of up-and-coming tools and services. Sometimes, we meet some we know our clients would love — Muzooka is one of them. They’ve just built a tool that should help make discovering your next big artist a walk in the park. Cortney Harding, Director of Media Relations at Muzooka, breaks it down: 

Raise your hand if you have a stack of demo CDs that have been thrust upon you at some point gathering dust in a corner and occasionally threatening to topple over. Now raise your other hand if you have an inbox full of YouTube and Soundcloud links and oversized MP3 attachments.

Now put your hands down and keep scrolling.

Demos are great, and there’s nothing better than finding the next great band in the slush pile. But managing demos is a giant pain — it’s hard to keep track of them, time consuming to make a playlist to easily listen to them, and near impossible to know which slush pile tracks are worth checking out.

At Muzooka, we asked a bunch of labels, venues and producers about their biggest problems, and they kept coming back to demo management. With this in mind, we built the Partner Platform, and hope that we’ve created a simple and elegant (and free) solution.

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5 Crowdfunding Backer Rewards That Have Been Proven to Work for Indie Musicians

CrowdfundingMaxCollins

Max Collins funded his first solo album through PledgeMusic. (Image via wcyy.com)

This article, written by electronic music industry veteran, Adam Bernard, originally appeared on Sonicbids.

Adam’s tips are perfect to use with our Marketplace partner app, RocketHub. RocketHub is a musician-friendly crowd-funding tool that gives you all the money you’ve raised (whether you hit your goal or not), and offers the highest payouts and lowest fees compared with the other guys. Check out their Success School to build a personalized plan for your campaign. Now… onto the blog post! 

You’re an artist, you need money, and you want to attempt to generate those funds via an engaging crowdfunding campaign. That’s all well and good, but as soon as you’ve figured that out, you have to stop thinking like a band and start thinking like a fan.

Crowdfunding has become one of the most popular ways for independent artists to generate the money they need to create albums and tour, but far too many artists offer backer rewards that are overly simplistic. This makes their campaigns look less like a true fundraiser and more like an attempt to do the least amount of work possible. A perfect example of this is using downloads of music that’s already been released as rewards. Anyone can buy your album online, and being that the first word in “fan funding” is “fan,” most everyone you’re targeting with your campaign already has your whole catalog – so what makes you think they’re going to want something they’ve probably already bought themselves?

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Campaign Marketing Tips Courtesy of Naked Press

NakedPressOur Marketplace partner, Naked Press, helps you extend your reach into the UK Press. But pitching to press isn’t as easy as just sending your music in when it’s ready — it requires planning. To get the most out of your press campaigns, follow these great tips from our friends at Naked Press, and check out the app in The Orchard Marketplace! 

To start with, it helps to have an approximate schedule of events planned for your release, to give it the best opportunity for review consideration by the music press. So when you have your completed, mastered and mixed record, you also need to have your assets (biography, photos, cover artwork etc.) ready in advance, to roll out ahead of the actual release date. Writers are under deluge from so much music every single day — why should they pay attention to your new record? Make them want to know more about you, invite them in, make sure they don’t pass you by. In a nutshell: make your whole package look as intriguing (and professional) as you can!

Whether it’s an album, EP or single, it makes sense to have at least one track available for listening early on, preferably via a streamed link (there are various platforms you can use — Soundcloud, Press Kit, etc.). It’s all very well having that great cover art, really cool photos and a fantastically exciting biog post, but without the music to listen to, these aren’t that useful to a music writer, so think about a strong lead track to anchor their attention and make them want to hear more.

Monthly publications typically need to receive your record news up to 12 weeks ahead of the release date in order to plan their editorial coverage to coincide with its availability. For instance, if your release is coming out in May, make sure your key contacts at the monthlies can hear it, or at the least know about it, in February. Newspapers and weekly supplements work with shorter lead times and if you’re aiming more for online press, then you’ll still need to work ahead but 4-6 weeks is long enough for most sites to commission any interviews, features or reviews.

The rule is that the music press generally doesn’t like reviewing music that’s already out there, so think ahead if you want to be considered. Plan, strategise and be prepared! Good luck!

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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