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

The Orchard Polishes Its Deutsch with Membran Entertainment Group

Guten Tag, Deutschland! And a good day, it is. Today, we announce our new partnership with the renowned and respected Membran Entertainment Group, based in Germany. With them, we kick off The Orchard GmbH, run by Membran CEO, Manlio Celotti. We’ve gotten to know the German market over the years — …

Introducing: The 4 Commandments of Marketing Drivers

Marketing Drivers are the absolute most important thing you must be communicating to your client rep, when working on priority new releases. We’ve already broken down the what, when, why, and overall best practices for marketing drivers. Today, we’re going to introduce you to the 4 commandments of communicating these invaluable assets. …

Sundance Special: We Get Swingin’ With “The Overnight”

Sundance, we have arrived! And in a very big way. Just last night, we nabbed rights to The Overnight in Park City, UT on the 4th day of the Festival. It’s a steamy, sexy comedy that already created sparks on Sundance’s red carpet, and after some intense bidding rounds, we secured it …

Reddit Demystified

A few months ago, I saw Catey Shaw’s music video for “Human Contact” for the first time. It was a flawless concoction: an infectious summer Pop jam mixed with a quirky, aqua-haired girl dancing in street-wear. All I wanted to do was cash in my vacation days, trap my scantily …

Recent Articles:

Audits, Insights, Music Key: A Look at YouTube’s 2014

December 9, 2014 Featured News, YouTube No Comments

YouTubePlayYouTube’s been up to a lot this year, all culminating in the launch of their long-awaited subscription service, Music Key. To help you pinpoint the highlights, we’ve put together this chronology of YouTube events to note:


YouTube launched a new comment management feature, making it easier to flag, remove and reply to all the comments you get on your awesome videos. This was a direct response to channel creators requesting a solution after YouTube nixed their in-app inbox.


YouTube turned itself into an honest wom… erm… service by auditing videos and removing fraudulent views. True fan engagement just can’t be bought.


Playlists got some love with new data reports in YouTube Analytics. An essential part to your channel’s success, playlists are a great way to increase watch time, encourage a lean-back viewing experience and cross-promote in interesting ways.


Fan Insights launched, giving channel creators additional info on their most influential fans. With more than just your standard numbers, but not enough to put you in the creep-zone, Fan Insights allow you to create Google+ circles of your top fans and reward them in a personalized way for their support.


Just as February brought on view audits, June followed suit with subscriber reviews. YouTube removed all inactive accounts from subscriber numbers, inducing a slight dip in subs that month for most channels, but giving you a more accurate picture of your channel as a whole.


With mobile-everything growing in spades, YouTube launched a Creator Studio app to open up basic channel management and analytics on-the-go. Because who wants to wait until they get home to see the latest view count on that new video?


It’s not just mobile though, smart TVs are making themselves indispensable these days too. So YouTube improved its TV app – starting with Xbox One — with better navigation and channel pages.


YouTube’s Creator Academy is awesome. If you haven’t looked through it yet, you now have no excuse: as of October, it’s available in 20 new languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Turkish, Russian and more.


Music Key lands to wrap up the year’s big events. Launched in the U.S., U.K., Finland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, Music Key offers features like art tracks, album playlists, topic channels and more. We’ve written about the launch, and gone into more detail on each feature, too.

That’s it! Pretty good year, YouTube. Looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve in 2015!

3 Creative Album Release Strategies for Artists at Any Level

December 8, 2014 Featured News, Marketing No Comments

Sonicbids_ReleaseStrategiesThis article, written by Founder of New Artist Model, Dave Kusek, originally appeared on Sonicbids. We’re excited to be working with them to exchange industry tips and trends for your business!

Today, with all the new technology and different ways to reach your fans, there are more ways to release your music than you can count. As cool as it may be to have all these options, it’s sometimes hard to decide which release strategy is best for you and your music career. After all, not everyone can successfully release a secret album like Beyoncé – it requires a certain fan base size and dedication.

All these options, however, mean that you can really create a music release strategy that engages and excites your fans. The release strategy you use depends on your career level, fanbase size, online presence, genre, and career focus. For example, a band that really emphasizes their live shows may devise a different strategy than a band with a bigger fanbase that connects mostly online via YouTube covers and other videos. In this article, we’ll explore three different album release strategies and the pros and cons of each.

1. The constant release

This strategy isn’t an “album release” as we traditionally know it, but many musicians these days – especially those in the early stages of their careers – are putting it to good use. Instead of releasing one album once a year, shorten the cycle to just one song release once a month, every two months, or whatever you can manage. Each individual release will have its own mini-marketing plan that’s executed online with social media, your website, your email list, and your connections with bloggers and other influencers.

