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 Bempology.com, 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.