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The Proof in the Pudding: Get Your Music in Apps & Games with Klick Push

KlickPushLogoOne of our latest apps, Klick Push, has seen great results from their partnership with The Orchard Marketplace. Klick Push focuses on getting your music to highly engaged potential fans within apps and games — both web and mobile. To give us insight on the positive response they’ve received since partnering with us, they’ve shared some stats that we think you’ll want to see. Klick Push, take it away!

Hello Orchard artists and labels! We’re excited to share that we have witnessed incredible results and traction across our partnership with the Marketplace. About 100 artists a week are submitting content to be promoted in apps, games and loyalty programs and Klick Push has delivered hundreds of thousands of free engaging impressions to artists that apply and submit music to Klick Push through our Marketplace application. This has resulted in a cost effective way to promote new album releases and concerts, and build new fan bases while driving revenue back to you, the artist.

Check out some numbers below:

2,224,000 plays of your music across all of The Orchard’s artists in just a few short months
50,000 downloads: look at all those people who got your free music!
5,000 shares, i.e. 10% of people who heard your music shared it on Facebook and Twitter
5% click rate to iTunes: that’s new fans heading over to make a purchase

While advertisers typically dish out the big bucks for these high impressions and conversion rates, artists are getting FREE access to these highly engaged users by simply giving away music to new fans through Klick Push. We want users to discover your music and have an enjoyable experience, all the while making you money and providing more insights on the location of your fan base.

If you haven’t yet, try us out by installing the Klick Push app in The Orchard Marketplace and check out our One-Sheet here.

The Marketplace Presents: Klick Push

KlickPushLogoIf you had the opportunity to get your music featured in more places, why wouldn’t you take it? And if those places were high-engagement areas, it’d really be a no brainer. Well listen up then, because our latest Marketplace partner, Klick Push, has just the thing for you. With access to games, loyalty programs and standard apps looking to offer rewards to their most engaged users, Klick Push places your music within these apps and in front of more than 60 million active users and potential fans.

The concept is simple: a gamer playing Fruit Ninja reaches level 100; a runner hits a mileage goal in his or fitness app; a shopper spends $100 in their 7-Eleven app, and they are rewarded with a free music download — your song. They can preview the track, rate it, and if they like it, enter their email in exchange for a free download of the song. All tracks come with an accompanying buy link for converted users to purchase your music.

Ratings help Klick Push better target users over time, so that your tracks are more likely to reach a potential fan in a relevant context. And you can track all activity surrounding your music, including listens, downloads, thumbs up or down, impressions and demographics to get a grasp on how well your tracks are being received.

Here’s how it works in The Orchard Marketplace:

  1. Install the app on the artist of your choice.
  2. Select which tracks you’d like to submit for in-app rewards by clicking on  the “Upload your music now!” button.
  3. Pick your tracks and click on “Send your music now.”
  4. The next screen lists all tracks you’ve sent to the app and allows you to remove any you’d like to instantly pull from active rewards. You can return to this screen  at any time by clicking on the Tracks menu at the top. This is also where you can add more music at a later date.
  5. Go to your Dashboard to see your analytics, including all-time and track-level downloads, impressions, shares, plays, likes and dislikes.
  6. Get a grasp of your top cities, states and countries by clicking on Download Locations.

That’s it! So many potential fans at your fingertips, including users of apps like Fruit Ninja, 7-Eleven and JunoWallet. Do keep in mind that any tracks streamed or downloaded through Klick Push are for promotional use only and will not generate direct revenue. What they will do is expand your reach, which in turn should increase your bottom line once you’ve collected some highly engaged new fans.

Check out the full demo video below:

Klick Push is available via The Orchard Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Naked Press

NakedPressHiring a publicist can be daunting and expensive. We’ve sought to make it easier for you with the launch of Naked Press in The Orchard Marketplace.

With a focus on UK press — an important market, to say the least — Naked Press will pitch your release to targeted outlets including The Guardian, TimeOut, Mojo, Uncut, Q Magazine, Drowned in Sound, The Times, and more. They can take on artists in any genre and come at an exclusive discounted rate of £80 per press release, negotiated specially for you.

How do you get started? Just install the app in the Marketplace for the artist you’d like to promote, verify your artist name and contact email, and fill out a description of the release in as much detail as you can muster, including genre to key in on, specific requirements, highlights, deep, dark secrets, and more. Well, as long as you’re ok with seeing those last ones in print — that is the goal, after all!

Once you’ve sent that off, Naked Press will review your request and reach out via the email you provided. You’ll discuss the release directly, get the approvals needed, and Naked Press will work its magic on your behalf. Check back in the app 7 and 21 days after your press release has gone out to review number of contacts reached, opens and click rate. You can also access a PDF copy of the release for your records.

Get a visual tour of the app below:

Naked Press is available via The Orchard Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

Exploring iPluggers: How Artists Get Airplay

iPluggers The Orchard MarketplaceFor our latest Marketplace case study, we invited the folks at iPluggers to share some success stories from their users. From Latin to Pop, Electronic to Classical, these artists have all seen great results with the service. Read up below, and be sure to check iPluggers out in The Orchard Marketplace. Find out more about them, including special pricing for The Orchard’s clients, on their One-Sheet.

iPluggers is a digital plugging platform, servicing over 30,000 radio stations worldwide. Artists and labels have successfully used iPluggers to get airplay in countries all over the world, further strengthening their fanbase.

We have asked a few artists to share their stories with us.

Bongomatik
Genre: Latin / Pop / Jazz
Background: JJA Jazz Awards nominee

We choose iPluggers for our radio promotion due to its enormous reach and network: iPluggers spreads our music to radio stations we could have never reached by ourselves.

Before we started looking into digital radio promotion, we hired a traditional radio promoter which would promote our single to radio stations in The Netherlands. Costs were approx. €2500. Although we gained some airplay from his activities, we found that with traditional radio promotion, getting insight in the results is not always that easy.

When we started working with iPluggers, the costs of radio promotion of a single is about 10% of what we’d normally pay, we have direct insight in the results and we reach radio stations worldwide instead of being limited to our own country.

We would recommend that artists who have the resources to pay for traditional radio promotion do both traditional and digital radio promotion. Every band or record label should consider using iPluggers for their (digital) radio promotion: they just do what they promise to do and the communication with them is extremely smooth.

In addition to radio promotion, we make active use of our social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, we also send our album for reviews to the press (both online and printed music media).

RMFH
Genre: Electronic
Background: Former Myspace phenomenon, double platinum DJ, 2 times IDMA nominee, remixer for Usher, Lil’ Wayne & others

I have always focused on building my fan base via social media. In both 2008 and 2009, my music was in the top 10 on Myspace, so I never had problems getting my music directly to my fans. But I never knew how to get my music played on stations. For me, sales are much easier to come by than airplay. This is were iPluggers has been a great help. So far I have promoted 18 songs through them and they’ve really taken my career to the next level. The response from radio stations has been great, my tracks get airplay and my fan base continues to grow.

I’ve really noticed a difference: with the last single I put out via iPluggers, it gets played and fans grab their phones, find me on Facebook and let me know what they think. It has been a really great experience and I will continue to promote my music through them.

Robert Barham
Genre: Classical
Background: Composer and dramatist

I’ve chosen iPluggers to do my radio promotion because they have a worldwide reach and their service is easy to use. I have promoted 2 releases so far: my album Cello & Harp, which was just nominated for an Independent Music Award (IMA) in the Contemporary Classical Album category, and the winter single “Snow.”

iPluggers has given both releases the airplay it deserves, my sales have increased and my music has reached all corners of the world. Every artist and label should consider using them as part of your overall plugging package. I have found them friendly and always very responsive to any contact, and let’s face it: a lot of places just don’t get back to you!

Inusa Dawuda
Genre: Electronic / Pop
Background: Multitalented singer, songwriter, saxophonist, entertainer and entrepreneur; 2009-2010 Russia’s and C.I.S territory most successful foreign artist; music released on BMG, Universal Music, Pacha Recordings, Tiger Records- Kontor Records, Hed Kandi

As an artist, singer, entertainer and entrepreneur, I have to manage my time efficiently so for me it’s great that the iPluggers system functions well and has a simple, neatly arranged and user-friendly web interface.

Next to this, it’s also very pleasant to work with the iPluggers crew. I have plugged 6 releases with them so far and will keep working with them in the future.

Try Your Hand at 9 Languages in The Orchard Workstation

Workstation_Russian_ReleaseBuilderIf you’re one of our valued clients, you already know all the ins and outs of The Orchard Workstation and how we always aim to make it the best that it can be. Our engineering squad spends countless hours making sure that our clients are able to easily and effortlessly go into the Workstation and do anything from uploading releases to checking analytics — hefty projects.

But we realize working in your mother tongue makes the process easier. So, without further ado, we’re excited to unveil our Workstation in 5 new languages! To Spanish, French, German and English, we’ve now tacked on Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish, Russian and Italian. That’s a total of 9 languages now available at the click of a button!

When it comes to managing data for your newest album or getting YouTube video stats on a release, sometimes wording gets lost in translation. We want to make sure you don’t miss a beat when it comes to your business.

Be sure to read the full press release, and if you’re up for it, get busy testing out your multilingual skills.

The Marketplace Presents: ArtistEcard

artistecardBuilding a website is hard. There are so many things to think about: design, content, SEO, mobile-optimization, analytics… So if you’re not as tech-savvy as you’d like but still want a kickass website, ArtistEcard might be the solution for you.

With their HTML5 Website Builder, ArtistEcard allows you to create a highly customizable website the easy way. Import your key info from The Orchard Workstation, including your music catalogue, artist bio, photos, video links, tour dates and news items, then use ArtistEcard’s app to organize it all just the way you like it.

Here’s what to expect once you’ve launched the app in The Orchard Marketplace:

Step 1: Import Your Content from The Orchard Workstation

  • Choose between the 1-week trial version or the exclusively-priced $35/year subscription plan
  • Import your existing info from The Orchard Workstation
  • Select your profile picture, background images, and background music and be sure to hit Save

Now you’re ready to start molding your website. This first page you see once you’ve imported your content allows you to select a theme, upload your logo and customize your background image settings. Note that the images you import from the Workstation might not necessarily be optimal for backgrounds. Recommended size specs are 1280 x 960 pixels.

Step 2: Review, Edit or Add Content

Click on the Add Info button to make sure all the content you wish to include on your site is to your liking. This is also where you can access your site’s analytics, including site visits and music plays. Review each section carefully, add new menus, provide a site name and description for Search Engine Optimization, and complete your contact info. You’ll notice that anything ArtistEcard was able to import from The Orchard will already be there, and you can fill in any blanks by section.

Step 3: Perfect Your Site’s Appearance

Now it’s time to put the finishing touches on your site. Click on the HTML5 Builder button to preview your site before it’s published. This is where you can reorganize the order of your menus, add a custom favicon to your URL and play with your site’s layout, color themes and fonts.

When you’re ready, hit the Publish button at the bottom of the page.

All these steps can be repeated when updating your site. And remember, being built in HTML5 means your site is mobile-optimized too.

Check out the demo video below for a more in-depth walk-through.

ArtistEcard is available via The Orchard Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

Haulix Keeps Making Promo-Servicing Better

haulixIntroducing some exciting updates and upcoming projects, our friends at Haulix put together this blog post to remind you why their promo-sending platform is so awesome. From new ways to make the most of the app to improvements on the information you get and how to use it, these new developments reinforce why Haulix is consistently one of our most popular Marketplace apps. James, take it away! 

Hello, Orchard readers!

Fall is less than two weeks old, but it’s already shaping up to be one of the busiest seasons in recent memory for Haulix. Having launched a fully redesigned site and company blog over the summer, we’re currently working to further refine our music distribution software in a variety of ways.

We realized not long ago that we had been so focused on development, we had not updated the general public with everything we have been working on. Thankfully, the folks at The Orchard were kind enough to allow us this space to do just that, and we could not be more excited to finally let you in on the latest innovations from Haulix.

For starters, our built-in email system has undergone some major upgrades as of late. We recently launched an automatic background process that regularly scans contact lists for invalid email addresses. This takes the hassle of having to constantly update contact information out of the clients’ hands and allows them to dedicate more time and energy to what matters: promoting their new releases.

Also on the topic of email, we have a new activity screen that shows the current status of all messages sent through Haulix: Opens, Delivers, Bounces, Drops, Unsubscribes. It’s the perfect companion to our already in-depth usage analytics, offering our clients more information than ever before on the people they’re hoping to reach, and in turn making it easier for our clients to focus on the outlets who are actively engaging with their materials.

Outside of messaging, we have two big projects on the horizon that we feel will make the Haulix experience exponentially better for clients, as well as for the journalists they engage through our software. The first of these is an additional security feature that will require a 4-digit passcode for accessing a journalist’s ‘My Promos’ screen, which we are putting the finishing touches on as I write this blog post. The second, and perhaps most important update in this whole blog is that we recently started work on the long-awaited Haulix mobile platform. We do not have a launch date in mind just yet, but in the not too distant future, press will be able to stream promos directly from their phones or iPads.

That about wraps it up for this update on the world of Haulix. We are constantly striving to further refine our software and welcome any suggestions for future updates you may have. If you have any questions about our software, please do not hesitate to contact us at: matt@haulix.com.

— James Shotwell, Haulix

To find out more about Haulix in The Orchard Marketplace, check out this blog post

Now That’s What I Call A Compilation

September 30, 2013 Client Tool, Industry Trends 5 Comments

best country everWho doesn’t love a great mixtape? A collection of handpicked songs that represent the best of the best of whatever genre, activity, theme, emotion, season, holiday, or mood those songs embody. And while many music lovers may say that compilations erode the value of the album, it cannot be refuted that compilations provide tremendous value to music consumers and help record labels revive back catalogue whose sales may be waning. And they are great on road trips… and for dance parties… and for introducing music lovers to rarities and unusual sub-genres. They’re just great, got it?

And the business of compilations is doing very well. In fact, The Official Charts Company in the UK reported an increase in compilations sales in 2012 of 7.2%, bringing sales of the format up to 21% of all recorded sales. They are one of the fastest growing sectors of recorded music.

So, you ask, how do you make a great compilation?

That’s easy. You pick a theme, license (for super cheap) the absolute best songs ever to fit that theme, order those songs in the most inspiring and interesting way possible, then create the most beautiful, eye-catching art that will make it stand out from the millions of others on the digital shelf, and price it at just the right price so that consumers see more value in purchasing the album than just a few tracks off the album.

Or you could just call it “NOW That’s What I Call Music.” Those seem to sell well.

In all seriousness, though, there are 4 basic things you need to consider when creating a digital compilation:

Tracklist
The songs — and the order of those songs — are the most important aspect of the compilation. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is worth emphasizing. You can have the coolest looking “Best of Soul” compilation out there, but if it doesn’t have James Brown on it, it will never sell as much as one called “Worst of Soul” that does have James Brown. Ok, that might be extreme, but I’ve made my point. Do your homework, scour your catalogue for the music that fits, order those tracks in a thoughtful way, and it will pay off.

Title
Unless you already have a strong brand (NOW! or Ministry of Sound), the title of your compilation can have a huge impact on sales. Inserting a few key words that consumers search for will help your album gain some visibility in an already crowded digital marketplace. Do some research. Do people search for “Flamenco Guitar Music” or “Spanish Guitar Music” more? “Swing” or “Doo Wop?” “Christmas Music” or “Holiday Music?” “Songs” or “Music?” “Best” or “Greatest?” Some of this will be trial and error, but running these phrases by Google Trends will prove helpful.

Artwork
How much the cover art of a compilation matters certainly depends on the genre or theme. But in my experience, while artwork matters, it matters to a lesser extent than traditional albums. It is likely that a consumer LOOKING for a nice compilation of “Latin Jazz Music” or “Surf Rock Songs from the 60’s” is ok buying something that LOOKS like a compilation. This means that it doesn’t have to look like a rare work of art, but should look sharp, professional, and not too Photoshop-y. Simple, easy to read text next to an iconic image that conveys the music on the album works very well.

Value
Once you have created a great compilation, don’t ruin it by pricing it incorrectly. Compilations are typically value purchases for music shoppers, which means they look for something with more tracks than a typical album, and at a very attractive price point. 20 songs for $8, 30 for $10 — something in that range. Obviously, mechanical royalties and whether the master recordings are owned or licensed play into this pricing decision, but at the end of the day most compilation buyers want a good amount of music for a low price.

Happy Compiling!

(written while listening to “The 50 Best Country Songs Ever” by Various Artists)

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 VK.com. 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 VK.com’s interface. We are very happy to have agreed to a system of implementing the removal of infringing content with VK.com. 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 mp3juices.com and mrtzcmp3.net 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.

Sound Out Your Music Before It Hits

the orchard marketplace soundoutWhether you’re an avid Marketplace user or new to the party, I’d like to spotlight one of our partners that’s added some value to its offering since it launched in our Marketplace last year: SoundOut.

To rewind: SoundOut is a service used by majors and indies alike that sends music to an active group of over 300,000 music consumers who listen to an unmarked track and rate and review it based on several criteria, all of which SoundOut then synthesizes and packages for you within a specific time frame based on the package you’ve opted into. This is a great tool to use if for example you’ve got an album prepped for release in Release Builder and you want to find your first hit single. You get a sample public reaction from closely vetted music lovers that includes track ratings, emotional ratings, demographics and detailed comments, all of which you can use to better market your release.

And because I know you’re thinking about it… don’t worry — several layers of safety measures are in place to protect your music: all music is stream-only, reviewers never know what they’re going to get, and they can only listen to the song once. No artwork is shown, and additional anonymity options hide both track title and artist name.

In addition to all of this amazing stuff, SoundOut also manages a Track Of The Day program, where it picks one star track to highlight to users each day and sends it either via email or via their Android mobile app. If one of your songs scores above 80% market potential, it will be considered to blast out, putting your music and your name in front of users looking to find the next #1 hit before everybody else. Of course, you get to approve the feature first — if your track is selected, SoundOut will contact you directly and make sure you’re on board.

