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(Pin)terest – Not Your Old School Bulletin Board

Pinterest isn’t just the word ‘Interest’ with a P in front it. Nor is Pinterest just a word that combines PIN and INTEREST. However, ‘Pinterest’ is as simple as word play…

Just as you hung that cork board in high school and pinned up your ‘Dissect This!’ biology award, Teen Bop clips of Freddy Prince Jr. and Andrew Keegan, your ‘Mathlete’ Varsity letter (it’s a sport! It almost has the word athlete in it) and Johnny’s phone number (got those digits!), you can now digitally ‘pin’ all these things (or NONE of these things) and more in a nice visual space.

This group of things to pin can vary from a board where you pin things you like, to using it as a digital ‘to do’ list, to promoting your business. In fact, businesses, artists and entities of all sorts are using Pinterest as a platform to promote themselves. However, Pinterest encourages no shameless self promotion – they don’t want business’ boards to look like gaudy advertisements. They want businesses to post what the company or entity embodies, rather than what they sell.

With your rad bulletin board chock full of coupons and fortune cookie fortunes, you may ask – do folks even care about Pinterest? What is this DIGITAL cork board? Well, they care and they use it A LOT. It already has a massive user base – according to Open Forum and Mashable, Pinterest has accumulated over 3.3 million active pinners, over 421 million page views and has increased traffic to the site by over 400% from September 2011 to December 2011 (bringing in 7.5 million unique visitors in December alone). Whew! You would think that by now these cork boards should be falling to pieces!

What is coolest about this company is the way Pinterest has been recently proven most useful. Again, the Pinterest folks suggest using the site as a way to share who a company is rather than a self promoted advertisement. Below are some ways folks have been using it the most:

  • Promote a lifestyle: Think of this space as a more holistic visual approach to marketing – it’s more engaging because fans of a musician or band often want to know who that band is, they want to feel like they ‘know’ them without ever having met them. This is a space to express what your band is all about. They could post photos of the new accordion they just bought or how they get exercise on the road, a picture of their practice space, a photo of their band’s dog or new clothes from a rad vintage shop they like to support in their neighborhood. This imagery can help to humanize the artists.
  • Use it as a focus group: Look at pinners who follow your band or artist. They are offering a ton of information about their interests in a more natural way than with a survey. You can use this information as a way to gain insights about your fans and what they like.
  • Crowdsource: You can ask fans to post pictures of them buying your new record or digital album and to tag you. You can then repin those photos to give a shout out to your top fans AND show potential fans how they can get something exclusive from the artist for pinning. Perhaps you could entice these fans to participate by giving them an exclusive track, video, or playlist when they tag your band in their photo.
  • Run contests: Ask fans to post links of their remixes of an artist’s song along with an image that describes that remix and to tag the band as a way to enter a remix contest. You can easily repin the links and images to a contest board where the winner is the person with the most repins. Perhaps the winners get to meet the artist or their remix gets released on the artist’s next EP.
  • Inspire a team: Applies to work, family, sports, you name it! Post inspiring designs if you’re at an ad company, pin up possible work outings if you meet your goals, etc.

The possibilities are endless – so step on out of the Stone Age or really, the Cork Age and start digitally pinning today.

WeTransfer: Sharing Large Files the Sexy Way

February 8, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

Let’s face it, if you’re in the music business, you’ve definitely had to share large files at one point or another: .zip files, hi-res artwork, videos… And so you’re probably familiar with some of the big file-sharing sites like YouSendIt or sendspace. Well, I’m here to introduce you to my personal favorite large file-sharing site: WeTransfer.

The first thing I noticed on WeTransfer is its sleekness. It’s one URL, one simple box on the homepage, no need to register, and you’re in business. As the Co-Founder and CMO of the site Nalden says, “It’s built for digital natives as well as their moms and dads.” It’s true. It was a seasoned professor and college mentor, who actually first introduced me to WeTransfer a few years ago.

The other amazing thing about the site it its background. The artsy images scrolling in the back are in fact the most inoffensive and attractive advertisements I’ve ever seen. Beyond that, they’re actually effective: while the premium ads (the first 5 in the slideshow) generate an average of 3% click-through rate (CTR), in some instances, they’ve generated up to 5%! Nike, Reef, MTV, Vodafone and Canon are among some of the companies who have used WeTransfer to advertise their product. And now, so are we! Check out wetransfer.com and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of The Orchard while you’re uploading your files.

Another option the site offers is a personalized URL for your very own transfer service, with only your background in the mix. SpotifyTiesto and Nike are some examples of brands who have gone that route. This is great for freelancers and businesses who send a lot of files through WeTransfer, because it leads their customers to a branded page every time. Think Twitter backgrounds and you’ll know what I mean.

If you haven’t already done so, stop reading this post right now and head over to WeTransfer. I guarantee you’ll instantly be seduced by its sexiness, as have its 10 million (and growing fast!) unique users a month.

Looking Back: midem After The Hustle and Bustle

L to R: Brad Navin (The Orchard, CEO), Colleen Theis (The Orchard, MD UK and Europe), Jeffrey Clyburn (National Geographic, Music VP) and Liz Eve (The Orchard, Intl. Client Relations Dir.)

