The Daily Rind | Your Top Source for The Orchard and Industry News

Working with a Living Legend: Richard Gottehrer

On my very first day at The Orchard almost three years ago, my boss took me around the office in typical Orchard tradition and introduced me to every single person sitting at his or her desk, from our accountants to our developers and everyone in between. Was anyone off limits? …

The Marketplace Presents: Klick Push

If 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 …

Use YouTube Annotations to Create an Album Preview Video

So you’ve got a new album coming out and you want to give fans a taste of what to expect. Try creating an album preview video and uploading it to your YouTube channel! We’ll walk you through how to set this up. Prepare Your Content We’re not going to go …

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 …

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Spotify The Easy Way: 6 Steps to Streaming Success

Spotify New Official LogoStreaming is continuing to grow, and having worked closely with Spotify over the past few years, we feel that all independent artists and labels should strengthen their presence on the service.

To help, we’ve compiled these 6 super easy action items we’re confident will make a difference. Try them out!

1. “On Air, On Spotify”

If your music is “On Air” — meaning on the radio, on YouTube, SoundCloud, or anywhere online — it should be available to stream on Spotify. This way, you’re both monetizing your music and encouraging playlist adds and profile follows for continued listening.

2. Verify Your Profiles

By verifying your profile – artist or label — similarly to Twitter, you are giving your artist the ability to directly communicate with fans, and be highlighted with Spotify’s check of approval. These profiles not only show off an artist’s discography but also house tour dates, merchandise, biography, photos, and allow you to toggle over to view your playlists on your user profile. Your verified profile is a way to communicate with your fans within Spotify through the Spotify Social and Discover feeds, and in-­client messaging. Every time a new piece of content is released ­(new single, EP, album), your fans get a push notification, and every time you add tracks to your playlist, all followers of that playlist will get notified.

It’s simple to request a verified profile – just contact your client rep.

3. Tell Your Fans That You Are On Spotify and Grow Your Followers

Think of Spotify as a social network that allows you to monetize your own content in a creative, promotional way. On Spotify, you can gain a follower base, which in turn becomes a promotional channel­ — these Spotify followers receive notifications about updates to your content and your listening habits. Sharing your Spotify profile across your artist properties and socials will drive fans to follow you on Spotify, and allow you to engage in conversations with your fans.

Here are some practical ways to grow your Spotify followers:

  • Follow artists you like to help your fans discover the music you’re listening to
  • Create and share your playlists
  • Share across external social networks. Encourage conversation when sharing: ask fans what tracks they’re into
  • Share single tracks and albums you’re listening to and asks fans what playlists you should follow
  • Add Spotify links to YouTube and other video descriptions
  • Add the Spotify Follow Button to your website ­– putting this button on your website allows fans to follow you in an easy single click without leaving your website.

4. Playlisting

Similar to how a DJ would curate a mix for a radio station or club, streaming services use playlists as an easy way to share tracks and promote discovery.

Keep these in mind when creating your playlists:

  • Ensure your account is never empty, and that you have at ­least 1­2 public playlists available.
  • Focus on one playlist –­ choose one to maintain, and add to consistently.
  • Update regularly –­ Adding tracks on a regular basis is key. The more frequent the adds and the bigger the playlist, the better. Each time you update your playlist, it will appear in fans’ Discover feeds, and followers of the playlist will be notified.
  • Share it. Actively clicking “share” ensures you reach your fans. You’ll find the “share” button towards the top of each page, or right click (cmd+click on Mac) any title to copy and paste the link to be shared across other social platforms.
  • Share with messages: Include text when you share to help your story stand out.
  • Listen to music from your Spotify account. You’ll appear in the live ticker feed (on the right side of the Spotify client), and you’ll generate stories through Discover.
  • Add themed playlists. Once you’ve grown one playlist, add more niche, smaller playlists around certain events or themes.

5. Spotify Play Button

Spotify provides a quick and easy embeddable code that you can put on your website so that your fans can listen to your playlists and discography. By putting this Spotify Play Button on your website or Tumblr, your fans can listen to your music while continuing to engage with your site.

  • It’s easy to get the Play Button: just right click on the playlist, track or album on Spotify and select “Copy Embed Code.” This copies the link to your clipboard.
  • Paste the code into into your website and the Spotify Play Button will show up on your site.

6. Metrics

Next Big Sound provides free up-to-date analytics for your artists. When you log in, you can see your growth in followers, streaming data, and the effects of your social media campaigns. You can see how doing all of these best practices grows your streams and revenue.

  • Apply to see your Spotify data here.
  • Read this overview for a full breakdown of how to use Next Big Sound.

*For a full description of Spotify Best Practices ­ visit the Spotify Artists Hub.