Another way SoundOut helps get your music heard is through their “Tomorrow’s Hits Today” playlist. It has lived on CBS’ radio.com since 2011 and is entirely powered by SoundOut, making it a great predictor of future chart hits. Being eligible for the playlist abides by the same process as the Track Of The Day program: your track needs to score above 80% market potential to be considered, and you’ll get final approval on whether or not it’s ultimately included.

Get some insight into your next potential chart toppers and dive into the music discovery niche by installing SoundOut in the Marketplace. You can choose from several different plans, and we’ve negotiated a 20% discount just for our clients. Get a full demo and more deets in this introductory blog post, and as always, let us know what you think!

Become A SoundCloud Master and A Master Of Your Rights On SoundCloud

soundcloud logoBetween updating their subscription plans and experimenting with more visual profiles (still in early beta), SoundCloud has been on fire lately. ComScore even recently reported that their traffic increased by 26% in one month, making SoundCloud the 8th fastest growing site in the U.S. Though it’s certainly evolved since its launch in Berlin in 2008, SoundCloud has retained an attractive simplicity that makes for a winning platform all-around.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, SoundCloud is an online platform that allows you to listen to, share and create sounds — from music, to commentary, to podcasts… essentially anything that can be recorded and heard. Unsurprisingly, it’s taken on an increased importance in the music world and has become a space to premiere new tracks — press outlets often embed SoundCloud players on their sites — share works in progress — safely, thanks to the secret link feature — and generate buzz around a new or upcoming release, be it through sets (SoundCloud playlists), free downloads, or other engaging content.

Being such an influential audio service, SoundCloud obviously takes its copyright policy seriously. New uploads are put through a rigorous screen to make sure that all content adheres to copyright regulations. In order to help ensure that everybody’s rights are respected, SoundCloud uses a well-established and market-leading third party content ID system to help identify and block known copyright works from appearing on their platform. As a result, you may have gotten a copyright notification email while trying to upload one of your very own songs… This could happen if someone else has uploaded the song before you, for instance if you’re uploading a track to your artist profile that your label has already put up. In these cases, where you’re obviously not violating any copyrights, you could benefit from getting your profile whitelisted, so your tracks don’t get blocked while uploading.

If you’re an Orchard client, you’re in luck. In partnership with SoundCloud, we’ve updated our Marketplace app so that any track you upload using the app automatically gets whitelisted. If you don’t have access to Marketplace, you can still get your account whitelisted by shooting an email over to your client rep. We’ll take care of you.

In addition, we worked with the folks at SoundCloud to secure an exclusive 20% discount on upgrades to SoundCloud Pro Unlimited accounts for all our clients, giving you access to advanced features like more detailed analytics and further audio storage. For instructions on how to get your individual discount code, check your inbox for our Client Newsletter dated May 28.

And if you’re not ready to upgrade just yet, as a special bonus for using SoundCloud through Marketplace, you’ll still gain access to exclusive Partner Tools: geo-blocking, which will automatically be added when your profile is whitelisted, domain locking, which you can access via this link, and scheduling, which allows you to specify a time for your sound or embedded widget to go public. These features give you increased control on your sounds and help to better target your impact, so take advantage!

To find out about these tools and more, take in this amazing SoundCloud/The Orchard Label Guide our teams have put together for you. In it, you’ll find everything you need to know about SoundCloud, how to install our SoundCloud Connect Marketplace app, and the amazing features you’ll find on the platform, plus tips on how to use them. I recommend checking out how to optimize your tracks (page 5), which widget to use on your website depending on your needs (page 9) and how to make the most of your analytics (page 15). Other useful resources are the SoundCheck Blog and Newsletter, to which you can sign up here.

Watch This Space: Amazon Disc on Demand

Amazon Disc on DemandWorking across both the digital and physical markets, I am frequently asked my thoughts on the future of physical music sales. While I believe a physical market will survive for music, I also often point to services like Amazon Disc on Demand as an interesting space to watch. Many questions arise over this service, and I aim in the below to address some of the more common questions I’m asked.

What exactly is Amazon Disc on Demand?

Amazon Disc on Demand uses the digital files that are delivered for the Amazon MP3 store to print a CD or DVD on demand for customers who order a physical copy. The transaction counts as a digital sale, but results in a physical copy.

What are the benefits of Disc on Demand?

No stock is held. You are able to sell to customers who prefer physical copies of releases without the exposure of having hundreds of units of stock sitting in warehouses across the world when demand may not justify that level of exposure.

What releases are good for Disc on Demand?

If the physical release of a title does not exist in the market, Disc on Demand provides a good option to reach customers who prefer physical units but may otherwise be missed. Disc on Demand is a particularly good option for older catalogue titles on which sales have slowed to the point where the physical is deleted, or perhaps should be to save on costs of slow-moving lines. It could also be a way to test the water for developing artists and releases.

In what territories does Amazon have the Disc on Demand program?

Disc on Demand is only live for music in the US and Germany at the moment. It is to be launching in one or two “major European territories” in the near future. These territories are not confirmed, but one could likely make some educated guesses.

Can I have a booklet with a Disc on Demand release?

Disc on Demand releases do include booklets which can be 4-32 pages. However, DoD booklet artwork currently needs to be in a different format than booklets for the MP3 store. Releases via the Orchard are currently set up using a standard template, but if you have an important release for DoD with which you would like to add a more detailed booklet, please contact your Client Manager.

But isn’t the quality really poor?

The Amazon Disc on Demand program suffers from a bit of a perception problem stemming from the somewhat lesser-quality of the packages at the time the service launched. Amazon has long since improved the quality of DoD products, increasing the booklet paper weight to 130gsm. Having seen several DoD packages, the quality can be indistinguishable from many “proper” physical releases.

If CDs are being printed to order, doesn’t it take a long time for customers to receive their copy?

No — the order is immediately sent to Amazon’s printing facilities, and the CD can be shipped out within 24 hours. No additional processing time occurs.

How is the pricing set?

While Amazon reserves the right to set retail price, a vendor can specify a desired list price and a royalty is paid through on this amount when a disc is sold. Your Client Manager can assist with further information.

Do Disc on Demand titles sell?

Sales of course vary by title, but we have seen steady sales through Disc on Demand. A particular recent success story happened with Acoustic Live by Nils Lofgren. When Nils toured as part of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Acoustic Live sold over 700 units through Amazon Disc on Demand in Germany, hitting #3 on Amazon Germany’s Live Albums chart. The physical version of this title had been deleted, and Disc on Demand was able to service a market that otherwise would have been missed.

How do I have my releases delivered to Disc on Demand?

Please contact your Client Manager for further details.

Get In On The Crowdfunding Action with RocketHub

RocketHub crowdfunding logoBetween Amanda Palmer and Veronica Mars, crowdfunding has proven its worth beyond the shadow of a doubt. In one year alone, global crowdfunding initiatives grew 81% to generate a reported $2.7 BILLION. Of that, music-related projects represented a very respectable $202.5 million, i.e. 7.5% of all raised funds and 4th most important category after social causes, business and entrepreneurship, and films and performing arts.

So, how do you get in on this? It couldn’t be more simple: install RocketHub via The Orchard Marketplace. For step-by-step instructions and a video demo on how to create a campaign, check out this blog post. The design has since changed but for the most part everything is still the same.

To add to the appeal crowdfunding has on its own, RocketHub has just announced an exclusive partnership with A&E’s Project Startup. Through this new deal, projects launched via RocketHub will have the opportunity to be featured on air, online and in print through A&E’s channels. In addition, if a project is really unique and attention-grabbing, A&E just may add itself to your list of funders.

“But I’m not a startup, I’m a musician!,” you say.

Don’t worry, we asked that question, too. While the first wave of projects is startup-related, RocketHub is planning several other engagements with A&E, Project Startup just being one of them. With music representing such a significant portion of the crowdfunding sphere, related projects will naturally ascend to higher visibility, and as such raise awareness in line with RocketHub and A&E’s goals: amplifying crowdfunding projects to do more than just raise funds, but also gain significant and strong awareness.

So get your thinking caps on and start an original campaign with RocketHub. The more stellar the idea, the higher the chance your project will not only get you money, but also create that oh-so-precious buzz and engagement you can’t get enough of.

RocketHub is accessible via The Orchard Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

Accounting Gets a Revamp

The Orchard AccountingHere in the Product department, we’re always busy building cool stuff to make life (and business) easier for our clients. This time, we’re very pleased to announce the launch of a brand new Accounting section. Please, everyone, calm down. Excuse me, sir, can you put your shirt back on? This is a family blog. Thanks.

We’ve rebuilt Accounting from the ground up — updating the look and feel, improving the workflow, and boosting performance. The user experience should be more painless than ever.

Our new accounting can now generate combined statements, showing you expenses, checks, adjustments, and your net balance over your selected time span and multiple periods. This can generate a lot of pages, so we’ve also added a “go to page” box down by the pagination, so you never have to click 37 times to get to page 38.

Filtering is now much easier and more powerful, too. While viewing your revenue breakdown, you can filter by any criteria, or combinations. Only interested in how a certain release has sold? Filter by release (multiple versions are differentiated by their UPCs). Want to see if that iTunes UK promotion was worth it? Filter by store, then by country. The filters are designed to be played with, so you can add or remove them one at a time, or en masse.

Exports are now easier than ever too. You can now export your accounting statement in Excel or plain text, filtered or not, on the Statements page.

The most common question around accounting, of course, is “When will I get paid?” To that end, we’ve redesigned the Statements page to be clearer and easier to read. It now gives you a more accurate estimate of when your check will be cut, based on your contract type.

Those are just the highlights — for more, check out the demo below and if you’re an Orchard client, go see it for yourself in The Orchard Workstation!

A Look Into Radar: How To Make Great Music Videos Cheaply

Radar Music VideosWe recently launched an app in The Orchard Marketplace which makes it its goal to pair artists and labels with the perfect director for their music videos.

This app, Radar Music Videos, has quite a few success stories to support its mission, and in this guest blog post, Caroline Bottomley, Managing Director of Radar, is going to share two of them.

Read up, and if you’re a client of The Orchard, install Radar Music Videos in the Marketplace.

Alt-J “Breezeblocks” — Director: Ellis Bahl

The Artist/Label and The Brief

Spring last year, Infectious Music posted a music video brief for their new UK signing Alt-J on Radar, with the teasing headline “INTRIGUING DIRECTORS ONLY NEED APPLY.”

Alt-J were still relatively unknown at the time, but sharper directors knew the band and liked the look of the £4k (approx. $6k) budget.

The Response

Radar has thousands of professional directors worldwide and our back-end shows the brief was viewed nearly 1,500 times. 41 directors submitted treatments to Infectious’ label manager Connie Meade, via the Radar mechanism. That was a lot of treatments for Connie to work through. Nowadays we recommend that labels expecting a big response state: “we only want to hear from experienced directors who have made popular, award-winning, brand-commissioned or editorially-featured videos,” or something similar.

The Director

Ellis Bahl was a young director in New York. He’d had some success with MTV Idents and co-directions of music videos, but was ready to branch out on his own. You can see the treatment he wrote on the Radar blog — and you’ll see it has a different ending to the finished video.

What Happened Next

Infectious’ brilliant marketing helped push Alt-J higher and higher up the media’s agenda. This video in particular got them coverage across U.K. media and a high profile feature in The Huffington Post. The director began to be courted by talent spotters and he’s now represented by two of the best agencies in the U.S. and U.K. (and now works with much bigger budgets). By the end of the year, Alt-J had won the Mercury Prize, the video won ‘Best Alternative Video’ at the UK Music Video Awards and from amongst the many millions of videos on Vimeo, it was chosen as one of the Best 12 Videos on Vimeo of 2012.

Lorenzo DiGrasso “Finally” — Director: Anthony Furlong

The Artist/Label and The Brief

Swiss DJ Lorenzo DiGrasso posted a brief open to all ideas and with a budget of €1,000 (approx. $1,350).

The Response

The brief was viewed 168 times and 5 directors submitted treatments via the site. (The treatments go to the artist/label’s email address.)

The Director

Anthony Furlong also happens to live in New York. He’s a successful commercials director but wanted connections in the music industry. So he came to Radar and started pitching. He found the star of this video from a brand casting earlier last year.

What Happened Next

Lorenzo and his label Mouvance are extremely happy. The video has featured as ARTECreative’s Video of the Month, the influential U.S. music video blog Videostatic and the U.K. talent spotting blog LittleBlackBook.

Feeling inspired? Then you need compelling music video content!

We suggest you check out the Radar app, available in The Orchard Marketplace, and commission a compelling music video right away. We have a network of thousands of professional directors worldwide, and it’s FREE for you to use. Plus, we’ll help promote the video.

Find out more about Radar Music Videos on their One Sheet.

Guest blog post by Caroline Bottomley, Managing Director of Radar Music Videos.

The Marketplace Presents: iPluggers

December 11, 2012 Client Tool, Featured News 9 Comments

iPluggersPlugging — it’s a word we often hear in relation to promoting something, recommending it, giving it your stamp of approval. iPluggers does just that for your music, and it does it all around the world.

With a 100% airplay guarantee (or your money back), iPluggers provides the platform for you to pitch your music to more than 30,000 radio stations of all genres and all types, including AM, FM, satellite, internet, and more. You can create an artist profile (or online airplay kit) on which to share and promote your tunes in minutes by following the steps below:

  • Install iPluggers through the Marketplace on the artist of your choice, and select a profile name for your iPluggers page (typically the name of your artist or band). Enter a contact email address on which you can be reached and click Submit.
  • On the next page, select “add a new release for worldwide plugging.”
  • This is where it gets interesting. First, choose what kind of release you’ll be plugging (Single, EP or Album). Then, choose a release cover from the pre-populated drop-down menu or upload a new one. Select the title of the release, confirm the artist name and add any featuring artists if needed. Choose the tracks you’d like to promote and click Next.
  • Once your tracks have been imported, you can choose up to three genres you’d like to target. You also have the option to carve out territories you don’t want to plug your music to. Optionally fill out release information to give radio stations some more background on why they should plug your release and click Next.
  • The last step before submission is completing your track information. While The Orchard provides a handful of iPluggers’s required metadata, there will still be missing fields. To fill them out, click on Edit Track Details and go through the fields to confirm pre-populated metadata and fill out what’s missing, such as Composers/Writers, Publisher and Song Genres. Click Submit.

Now iPluggers will review your release before approving it to plug. This can take up to 5 business days, and you’ll get a notification as soon as they’ve given it the green light. Once your release has gone through iPluggers’s system, you’ll get to set a plugging date, after which all radio stations subscribed to the genre you chose to plug will receive your release. To increase the likelihood of your release getting picked up, we also recommend that you complete your Artist Profile. Many fields will already be completed thanks to the app’s integration with our API, but you’ll need to tweak it to make it just right for iPluggers.

Track your releases by clicking on the Results menu and download reports for your plugged tracks by clicking on the corresponding link. You’ll be able to track the artist, song, radio station and country as well as when said radio station downloaded your track. While iPluggers can’t track if a specific radio station has actually played the song, the likelihood is high once the song has been downloaded (because stations can preview the song on your artist profile, it’s unlikely they would download it unless they intended to play it). Furthermore, all plays will be tracked via the usual SoundExchange/CMJ/MediaBase channels.

As Next Big Sound shared recently, and against popular belief, radio spins continue to positively impact track sales. Now that you have it all laid out in simple steps, there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of that extra push to bump up your sales!

See below for a more in-depth demo on how to get your music heard around the globe:

iPluggers is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them, including special pricing for The Orchard’s clients, on their One-Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Conduit Mobile

November 27, 2012 Client Tool, Featured News 1 Comment

Conduit MobileMeet our latest partner: Conduit Mobile. The mobile app creator is getting all kinds of press these days, and it’s not without good reason. Their sexy app offers every function you could dream of with the ease of use you’ve always wanted.

What’s more, they’re compatible with all major mobile devices, including iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android and Windows. No coding, no fuss — here’s a snapshot of some of the features Conduit offers:

  • Promote your music: Offer fans your hottest playlists and latest songs.
  • Share your LiveAlbum: Let fans take, share and view pics of your shows right from the app via a shared album on Facebook.
  • Make it yours: Customize your app’s look, feel and functionality to match your brand and unique style.
  • Publish your events: Keep fans up to date on your tour dates, signings, launch parties and shows.
  • Reach out to fans: Send location-specific push notifications to let fans know of upcoming shows, parties and promos in their area.

When you sign into Conduit, you arrive at the Edit menu, which is composed of three tabs: Content, Style and Info. Let’s look at these in a bit more detail:

  • Content: As with all our Marketplace apps, Conduit Mobile automatically imports your content from The Orchard Workstation, including your Info, Releases, Events, Videos, Social Links and any other good things they can find from your Artist Builder and Release Builder profiles. Keep in mind that once you’ve set up your app, anything you update within your Workstation, Facebook, YouTube and so on will automatically update in your Conduit mobile app as well. You can always edit the content you want to include, i.e. tracks, photos, etc, and you can easily add and customize additional pages such as Map, Contact, LiveAlbum Photo Stream (a recommended tool similar to Instagram that allows users to take and post photos directly within your app), eCommerce and so on.
  • Style: This is where you can manage the look and feel of the app, from app title to custom icons as well as header and background images (transparent images are preferable and specs are listed based on the platform for which you are creating the app) and colors. Tweak your navigation layout, and click Update Changes.
  • Info: This tab includes the app info that appears in each platform marketplace, including app name, official icon and description, as well as a checkbox to allow ads within your app and earn extra revenue.

Once you’ve tinkered and perfected your app, you’re ready to submit it to stores. You can do this by clicking on the To Market menu at the top of the page and selecting one by one which stores you want to send your app to. You’ll need a developer account for each store to submit as well as the native files (instructions here). If you have a Platinum or Diamond subscription with Conduit, they’ll take care of the submission for you — you just need to fill out a form with your developer credentials and submission preferences.