January saw the world’s music industry yet again decamp en masse to Cannes for several days of meetings, gigs, showcases and the odd dinner and drink thrown in or as it’s normally called: midem. The Orchard has several reasons to celebrate this year but none more important than our 15-year anniversary, which we celebrated in style on a Friday evening party which was attended by nearly 350 guests. We certainly had a full house and it was great to see so many clients, labels, stores and friends to help us kick start the festivities.

As many of you know midem has radically altered its style over the years and is now a much more streamlined affair. Gone are the huge 50+ people stands from individual companies; much smaller stands now lead to a huge diversity of companies from across the globe. The individual territorial stands (such as the American A2IM and the UK BPI/AIM stand) seemed to be bigger than ever and many of these had 50+ companies using the umbrella of a Trade stand to work from. More fascinating for me were the smaller Tech start-ups (including our friends at Webdoc and Musicmetric), who seemed to fill the Innovation Hub section. All sorts of new innovative services were on offer – some we hope to be able to offer in our Marketplace shortly.

I had a particularly interesting time meeting our retail partners from across the globe – too long a list to name here but needless to say I’m constantly amazed by the innovation that each and every one of them is working on at the moment. Many of them are expanding into new territories and you can be assured we are working closely with all of them to ensure that your content plays a leading role in any of their plans. We were especially pleased to meet the Rhapsody and Rdio people who will shortly be expanding into Europe (more details to follow).

The only downer this year was the awful weather… It certainly made everyone spend far more time in the conference hall – not a bad thing really as we all maybe then spent far more time perusing the various stands than we otherwise would have. Midem has certainly changed as the music industry has changed – I wouldn’t be surprised if next year’s event is completely different again; maybe it will be completely about streaming, even more tech-focused , or something completely different altogether. Only time will tell…

Photo by Louis Hau. 

VEVO Adds Music Video Matching for iPhone Users

February 7, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

Imagine having somebody hunt down every music video from your favorite artists, organize them, and put them all on your phone for you. VEVO’s updated iPhone app with VEVO Match can do just that. Automatically. For Free.

By providing an automated, cloud based video collection for your iPhone, VEVO has made finding your favorite music videos effortless. Instead of leaving you to fumble through search results while on the move, VEVO Match automatically scans your iPhone’s music collection and delivers the matching music videos. Backed by VEVO’s enormous catalog of over 45,000 music videos, you’re sure to find the high quality, official music video the artist intended.

As artists and labels continue to look to new sources of revenue and fan connections, services like VEVO Match can provide a new opportunity to reach out. Music videos offer a more engaging experience for fans than audio alone. With no visual to go with it, it’s easy for your music to fade into the background as your phone slips back into your pocket. By matching videos to the music already on your phone, the VEVO app provides a fresh look at your music library and an opportunity for fans to see their music in action.

While music on music television becomes increasingly difficult to find, VEVO is determined to bring the music video back full force. By adapting to user trends and eliminating barriers to content, VEVO Match increases exposure and video views for artists while providing a fun viewing experience for fans. So give it a try and see what your music collection looks like.

By Mike Baldo

Coming Soon To A City, Conference or News Feed Near You…

If you haven’t heard from us in a while, you must have been living under a rock…  In addition to being all over Twitter and Facebook, we here at The Orchard have had a great many newsworthy things going on, and we just can’t keep quiet about it! It’s one thing to announce things like how The Orchard turns 15 this year, how we have some incredible new signings and continue to celebrate our devoted clients and how our EU team is undergoing expansion and restructuring, but those are just words! Where’s the face time you ask?

Well for starters, we just wrapped up our time at MIDEM this year. Our VP of Product Marketing, Jaclyn Ranere, hosted an informative session in the Innovation Lab to spread the good word about The Orchard. Also, not to be overshadowed, was the Orchard Penthouse Party that actually made headlines – yep, that’s right, start takin’ notes.

While some of our team was battling the uncharacteristically bad weather in Cannes, our SVP of Marketing, Pete McCarthy shipped off to sunny Cali to attend D: Dive into Media. He joined in on the timely conversation about what changes in media we can expect, what changes we’ve seen and what that means for The Orchard and the industry as a whole.

If you call New York home, you hopefully made it to our NYC Music/Tech Meet-Up. If you missed it, we forgive you and fear not! We plan to host more of these meet-ups as it was a great way for the NYC music and tech community to gather for some hang time that’s NOT in a meeting room.

As we continue on with our Tour de Orchardites, our CTO  Josh Builder will be co-hosting a panel at San Francisco Music Startup Academy hosted by Digitalmusic.org. The panel, Getting Under The Hood: Music Operations For CTOs and Developers, will take place on February 14th, and Josh and his co-panelists will discuss action items from a technical standpoint for budding music companies. Can’t wait? Here’s a sneak peek.

Finally, lest we forget South by Southwest in Austin, Texas this March. We will be dusting off our chaps and boots and riding our purebreds down to the Lone Star State (we wish… great visual though, right?). The Orchard CEO, Brad Navin, will be moderating a panel called Navigating the Middle that will dive into the discussion of using (or not using) a so-called “middle-man” to market your music.

We’re moving fast, so to keep up: watch The Daily Rind for all things Orchard, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and if you’re attending one of the events mentioned above, please feel free to reach out at mbrown@theorchard.com.

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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