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

Between 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 …

The Team Behind The Orchard Machine [Infographic]

You might know The Orchard as a global music and film distribution company but do you know much about the people behind the name? We have over 175 employees worldwide all hailing from different backgrounds, boasting different lines of expertise, and coming from all walks of life. We thought it’d be fun …

Use YouTube To Go Beyond The Music Video

Videos are by far the most engaging form of social content. This isn’t exactly a new discovery, but there’s a lot of missed potential by bands that claim to have a YouTube presence. The common misconception is that your music videos go up on YouTube and you’re done. Although MTV …

Get In On The Crowdfunding Action with RocketHub

Between 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 …

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Launching a New Website: Evolution, Not Revolution

Some of you may have noticed we have recently had the pleasure of launching a new corporate site.

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Websites can get outdated faster than one may think, and revamping them can be a daunting task, which doesn’t help in staying current. When it came to The Orchard’s website, which had only undergone a few minor design changes in 4 years, I realized we needed to change our approach. Away with the one-man design team; enter the cohesive design system.

“Graphic standards guides” are boring, but The Orchard is fun. Could we standardize the way we present ourselves to the world, without becoming drab and predictable?

The key concept that helped us tackle the paradox is flexibility. By designing everything to change, we’ve made a framework that doesn’t stifle creative approaches. These modular sets of rules can be updated individually, slowly over time, to stay fresh and keep up with The Orchard’s evolving brand.
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Welcome, Chris!

March 5, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

Chris HeydtIntroducing Chris Heydt, Software Engineer

I’m thrilled to be here at The Orchard, working at the intersection of technology and media. My first gig out of college was at Citigroup, where I worked for two years as an information security analyst. I then joined Sony Music (Sony BMG at the time) as a software engineer, where I spent six years building and maintaining systems that powered sales and distribution of ringtones as well as e-commerce sites for Sony artists. After a subsequent stint at a startup focused on children’s financial education, my path has brought me back to the world of digital media.

I’m excited to be joining the Technology team as a Software Engineer, where I’ll have the privilege of working with some really smart people.

Welcome Opus Docs, The Orchard’s New Documentary Channel

opusdocsPublic defenders fighting for the rights of poor people on trial in the Deep South of America; a professional strongman who can bend a penny with two fingers; a teacher of autistic young men in Newark, New Jersey; what do these characters have in common? Well not much, other than that their stories are riveting, and their lives the subjects of finely crafted and unforgettable documentary films. These documentary films — Gideon’s Army, Strongman and Best Kept Secret, are just three of the award-winning non-fiction films that are part of Opus Docs, a new owned and operated channel launched by the Orchard.

The YouTube channel will serve as the core of the channel, hosting trailers and extra content from the films that will link out to other platforms where the films can be watched (like iTunes and Amazon) and most importantly, the Opus Docs’ Hulu channel. With a slate of films that have been curated from the most prestigious film festivals around the globe — Sundance, Berlin, South by Southwest, Telluride, IFF Rotterdam, L.A. Film Festival, IDFA in Amsterdam, even Moscow and Minsk! — Opus Docs showcases the artistry and vision of both emerging and veteran nonfiction filmmakers, who filter stories that are important, quirky, humorous, enlightening and inspiring through their beautiful and unique lenses.

Recently released and upcoming docs including Rebecca Richman-Cohen’s Emmy-nominated immersion into the trial of alleged Sierra Leone war criminal Issa Sesay, War Don Don; Stefano Sardo’s rapturous look into the history of a global food movement, Slow Food Story; and Jared Goodman’s Captive Beauty, a look into a beauty pageant inside a Medellin, Columbia womens’ prison (Executive Produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger), will be available on the Hulu Opus Docs’ channel four to six months after their initial releases on download-to-own and paid rental platforms including iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Instant Video.

The Orchard’s Film team is thrilled to be adding Opus Docs to its collection of curated and branded channels and expanding the audience for these remarkable — and entertaining — stories. Read the full press release on our website.

How, Why, and When to Advertise Your Stuff

via Reddit's Ad Pitch DeckDeciding to spend money to increase awareness of your project is a big decision. You’ve probably already spent a ton of money creating your art and the idea of spending again may be anathema to you. You may have already gathered the funds for a large-scale media purchase and are ready to go. I don’t know this and have no supernatural powers. I’m just writing a blog post for The Daily Rind and trying to help.

Managing our clients’ and our internal advertising budgets, I’ve seen the gamut of situations in which advertising could be useful and have executed campaigns. I’ve found that a step-by-step thought-process prevents one from completely blowing it. Completely blowing it can mean wasted money or a project no one knows about. This is my process and the one I recommend to others.