Speaking of subscriptions, all clients have access to a free trial, which includes 500 visits to mobile site and 25 mobile app installs. Once you’ve hit those numbers, you can choose between a Gold subscription at $22/month (unlimited site visits and up to 5,000 app installs), a Platinum subscription at $62/month (unlimited site visits and unlimited app installs) or a Diamond subscription at a one-time cost of $499. Go to the Home menu to update your plan.

There’s lots more you can do with your Conduit mobile app by navigating through the Home, Promote, Analytics and Notifications tabs on the top menu bar, including getting a mobile site URL, redirecting mobile users to that page, creating an HTML Promo page, tracking active users and their activity by platform and location, and sending targeted push notifications to your fans.

Check out the demo video below for a more visual look at how to use Conduit in the Marketplace, and make use of Conduit’s slew of specific how-to demos for the best ways to use every part of their app.

Conduit Mobile is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

Note: There are some fees associated with submitting your app to each store (one time vs. yearly) and each store has varying approval times (between 1 hour for Android and minimum 10 days to 2 weeks for Apple). 

Songpier Embraces All Your Screens

November 13, 2012 Client Tool, Featured News 1 Comment

It’s been in The Orchard Marketplace since launch; it’s consistently one of our most popular apps; it was one of the first HTML5 mobile apps out there… I’m talking about Songpier, the mobile app builder that’s now a whole lot more.

You might have noticed that Songpier — or Songpier Studio as it’s now called in the Marketplace — has completely revamped both its look and its offering. Manage your mobile app, desktop website and social sites all in one convenient location, and more than ever share it with your fans, no matter where they’re looking.

So what’s new, exactly?

  • One song was never enough: You can now select as many songs or releases you like to include in your Songpier.
  • Be social: Sync all your content to Songpier Studio from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and RSS feeds and send new content back.
  • Collect fans and emails: Customize playback restrictions by song to encourage fans to Like you on Facebook, giving you access to all their deets. Choose from Always Free, Require Faving After 3 Plays or Require Faving.
  • Think of everything… and everyone: Enhanced sharing options make it easy for all users to access your site from anywhere and still get all the information they need.
  • Don’t lose sight of anything: Keep up with what-you-got-from-where and what-is-published-where thanks to icons throughout the Studio that indicate where each item was imported from and where it’s published.

Here’s how to make the most of all these new features in the Marketplace:

  • Once you’ve launched Songpier from the Marketplace, the app will connect with your content through the API. Select the tracks you’d like to include; toggle the switches to additional content on or off for Events, News, Photos and Videos; and click Sync Now. Note that you can always add or remove content when you launch the app, or by clicking Pull next to The Orchard in the Social Connect menu on your Dashboard.
  • Don’t just sync with The Orchard, sync with all your socials! Go to Social Connect on your Dashboard and link up with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You can also hook into your RSS feed so all your updates get included on your Songpier page too.
  • Manage your page’s look by tweaking your Artist Profile and Appearance. Pick your app background, icon and skin, and preview the whole lot on all devices by clicking on the various options on the top right.
  • Fine tune your app using the menus under the Content section. Organize your Songs (pick a featured tune, customize each song’s look, add lyrics and select playback restrictions), News items (import them from your socials), Events, Pictures (add titles to your albums and pictures or share stories in the descriptions), Videos and Discography (include purchase links). You can even link to your Merch store so fans can buy your stuff straight from the app.
  • Now that you’ve perfected your app through Songpier Studio, share it with the world using the numerous Share options at your disposal. Send the page link, download and share your QR code, lead mobile users visiting your official website to your Songpier-mobilized page using the Mobile-izer tool, and embed customized playlist or song widgets anywhere you’d like.

On top of all these exciting updates, the new interface is easy on the eyes and easy on the brain. So play around with it and find out for yourself why Songpier is reliably one of our top apps!

To get a visual step-by-step of how to use the new Songpier Studio, check out the demo video below, and get an idea of what Songpier looks like in action on Der König Tanzt’s mobile-optimized site.

Songpier is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Muso

MUSO LogoAs we talked about recently, piracy is still very much an issue in our world today. There are ways to combat it, like streaming services, anti-piracy measures from the government and the DMCA, but that doesn’t solve the immediate problem of having an illegal link up that people are downloading without permission.

Muso is here to help with precisely that problem. As a specialized anti-piracy platform, Muso scans the web for illegal files and issues DMCA takedown notices on your behalf. Keep in mind that in order to issue these notices, you need to have full legal rights to take them down worldwide, under penalty of perjury.

Here’s how it works:

  • Select your plan and fill out the required details in order for Muso to issue takedown notices in your name. A 14-day free trial is available for you try the app out before committing, and other plans are priced according to the number of takedowns issued per month.
  • At this point, the artist on which you installed Muso will be verified and a profile should appear within an hour. The hunt for your illegal files begins immediately after that. Just click on your artist page and begin…
  • Once in, you’ll notice three different tabs to the right: Files, Groups and SEO. The Files tab lists all files that Muso has matched to your artist. You can add search options by clicking on Search/Filter Files. The Groups tab allows you to automate bundle takedown notices sent for files of the same name. The SEO tab manages search results leading to your tracks, and Muso also allows you to issue notices to remove those results from search engines like Google.
  • For each tab, tracking your takedown status is as easy as reading a traffic light. If the status color is red, the file is available for takedown. When you select a file and click on “Send Takedown” (remember to review and confirm that you have the rights to issue the notice), the color will turn orange, indicating a takedown in progress. Green of course means the file was successfully removed. The more green the better!
  • To help you confirm whether the file found is indeed an infringing file, you can click on the file name itself. This will lead you to the page where the file is hosted. Similarly, the S or G icon to the left of the file name will take you to the page where Muso found the link.
  • If you find a file that Muso hasn’t detected yet, you can add it manually by clicking on the “Add Files” link at the top right of the page.

Muso is constantly checking for new infringing files, and you can access the dashboard at any time to track the status of your removals. The average time between when you send the takedown notice and when the file is removed varies depending on the source, but typically takes between 2 hours and 3 days. For cyber lockers with whom Muso deals with directly, files are removed within 30 seconds.

Ready to get started? Check out the demo below to find out more:

MUSO is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Radar Music Videos

Radar Music VideosGet your networking faces on because we’ve just partnered with a new Marketplace app that promises to match you with your perfect music video director.

Did someone say video? Yes, you heard right. And we’re excited too.

Radar Music Videos, an online network that aims to bring artists and labels together with music video directors worldwide, is there to help you create original music videos without breaking the bank. Plus, Radar is totally free to use for labels. Payment for the actual video happens directly between the label and hired director, and Radar takes no commission for the service either.

Let’s get started, shall we?

  • When you log in to Radar via The Orchard Marketplace, the app imports your track information through the API. You should see all your tracks listed with a big blue “Post a Brief” button next to them. Click on it for the track you want to commission.
  • This is where you fill out all the details for the music video of your dreams — at least, what hasn’t automatically been imported through The Orchard. You’ve got 2 pages of items to complete, to ensure you give the best description of what you’re looking for so that Radar’s network of directors knows exactly what your vision is. This is also where you fill out your Budget requirements. Here, everything is on the table: from a lyric video (which are quite popular now!) to a custom amount premium video.
  • Once you’ve posted your brief, music video directors from all over will start sending you their treatments, or pitches. You can manage all of these from your home page. Review them, choose to get in touch, or send a quick pre-prepared response through Radar if you’re not interested.
  • You’ve commissioned a video? Great! Now it’s up to you to negotiate contracts, fees and production issues directly with the director.

As an additional bonus for The Orchard’s clients, Radar has offered to market completed videos on its website, newsletter and social networks for additional support. Just send them a link to admin@radarmusicvideos.com and they’ll cover you.

In addition to being free to use, Radar gives no obligation to commission, so you can use the service as much as you want without any pressure.

Check out the demo below to find out more about how to use Radar through The Orchard dashboard, or check out their promotional video here:

Radar is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

No Email Uncollected… And More Updates from DIY Music

October 15, 2012 Client Tool No Comments

DIY Music LogoSure, new apps are great — but updated apps are even better! Why? Because they aim to improve a product based on what people want and need. That’s exactly what DIY Music, the do-it-yourself e-commerce platform, has done with their series of updates to their app. As an Orchard client, you can benefit from all of them via our Marketplace.

So, what’s new with DIY Music these days?

  • Email Collection Tool: This is our favorite update, and we’re sure it’ll be yours too. Under the new Marketing tab in the app, you’ll now find a widget creator for your email for media tool. It’s the same deal as you’ve seen before: fans type in their email, verify their address and get a free download — all so you can beef up that mailing list!
  • Video Plug-In: You can now import your YouTube video links from Artist Builder into your Store widget for added value. (Unfortunately, Vimeo isn’t compatible.) Because it’s all about the visuals, right?
  • Customization: Your Store widget will be even more you with options to customize your text and background colors as well as background images.
  • More Detailed Analytics: If you’re a data lover, this one’s for you (if you’re not, you might want to become one!). In addition to your regular Sales Activity, your Reporting tab now provides additional Analytics on interactions that happen within any and all your widgets. Numbers are broken down by Category, for example Album, Song or Email for Media widget, and Actions, including views, activations (when a person actually clicks to open the widget), shares, plays, cart adds, cart removals and conversions.
  • Buy URLs: These allow you to get fans to buy your music instantly by sharing them on sites like SoundCloud or Twitter. Fans are automatically redirected to Amazon or PayPal to complete the purchase.
  • Better Pricing Interface: DIY heard your calls and changed the default pricing on albums to $9.99 and on tracks to $0.99. These are still totally adjustable, but this way your most common pricing options show up first. They’ve also added a Pre-Sale option, where consumers can buy your music in advance and get an email with a download link once it’s available.
  • Mobile-Optimized Landing Pages: Flash may be dying but it’s not dead yet. DIY Music has created mobile-compatible landing pages in HTML5 when fans are viewing your widgets on their smartphones. These can be branded too, adding to the experience.
  • SoundScan Integration: DIY Music now reports all your sales to SoundScan!

DIY has also revamped its store widgets for a fresher feel. They’re not only better looking, but they’re also easier to navigate. Plus, they have a new Help section to make sure you’re getting the best experience possible.

So go ahead! Try DIY Music out for the first time or rediscover it all over again.

The Sky’s The Limit! Analytics Opens Up to Social Media

September 18, 2012 Client Tool, Featured News No Comments

The Orchard AnalyticsWe know we just shared some exciting updates to our Analytics product a few weeks ago, but we have yet another one we’re dying to announce: in addition to tracking our clients’ sales and streams of audio and video, Analytics can now track social media data from Facebook! Instead of relying on hunches and guesswork, our clients will  be able to look at hard data to see if their social media efforts are driving sales.

There are three new channels that detail Facebook activity: Fans Gained, Fans Lost and Engagement. Fans Gained is the total number of people who “liked” your Facebook fan page. Fans Lost is the total number of people who “unliked” your page. Engagement is how your fans react to your artists’ Facebook content: comments, Likes, mentions, content shares, posts to your Wall, event RSVPs, photo tags, etc. Facebook displays a monthly total of this on a fan page, and calls it “People talking about,” but Analytics can give you daily counts.

That said, these new channels will only show up if you have connected at least one artist’s Facebook account in Artist Builder. You can check this in Artist Builder, under the social connections tab. Make sure each artist or film is connected to its own account. If they aren’t connected to any accounts, they won’t display any social data in Analytics; and if an artist is connected to the same account as other artists (such as a label fan page), all the artists connected to that account will display a skewed daily total in their social channels.

The Orchard Analytics is available to all clients of The Orchard, providing labels, artists and filmmakers with information they can use to make smarter marketing decisions and spends — and now, in particular, evaluate the effectiveness of social media!

Classical Labels, This One’s For You: Works and Movements Now in Release Builder

September 14, 2012 Client Tool No Comments

The Orchard's Release BuilderAt The Orchard, we’re constantly improving the tools we offer our clients, and one of our most essential tools — Release Builder — just got a Classical boost! It’s a well-known fact to all Classical labels that metadata works very differently for those releases than for regular ones, so we want to make sure we’ve got all the metadata fields they might need.

Release Builder already included fields for Composers, Orchestra, Ensemble and Conductor. Now we’ve added two new fields for Classical releases on the Track Details page: Works and Movements. The “Work” field is mandatory, whereas the “Movements” one is optional, and both fields can have multiple entries. For those who don’t know, movements are a unit of a larger work that can also stand by themselves as a complete composition.

For an example of how these new fields tie into Classical releases check out the following screenshot. In this case, we have a Release titled: The Four Seasons and its composer is Vivaldi. “Spring” and “Summer” are the Works and “Allegro” and “Largo” are the movements.

Works and Movement in Release Builder

We’re excited to present this to our Classical clients and help their releases get the full metadata they deserve to be displayed in stores.

What Our Clients Say About Analytics…

August 17, 2012 Client Tool, Marketing No Comments

The Orchard AnalyticsIn the discographic domain, figures have always been important. Bands, labels, distributors and agencies often rely on numbers.

In that regard, technology and the digital world can really help us make the right decisions. The Orchard implemented a statistical analysis tool that turned out to be extraordinarily useful in a variety of situations.

We are talking about the ‘Analytics’ section that has been available for some time now. Whether you want to keep track of sales, you are planning marketing investments, you want to know what platforms are preferred for digital download vs just streaming, you want to know if an artist’s album or its single tracks are being sold and why not, or even what countries buyers come from, then you could easily use this robust Analytics feature.

This is not all. An iTunes specific section is also available, showing exactly where (even telling you the postal code) and when (exact time) buyers click to purchase music. This could be an alternative and nice way for artists to spot what doors to knock on for a direct meet and greet with their fans! Just kidding.

So why is this information so useful? Simply because it allows you to monitor the digital market growth in almost-real-time and then identify strong and weak points. Let us make some practical examples:

Recently, Italian artist Colapesce shot a very good video for his single “Satellite” from his new album titled Un meraviglioso declino. This song was released as a single because the artist teamed up with Meg (former 99 Posse singer) to re-release another version of the same song. We noticed that making the single available for purchase, along with the video clip, not only boosted the sales of the song but of the full album as well.

Another example is “Happy!!!,” Sycamore Age’s video of their single. It has collected thousands of click-throughs on Vevo; so many that from the moment the album was available for purchase, the sales of their self-titled album were immediately and positively impacted. Also, Sycamore Age are being appreciated (and downloaded) very much outside of Italy thanks to their excellent English pronunciation. This information allows us to launch specific marketing campaigns to try to bring the band into those countries in Europe that showed more interest towards their music.

We could go on and on with hundreds of different examples but we understand that this could be boring. What we recommend you do is check out all these new possibilities and features since we think that the ‘Analytics’ tool that Orchard has created is a wonderful way to help us avoid mistakes and focus where to spend our energy (and money) on.

- Guest post written by Gabriele Giustini, Audioglobe (Italy)

The Marketplace Presents: TrackTrack.it

TrackTrack.itDoes your file exceed your email client’s capacity? Your contact doesn’t know what a Zip file is? You sent a file but you don’t know if it was delivered or listened to?

We’ve all been there…

With TrackTrack.it, you now have a quick and easy way to send your music files to your contacts securely. Some of its best features include inaudible watermarks, a secure streaming player, delivery to emails AND phones, download notifications and detailed analytics, expiration dates and password protection.

To use it, install the app as usual through The Orchard Marketplace. The first page you see allows you to import your tracks from Release Builder. Select the ones you want and click “Import Songs.” When the import is complete, click on “Start Sending Music.” You can also watch some neat videos on Basic Song Sending, Watermarking and The History Page while you’re waiting.

Now, you should be on the Send Music page. This kind of looks like an email draft (but cooler). Type in your recipients and your message, then click on the songs you want to include in your message from the list on the left of the page, or drag and drop new tracks from your desktop. If you’re using TrackTrack.it again for the umpteenth time because you’ve become a total fan and some of your latest songs haven’t yet imported into the app, just click on the Manage button below the list and go to “Import From The Orchard.”

Next you get to pick and choose your messaging options:

  • Add an inaudible Watermark to track your song
  • Choose to get a Return Receipt so your recipients can’t fool you
  • Select your method of delivery depending on how much you trust your contacts: Download Link, Streaming Player or Email Attachment
  • Implement various restrictions to further secure your music: Expiry Date, Download Limit and/or Password Protection

Guess what? You’re ready to send your message!

Your History Page is your go-to tool for tracking Sends, Streams and Downloads. You can filter your stats by recipient, song and time frame, and view them on a line graph, pie chart or geographically (kind of like our iTunes Heat Map in Analytics!) — with details going as far as how much of the song your contact listened to. This page is also where you can find a list of all the music you’ve sent, and enable or disable some of the preferences you set in the original email.

If you suspect someone has misplaced your hard-earned trust and uploaded your music to an unauthorized site, head over to the Analyze page and test the suspected file for traces of your watermark. What you do with the information you find is up to you…….. [Tip: you could use one of the Marketplace's anti-piracy apps like Link-Busters to remove the illegal file.]

The Settings page also has some handy options, like adding a custom header to your message to make it look even cooler. Simply go to the “Email Display” tab and upload your artwork. This is also where you can manage your contacts.

We know you can already tell TrackTrack.it will be super helpful in your marketing campaigns. As an extra something something to welcome you to the app, TrackTrack.it is giving away 20 free sends per artist! Depending on your catalogue, that’s a lot of free sends…

Check out the demo below to find out more:

TrackTrack.it is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

The Orchard Analytics Joins Forces with Amazon, Spotify and YouTube

Amazon, Spotify, YouTube, The OrchardBrace yourselves, Orchard clients — we have yet another awesome update to The Orchard Analytics. We are now giving you daily data feeds of AmazonMP3 U.S. sales, and streams from Spotify and Rdio. For video, we’ve fixed the YouTube feed, which now updates weekly, and added video download and rental data from Xbox.