Freeloader Friday: The Everymen, Tombs, Vanna, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Penicillin Baby, French Style Furs, Epica, Handguns & Colleagues

The Everymen - Givin' Up On Free JazzHopefully you all have fabulous Memorial Day Weekend plans (if you’re one of our US Freeloaders, that is): beachin’ it, road-tripping, camping, posting up in bed. Whatever you’ve got planned (or don’t), you’ve got yourself a nice, long 3-days to relax! And while you’re at it, how about letting us supply you with tunes to occupy your downtime?

While you’re busy grilling up burgers and dogs for everyone, put on The Everymen’s new release. Since it’s a full album stream, no need to worry about being the party DJ and having to worry about not overcooking your dishes. The album comes complete with a range of sounds, from Jazz to Doo-Wop to Pop-Rock, so it’ll keep your guests entertained for a good half-hour.

If you’re looking for a quick, post all-nighter pick-me-up, blast Tombs’s new jam – and by jam, I mean Hard-Core, drum-fueled Metal banger. In the same fashion, Vanna’s got something even nastier: a track with full-blown, razor-sharp rage screams. If you’re in need of something more mellow, put on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s latest track, which comes to a gigantic beauty of a climax at the end. There’s also Penicillin Baby’s bright-day, blue-sky Psychedelic Pop tune that’ll leave you in a daze of smiles.

Ready for some videos now? Got that, too! Newcomers (although vets via Cold War Kids & We Barbarians) French Style Furs flip through the pages of their art-book for a pop-up lyric video, Epica takes you flying through ancient empires and utopias, Handguns gives you a sample of the band’s POV, and Colleagues supports a middle-aged man’s passion for interpretive dance (I’m not really sure about it either).

Whatever it is you’re doing this weekend, have tons of fun (hopefully in the sun) and enjoy the extra time off with these Freeloader treasures!

The Everymen: Full album stream via PopMatters
Givin’ Up On Free Jazz out now on Ernest Jenning Record Co.

Tombs: “Spiral” track premiere via Stereogum
Savage Gold out June 10 on Relapse Records

Vanna: “Piss Up A Rope” track premiere via Lambgoat
Void out June 17 on Pure Noise Records

ClapYour Hands Say Yeah: “Only Run” track premiere via Consequence of Sound
Only Run out June 3 on CYHSY

Penicillin Baby: “Not Getting Any Younger” track premiere via No Country for New Nashville
Not Getting Any Younger out now on Jeffery Drag Records

French Style Furs: “Solitary Life” lyric video premiere via Filter
Is Exotic Bait out July 8 on Frenchkiss Records

Epica: “Unchain Utopia” lyric video premiere via Metal Hammer
The Quantum Enigma out now on Nuclear Blast

Handguns: “Sleep Deprived” lyric video premiere via YouTube
Life Lessons out July 8 on Pure Noise Records

Colleagues: “Tears” music video premiere via Noisey
Tears out now on In Stereo Records

Record Store Day Done Right

One of the many benefits to living and working in New York City is the plethora of independent record stores we have here. So to celebrate Record Store Day this year, I thought it would be fun to see how many of them I could visit and document my results with a photo of each location. Using only the subway for transportation, I was able to hit twenty shops in one day! And I never even made it to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, home to many more indies like the newest outpost of Rough Trade. But that’s okay, I’ll be visiting there sometime soon. Because my motto is “Live every day like it’s Record Store Day!”

Check out the photo gallery below:

 

Ask a Publicist: How Do Bands Sabotage Their Own PR Campaigns?

Public RelationsThis article, written by national publicist for labels and independent artists Alyssa DeHayes, originally appeared on Sonicbids. We’re excited to be working with them to bring you the best and most relevant content for your business! 

During the time I’ve been a publicist, I’ve watched my colleagues and I garner national press for clients’ tour and album releases, and even seen publicists and clients become the best of friends outside of their working relationship. I’ve seen bands carefully plan their album release so that their press campaign has the best possible chance of success, but I’ve also noticed some common mistakes bands make that put themselves at a disadvantage. Even if you’re doing it yourself, much of the advice below still applies.

They Don’t Plan Ahead
Lack of lead time is a real killer. You likely spent a good bit of time and money making your record, so there’s no need to rush to release it. While a publicist can’t force an outlet to like something, they do know how much lead time that outlet needs to even consider an album for coverage. For instance, monthly music magazines are often planned three to six months in advance, while blogs can need anywhere from a few weeks to a few days. Allowing enough lead time is one of the few concrete, entirely-within-your-control factors of this ever-changing, fickle music world.

You can have rushed promotion, or a press campaign that respects the several months of lead time before album release date that writers tell me they need. (And this extends beyond publicity to other areas like booking tours.) You will see better results with more lead time, and you may shoot yourself in the foot if you try to rush things.