  1. Define your goals – What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to grow awareness, or drive those that are already aware to a place to purchase?
  2. Define your message – What is the message you want to deliver? Go through the process of creating a simple sentence “Promote the new video duh!” is not good. Your message is something like “Watch this video and learn more about this artist.”
  3. Research your fans and potential fans – Who should receive this message? You may not know who your fans are as much as you think you do. Even if you’re the label, you can lack perspective. You have no objectivity and that’s normal. Rely on data and numbers to combat your definite bias. Use tools such as Facebook Insights. Pay special attention to the “People” tab. Those are the ones who engage with your page. Some people are lazy and just Like pages they do not plan to engage with. The “People” tab shows you who the engaged fans are; the people who will buy your stuff. You may also find tools like Google AnalyticsBeluga (free), Next Big Sound, Musicmetric, and others handy. Create useful names for the different segments: “18 – 24 year old bros in Arizona who love action sports” or “Hipsters that pirate your stuff in Silverlake.” All of this is valuable if you create segments that mean something to you.
  4. Identify your targets – Who do you want to receive the message based on your research? Maybe you’ve found that your audience is “75 – 85 year old vagrants with an iPod touch and Starbucks WiFi.” This is not an audience that is worth your hard-earned, borrowed, or stolen ad dollars. If your goal is to create awareness for a video, even though most of your audience are these vagrants, you should target the small part of your audience that is of a demographic using the platform on which your video is published. If your budget is limited, you should focus first on the fans most likely to purchase and only go outside of that fan-base after you’ve given the core fan-base every opportunity to give you money. They can be best targeted through tracking pixels from third parties such as Google, Facebook, or The Trade Desk.
  5. Devise your strategies – In what voice do you want to deliver your message? What’s your angle? Are you enticing people with a free track?
  6. Decide which tactics you will use – What tactics will you employ to execute the strategy? Video? Search Ad? Retargeting Landing Page visitors with banners? Asking a question in a promoted post? Leveraging memes such as Doge (such link. so lol)?
  7. Identify the platforms / technology you will use – Where will you deploy your tactics? Facebook? Google Search? Bing Search? LinkedIn? Banner inventory on the coolest sites? Video inventory?
  8. Execute your campaign – Double-check everything. A misspelling or typo can be absolutely devastating to your cause. You don’t want that. We don’t want that. Deploy your campaign at hours of peak traffic for your audience, strategy, tactic, and platform. This may mean that you deploy each part at a different time.
  9. Optimize your campaign – Don’t just let it sit there spending your money. Constantly optimize. What’s working? What’s not? Don’t be alarmed by lower click-through-rates (CTR) on banner ads than you see on Search ads. Banners are about impressions and you are billed per impression. Search is about clicks and you are billed per click.
  10. Recap your campaign – Even if you are doing your own digital advertising, you should do this step. Create a document that is an overview of the campaign. You will find nuggets of information in this document that you will not find by just looking at numbers on the platforms.
  11. Learn from your campaign – After you have created this document ask yourself if it was a success. Go back to your goals. Did your video get more views than they would have without it? Did your Facebook page see a higher rate of engagement? What would you do differently next time?

Spending money to promote your work is a big deal and it’s worth your time to go through this process to make sure you don’t completely blow it. I’d love to answer any questions (no centaur questions) or address any feedback so do not hesitate to comment.

Rock the Cause Gets Physical With Us

Rock the CauseWe are excited to announce today that Rock the Cause has expanded their distribution deal with us to begin releasing their albums physically as well as digitally, worldwide. This means we can continue to work together in a unified way to promote awareness for the slew of social issues supported by Rock the Cause — across the globe.

In case you didn’t know, Rock the Cause is a Minnesota-based non-profit whose goal is to create social change through music. Not only do they put on fab concerts and organize volunteer projects, they also have a noteworthy record label. Yep, they’re what you’d call “multi-taskers.” Even if you haven’t heard of them directly by name, you’ve probably crossed ways with them in some way or another.

Ever caught yourself tearing up to the YouTube sensation, “Clouds,” by Zach Sobiech, or any of the subsequent tribute videos? Well, it just so happens that Rock the Cause has a lot to do with that magical story. The label helped Zach fulfill his final wishes before he lost his fight to cancer by releasing the “Clouds” single as well as the Fix Me Up album, by Zach’s band, A Firm Handshake. Rock the Cause has made sure that all proceeds go straight towards the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Research Fund to continue to honor Zach even in death. Now, the non-profit will be releasing a deluxe edition of the original Fix Me Up album on May 6. With exclusive bonus content, the record will also be released physically for the first time, and we are so pumped to be part of it.

But that’s not all — Rock the Cause has also teamed up with various musicians across the U.S. to create a compilation album honoring Jason Molina, the singer-songwriter of Magnolia Electric Co. who passed away last year. The label reached out to many of the artist’s friends, family and fellow musicians to make an album of original Molina songs, covered by the likes of My Morning Jacket, Murder by Death, Songs: Ohia, Communist Daughter and many more. This killer collab of tracks, titled Farewell Transmission: The Music of Jason Molina, will be up for grabs April 22 (yes, digitally and physically) to celebrate the life and music of a one-of-a-kind artist.

Scott Herold, founder of Rock the Cause, is excited about this growing partnership, saying “The Orchard is a one-stop shop for us when pushing charitable music into the front lines of brick and mortar retailers.” We’re just as thrilled: “Working with Rock the Cause has been such an inspiring journey for our team. Projects like these bring real meaning and a sense of purpose to what we do,” remarked Orchard COO, Colleen Theis.

If we weren’t clear about it before, we are beyond stoked to be part of such a rewarding partnership. Read the full press release on our website.

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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