This means that all Orchard clients have access to an unprecedented smorgasbord of digital media intelligence. While the new data feeds are automatically added to your overview graphs, here’s how to see just the new stuff: in the top panel of the Overview page, to the left of the Apply button, there are two dropdown menus. You’ll find the new data feeds under the first one, All Sources. If you only want to see your Amazon numbers, select Amazon from the list, hit apply, and then use Analytics as normal — your results will only show data from Amazon. If you want to compare how you are performing in different stores (say, Rdio and Spotify) you can do that by going to a detail page. Below the graph, select the fourth Breakdown option, “Stores.” Once it’s loaded, you can check on and off the stores you want to see.

We’re thrilled about all this new data, because more data means all out clients can make smarter decisions. AmazonMP3 is our second biggest store besides iTunes, and one of the fastest growing digital marketplaces in the world — we’re only tracking Amazon U.S. for now, but the rest of the world will come soon! Streaming services like Spotify and Rdio are increasingly becoming the go-to option for “checking out this new band.” As social media becomes even more central to marketing and promotion, your plays on streaming music services become a very low-latency barometer of your label’s buzz and impact. With daily feeds, you can now see how many plays your artists and releases are getting, and quickly adjust your marketing efforts for maximum impact.

So go check out all your new data in Analytics! Because we don’t want you to wonder; we want you to know.

Introducing: Custom Events in Analytics!

Tho Orchard, Marketable Events, AnalyticsThose of you who use the Orchard’s Analytics product may have noticed the recent appearance of a lovely orange “Add Event” Button. We’re pretty excited about this — it allows you to annotate the graph with events that may have impacted your sales.

By now, you’ve all played with Analytics enough to have noticed some spikes in your sales or streams. And you’ve probably asked yourself why. We certainly have. Events are here to help you understand that. Was your new single featured in a movie trailer? Did your new release get a good review on Pitchfork? By marking these events on your graph, and seeing what happens, we can start developing an understanding of what creates these spikes.

The goal here is to provide an open-ended tool for examining the impact of your marketing efforts. For this first release we kept it simple. Click the Add Event button. Select a date, enter a title for the event, pick an artist and relevant category. Hit save. That’s it. Events are indicated by a grey vertical line; hover on it to see the event, and click on it to ‘pin’ the event in place. Click again to un-pin it. Pinning an event means the event will stay put while you navigate, and also allows you to delete events. Events intelligently filter themselves based on what data you are looking at. The default, label-wide view shows all events; change your view to certain artists or releases, and you’ll only see events relevant to those artists.

There are about 9 million cool features we want to add to Events. For instance, event categorizations doesn’t do anything right now, but in the future this will allow you to hide and show events by their category, as well as tell you what kinds of events get used most often. Another feature already in the works is to automatically show you premium ad placements in online music stores. Combined with the existing ability to filter by country and store, this will provide powerful insights into the effectiveness of those placements.

We have a lot planned for Events. More important, though, is how YOU would use this. What would it do if it were magic? Head over to your analytics, give it a whirl, and let us know how it could be improved.

Use FanRx To Spruce Up Your Facebook Page

May 14, 2012 Client Tool No Comments

FanRx, the Facebook app that helps you create super cool band pages, recently underwent a major makeover. Not only did it change its name from BandRx to FanRx — to better reflect its vast offering, which isn’t limited to music — it also revamped its features.

Now, FanRx allows you to take full advantage of Facebook’s latest updates, particularly the extra space allotted to apps, and has added highly anticipated features like customization and embeddable Spotify playlists — one of the few apps along with FanBridge to have incorporated the Spotify Play Button.

In more detail, new features include:

  • Widescreen Tabs: With the intro to Timeline, tab apps can now fill up 810 pixels in width. Never one to let an opportunity like this slip by, FanRx has widened the app to fill out the extra space.
  • Two-Column Layouts: Still taking advantage of new screen real estate, widgets are easily arrangeable into one or two columns.
  • Custom Themes (Premium): Stand out with 12 visual color themes – for premium users only.
  • Duplicate Modules (Premium): The more the merrier! Premium users can now have several modules of the same type: Banner Images, Audio Players, Contests…
  • Spotify Play Button: Now incorporated into FanRx’s Audio Player, you can access your Spotify playlists super easily.

Needless to say, we’re fans of FanRx here. We’ve used it for some of our artists already, like Devin, where we took advantage of the full size banner to promote his latest release Romancing with a music video and a Like-to-stream lock to access the album. We also used the BandsInTown importer to list upcoming concert dates in the Events module. As a result, Likes increased by 14% through the FanRx page alone, and paired with strategically placed Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories, they skyrocketed by 82.2%.

For Riverboat Gamblers‘s FanRx page, we took advantage of the Spotify Player and the two-column look. Add a sleek wide banner to that and a module with Twitter updates and you have a simple yet effective band page that does exactly what it should: it imprints the name of the band in your mind; it allows you to stream the music easily [and get it monetized]; and it establishes a social connection with the band through photos and social updates.

FanRx, along with all its new features, is available at your fingertips in The Orchard Marketplace.

The Marketplace Presents: ShoutEm

shoutem marketplace orchardWe’ve all read those articles about how mobile marketing and having a mobile presence is now indispensable. Lucky for you, we’ve got options on how you can get one. We’ve already shown you how you can create a quick and easy mobile-optimized website with Songpier. With one of our latest partners, ShoutEm, you now have a way to create a full-on mobile app from scratch, available in the Apple and Android App Stores.

To install the app, head over to The Orchard Marketplace and click on the Install App button. Once you’ve accepted the Developer Permissions, you’ll arrive at the mobile app builder. To access the information pulled from your Artist and Release Builder profiles, click on the Integrations tab. Here, you can select which Audio, Videos and Photos you’d like to include, and you can add News and Events feeds that update automatically within your app so you don’t have to worry about manual upkeep.

To customize the different features and functions of your app, head over to the Content tab. Here you can choose to include a whole selection of modules such as News, Events, Photos, About, Videos, and more. Some neat ones include Audio podcasts and Radio streaming, and the Social network module allows you to create an interactive spot within the app for your fans to communicate. Last but not least, the app allows you to send Push notifications to users who have installed the app, instantly letting them know of special offers, impromptu events, or whatever awesome things you wish to share with them.

The Design tab gives you full control of your app’s appearance, from artwork to layout, and the Publish Info tab includes the information that will appear in app stores, such as name, description and price – though we recommend making it free to increase usage (who doesn’t like a free app?). ShoutEm also offers some sweet Goodies to encourage app downloads, like a promo widget to embed on your site and a popup script to raise awareness.

When you’ve finished tweaking your app, you can preview it on your iPhone by downloading ShoutEm’s Mobilizer app in the iTunes store. Unfortunately, we have here a case of temporary Android discrimination, but the ShoutEm folks promise to get on that soon. When you’re satisfied, you can choose to push the app in the stores through your own developer account, or via ShoutEm directly.

Get a visual feel for the app with ShoutEm’s demo below:

ShoutEm is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: SoundOut

March 26, 2012 Client Tool No Comments

the orchard marketplace soundoutYou’re an artist, you make music, you like your music, you sign with a label who likes your music too and you’re about to release a new album for the world to hear that you hope will like it just as much or more. With their unique technology based on semantic analysis of reviews over time, SoundOut has a way for you to confidently – they boast a 97% confidence factor! – predict how your track or album will be received by your listeners.

The principle is simple: submit a song you want to get feedback for; SoundOut sends it to a random sample group via the online reviewing community SliceThePie; those listeners give detailed feedback on your song; and SoundOut takes all the information and puts it into a detailed report for you.

To get started, sign in through The Orchard Marketplace and look over the terms and conditions of the app. Once on the SoundOut page, select the track you’d like to get feedback for by clicking on “add a new track” and selecting from your catalogue using the “+” sign. You can also upload from your computer with the “select your tracks” button.

It might take a few minutes for your track to be transfered. Once it is, simply click on ‘order this report.’ Double check your report title and select a report type. You can choose between 4 reports: Free (10 reviews), Standard (80 reviews), Express (80 reviews) or Plus (200 reviews). All reports have a 5 days delivery time except for the Express one, which only takes 24 hours. Look through the report options and click on ‘order report,’ then confirm by clicking on ‘place order.’ You’ll receive an email when your report is complete.

What you can expect in your report is overall market potential based on track ratings and passion ratings (which take into account a reviewer’s reaction in relation to everything else he/she has written before), UK/US breakdown, details for each demographic, a word cloud highlighting recurring topics and comments, and all full reviews.

If you’re concerned about safety and piracy, fear not! To reduce any risk, all music is stream-only, reviewers never know what they’re going to get, and they can only listen to the song once. No artwork is shown, and additional anonymity options hide both track title and artist name.

Not To Miss: As a special introductory offer, SoundOut is offering a FREE Plus Report to the first 100 users to order one.

For more visual instructions on how to use SoundOut to get feedback on an up-and-coming track you’ve poured your heart and soul into, check out their short demo below:

SoundOut is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff: Glnk It!

glnk it: the easiest way to share pre-order links!So you’re a band and thanks to this wonderful thing called ‘the world wide web’ (old school!) you have gained fans as far and wide as Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Poland, the USA and everywhere in between. It’s a great thing!

And then there’s this place called ‘Facebook‘ and something else called ‘Twitter‘ and you need to spend time communicating with your masses of fans in every part of the globe. So far, so good, you’ve got it covered!

But you have an album coming up… And it’s good; really good! The blogs are buzzing! And then, your label is nagging you, your manager is nagging you… “Don’t forget to post your iTunes preorder link on your social media pages! Let’s get those fans excited!”

So off  you go, heading to your local iTunes store and grabbing the iTunes preorder link with a simple ‘right click’ on the cover. Easy. You head over to your Facebook page and post it there. Job Done. But wait… All your fans outside of the USA are posting “Where’s the link for Australia? Brazil? Ireland?!” What to do?!

Glnk it!

Glnk is a simple way to combine multiple links, defined by country codes! When your fans click on your glnk they will be redirected to the link specific to the country they’re in! And you can log into this easy to use service right from your Facebook account. How good is that?!

So go on then, get cracking. Glnk it.

The Marketplace Presents: DIY Music

March 5, 2012 Client Tool 3 Comments

When you’re a musician, your primary purpose is to a) make music and b) get that music out into the world. Sometimes, accomplishing “b” can be a bit challenging.

In those cases when you just have to do-it-yourself, DIY Music is here. Our new Marketplace app provides a self-contained e-commerce platform that allows artists to sample their music, sell it directly from the DIY Music widget and share it across all social networks.

The best part? You have the option to sample and sell individual songs, whole albums or an entire artist catalogue, and you retain 78% of your sales. However, DIY Music does not yet report to SoundScan – but they’re working on it, so stay tuned.

How it works:

  • Sign in through the Marketplace: Install the app for the artist of your choice; read and agree to the terms and conditions and wait for the app to verify the connection.
  • Find your assets as transferred through our API: You’ll get a personalized email from the DIY Music guys letting you know when your assets have been imported through The Orchard’s API.
  • Review, edit and sync your files: Here you have the option to edit the metadata of your files straight from the app and re-sync. Check that the files are properly imported by going to the ‘Files’ tab and clicking “Check Files.”
  • Set the preview time for your clips: On the ‘Clips’ tab, you can create custom preview times or enable full-length streams.
  • Assign pricing and territorial rights: When you’re done working with your assets, go to the “Marketplace” tab (the one with the $ sign) and start creating your portable store by determining the price of your album, songs or catalogue and the territories where you’d like your music to be available. You can choose pricing for MP3 and WAV files and select a start and end date for your store.
  • Create portable and digital storefronts: Create your DIY Music widget for your song, album or catalogue and preview it in real time through DIY’s Store Builder.
  • Deploy your stores: Share your store on Facebook, embed it on your website or email the link to your contacts to get the word out and start selling!
  • Follow your sales and get paid: Go to the Reporting tab to track your sales and view your payment history.

For detailed steps on how to set up your DIY Music store, go to the app’s specially designed user guide or watch their short demo below:

DIY Music is accessible via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

5 Things I Can (and Should) Do Better To Improve My Digital Persona

March 1, 2012 Client Tool No Comments

Part of my role is to craft and monitor The Orchard’s digital footprint and online personality. Generally, this leaves me little time or energy to worry about how my own personal brand is reflected online. Not this week! Between the new Google privacy policy that goes into effect today and having to prepare my Facebook page for the eventual Timeline launch on March 30th, it’s time to pause and think of ways I can have a better online persona (and maybe even be a better person in the process).

Since “What I should do better” is a bit open-ended, I’m constraining myself to apps in the Marketplace (can’t stray too far away from The Orchard). Here are five things I should do:

  1. RocketHub – I’ve always wanted to make a coffee table book of travel photos, but first I need to visit a few more countries. So, I’ll try to raise money from RocketHub for my travel expenses, I’ll keep a journal along the way to share with my Fuelers and then give individual prints and finished copies of the book for certain donation thresholds.
  2. Charitable Checkout – I was part of Big Brothers Big Sisters for a few years, but even though I’m no longer donating my time, I’d still like to help them in some way. Charitable Checkout is an easy way to post a widget on my page to encourage my friends to donate to the charity of my choice.
  3. Songpier – I need to be mobile-optimized!
  4. Dropcards – Next Christmas, I’m designing my own Dropcards, loading them up with photos and videos, and sending them out as my holiday card.
  5. webdoc – Speaking of Christmas, for my next Christmas party, I’ll post the invite on webdoc so that my friends can comment on how much they’re looking forward to it through their witty video, photo and audio responses (yes, I have high expectations of my friends). I can even add in a Google map to my place and grab a photo from Facebook that my friend posted from an old party. Want to come?

If you’re way too tired or focused on SXSW to make any parallels from this list to your business, here you go:

  • RocketHub – Raise money to record your album
  • Charitable Checkout – Get your fans to donate to charities you support
  • Songpier – Give your fans a way to get info on their smartphones
  • Dropcards – Include bonus tracks and videos with CDs and vinyl
  • webdoc – Ask your fans to post their photos/videos from your tour

Now, back to my Facebook Timeline….

The Marketplace Presents: Dympol’s Charitable Checkout

February 7, 2012 Client Tool No Comments

Meet Charitable Checkout, the 100% free app that lets you raise money for the causes you believe in while promoting your music and developing closer relationships with your fans.

The concept is simple: when fans give to celebrity-endorsed causes, they get brand-sponsored discounts and a public thanks from said celebrity on their social networks.

As an artist, you’ll create an enticing widget through the Charitable Checkout app that you can publish to your Facebook profile or embed on your website or blog. You can choose from over one million charities, from Rock The Vote to Planned Parenthood. Here’s how to do it:

Install the app on the artist of your choice from The Marketplace app page, and accept the developer permissions. You will then be led to the Dympol website, where a window will pop up asking you to connect your Facebook Fan Page. Log in to Facebook if you haven’t already done so, and Allow the app to access your information. This step is necessary to create a Dympol tab on your Facebook page for your campaign. Then, choose which Fan Page you would like to create a widget for. Note that your Fan Page will have to be published in order for Charitable Checkout to be added.

Now you’re ready to start creating your widget, which you can do in four simple steps:

1. Select your charities: You can select up to three candidates to reap the benefits of your fundraising. Almost all charities from the United States, and many international ones, are available within the app. If you encounter one that is not offered, feel free to contact the Dympol team so they can include it for your campaign. To add a charity, start typing the name, and select it when it pops up below. A confirmation window will appear to make sure you’ve got the right one.

2. Choose your sponsor: One of Charitable Checkout’s great perks is its brand sponsors. These companies have volunteered to give your fans special offers to their stores in exchange for their generosity. And new sponsors are being added regularly.

3. Add a custom image and call-to-action video: Entice your fans to donate with a custom image of your band and, if you choose, a motivational video explaining why this cause matters to you. Just upload the image from your computer and paste the link from your YouTube video and you’re in business. Hearing a message directly from the artist is always a great way to connect with fans and encourage them to support your cause.

4. Give your fans a free download – photo, video, song, background… just about anything you want. You can do this by expanding the premium section and then selecting a song you’ve already uploaded to The Orchard, or by selecting a song from your catalogue.

If you’d like, you can seal the deal with a customized “Thank You” message to the fans who donate for your cause. This message will appear on their Facebook wall, and is a great way to reward your active followers in a more personalized way.

All that’s left to do is Preview your widget, and click on Create & Install. A new tab will appear on your Facebook Fan Page, ready for you to start campaigning for your cause. An embed code will also be emailed to you, so that you can keep recruiting donors on your website or blog.

If the power of giving isn’t enough to entice you to use Charitable Checkout, here are some stats that might make it worth your while:

  • 15% of fans presented with the app during checkout make donations and activate their sponsor gift card
  • 7% of unique Facebook app visitors also participate
  • You aggregate tons of News Feed mentions of the band, the cause, and the brand sponsor
  • People like it and it generates a positive image around your band

Check out Dympol’s Charitable Checkout Demo for more help on how to partner with your fans to raise money for causes you support:

Charitable Checkout is accessible via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

5 Things To Do With Your Film’s iTunes Sales Heatmap

January 12, 2012 Client Tool, Film/TV News 3 Comments

Among the many services your Orchard client dashboard offers, detailed Analytics of your sales is one you don’t want to overlook. It provides you with a transparent look into your revenue accounting across all platforms and territories and even provides daily iTunes analytics, including a visual map of your iTunes sales by zipcode – similar to a weather “heatmap.”

Here are 5 things film providers can do with that map.

  1. Test the effect of grassroots marketing. Hand out fliers at a local event related to the topic of your film advertising its availability on iTunes, and log in daily for the next week to check results.
  2. Test the effect of theatrical screenings. Embed an advertisement for your film’s availability on iTunes at the beginning of your film when it screens to an audience, and log in the following week to see the impact.
  3. Book a tour. Notice a cluster of purchases in some cities you didn’t expect? Program theatrical screenings to target your newfound audience.
  4. Connect with your fans. Notice some new downloads in an area? Shout out a thanks “to your new fans in Owensboro, Kentucky” on Twitter. Attending an event in a city where you have a cluster of sales? Post that you’ll be attending the event on your Facebook to lure in your fans to say hi.
  5. Impress your investors. Demonstrate your success in a visual way to your investors and producers.  Show them the global scope of your audience and the success of your marketing efforts.