They Communicate Poorly
Communication is key in any working relationship. If you haven’t indicated to your publicist which blogs are your favorites, or which you think your fans read, they won’t know to put an extra emphasis there. If you don’t tell your publicist you’re going on tour, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to secure tour press for you. Finding out that your client has a tour by seeing a Facebook post about them packing up the van is the worst feeling. Communicate, and communicate early, so your publicist has enough time to help you achieve your goals.

You can also communicate too much. While communication is a wonderful thing, it has to remain efficient. If it took you 10 emails to say what you could have said in one, that just took time away from work I could have been doing for you. Every hour your publicist spends responding to your emails and going over everything with you on conference calls is an hour they aren’t spending doing the job you hired them to do. Find a balance between good communication, and nonstop emails and phone calls to ask questions which would be answered in your next scheduled report.

This is another lesson that extends beyond the client-publicist relationship: be respectful of other peoples’ time. A concise email is likely to be answered faster than a lengthy one. Be direct and efficient when you need something from someone, and more things will get done.

They Have a Lousy Attitude
While you’re being a great communicator, keep your tone in mind. Entering into a campaign with a defensive, suspicious attitude doesn’t help anyone. Would you find a micro-managed work situation conducive? Would you work harder for a condescending client, or an enthusiastic and positive client? You and your publicist are on the same team. They want you to have lots of press! They’re frustrated right alongside you when one of their press contacts listens to your album and chooses not to cover it.

Act like a team, and remember that you hired them because they have more knowledge in this area that you do. Back to the over-communication point: when a client has a bad attitude, it causes me to take time away from getting work done for them in order to respond to cranky emails and work on our smoothing out our relationship. I’d much rather spend that time contacting press about your album.

When it comes to writers, unless it’s sending out a thank you note to someone who covered you, you’re best off leaving the communication to the communicator you hired. It only seems to complicate things when I learn that a band is also pitching the same writers I’m pitching, or worse, when they’ve sent an angry email to someone who gave them negative coverage, or no coverage at all. People typically don’t want to support someone who is rude to them.

They Have Unrealistic Expectations
If your expectations are unrealistic—if you expect to be launched suddently from a fame catapult, for instance—a great press campaign and album release are going to feel like a failure to you, and you won’t be able to enjoy your success. The press you’ve received will be ignored while you lament not getting coverage from Rolling Stone for your debut EP. Everyone measures success differently. If your idea of success is far-fetched and unrealistic, then you’re setting yourself up for failure on your own terms.

They’re Impatient
If you have any videos, you likely spent some time and money on them, or lucked into a videographer friend who toiled away for you. Before you turn it live and post it to your Facebook page, take the time to share these items strategically. Sure, it might take a few weeks for your publicist to find an outlet who agrees to premiere it and secure a date on their calendar, but you’ll get more mileage out of that video that you would have rushing to blast it out on social media on your own.

I’ve watched bands hire publicists, then impatiently share all their materials on their own on social media channels, leaving their publicist with very little new and unreleased items to pitch to press, who like exclusives and unreleased work. The more materials your publicist has to work with, the better chances they’ll have of bringing you back results.

They Double Up on Publicists
While it may seem counter-intuitive, hiring two publicists does not mean twice the press. It typically means confusion and a waste of money. While this has fortunately only happened a small handful of times, I’ve noticed an active client on another firm’s roster, and reached out to the other publicist to learn that we both thought we were the sole publicist on a project, and we’ve been wasting time by going after the same targets, crossing wires by directing people toward different singles, and probably annoying some writers in the process from the double emails. Make sure the people you hire have clear and separate functions, like a publicist and a radio promoter do.

Sound familiar? We like communication too. Check out our post on Marketing Drivers: What We Need, When

Welcome, Paul!

May 21, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

Paul Davidson, SVP of Film & TV, The OrchardIntroducing Paul Davidson, Senior Vice President, Film & TV

If there’s one thing that’s a constant in the digital space today, it’s that nothing stays the same. Companies who can move fast, fail fast and recover quickly are often the first to market. And when you can combine such action with passion, intelligence and and a clear strategy, you have got one very special cocktail for success. I guess you could say I’m drinking the Kool-Aid, and it would be true. Because after stepping foot inside The Orchard and connecting with Brad, Danny and the team, it was obvious to me that this is a company on the fast track to truly making its mark and solidifying its position in the industry. Joining the team was a no-brainer. I wanted in.

As for me, entertainment has always been a part of my DNA and day to day. Whether I was running my high school radio station, giving No Doubt (pre Tragic Kingdom) an early shot on a college TV show I produced, or writing and producing TV and Movies for studios and networks — that’s been my world. I spent over a decade in Hollywood working in distribution, production, development (and Muppet wrangling) before I took on the challenge of growing Xbox Video into a global content distribution business.

I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and a get a chance to meet and work with all of you — you’ve built something great at The Orchard that I’m honored to be a part of.

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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