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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Music’s Dips and Trends of 2013: A Summary

January 9, 2014 Industry Trends No Comments

Music_1980As we forge ahead into 2014, numbers and trends of the year past are being released and opinions on the state of the music industry are beginning to surface. Depending on where each opinion stands, different key words are highlighted: decrease, first time, trends, growth, cannibalizing, expected, surprise, change, embrace…  Before you make up your mind, we’d like to provide a summary of the data that has been released so far.

Digital Music Sales in the U.S.

First, digital music. It has been eating at the physical music format since iTunes launched in 2003, the same way CDs imposed themselves over cassettes, and cassettes over vinyl — you know the story. Billboard just published an article around sales data released by Nielsen SoundScan for 2013. Here are some highlights:

  • iTunes U.S. music store finished 2013 with a decrease in digital music sales
  • digital track sales are down 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units
  • digital album sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from the previous year’s total of 117.7 million
  • ad-supported and paid subscription services presumed to be cannibalizing digital sales
  • growth in streaming revenue has been offsetting the decline in digital sales revenue

Streaming Trends

If we’re going to presume that subscription services are cannibalizing sales, we also need to consider how they may be replacing one form of music consumption with another. In that vein, the Wall Street Journal has taken a deeper look at streaming trends in relation to music sales and collected data from one anonymous major record company. They uncovered the following: … Continue Reading

YouTubing For Businesses

January 6, 2014 YouTube No Comments

WillItBlendYouTube isn’t just for the entertainment industry and home movie enthusiasts. Businesses are getting creative by harnessing its power to reach customers. Video for businesses can mean a lot more than advertising. Used the right way, YouTube could get a product or service in front of new customers and keep them coming back for more.

Possibly the most entertaining example of this is Blendtec’s YouTube series, Will it Blend?. As the name suggests, episodes test the power of Blendtec’s products by blending various objects. The genius of this series is in their choice of objects to blend. Each time a major device comes to market (for example, a new iPhone), Blendtec is the first to get its hands on it and blend it to bits. Imogen Heap even enlisted the help of Blendtec to blend together meaningful objects tied to the recording and promotion of her new album. This brilliant use of tent-pole programming appeals to what viewers are already searching for and gets the company’s product in front of a huge audience. Even if viewers might not particularly be in the market for a new blender, they’re certainly going to think of Blendtec when they are.

Maybe less entertaining but equally as effective is Williams-Sonoma’s appetizing YouTube channel. The kitchenware company sells a huge variety of top-of-the-line kitchen appliances and gadgets. Using their YouTube channel to showcase featured items has given Williams-Sonoma a great opportunity to show their products in action. Let’s say I’ve stumbled upon a video featuring their new waffle maker. Not only do they show the product, but they also show you how to use it and how to make a delicious food item at the same time. So now that I’m dying for a waffle maker, I’ve got a head start and know just where to buy one.

YouTubing for businesses isn’t only limited to kitchen items. Companies like Troy Lee Designs have come up with creative ways to include the physical space of their store, showing off cool products at the same time. The motocross race shop sells everything from helmets to hardware and has a facility that begs a visit. To show it all off, they decided to have InsiderMX swing by and fly a GoPro strapped to an RC helicopter through the shop. This point-of-view perspective gives viewers a glimpse of what the shop is about and urges them to swing by to see it for themselves.

Thinking out of the box can really give businesses an edge. A creative YouTube channel can help level with potential customers and give them an honest view into what a company is about. Whether it’s a sense of humor with any given product or a hands-on demonstration, incorporating YouTube can help businesses reach a potentially huge audience. Entertaining viewers this way gives them something to remember — without having to beg for a sale.

Happy Everything from The Orchard!

December 24, 2013 Orchard News 1 Comment

Thanks for making 2013 a great year! We’re off refueling between December 25 and January 1 so we can take 2014 by storm. Happy holidays and see you on the 2nd!

HappyHolidays2013The Orchard

Beastie Boys, GoldieBlox & Broad City

December 23, 2013 YouTube No Comments

GoldieBlox-image-1024x721About a month ago, toy company GoldieBlox created a viral hit with an ad featuring a fascinating Rube Goldberg setup and a parody song of the Beastie Boys’ “Girls” as the soundtrack. GoldieBlox makes toys marketed towards girls that break out of the stereotypically gendered ones normally seen in stores, encouraging the growth of women participating in science, technology, engineering and math careers (STEM). Their video ad’s success on YouTube and beyond came on the heels of a successful Kickstarter campaign and garnered them millions of eyeballs on their products and message.

However, if you go to their channel now, you’ll notice that the version of the video there is quite different from the one I linked to above. Why is that? Well, sometime around Thanksgiving, this happened:

When we made our parody version of your song, ‘Girls’, we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.

Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.

We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.

The Beastie Boys had a problem with the parody of their song. This is actually when I first heard about it at Skepchick, one of my favorite blogs. This story has gone back and forth in the press, but GoldieBlox ended up filing a suit calling for injunctive relief. As far as my reading of Wikipedia goes and some other commentary I’ve read, this basically means they sued to get a court to say they weren’t doing anything wrong. The remaining Beastie Boys responded with an open letter of their own:

Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial “GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,” we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad. We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.

As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song “Girls” had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.

Last year, the Beastie Boys lost member Adam Yauch to cancer. Later, Rolling Stone reported that his will stipulated that none of his music was to be used in “for advertising purposes.” It appears in the above that the remaining Beastie Boys were honoring this as well. The status of the suit is still pending and Fortune comments that it will likely never go to trial, but also goes on to talk about how damages might be determined if it did.

So how does the comedy web series Broad City come into play? Growing out of the vibrant Upright Citizen’s Brigade comedy troupe, the series gained a small following on YouTube. Amy Poehler is now set to be executive producer of the show at Comedy Central, where it will begin airing in January. And that’s how it came to my attention between segments of The Daily Show. It took me a second while watching the commercial for Broad City, but I quickly noticed the music: “Ch-Check It Out” by the Beastie Boys.

Now, it’s conceivable that this is actually a sketch for which the music was licensed which was then turned around for use as a commercial, but that would seem to still run afoul of both Adam Yauch’s will and the stated wishes of the Beastie Boys as reported in the press.

What do you think?

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