What’s Cooking in The Orchard Marketplace?

January 9, 2012 Client Tool No Comments

Not too long ago, we sent you a survey asking what you liked best about The Orchard Marketplace, what kind of apps you hoped to find in the near future, and how you interacted with the features and apps offered.

This is what we found.

We were a bit surprised at your responses when it came to rating or commenting on apps. We’ve suggested a couple of possible solutions below…

Look at that! Itty bitty Switzerland beat out even Germany and Italy. We sent them care packages in all of their (four!) official languages.

And of course, here’s a special universal “thank you” to all of you for taking the time to respond to our survey. We’ve taken all of your answers and suggestions, and, in addition to this infographic, we’ve mixed them up, tasted them, tried them on for size, and have been simmering them in our special sauce to bring you everything you want and more when browsing through our Marketplace. So stay tuned for new apps and updates, coming soon!

 

Special thanks to Drew Schorno and Evan Rosen for the graphics. 

Lest We Forget 2011

While we all settle back down after our New Year’s Eve celebrations and look forward to 2012, let us not forget to look back fondly on the year we put to rest at midnight on Saturday.

For the Orchard, it was another record year. We launched and improved more client tools, including the launch of Artist Builder, The Orchard Marketplace and improvements to our Analytics tool.  Along with so many excellent Orchard campaigns and releases in 2011, Orchard artists blew up the Billboard Heatseakers charts, including Kina Grannis, Phantogram, Rhett Miller, Ray Davies and The Raveonettes. As if that’s not enough, we launched The Orchard Sports, which took our digital distribution services to a whole other level.

To put a cap on the year, The Orchard’s New York office hosted 19 of our international staff from around the world for a few days of meetings and work sessions capped by The Orchard Holiday Party. Having our global staff physically in the office with us is an ideal way to round out our year full of Skype and conference calls, emails and other means of slightly less formal communication. This face time with our international staff reminds us of the scale of our operations and how The Orchard is killing it in all corners of the globe.

We’ve already wished you a Happy Holiday with The Orchard’s Best of 2011 Playlist but here it is below in case you missed it – it’s also on Spotify and Rdio!

So welcome back to work everyone, well done 2011 and happy 2012.

Best of The Orchard 2011 by orchardmktg

Updating Java on Mac OS X Lion

December 6, 2011 Client Tool 1 Comment

With all the constant updates in operating systems, applications, programs, and so on, it can be hard to keep up and ensure that you have the necessary ones installed on your computer. We’d like to make sure you’re completely in the loop when it comes to what you need in order to use The Orchard products.

Recently, some of you have reported issues with Release Builder when using Mac OS X Lion. After looking into the problem, we determined that Release Builder and other Orchard tools require an updated version of Java, which doesn’t happen automatically.

If you’re working on a Mac OS X Lion and some pages aren’t loading, follow this simple 3-step process to update Java on your Mac:

STEP 1Open ‘Spotlight’ by clicking on the magnifying glass on the top right of your screen, and search for Java Preferences:

STEP 2Open the Preferences and make sure the checkbox “Enable applet plug-in” is checked:

STEP 3Once the box is checked, log in to your Orchard account and reload the pages you were having issues with. Press “Allow” when this menu appears:

If you continue to have problems, please contact your Orchard client rep. That’s what we’re here for!

Quick and Easy Demos: The Orchard Digital Press Kit + Promo Player

It seems The Orchard’s in-house Marketplace applications are among our most popular.

In honor of this, we’ve put together a couple of mini-demos on how to use The Orchard Digital Press Kit, our customizable and near-instant press sheet maker, and The Orchard Promo Player, our embeddable one-song streaming player.

Enjoy them below, and let your client representative know if you have any questions!

The Orchard Digital Press Kit

The Orchard Promo Player

You can find a demo of our third Marketplace application, The Orchard SoundCloud Connect, right here.

The Orchard’s Digital Press Kit, Promo Player and SoundCloud Connect applications are all accessible via The Marketplace.

Marketplaces, Ecosystems and Apps, OH MY!

After much hubbub, Spotify launched Spotify Apps yesterday. From newer offerings such as The Orchard Marketplace and FanBridge Ecosystem, to mainstays such as Android Market and iOS App Store, apps are certainly all the rage. As they should be! It’s incredibly exciting to build an API for business partners to integrate with, and then work with all of those partners to create a meaningful partnership. However, as our Marketplace has been live since September, I can attest that creating an App platform is not for the faint of heart.

Since our launch, we’ve come across two main challenges:

  1. Providing a curated experience for our users to help them solve their business problems
  2. Making sure the user experience is flawless

Right now, Spotify Apps are focused on enhancing music discovery and recommendation—an area that Spotify is lacking in, so it’s a perfect fit. But what happens when all kinds of Apps are available? Their Apps could be much like their music service, where there’s so much at my fingertips that I don’t know where to start.

The first step is to define the goal of your Marketplace: at The Orchard, we want to provide useful tools to support our clients’ sales, marketing and business goals.

Next, make sure that each App fits said goal. Although I don’t like rejecting potential app partners, I always consider our goal before moving forward with an integration.

And, finally, offer ways for users to navigate through the Apps. We’ll soon release a guide that outlines how our clients can use Marketplace Apps to complement their campaigns. Need to raise money? Use Rockethub. Have you serviced your watermarked digital promos yet? Do so with Haulix. How about creating a mobile optimized website with a QR code? Go use Songpier.

So, that’s the curation issue. But then there’s the much larger issue: the potential for a poor user experience.

Following Spotify’s announcement, Mark Mulligan, formerly of Forrester Research (@Mark_Mulligan), tweeted:

“The massive advantage of ecosystems is being able to guarantee a quality and consistency of user experience.”

I disagree. I believe it’s a challenge, rather an advantage, to keep a certain level of quality with your ecosystem.

Many developers release new code frequently, which leads to more opportunities for their App to break. When a developer builds an App on top of a platform, the platform can’t detect all kinds of App failures. For us, it’s a nearly insurmountable challenge to have an automated monitoring system perform tests of all the functionalities of all the Apps in the Marketplace, especially considering the frequent code changes to the individual Apps. Mostly, we rely on customer service tickets and app reviews.

This problem is a greater risk with our platform than most, as our users are relying on Apps to handle certain tasks that must be accomplished within a certain timeframe. With Spotify, I can certainly move on with my life if my Pitchfork app is broken for a few days.

Our current development efforts are very much focused on this issue. We plan to improve our internal monitoring system by creating an RSS feed of our comments so that when I see a severe complaint I can immediately approach the developer. We’re also moving customer support access closer to the user, so that in addition to finding help from within the App, users can access it directly from the App page. This should not only increase the speed with which any problems are solved, but also reduce “this App is broken” comments from our Marketplace.

We’ve received such positive initial feedback for our Marketplace that we’re determined to get this right and make it even more useful for our clients. We’ll likely spend just as much time enhancing it as we did building it. I can only imagine that Spotify will do the same and, as a Spotify premium user, I can’t wait to dig in to their Apps.

Create a Compilation using Release Builder

November 30, 2011 Client Tool No Comments

Compilations are a wonderful thing. Really, what beats handpicking your favorite songs and creating an original compilation? You can have one by artist, by label, by genre, by theme… the sky is the limit, really.

And what better time of year to create one than Christmakwanzakah?

Well lucky for you, it’s really simple to do!

Just log into your Orchard account and click to create a new Single Audio Release. Fill out the title of your release, for instance “My Great Holiday Sampler,” and complete the remaining fields as you usually would.

On the next page, you’ll see your newly created release, just waiting to have tracks added to it. Instead of clicking “Upload Audio” as you usually might, click on “Select An Existing Track” below the “Creating a Compilation?” question, and choose from the tracks you’ve already uploaded to your account. Repeat the process until you’ve completed your compilation, and submit the release when you’re done!

Though you can create compilations all year-round, remember that you only have until December 9th to get those Holiday-themed ones delivered in time!

For a visual, take a look at our demo below:

5 Reasons to Visit the Marketplace

November 28, 2011 Client Tool, Marketing No Comments

Usually I like to tell a story or opine about a current topic in my blog posts, but for this one I’ll settle for the role of announcer and report some great achievements and improvements of our Marketplace partners.

1. Moontoast is Billboard’s #2 Music Startup of 2011!

It’s nice when one’s belief in a company is validated by a respectable source. Moontoast Impulse has harnessed the power of social with the power of direct-to-fan sales. If you’re not selling your music on Facebook yet, shame on you. Start here with Moontoast’s Marketplace app.

2. Ganxy reports to SoundScan!

Ganxy is continuously improving their super simple system that enables artists to sell digital music from any online property. The latest improvement is that they report to Nielsen SoundScan for U.S., Canada and International sales, thereby adding your D2C sales to your sales from other retailers and hopefully influencing your chart position. This doesn’t change how you set up Ganxy, but if you need a refresher, check out this handy video tutorial before you use Ganxy in the Marketplace.

3. Fanrank is now Fanzy!

“Fanrank” became a bit too limiting as Fanzy evolved to offer many more fan engagement tools. Fanzy works with nightclubs (hey, “TAO Las Vegas”), NBA teams (bon jour, Sacramento Kings), and even our own artists (hola, Boyz II Men). Been wondering how to reward your artists’ most active fans during this holiday season? Install the Fanzy Marketplace app!

4. Haulix’s video tutorial makes it so easy a 5 year old could use it!

In case you confuse easily (it happens to the best of us), take a look at Haulix‘s video to learn how to digitally send watermarked songs to your industry contacts – and even track to see who listened to them! That pesky journalist can’t elude you when you use Haulix, available here.

 5. webdoc and Nirvana!

I’m pretty sure that everyone my age was obsessed with Nevermind at one time or another. Well, webdoc has brought many of those obsessions to life with the promotion they’re running with Universal US. Curious to see how your fans display their fanaticism with your artists? Go ahead and create a webdoc now.

iTunes Delivery Deadlines for the Holidays

November 21, 2011 Client Tool No Comments

It’s almost the holidays! We can hear them; we can smell them; we can feel them. And so can iTunes.

How does this affect you?

Well, iTunes has certain delivery deadlines you’ll need to meet in order to get your holiday compilations and other releases up in time.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Friday, December 9th is the delivery deadline for releases to go live by Christmas and New Year’s.
  • The last store turnover of the year will be on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 and the next full store turnover is on January 10th, 2011. Music will go live between these dates, but the featured releases will remain the same on most pages.

So go get started on those awesome holiday releases we know you have up your sleeve. And remember that you can easily create compilations thanks to The Orchard’s Compilation Builder option in Release Builder.

To create your own, log into your Orchard account and go to Release Builder. Click on Create a new Single Audio Release. Fill out the title of your release, for instance “My Great Holiday Sampler,” and complete the remaining fields as you usually would.

On the next page, you’ll see your newly created release, just waiting to have tracks added to it. Instead of clicking “Upload Audio” as you usually might, click on “Select An Existing Track” below the “Creating a Compilation?” question, and choose from the tracks you’ve already uploaded to your account. Repeat the process until you’ve completed your compilation, and submit the release when you’re done!

After all, it’s not really holiday season until you’ve created a holiday mix.

The Marketplace Presents: ShareSquare

Perhaps you know what a QR code is… Short for “Quick Response Code,” a QR code might remind you of a barcode you would find at your supermarket, only squarer and strangely akin to those 3D illusions you find in doctor’s waiting rooms. Even if you don’t know what QR codes are, you’ve surely seen them surreptitiously mark billboards, cereal boxes, and even buses whizzing through Manhattan.

In fact, QR codes have existed for many years – originally to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. They have recently evolved into becoming powerful marketing tools catering to smart phones and mobile websites. You scan them with any kind of barcode scanning application on your phone, after which you are redirected to a mobile website experience beyond your dreams.

Well, you wouldn’t want to be the last one on the boat now, would you? Lucky for you, The Orchard’s Marketplace has partnered with ShareSquare, an app that creates individual QR codes that correspond to custom HMTL5 mobile web apps, thus helping you bridge the gap between your offline audiences and the mobile web.

To get your own ShareSquare, install the app in The Marketplace. When you reach the ShareSquare website, click on “Create a ShareSquare” in the right hand corner. The next page is where you get to customize the mobile experience your fans will have when they scan your code.

Start by give your ShareSquare a name, and clicking on the recognizable orange button: “Download from The Orchard.” This will import the data you’ve already supplied to The Orchard’s Artist and Release Builder, making it easier for you to customize your ShareSquare.

Next, you can begin creating your mobile web application. Choose a background image, include a bio, videos, events, links to your social networks, a merchandise store, music purchase links, contests and more. Simply click on the appropriate tab, enable it, and make your additions and edits.

When you’re satisfied, click “Save and Exit.” You’ll then see your ShareSquare information page, where you can preview your app by clicking on the ‘View’ button; track your analytics, which include geo-targeted maps, number of visitors, views, comments, clicks, and more; and change your settings, such as your app’s landing page, whether to Like your page before getting access to it, and more options depending on your subscription. Most importantly, this is where you can download your individual QR code, to be placed on any poster, sticker, album cover, merchandise or city bus of your choice.

View all the ShareSquares you’ve created on your Dashboard (top right button) and edit them at your leisure. Changes will be saved in real-time, allowing you to update and optimize your campaigns on the fly.

ShareSquare has three types of subscription options: Free; Pro ($20/month); or Enterprise ($399/month).

Be sure to check out Boyz II Men‘s mobile website by scanning their ShareSquare (search for it within this very post…) with your mobile phone, and watch their video demo below:

ShareSquare is accessible via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: e4d

Never underestimate the power of a simple concept. email4download, or e4d for short, appreciates that. This application designed by Push Entertainment is an embeddable widget that captures fans’ email address in exchange for a download. Fans can then choose to embed the widget on their own website or blog, spreading the word as they do.

Get the widget in a few simple steps:

  • Install and launch the app in The Marketplace
  • Fill in your artist name and the title of the song you will provide for download
  • Upload the MP3 by either selecting a title already pulled from The Orchard’s database or by uploading manually from your desktop
  • Preview and test the widget carefully, as once the widget is live, you will not be able to make any changes
  • Select the number of downloads you wish to purchase for the widget
  • Go live and let your widget out into the world using your personalized embed code

Once you’ve set up your widget and embedded it on your website or blog,  you can return to the app at any time to view your widget’s activity, and download an Excel spreadsheet with your newly acquired contacts. You’ll also have access to a “download-o-meter” which keeps track of your remaining credit.

As a Marketplace special, the first widget is free for clients of The Orchard and includes 1,000 downloads. Additional widgets are $49 for 3,000 downloads and $100 for 10,000 downloads.

Watch their mini-demo below and start building those contact lists!

It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

e4d is available via The Marketplace. Learn more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: The Orchard SoundCloud Connect

If you’ve experimented with The Orchard Marketplace, you may have already encountered some apps that work tightly with SoundCloud, like BandRx or webdoc for example. Indeed, the popular sound sharing platform is quite prominent in the social sphere.

Whether you want to improve your experience with other Marketplace apps, or simply upload the music from your catalogue to share at your leisure, The Orchard has created a tool to help you do just that.

With The Orchard SoundCloud Connect, it’s now possible to move your music from The Orchard Workstation to your SoundCloud account, quickly and easily. You can also synchronize the app with any SoundCloud account you like, allowing you to upload multiple tracks across multiple accounts.

To get started, just launch the app from The Marketplace. Connect to SoundCloud by clicking on the appropriately named button. You’ll then be directed to a page asking you to link your SoundCloud account with The Orchard. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one before using the app. You can do this straight from this page by clicking on the Sign Up tab. If you do have an account, log in to the one of your choice and click Connect.

Once linked, you’ll be led back to The Orchard SoundCloud Connect page.

The next step is as easy as can be. A list of songs from your catalogue will appear on the page and all you need to do is click Send for each track you’d like to upload to your SoundCloud. A message will appear in the SoundCloud Status column letting you know it has been uploaded, with a link to view the song on your account.

Keep in mind that songs automatically upload as “Private,” which results in three things:

  1. The song will only be available to select people you invite with the link.
  2. If you make a mistake and upload the wrong song, you need not fear any sensitive repercussions.
  3. You’ll need to change the privacy setting to “Public” in order to share the song across your social networks and make it available through other Marketplace applications.

When you’re done, you can either disconnect your SoundCloud account to repeat the process with another account, or stay connected to the same one for easy access next time you launch the application.

Check out the mini-demo below for additional insight on how to use The Orchard SoundCloud Connect, and don’t hesitate to let us know if you encounter any issues or have any questions!

The Orchard SoundCloud Connect is available via The Marketplace.

The Marketplace Presents: Dockvine

So many apps, so little time. That’s how Dockvine sees it and why it seeks to make your life easier in the ever-growing social sphere. Managing your YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr accounts and more can be a nightmare, and furthermore, it leads people away from site numero uno: yours.

Dockvine makes it possible for you to bring all your social media accounts together and publishes them in one place. This means your fans can watch your latest YouTube video, read your latest Tweet, check out the latest photo album and listen to your newest song directly from your website. Plus, Dockvine maintains the look and feel of each respective social media site so the Twitter or YouTube experience remains intact.

To install Dockvine on your website, launch the app through The Marketplace. Your social media accounts will automatically import into the app and you will be asked to login. Add any additional apps you want to include – Dockvine currently supports Twitter, YouTube and Flickr – and click on the Install tab at the top.

You’ll see a simple line of code that you can easily copy and paste onto your website or HTML-supported blog. Once you embed the code, your site will sport the same sleek Dockvine toolbar that appears at the bottom of your setup screen.

Look out for future app updates, which will include support for Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram, a plug-in to incorporate Dockvine on your WordPress blog, options for toolbar placement on the page and usage analytics.

Don’t lose traffic from your webpage. Watch the mini-demo below and witness first-hand how quick and easy it is to aggregate all your social media in one place. What’s more, Dockvine is completely free.

Dockvine is accessible via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: The Orchard Promo Player

The Orchard Promo Player is a sleek, customizable streaming player that can be embedded on websites, blogs and shared social networks, helping you share and promote your music easily and effectively.

Easy to use and completely free, The Orchard Promo Player takes the songs you’ve already uploaded to The Orchard Release Builder to create a simple and convenient streaming widget.

To build your own Promo Player, sign in to The Marketplace and install the app for your artist. You can choose between a Mini Player, which includes playback, a customizable purchase link and full sharing functionality, and an Artwork Player, which adds the ability to display cover art or custom artwork, adjust size and include track information as well as multiple purchase options.

When you click on either the Mini Player or the Artwork Player, a window will appear displaying all the tracks you’ve uploaded to Release Builder. Click on the track you’d like to promote through the Promo Player.

If you’ve selected the Mini Player, you’re almost done! You’ll have the possibility to add a purchase option, for which you’ll need to provide the retailer name and a purchase link. Make sure to click Save, and preview the final product on the same page.

If you’ve selected the Artwork Player, you have additional options to customize. Select which artwork you’d like include, play around with the size options and add track information. Preview each change as you make it, and click Save when you’re satisfied.

For both players, the last step is simply to copy the embed code on the page and paste it to your sites, blogs and networks. Now the world can preview and purchase your tunes!

Your existing players also appear on the main page for easy access. Preview and edit them, activate and deactivate them, and quickly access the embed code as well.

There’s no limit to how may Promo Players you can create, so no need to hold back!

The Orchard Promo Player is accessible via The Marketplace.

Introducing New & Improved Analytics

October 19, 2011 Client Tool, Orchard News 1 Comment

As an active Orchard client, you’ve probably been using the sophisticated products we’ve released over the past few years; including Release Builder (create releases), Artist Builder (manage an artist roster and their marketing assets) and our new Marketplace (use third party sales and marketing tools). The next logical step is an enhanced version of our Release Analytics so that you can track sales activity across your entire catalogue both at a high level overview and deep into the details.

The new version of Analytics will allow you to better understand your sales trends so that you can shift resources and budget on projects and trends that are worthwhile for your business. Many Orchard clients have asked for new tools allowing for a macro view of their businesses. We listened and developed these new features:

  • Top Charts: The main page of Analytics gives you a quick overview of your label’s 20 best-selling artists, releases and tracks over the last month. This quick overview will give you a snapshot of what’s selling now!
  • Analyze patterns across your entire label, genres, artists, tracks and releases: This priceless macro level data will allow you to rate your performance as a business in addition to the performance of standalone releases.
  • More breakdowns: Our detail pages are well-organized charts that give you granular information, such as where music and videos are being downloaded or streamed (filter by country and store) and what track within a release is most successful.
  • Upgraded and integrated comparison feature: The detail pages now allow you to compare up to 5 identical sets of data (e.g. artists, releases, tracks, genres).
  • Upgraded map performance: Your iTunes heat map is now faster and better than ever. You’re investing promotion money in a specific market? The heat map allows you to track that specific market’s performance.
  • Improved overall look and feel: The new interface includes mouse-over tool tips and improved graphs with an enhanced timeline background.

No more excuses! Go create new releases with Release Builder, market your artists with Artist Builder and The Marketplace, and track your sales activity with Analytics. We’ve tried to create a line of products that impact all aspects of the album life cycle and, as always, we appreciate your feedback and ideas for future upgrades. Please email feedback@theorchard.com with your suggestions.

The Marketplace Presents: FanBridge

You might have encountered FanBridge before… Perhaps on our Facebook page when we were giving out Spotify invites, or more recently in anticipation of our CMJ Harvest Bowl showcase this week. As an online platform that helps grow, engage and monetize your audience, FanBridge offers quite a few services.

For The Orchard, FanBridge has put together a special Marketing Solutions package: the FanFinder Suite. Featuring two key options, FanFinder Interactive Ads and FanFinder Social Media Boost, the FanFinder Suite helps artists connect with targeted, real fans that frequent highly trafficked social networks, blogs, lifestyle sites and other relevant destinations.

FanFinder Interactive Ads target only the fans that are likely to connect with your music. Each customizable ad can stream audio, play video, feature flash animations and lead fans to any desired location with a simple click. Here’s what you get:

  • Behavioral Targeting: Each impression is meaningful and no ads are wasted on random people.
  • Access to 70,000 Brand-Safe Websites, Including 10,000 Music-Centric Ones: Serves the right ad at the right place at the right time, when your fan is there.
  • Results: 25% of viewers interact with these ads.

FanFinder Social Media Boost helps drive an abundance of Likes to your Facebook Fan Page by testing hundreds of ad variations to find the strongest material possible, while maximizing your return-on-investment. In a nutshell, FanBridge provides:

  • Full Service: You provide the assets, FanBridge does the rest.
  • Real, Engaged Fan Targeting: No stagnant or fake profiles.
  • Ad Testing: Hundreds of ads are tested to find the top performing units.

If these tools are the ones you’ve been looking for, install the FanBridge app on The Marketplace. The landing page that follows offers you direct-buy links to the two features mentioned above. Select the number of impressions or Likes you want to aim for, and confirm your purchase by entering your email address.

FanBridge will access your images from The Orchard’s API and send you a welcome email with a confirmation of your purchase as well as the images they have pulled from your profile on Artist Builder. They’ll let you know what they need and why (copy variations for ad testing, similar artists for fan targeting, additional images…) and then they take it from there – testing, adjusting and optimizing your campaigns. Expect to see higher click-throughs, more effective clicks, more plays, and most importantly–more fans.

For more information, check out their demo below.

FanBridge is accessible via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: MusicHype

In a world that’s all about tapping into as many social networks as you can in order to “hype” your product, MusicHype knows exactly where it stands and how it can contribute. A cutting-edge platform that tracks, recognizes and rewards fans for the word-of-mouth marketing they’re already doing, MusicHype uses customizable widgets to capture fans on any and all of their favorite social networks, rewarding them with free downloads, tickets and more.

Now, you’re probably running numbers in your head and wondering why we’re promoting yet another fan rewards application. The answer is simple: each app has something different to offer. With Fanrank, you can create a free Facebook campaign around a single reward based on the app’s unique FanWeight algorithm; with VoxBloc, you’re able to launch a targeted program on your Facebook page offering rewards in exchange for points that fans can choose themselves. With MusicHype, you can leverage all social networks to reach fans where they prefer to listen to music and socialize, be it Rdio, Spotify, Intagram, Twitter or Facebook, and you can embed your widgets on any website or page you like.

The way it works is simple: install the app, select your plan, customize your widgets and embed them on your website or profile. Then track your fans’ activities and reward them for their efforts.

When selecting your plan, here are a few things to consider: all plans come with basic widgets, basic tracking, artist analytics and a support forum. Essentially, you pay to add more artists, create targeted campaigns, customize your themes and tracking, build your own widgets, access advanced widgets and get better service and support.

Once you’ve installed the app and selected your plan, you access the main dashboard page. This is where your tracking analytics live once your widgets are up and running, and where you can download fan info and other data that your widgets have captured.

Click on the widgets tab to get it all started. You’ll see which widgets you have access to depending on your plans, and can edit and customize them at your leisure. Each widget engages your fans in different ways, and each has a description, how-to video and step-by-step guide to help walk you through the customization process. Basic widgets that The Orchard clients have access to include Fan Activity (shows everything your fans are up to across multiple social networks, exactly like MusicHype’s home page), Hype It (lets your fans share any webpage over their social networks), Social Networks (icons to allow fans to add more social networks to their profile in one click), Share It (allows fans to share a specific URL) and Subscribe (for fans to subscribe to your artist, enter a competition or sign up for emails and newsletters). Advanced widgets are also available depending on your plan.

When building and tweaking your widgets to accommodate your preferences in width, height, font and color as well as optional country restrictions, you can preview it at any time. When it’s just right, name it and grab the embed code (both Javascript and iFrame codes are available) and pop it on your website or profile page. You can always edit your widgets at a later time, once you’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, and changes will immediately update on live widgets.

Now, you have all the data you need to reward your top fans. You can either do-it-yourself by downloading the spreadsheets that MusicHype collects for you and by direct messaging the top fans that appear in your dashboard, or you can request a custom setup to automate the rewards of your choosing. These are included in the advanced subscription plans and also available on top of the basic plan for an additional fee per custom arrangement. If you want to test drive it before committing, MusicHype offers the first custom track free.

As you can see, there’s plenty to be excited about with MusicHype. What’s more, they’re still in beta and have some nifty refreshers up their sleeve, so keep an eye out for new designs and widgets in the next few weeks, and email them if you have any questions. In the meantime, get to know them better with their mini-demo below and start hyping up your artists!

MusicHype is available via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: RocketHub

If you’re an up-and-coming creative soul and entrepreneur, chances are you know the trials of raising money for your projects.Through a premier crowdfunding community, RocketHub has created a project Launchpad specifically tailored to the needs of musicians and independent artists everywhere. Following a trade-not-aid model, RocketHub helps build campaigns that offer personal goods/services in exchange for financial contributions. And it’s all rocket-themed – you can’t get much better than that!

First, let’s get the terminology right:

Crowdfunding, or micro-patronage, is a new way for musicians to engage fans for funds and awareness. RocketHub uses this innovative method to help fuel creative projects, providing artists with the community, infrastructure and credibility necessary to raise awareness, capital and to successfully launch a project.

Creatives launch the RocketHub projects, upload submissions for LaunchPad Opportunities and connect directly with Fuelers.

Fuelers support RocketHub projects and LaunchPad Opportunity submissions by voting, making financial contributions and spreading the word through their networks, and receive cool stuff in exchange.

LaunchPad Opportunities are next-step resources for artists. A kind of talent search hosted by RocketHub, they include opportunities like branded sponsorships, live performances, showcases, placements in film and television. The RocketHub Team identifies and publishes LaunchPad Opportunities and Creatives upload submissions, which their fans can vote for to increase their chances of winning. The RocketHub A&R Team and a panel of expert judges review the submissions, taking into consideration their popularity and talent, and select a winner.

Do you want a piece of this great community? All it takes is 3 easy steps.

  1. Start a project by setting your financial goal, defining a time limit and describing your project with words, pictures and videos
  2. Establish your rewards
  3. Launch the project and market it to your fans

With this step-by-step guide, you’ll be joining in on the fun in no time:

Install the RocketHub app on The Marketplace and begin the countdown to your project launch.

You’ll first come across a Sign-Up Page asking you for some basic information, and then be led to a Welcome Page, letting you know you’re where you want to be. Click on “Launch a Project,” fill out some required information and begin the preparations for your launch.

Start by completing the Title and Category section. This is where you name your project, select a category, and my favorite part, where you pick three emotions that best represent the work you’re trying to create: is it courageous? authentic? sexy and spine-tingling? Have a little fun with this one!

Next, you’ll need to elaborate on content. Choose the financial goal, select a time limit (30-60 days are usually the most popular and most successful) and include a detailed description. Keep in mind that this should be more emotional than factual. Fans want to know why you’re motivated, what your personal goals are and more than that, they want to be involved. So forget about business plans and budget breakdowns and focus more on building a connection with your fans.

When you’ve finished tugging at those heartstrings, consider including videos, photos and audio files – directly importable from The Orchard Workstation. Results show that projects with video are twice as likely to be successful, and a proven 3-photo combination is one of the artist, one of the artist with a crowd and one with the band logo.

The next step is to establish your rewards. These should be unique and creative. RocketHub isn’t a typical marketplace where fans purchase a product or merchandise; it’s a community where Fuelers want to connect and interact with the bands they are supporting. And make sure you have something for every price point. While the $20 mark is the most popular, let yourself be surprised by your fans’ dedication and you might see yourself receiving a $1,000 or even $5,000 donation! Some wacky ideas we’ve heard of include a CD with a custom haiku poem or a face on the cover of the album for lower price points and living room shows, front porch gumbo jams or morning pep talks for a little more dough.

After that, you’re pretty much done! Proofread and preview your project and set it free. Your page will typically display the content you entered as well as your support status and the time remaining on your campaign, as well as how many Fuelers you’ve attracted for each reward category.

Before you set off on your journey into space, here are a few more things that set RocketHub apart from other similar crowdfunding services: they accept international donations, projects keep whatever funds they raise (minus fees) even if they don’t meet their goal, and projects that do meet their goal get a discounted rate on their fees.

Check out RocketHub’s Toolkit for more tips on how to lead the best campaign for your artist, and take a look at their demo below for a visual on what a RocketHub campaign looks like, music courtesy of RocketHub Co-Founder and CEO Brian Meece.

3… 2… 1…

RocketHub is accessible via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Fanzy

There are quite a few fan rewards applications out there. We’ve already introduced you to VoxBloc; MusicHype is another we offer on The Marketplace; and we’re talking to a handful of others for possible integration.

So what is Fanzy and what makes it different?

Fanzy is a Facebook application that rewards fans for spreading the word and purchasing goods around your artist brand. The app allows you to discover your most influential fans across the social sphere and reward them based on their points, which they earn by posting status updates, getting likes, inspiring comments, tweeting, getting re-tweets and so on. So far, you might have heard this before.

What separates Fanzy from other reward applications is a) it focuses on one reward at a time, treating it more like a campaign rather than a list of rewards fans can choose from; b) points are determined by Fanzy’s proprietary FanWeight, which measures a fan’s influence, reach and relevance in relation to an artist’s brand (so FanWeight varies according to artist); c) Fanzy prevents spam by limiting the use of key words to once every six hours and d) Fanrank is totally free.

So how does it work?

  1. Select which artist you’d like to create a Fanzy for and fill out the relevant information.
  2. Choose the reward your Fanzy campaign will promote and share with your fans.
  3. Watch as your fans spread the love and reward the most vocal and influential ones.
  4. Start the process again with a new reward!

In a bit more detail:

When you install Fanzy on The Marketplace, you are led to your Facebook page, where you will be asked to allow the app to access your data. You’ll then land on the Fanzy Dashboard, which will display all the pages you admin. Select which one you wish to install Fanzy on and approve the requests for the app to Manage your Page and Add to Page.

The next view is your Facebook Band Page, which now includes the Fanzy menu on the left tool bar. When you click on it, you’ll see the skeleton of your future Fanzy page. To edit, click on the “Edit this Fanzy” button at the top right. Follow the instructions to fill out the available fields, which include a Call to Action, a Speech Bubble, Additional Info to describe your reward, an Image you can upload, details on your Rewards, Keywords that give your fans the opportunity to earn points (i.e. band name, album name, song title, link to a page or store, etc.), a Twitter link and Shout-Outs for your top 5 fans. And Save your changes.

In those few easy steps, you’ve now set up your Fanzy for the artist of your choice. From this point on, it’s up to your fans to do the legwork, while you follow the statistics (which you can also export) and deliver on your rewards.

The way it works for fans is they join the app and add your page to their Fanzys. They begin earning points by spreading the word (posting messages, inviting friends) and boost their ranking when people like, comment or retweet their posts and when they connect with their other social accounts such as Last.fm and Foursquare. The more milestones they reach, for instance inviting 10 friends or having a FanWeight above 50, the more badges they earn and the more likely they are to win your grand prize. Keep in mind that fans are not rewarded heavily on posting, but rather on the reaction their posts inspire. Being relevant and on target is key.

Some best practice tips include: Reward Often (weekly rewards are a good milestone) and Reward As Many People As Possible (for instance rewarding the Top 10 fans rather than just the #1 Fan).

Fun rewards include a meet-and-greet, concert tickets, a signed photograph, merchandise and pretty much anything else on the map. As long as there is something to win, fans will typically make the effort to get it – especially if they actually enjoy your artist.

With Fanzy, you can double the number of Likes you collect in a day and track it all by gender, age, social network and location as you do it.

And to complete this introduction, check out Fanzy’s (previously Fanrank) mini-tour below:

Fanzy is available via The Marketplace. Read more about then on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Moontoast Impulse

Need to go beyond just getting your music played on Facebook?

Want to sell your merchandise somewhere you know your followers will respond to?

Install Moontoast Impulse on your next visit to The Marketplace. A simple yet powerful music player and social storefront, Moontoast Impulse is a Facebook application that lets fans listen to your music, share it with friends as well as buy tracks, albums and merchandise – all without ever having to leave Facebook.

Once you’ve installed the app for the artist of your choosing, Moontoast Impulse will ask you to log in via your Facebook account. Allow the app to access your data, and get started on your Moontoast store.

First, you need to set your brand name. This means choosing a name, a unique URL and your country of origin for physical shipping of your products. Next, type in your default price for releases and tracks (you don’t need to include the dollar sign) as well as the tax category for your product (for instance Digital Audio Works for music, Clothing or General Merchandise).

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, click on Import and wait for your Orchard releases to appear on the Moontoast Impulse dashboard. This is also the place where you can view the analytics for your sales, including most played and best selling tracks as well as best selling albums and merchandise.

When your import is complete, it’s time to set up shop – all in two easy steps.

1. Set Albums in Store. Select which albums and merchandise you wish to feature by clicking and dragging them to the appropriate Featured box and click Save. Review your selection and then move to the next step.

2. Add to Facebook. Connect to the fan page on which you’d like to publish your store. When your store is linked, you’ll be given instructions on how to publish it directly via Facebook and if you wish, how to make it your landing page.

There’s more… To customize your page, just click on the Store tab back on the Moontoast site and modify your store banner, theme color, background images and artwork. You also have the possibility of adding Shipping and Refund Policies as well as allowing international shipping in your Fan Page Settings.

Voilà! You are now set up to start sharing and selling your music. Check out Truman’s page for a glimpse of what the final product looks like.

Moontoast Impulse is available via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

Please note that Moontoast does not pay performing rights societies outside of the United States. So if you don’t control your publishing, you can’t sell your music outside of the U.S. 

Our Los Angeles Label Community

From left to right, our very own CEO Brad Navin, SVP of Marketing Pete McCarthy, VP of Product Marketing Jaclyn Ranere and Musart's Federico Baptista

Earlier in September, The Orchard spent several days in the ever-thriving music city of Los Angeles, CA where we have a formidable roster of independent record label clients. Representing the true eclectic nature of our client base, the labels run the gamut from Dance to Hip-Hop, Pop to Metal to Latin, and literally every micro genre in between.

Celebrating the launch of our Marketplace – the new platform we built for our labels to simplify the process of utilizing third party marketing, D2C, and communication applications – we gathered our labels together for a couple of events and then spent additional time visiting their offices and talking about their music, how their businesses are evolving and how we can help them embrace the new services and technologies out there.

This is an exciting time to be putting out music and adapting to the new music industry. New services like YouTube, Spotify, Rdio, and Turntable.fm have arrived and are impacting how new fans acquire music and how labels make money from music. Social marketing has become a super viable, powerful and measureable way to communicate with fans, and labels have more tools than ever to take advantage of the new digital economy and promote their artists’ music. Labels have adapted to the decline of physical by embracing the playlist business (aided by our Orchard Workstation “Create a Compilation Tool”) and are able to put out more music as a result. They’re using our Analytics tools to measure how their sales are evolving; they’re using Release Builder and Artist Builder to manage their releases and artist-oriented social marketing syndication; and now with The Marketplace, they’ve got a world of Apps at their fingertips.

Indeed, technology is helping the fiercely independent people running record labels stay independent, keep their overhead low and connect with more potential consumers than ever before.  It is an inspiration to watch, and a thrill to be a part of that change.

Long live independent music.

The Marketplace Presents: VoxBloc

If marketing is all about getting your product out there by identifying, satisfying and keeping your customers, then word-of-mouth is undoubtedly a priceless tool to achieve that goal.

VoxBloc taps right into that idea by putting your #1 customers into the driver’s seat—your fans—and rewarding them for their efforts. Consider it a long-lasting royalty engagement program.

In a nutshell, VoxBloc is an application that allows artists to reward their fans for doing pretty much anything across the social graph: from watching a video to sharing on Facebook, following on Twitter, checking in on Foursquare, subscribing on YouTube, etc. Fans get points and badges for taking these actions—points being determined by how many friends they have, and therefore what their social reach is—which they can then redeem for certain goods that you make available to them, like mp3s, downloadable videos, discount codes, wallpapers or contest entries for instance.

To get started, sign in to VoxBloc through The Marketplace. Name your Loyalty Program, and pick an action you want to set up. Choose from Driving Listens and Views, Growing your Fan Base, Encouraging Sharing or Getting Foursquare Check-Ins.

Whichever action you choose will require different information, for instance selecting a video to include, or typing in your Facebook page URL. Once you’ve selected and launched your loyalty program, you’ll be directed to the VoxBloc dashboard, where you can design and customize your page (add banner, change color scheme), manage your activities (Like on Facebook, Watch Video, Share on Facebook and Twitter, etc.) as well as edit the messages that auto-populate accordingly, run your rewards program (choose type of reward, number of points required to redeem, etc.) and define your badges. All these actions can easily be previewed straight from the Dashboard.

When you’ve finished tweaking and tinkering, launch your program and set your fans loose! You’ll always have the possibility to dynamically change your content to keep fans on their toes and maintain excitement and traffic to your page.

As they share their discoveries and gain points, you can check your progress through the Analytics tab, which includes Total Reach, Total Number of Shares, Total Clicks and Click Rate, all of which can be broken down according to date. You also have the possibility to export any contest entries, ticket redemptions or physical goods lists through the Exports tab.

Nuclear Blast’s World Under Blood has seen great results with VoxBloc! You can too.

VoxBloc gives you all the tools to build your fan base while offering them great rewards in exchange for their social activism. It’s win-win no matter how you look at it!

Access VoxBloc through The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Ganxy

Looking for a way to sell your music directly to your fans from your website or your Facebook artist or fan page?

Want to make more money doing it?

Ganxy will make all your dreams come true!

Well, maybe not all of them, so don’t get any ideas…

What Ganxy will do is drastically facilitate the process of selling your music to your fans while helping you earn up to 21% more from your sales than you would with other online stores.

The steps are simple: sign into The Marketplace and install the Ganxy app. Casually let yourself be led to Ganxy’s content management page, where your Orchard releases should be waiting for you, ready to be imported. Choose your track price and album price—a great way to encourage track or album downloads—and click Import.

While you’re waiting for your content to upload, feel free to browse around The Marketplace for other apps you might want to use. Ganxy will send you an email when your upload is complete, so you can pick up right where you left off.

When your album is uploaded, you can choose whether you want to sell single tracks, by clicking on said track, or the full release. For the full album, you’ll have the possibility to insert additional links before getting your embed code. Click on “Embed Content” and “Get Album Widget” to customize further. Here, you can add an album description, modify your layout and color schemes, and preview your widget.

Satisfied? Just copy your snippet of HTML code and paste it directly to your website, Facebook page or other Content Management Service, and see how your fans rush to buy your music directly from their favorite artist website or fan page. Keep tabs on your sales through the Ganxy Dashboard or the Quick Stats window in your Content page.

Take a look at Edguy’s Facebook page to see how they integrated Ganxy for all fans to see.

Simple and risk-free, Ganxy has no setup or recurring fees, making your direct-to-fan relationship as easy as it could possibly be. How’s that for a dream come true?

Ganxy is accessible via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: FanRx

fanrx bandrxWhat with Facebook being the new be-all and end-all of social media, any band would be well equipped with a FanRx music page.

Not only does this awesome app give you everything you need (and more) to get yourself a sexy Facebook band page, it’s also absolutely free.

After you’ve signed into The Orchard Marketplace and installed FanRx, you’ll be asked to choose which video(s) you’d like to display on your Facebook Page. These videos come from Artist Builder, so make sure you’ve got a few uploaded beforehand. Click to continue and you’ll immediately be led to Facebook.

Be warned! You want to make sure you’ve signed into the correct account to avoid any mishaps.

Once you’ve allowed FanRx to access your information and you’re safely in Facebook, all the pages you admin will appear in a list. Select the page you want to work on and be prepared to witness the sleek FanRx dashboard. It’s fairly straightforward to use: just toggle the ON/OFF switch to select which modules you’d like to have appear on your page, and move them around with the arrows to adjust the order.

You can easily edit each module by clicking on the name of the section. For instance, if you open the Videos Module, you’ll notice that the video(s) you selected to upload from The Orchard’s database are there, and you can reorganize them as you see fit. Add a banner to appear at the top of your page (or anywhere else you like!), display upcoming tour dates and/or include recent wall posts you’ve published to your Page. With FanRx, options are not lacking.

Some cool tools you don’t want to overlook? The Live Streaming Event option makes it possible to display an embedded live video player to stream events. FanRx works with a few streaming providers to facilitate the process, and you can also elect to require a “Like” to view the stream, to increase fan engagement. Another cool feature is the Contest Module. With this, you can easily create a contest and post it to your page in just a few clicks.

Check out RJD2’s page for an example of the final product.

Ok, we’re done. We know you’re dying to try it.

FanRx is accessible via The Marketplace. Read more about then on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Haulix

What’s the best way to launch a promotional campaign in the fewest possible steps? Haulix can put up a good argument that it’s it.

A digital promo system that creates engaging promo pages featuring your cover art, watermarked downloads, YouTube videos, photo galleries and more, Haulix offers a great way to promote albums at the pre-release stage. Plus, it manages your media contacts and controls their promo access with fine-grained permissions and watermarking technology.

Once you log in through The Marketplace and launch Haulix, you’ll be asked to provide your contact information and a username, which will become your Haulix home page: [yourname].haulix.com. Then select the plan that suits your needs best, based on storage and bandwidth—all at a discounted Marketplace-only price.

Welcome to your Haulix dashboard! You can now create all the promos you please, organize your press contacts, and send out your invitations. As an Orchard customer, you can manage multiple artists with one Haulix account and easily import one or more of your Orchard releases into the Haulix system through Artist and Release Builder.

Haulix promo pages include some exciting features in addition to the basics mentioned above. For instance, each web page supports streaming, iTunes podcasts, ZIP file downloads, PDF attachments and excitingly, user ratings and feedback. The best part? Once you’ve sent out your promo invitation, all you need to do is sit back and watch your promo consumption, straight from your Haulix dashboard.

In terms of design, you can use Haulix’s templating system to either match the design of your page to your artist’s brand or album marketing imagery, or go wild and create a whole new design. Take a look at Ringo Deathstarr’s promo page for Sparkler for an example in simple and sophisticated. [You need to be invited to view and interact with the actual promo, so we'll just have to sit tight as observers with this screenshot...]

Now go forth and let your own creative beast out of its cage!

Haulix is accessible via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: Songpier

Creating a mobile-optimized website for your music has never been easier, or cheaper. Songpier allows you to share your artist’s songs, upcoming events, photos, lyrics, notes and bio directly to your fans, all in a few simple steps.

When you sign in to Songpier through The Marketplace, use the information already uploaded to The Orchard’s Artist and Release Builder to select the songs around which you’d like to create a Songpier and select the information you’d like to import.

When you’re done, drag your chosen track onto the Songpier logo and click on the icon. Here you can preview and edit your site, add lyrics and include a fun story behind the song. Tweak your app’s appearance by choosing a background image or picking a layout color, and even preview it on an iPhone or iPad.

When you’re ready to share your Songpier with the world, take the link on the “Preview and Share” tab and push it out to your social media accounts or by email. Songpier even provides you with a QR code that you can place on posters or album packaging.

Need any ideas? Take a peek at how Matthew Sweet made the most of Songpier here.

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect directly to your fans…for free! It’s all a few clicks away. Or, as Songpier puts it: “Built with a Click; And It’s Not a Trick.”

Songpier is accessible via The Marketplace. Read more about them on their One Sheet.

The Marketplace Presents: The Orchard Press Kit

Ever wish you could create a clean, smooth and sexy one-pager for your artist or band that includes all the essentials without the clutter?

Has it been on your to-do list forever, but you’ve never quite had the time or the right tool to create something that will do your artist justice?

Wait no more! The Orchard Marketplace Press Kit (PK) has got you covered.

Not only does it help you create a customized digital press sheet, including artist bio, discography, photos, videos, tour dates and more, it also does it in seconds, importing all the information you’ve submitted through Artist and Release Builder. Plus, you’re able to make tracks streamable or downloadable in full or as 30-second samples!

Once you’ve signed into the app through The Orchard Marketplace, just check off the information you’d like to include, arrange where you’d like the info to be, add any custom content, and voilà! your personalized digital press page—simply shared by circulating the URL—is ready to send to your press and industry contacts.

Check out Sebastian Bach’s page to get an idea of just how chic and sleek your PK can be.

Go on then! Give it a try! Did we mention it’s absolutely free?

The Orchard Press Kit is accessible via The Marketplace.

Let The Orchard Marketplace Road Show Begin…

September 9, 2011 Client Tool, Orchard News 1 Comment

Maybe you’ve heard, maybe you haven’t but something is kicking off here at The Orchard. The Red Bull is sold out of the vending machines, we’re reaching our late night Seamless Web budget and sometimes I wonder if our developers just sleep in their pod in the back of the office.  We’ve been working full speed on our latest and greatest product launching September 12th at San Francisco Music Tech.

We bring you…

The Orchard Marketplace

In brief, The Marketplace connects our clients with the ever-growing sea of third party apps and provides a seamless interaction and partnership between the two. Look out for more official details on our blog and website soon (can’t give away too much yet) but no launch would be complete without a full on roll out of events and festivities.

We’re deploying some of our key executives and folks from our Marketing and Tech teams to spread the word to the ends of the earth all in the name of The Marketplace (we’ll have to hit up ROW during round two).  Take a look at our route and email me at mbrown@theorchard.com if you’re interested in hearing about our activities in each city. Hope to see some of you guys on the road.

Introducing The Orchard’s Tour Date Module

Tour Date WidgetThe Orchard’s product team creates web applications which allow our labels to maximize growth and interaction with each of  their artists’ fan base. It’s one of our goals to create forward-thinking technologies that will not only enrich the fans relationship with an artist, but also make the lives of our label managers easier.

You probably already know that Artist Builder is a great way to sync tour dates across facebook, twitter and myspace. You can import them from SongKick or add them by hand. But once the tour dates are in there, we can do a lot more than just publish them.

Introducing the Tour Date Module–an embeddable, customizable HTML element that displays all upcoming tour dates, venue info and links to buy tickets. It’s perfect for social network profiles, microsites, blogs or anywhere else fans interact with their favorite artists. For fans, it’s a huge improvement over using a service such as Ticketmaster or StubHub to blindly hunt for tickets on an external site. And for artist management, it means never having to waste time updating tour dates again.

We’ve already started using the module. See it in action on Laura Cantrell’s new site.


If You Build It…The Orchard Debuts Artist Builder

March 16, 2011 Client Tool No Comments

The Orchard’s Artist Builder makes it easy for artists, managers and labels to update multiple social profiles simultaneously from one central location, eliminating the headache of updating individual profiles across multiple networks. Artist Builder is available to all Orchard clients through their Workstation, where they will enter tour dates, news, video links, and photos, and then publish the information to their Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace accounts, as well as to their artist websites and blogs. Clients will also be able to sync tour dates with Songkick. All of the release and artist information that The Orchard captures through the Workstation is also available to developers through The Orchard’s API.

Artist Builder from The Orchard on Vimeo.

Artists, managers and labels must keep up with the lightning-fast pace of the Internet to keep their fans engaged, but they also have to carefully regulate the time they spend updating social networks with the time they spend writing songs, designing merch, and plotting marketing campaigns, among many other things. With Artist Builder, users can log in to one place to manage artist information and then quickly publish out to the largest social networks and concert databases.

“Our product development and engineering teams are focused on creating a suite of products that complement our core business of selling music and also benefit our clients,” says Josh Builder, VP of Product Development at The Orchard. “Artist Builder makes social marketing simple, fast, and in the near future, trackable against digital sales, so our clients can see which messages and networks are effective.”

The first time Orchard clients use Artist Builder they’ll enter news, video links, and photos. To eliminate the annoying task of adding each tour date one by one, they also are able to import their tour dates from Songkick, which aggregates artist, concert, festival, venue, and ticket information from across 60 countries. Then, they’ll choose which information to publish to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and their sites. For example, when multiple tour dates are updated in Artist Builder, clients can push all dates to Facebook’s event section, tweet a link to their Songkick artist page for the full tour listing, and update the tour date module that is embedded on their website. On the day of a show, The Orchard automatically tweets a reminder for the show that night. As artists receive new information they want to publish, they’ll go back into Artist Builder and update or add to their existing profile, which will immediately update the networks and sites according to their saved preferences.

“The Orchard has opened up a thoughtful and interesting solution to the ever-growing marketing opportunities on the social network,” commented Cathy Bauer, General Manager of Daptone Records. “Artist Builder will dramatically cut down on the amount of time we spend entering duplicate info into so many different sites, and hopefully not forget any of them while we are at it!”

To view Artist Builder in action, watch this video: www.theorchard.com/artistbuilder. The tool is now available to all Orchard clients through their Workstation login.

First Release Builder Compilation is Live on iTunes!

November 12, 2010 Client Tool 1 Comment

Just a day after Cleopatra Records created their Thanksgiving Holiday Party compilation in Release Builder, it’s live on iTunes! I know, we just announced our Release Builder enhancements, but apparently Cleo was really eager to use it.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for our Product Development and Engineering teams, and to my Mom for the massive feast I’ll be eating in a couple of weeks.

We ARE Tools…Introducing The New Release Builder

November 12, 2010 Client Tool No Comments

Yesterday, we announced the release of the next version of our proprietary Release Builder product. The first version of Release Builder enabled artists to enter metadata, upload artwork and audio, and play back audio on-the-fly through the Orchard Workstation one release at a time. The new version of Release Builder adds the following capabilities:

  • Upload hundreds of releases at once - upload a spreadsheet, artwork and audio for multiple releases. The Orchard’s system intelligently matches files to metadata and creates the releases.
  • Instantaneously create compilations, using existing and/or new tracks.
  • Copy a release, then add or subtract a track(s) to create exclusive versions for different digital retailers.

With the addition of the bulk uploader, Release Builder replaces the need for Orchard clients to deliver multiple releases through an FTP upload, a hard drive, or CDs, thereby drastically decreasing the amount of time it takes for music to be ingested into The Orchard’s V.E.C.T.O.R. delivery system. Clients can also quickly create compilations to generate new revenue opportunities around holidays and themes.

Release Builder was first launched in February 2008 and each version since has provided clients with an enhanced toolset. This version, in particular, is useful for all varieties of clients, whether it is a single artist with new front-line releases or a huge catalogue label. The releases uploaded to Release Builder are encoded through V.E.C.T.O.R. and then delivered to over 600 digital retailers around the world.

Get buildin’.

The Orchard Workstation, Your Employees, And You…

November 4, 2010 Client Tool No Comments

Want to allow interns to build releases but not see sensitive accounting info? Want your accounting guy to just focus on the numbers?

We’ve added a new feature in the Orchard Client Workstation for you to manage your Workstation users. Your individual employees can now have their own personalized login and permissions. Here’s the deep link to get started adding new users in the Workstation.
Part of the TV generation? Do you learn things through multimedia? We made a How-to video on User Roles: click here to watch.

Features:

  • The primary contact in your account can now add additional employee users
  • Each user has his/her own password and can be set up to view a limited part of the Orchard Workstation
  • Each user can be set up with different language or currency format

Go set up your users now to ensure the highest level of security; we don’t want anyone sabotaging your account!

There Is An App For That…And That…And That…And That…And That

October 5, 2010 Client Tool No Comments

There are a million apps out there.  Well, almost–Apple has 250,000, Android has 80,000 and growing fast and Blackberry has over 10,000.  Other stores like GetJar offer apps to anyone with any phone, smartphone or not.  So, maybe not quite a million, but it sure seems like it.

So how does anyone stand out? Jay Yarow has a few ideas. I like his take on this subject, because fundamentally, apps should always offer one of these three things: uniqueness, information/usefulness, or fun.  Apps to engage your fanbase should do the same.  Really, they should be unique.  Apple “doesn’t need any more fart apps“.

Keeping that in mind, I worked with our labels here at The Orchard and our Interactive Marketing team to create apps like these:

  • Suffocation: The band release live sound board rips the next day, exclusively through their iPhone app on their most recent tour.  Their app downloads spiked considerably as their fans rushed to get interesting, exclusive content.

A Release Builder insider tip on UPLOAD SPEED!

September 30, 2010 Client Tool 1 Comment

Warning! This blog post contains Orchard Client Workstation future product launch spoilers, though is safe for all audiences.

If you’re a Release Builder power user, you’ve probably noticed that upload speeds can vary greatly. In the next several months, we’re going to be rolling out a slew of new features that will maximize upload speeds, and make uploading multiple releases easier. In the meantime, here’s a tip.

The absolute best time to upload music is from 9-11pm Eastern time, when most labels in America and Europe are out on the town, or for the weak, sleeping. Pick a day during the week, stay late at the office, crack open a cold beer of your regional preference, and do your uploading then!

Watch the Daily Rind Blog for future Workstation insider tips.

Love,

“Quick” Nick Gordon

Hulu Daily Activity Stats Hit Orchard Dashboard

September 3, 2010 Client Tool No Comments

HuluNow Orchard film and television distribution clients can track their daily activity on Hulu in Orchard’s client dashboard, a useful tool in tracking the results of marketing and the correlation between Hulu streams, YouTube trailer streams, and iTunes downloads. Preliminary testing of the impact of catalog title free-to-consumer Hulu streams on paid iTunes downloads/rentals has shown no negative effect, and in some cases Hulu has proven to be an iTunes revenue driver for catalog titles.  The positive correlation is especially true when coupled with Orchard’s marketing around a related marketable event. Stay tuned for ongoing additions and improvements to Orchard’s client dashboard for film and television clients in an effort to remain seamless and increase sales intelligence.

The Wu-Tang App Ain’t Nothin’ To F*** With

August 3, 2010 Client Tool 1 Comment

Early last month, we helped Wu-Tang Clan launch a Blackberry Wu themed app worldwide. This theme allows users to customize their Blackberry with all things Wu—including a custom call screen with the Wu-Tang logo, message notification icon, and a ringtone of “Dirts the Boogie” from The Swarm 3. All of this is available here for just $2.99 for a limited time on the Blackberry Tour, Storm and Bold devices. If we get our way, the next version will include Wu earrings.


The Orchard Launches Comprehensive Analytics Tool

March 18, 2010 Client Tool 1 Comment

Tool Provides Daily and Weekly Activity Data Views across Top Digital Retailers by Transaction Type, Time Period, and Location

The Orchard | Analytics from The Orchard on Vimeo.

New York– March 18, 2010 – Today, The Orchard (NASDAQ: ORCD), a global leader in music and video distribution and comprehensive digital strategy, announced it has launched a new interactive analytics tool within its client workstation.  The tool uses daily and weekly sales activity generated from The Orchard’s top digital retail partners, including iTunes, eMusic, Verizon Wireless, 24-7 Entertainment, Deezer, and YouTube, to display full-scope sales information on specific releases through charts, line graphs and an interactive heat map.  Data from additional digital retailers will be added to the analytics tool in the coming weeks.

The analytics tool was developed in-house by The Orchard’s technology team and is available in English, Spanish and French.  It transforms daily and weekly sales data generated by stores into easy to understand sales figures viewable by type of transaction, time period, and location.   The tool displays near real-time sales information from album downloads, track downloads, track streams, video streams, video downloads, and ringtones.

“When I look at Surfer Blood’s sales trend chart I can clearly see the days when downloads and streams spike, and from there can understand which marketing efforts actually impact sales,” said Kay Quartararo of Kanine Records. “With the addition of this tool, The Orchard provides an end-to-end solution; from fast delivery to online promotions to analytics, they are the perfect partner to lead Kanine through the digital space.”

The Orchard also designed a heat map, which visualizes sales performance according to zip-code.  The map filters sales by album or track over specific time periods.  With this, clients can draw conclusions from location-based information to focus their marketing campaigns, route their tours, create their radio campaigns, and enhance physical efforts.

“The Orchard’s Release Analytics tool is very impressive,” commented Jochen Maass, Vice President of Nuclear Blast. “After years of building our global business with limited visibility into our sales data outside of gigantic sales grids, this tool gives us an easy to use dashboard to help us see how our marketing efforts are translating on a real time, global basis….and the heat map really wowed us. I wish our whole business would be as visible as it is with The Orchard’s tool.”

For an embeddable demonstration video of The Orchard’s sales analytic tool, click here.

About The Orchard(R)

Headquartered in New York and London with operations in 25 markets around the world, The Orchard (NASDAQ: ORCD) is an independent music and video distributor specializing in comprehensive digital strategies for content owners. Through innovative global marketing and promotions, The Orchard drives sales across more than 660 digital and mobile storefronts in more than 75 countries, as well as physical retailers across North America and Europe. The company was founded in 1997 as a business partner that fosters creativity and independence within its global clients. For further information, please visit www.theorchard.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This release may contain certain forward-looking statements regarding The Orchard’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance within the meaning of Federal Securities laws that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and involve factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, the ability of The Orchard to distribute certain products, videos and films and provide certain marketing and other services. Undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements as they speak only as of the date hereof, and The Orchard undertakes no obligation to update these statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances except as may be required by law. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements are contained in The Orchard’s most recent periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT:

Ed James

Cornerstone PR

212 652 9295

ed@cornerstonepromotion.com

Source: The Orchard

The Orchard Opens API To Select Artist Services

August 4, 2009 Client Tool No Comments

Digital distributor and marketer The Orchard is launching a groundbreaking platform, using an API, to provide its artist and label clients access to third party business solutions within their client Workstation.

These companies are confirmed as Orchard API launch partners:

-ArtistData automates the updating of information to artist websites, social network profiles, concert databases, Twitter feeds and more

-Band Metrics provides comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analytics for the music industry with in-depth geographical reporting on social, radio, fan trends and more;

-TheBizmo is a 360 degree e-commerce direct-to-consumer widget that can sell digital music, merchandise, gig tickets and more from any website, blog or social networking page;

-BMAT specializes in data analytics across terrestrial broadcast and digital streams worldwide;

-FanBridge is the leading provider of email and mobile fan list management solutions

-Mediaguide monitors music on college, non-commercial, commercial radio stations and offers information on internet radio stations in the US, which are tracked by its partner, Radiowave;

-Mobile Roadie launched an iPhone App creation tool with The Orchard in February, and will now integrate into the Orchard’s marketplace for an improved label experience;

-New Reach Technologies provides ‘smart’ widgets that increase signup and commerce conversion, an integrated social media and web tracking dashboard and a multi channel direct to consumer communication platform;

-Peekok is a simple to use, fully customizable, direct-to-fan retail and social marketing platform, including an array of analytical data and reporting services;

-Topspin is a technology platform for direct-to-fan marketing, management and distribution;

-Trendrr provides automated data tracking and visual reporting for consumption, engagement and buzz levels from over 40 of the Web’s most popular social and  e-commerce destinations;

-uPlaya ranks songs with patented Hit Song Science platform and promotes music globally through Music Universe marketing applications.

Over time, Orchard will include additional qualified partners and continue to build out and manage the largest and most robust platform of third-party developers in the industry.

At launch, the applications include various forms of sales and analytic tools, marketing vehicles, email and mobile services, widget creation, iPhone App creation, and data tracking. Orchard clients will receive a discounted rate for the services.

When clients opt in to a third party tool, the application will draw information (e.g. metadata, audio and video files, art work) from The Orchard’s secure interface to power customized marketing tools. To close the loop, clients can choose a data solution, which uses The Orchard’s metadata, to track their online exposure.

From the press release:

Dan Pifer, Executive Vice President of Technology for The Orchard, commented, “Rather than predict successful models and invest capital in developing tools to support them, we have instead chosen to create a scalable platform where our clients can select their preferred state-of-the-art marketing and sales solutions.”  Pifer added, “Technology is rapidly shifting.  We are pleased to be in a unique position where by utilizing our in house state-of-the-art content delivery system, V.E.C.T.O.R., we are able to connect independent artists and labels with ‘best in class’ developers, therefore fostering an ecosystem of cutting edge tools and services.”

Josh Rosenfeld, President of prominent Orchard client label Barsuk Records, noted “The Orchard has always offered us tremendous staffing and technology support, consistently providing easy ways to make our business more efficient and allowing us to focus on helping our bands rather than on researching and administering lots of speculative direct vendor and sales relationships.” Rosenfeld continued, “When our veteran head of online promotion left the music business 18 months ago, we were able to move forward without filling the high-salary vacancy and without any reduction in service to our bands, based solely on The Orchard’s staff and technology solutions. This new initiative continues the trends that we’ve seen during our entire time in business with The Orchard.”

Source: Hypebot

Orchard CEO Discusses New Artist Services

August 4, 2009 Client Tool No Comments

Indie digital aggregator and marketing firm the Orchard launched a partnership program with more than 10 online sources of marketing, sales and analytics tools in order to bring their services to its clients. Launch partners include Artist Data, Mediaguide, Mobile Roadie, Topspin, Trendrr and others.

The company is aggregating these various services into its Artist Label Workstation, which is The Orchard’s digital management and reporting software that clients use to upload music, track performance, and otherwise manage their Orchard account. The program provides participating service providers with the necessary technology to integrate their solution into the Workstation, and gives Orchard clients a discount on those services.

Orchard CEO Greg Scholl says the move is a way to offer a full range of services without developing its own proprietary technology for each feature, likening it to Facebook Apps and the iPhone App Store. He explains the program further in this exclusive Billboard interview.

Explain what it is you’re trying to accomplish with this announcement.

There’s a philosophical decision a company like ours makes around app development. Do we predict what tools and technologies are going to be successful in the future, staff a team to develop them, and integrate them into our product our clients use? We came to the conclusion that one part of our business – which is the content ingestion, management and delivery – is the heart and lifeblood of our business. The rest is a teeming sea of innovation that is just at the starting point. The odds that we’d pick the right tools and services, build them, and be right three to five years out is low. It’s much more likely that the market will innovate and evolve. And it’s much more cost effective for us to offer best in class tools and services. Our clients end up with a suite of offerings that’s relevant to them.

You built the Artist Label Workstation yourself and are now adding to it with other partners. Take a second and explain just what the ALW does.

It’s the dashboard our clients use to manage their Orchard experience. It includes such basic detail as detailed accounting and sales information. Information about their music and video assets; where it’s been ingested and delivered. Where are releases in the process of being delivered? It includes things like merch placements we’ve secured. What we’re doing now is opening up that environment to qualified third party developers we deem are best-in-class and make their products and services available to our clients. We’re giving discounts to them as a result of our size and scope. And if you want to use any of them it’s as easy as going into your ALW account and integrating and managing them through your account. All the billing is managed through the account.

How did you determine which companies and services to work with?

We’re engaged fairly broadly with companies of this nature and we have a pretty good view of the ones we think are doing good things and that are stable, scalable businesses. We do have some level of qualification. The first gate is ‘are they offering something that helps our clients make more money and be form effective in their business.’ The second is ‘is the product or tool scalable, well architected, and can it integrate with our service?’ And the third is ‘is this a team that we think is talented and has a good vision for the future of digital media?’ Applying that as a filter, there are definitely other companies that we add to this over time, but we wanted to come out of the gate with a solid, broad range of companies.

What’s the arrangement with these partners?

The arrangement is that by nature of having access to a large client base under the umbrella of the Orchard, right now we have 81,000 artists from 91 countries, we’ve negotiated rates our clients couldn’t get in the open market.

There seems to be a trend towards services integrating multiple third-party services now rather than developing them on their own. Where do you see that trend going and what does it mean for the digital music space?

There’s this very strong analog to this in Facebook Apps. It’s something that’s occurred in social media and other places as well. Our view of why it’s important for our business and our clients is that in a period of still very dramatic transition as music continues to evolve, we’re still in the very early days of the digital business. Both the size and the scope of it as well as the business complexities and what the business will look like is a dynamic market. In order to serve our clients, I think we need to give them access to a broad range of companies that are innovating on the frontier of different aspects of that. Particularly around direct-to-consumer, and understanding the analytics of social media. I think there will be a tremendous amount of innovation and evolution around those two things in particular over the next three to five years.

By Antony Bruno, Denver

From Billboard

The Orchard Announces Groundbreaking Platform For Innovation Across Marketing And Digital Content Management

August 4, 2009 Client Tool No Comments

Platform Will Seamlessly Integrate Wide Array of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Tools and Business Solutions Through New API Within Existing Orchard Client Workstation

New York, August 4, 2009, Today, The Orchard (NASDAQ: ORCD) announced that it is launching a groundbreaking platform, using an API (Application Programming Interface), to provide clients access to third party business solutions from a marketplace within The Orchard’s proprietary client Workstation. For the launch, The Orchard has tapped many of the entertainment industry’s leading marketing, sales, and analytics application companies, including ArtistData, Band Metrics, TheBizmo, BMAT, FanBridge, Mediaguide, Mobile Roadie, New Reach Technologies, Peekok, Topspin, Trendrr, and uPlaya.

These launch partners will offer turn-key products geared to serve the needs of Orchard’s global client base, which represents 15% of all music available digitally.  Within the Workstation’s marketplace, clients will be able to easily choose from this broad array of tools, each the best in its class.  Over time, as the market continues to proliferate with innovative applications and services, Orchard will include additional qualified partners and continue to build out and manage the largest and most robust platform of third-party developers in the industry.

At launch, the applications, all selected with client needs in mind, will include various forms of sales and analytic tools, marketing vehicles, email and mobile services, widget creation, iPhone App creation, and data tracking. Orchard clients will receive a discounted rate for the services they choose, enabling these clients yet one more way of reducing their operating costs through their Orchard affiliation, without sacrificing sophistication or reach. Payment for use of the third party apps is secured through The Orchard and is reflected in client billing.

When clients opt in to a third party tool, the application will draw information (e.g. metadata, audio and video files, art work) from The Orchard’s secure interface to power customized marketing tools. To close the loop, clients can choose a data solution, which uses The Orchard’s metadata, to track their online exposure.

The following companies are confirmed as Orchard API launch partners:

ArtistData automates the updating of information to artist websites, social network profiles, concert databases, Twitter feeds and more;

Band Metrics provides comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analytics for the music industry with in-depth geographical reporting on social, radio, fan trends and more;

TheBizmo is a 360 degree e-commerce direct-to-consumer widget that can sell digital music, merchandise, gig tickets and more from any website, blog or social networking page;

BMAT specializes in data analytics across terrestrial broadcast and digital streams worldwide;

FanBridge is the leading provider of email and mobile fan list management solutions

Mediaguide monitors music on college, non-commercial, commercial radio stations and offers information on internet radio stations in the US, which are tracked by its partner, Radiowave;

Mobile Roadie launched an iPhone App creation tool with The Orchard in February, and will now integrate into the Orchard’s marketplace for an improved label experience;

New Reach Technologies provides ‘smart’ widgets that increase signup and commerce conversion, an integrated social media and web tracking dashboard and a multi channel direct to consumer communication platform;

Peekok is a simple to use, fully customizable, direct-to-fan retail and social marketing platform, including an array of analytical data and reporting services;s;

Topspin is a technology platform for direct-to-fan marketing, management and distribution;

Trendrr  provides automated data tracking and visual reporting for consumption, engagement and buzz levels from over 40 of the Web’s most popular social and  e-commerce destinations;

uPlaya ranks songs with patented Hit Song Science(tm) platform and promotes music globally through Music Universe(tm) marketing applications.

Dan Pifer, Executive Vice President of Technology for The Orchard, commented, “Rather than predict successful models and invest capital in developing tools to support them, we have instead chosen to create a scalable platform where our clients can select their preferred state-of-the-art marketing and sales solutions.”  Pifer added, “Technology is rapidly shifting.  We are pleased to be in a unique position where by utilizing our in house state-of-the-art content delivery system, V.E.C.T.O.R., we are able to connect independent artists and labels with ‘best in class’ developers, therefore fostering an ecosystem of cutting edge tools and services.”

Additional technology partners will be announced in coming months.  Much like Facebook Apps, the iPhone App Store, and Amazon’s Marketplace, there is no limit to the number of partners able to participate.  Every potential partner is carefully evaluated by The Orchard’s marketing, technology and client services teams, ensuring clients receive the best business solutions available today.

Josh Rosenfeld, President of prominent Orchard client label Barsuk Records, noted “The Orchard has always offered us tremendous staffing and technology support, consistently providing easy ways to make our business more efficient and allowing us to focus on helping our bands rather than on researching and administering lots of speculative direct vendor and sales relationships.” Rosenfeld continued, “When our veteran head of online promotion left the music business 18 months ago, we were able to move forward without filling the high-salary vacancy and without any reduction in service to our bands, based solely on The Orchard’s staff and technology solutions. This new initiative continues the trends that we’ve seen during our entire time in business with The Orchard.”

About The Orchard(R)

The Orchard (NASDAQ: ORCD) is a full service business partner for entertainment companies, music labels, recording artists and songwriters, film studios, and producers.   Founded in 1997, the company drives sales across its retail network of more than 600 digital storefronts and mobile carriers in 59 countries. Headquartered in New York and London, with operations in 27 markets around the world, The Orchard offers a comprehensive suite of services focused on customized marketing and promotions, social media, sales development, and technology.  An industry pioneer and continued innovator in digital media services, The Orchard fosters creativity and independence. For further information please visit www.theorchard.com

Forward Looking Statements

This release may contain certain forward-looking statements regarding The Orchard’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance within the meaning of Federal Securities laws that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and involve factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, the ability of The Orchard to distribute certain products, videos and artist recordings and provide certain marketing and other services. Undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements as they speak only as of the date hereof, and The Orchard undertakes no obligation to update these statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances except as may be required by law. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements are contained in The Orchard’s most recent periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT:

The Orchard:

James Volpe

jvolpe@theorchard.com

646-472-1857

Source: The Orchard

by:

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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