This strategy is great for musicians just starting out and/or with smaller fanbases. By constantly releasing, you’re staying at the front of fans’ minds and giving them more opportunities to engage, share, and purchase. This strategy also works great for cover songs. Karmin, Pomplamoose, and Pentatonix have all used this strategy to great effect on YouTube to grow their following and reach new fans.

On its own, this strategy may not be the best option for a more established band. Releasing one song at a time might not drive the amount of revenue you need to tour extensively and pay team members like your manager. Many artists will combine a more traditional album release with a constant cover strategy to maintain fans’ awareness while they’re in the studio or on tour. This can be a very important technique that you can use from time to time to keep your audience engaged.

2. The secret release

We’ve seen many established artists pull off the secret album release strategy recently. Perhaps the most famous was Beyoncé’s self-titled album, which was released on iTunes in December of 2013 without any build-up. As the name implies, you release your album with no pre-promotion or marketing. If you want to turn it into a bit of a mystery or scavenger hunt, you could release a few cleverly hidden hints on social media.

The secret release is a really cool way to give your fans something really unexpected and exciting and incentivizes them to share and spread the secret. It can even spread like social media wildfire if executed correctly. But if you’re just starting out and haven’t reached the point where you can tour nationally, this probably isn’t the strategy for you. For this strategy to work, you need to have a large, engaged, and dedicated fanbase that will share the news. Without these elements in place, your secret album release could remain entirely a secret with absolutely no one knowing about it or buying it – not a good situation.

3. The exclusive preview

It’s pretty common to release a single as a preview to your album before the official release date. You can step this up a notch, however, and make that preview exclusive to help drive engagement. You can choose to make it secret by hiding it in a game or app, or hosting a secret show previewing the album to drive word-of-mouth and social media engagement. On the other end of the spectrum, you can use the album preview to drive revenue to your live show.

This is a strategy that both established artists and those who are just starting out can utilize. To give you some creative ideas for how to execute it, look into how Skrillex previewed the album Recess exclusively on the Alien Ride app, or how Coldplay released lyrics early in the form of a scavenger hunt in libraries across the globe. If you’re further along in your career, you might be able to create a helpful partnership with a company, game, or app to preview your music. You could also give prominent and influential bloggers an exclusive preview just for their readers.

If you’re in the early stages of your career, you can still use exclusive previews, but you may need to simplify your approach. For instance, The Wild Feathers released their album early at their live shows in the week leading up to the official release. On top of that, each album sold at their live shows included two CDs – one to keep and one to share. This strategy incentivized fans to buy tickets to the show and buy the album – that’s hitting two different revenue streams with one stone! You could work with bloggers to exclusively release your album, too. Target bloggers that write about artists at your career level.

Breaking Down YouTube Music Key (A Bit!)

December 8, 2014 Featured News, YouTube No Comments

YTKeyYouTube, YouTube, oh YouTube. Why are you so complicated?

On November 12th, YouTube officially launched their much talked about subscription service. Since then I’ve had more than a few people ask me what it looks like, how it will it work and what the overall concept is. In short, it’s about a better consumer experience and another revenue stream for rights holders.

But YouTube sometimes feels like a complex web that can be difficult to get your head around. I mean, first there was UGC. Then there were partner channels. And now there’s YouTube Music Key. For anyone who already has the basics nailed, then you can probably skip this post. If however you’re feeling a little (or a lot!) bamboozled by the whole thing, I’m going to try to break it down — A BIT. This should be a starting point from which you can then build and fine-tune your YouTube Music Key knowledge.

So let’s go back to basics. First there was User-Generated Content or “UGC.” You know, Lizzy Hair uploads a video of her pet stick insect dancing around on its… stick… to ermm… Thin Lizzy. But I own the rights to Thin Lizzy [you wish], how dare that user steal my music? Oh hang on, YouTube has this clever audio fingerprinting technology that matches the video to my track and then places adverts and pays me for it. OK, as you were weird people on YouTube. Use my tracks until your heart’s content. I think we’ve all got our heads round that. Old news.

Then came channels and partnered channels, either directly with YouTube or via a Multi Channel Network or “MCN,” such as The Orchard. Now I can upload my official videos to my own channel and earn revenue on two sides — both audio and visual (even if it’s a static image). My MCN helps increase subscribers, strategise and program the channel and generally create a premium space that’s more appealing to advertisers, which in turn generates more money. And now I treat the whole thing like a social network and make it part of my frontline release campaign. I’m making more money and connecting with my audience on YouTube. Excellent.

So what the #&@$ is YouTube Music Key all about and what do I need to know? I mean, I know it’s a subscription service like Spotify or Rdio, but what’s the difference, how does it work and how can I check it out?

Well, first things first it’s important to make a distinction between YouTube as we know it and YouTube Music Key, which should be considered two separate entities, even though there is no real distinction on the platform itself and therefore, for the end user. We at The Orchard (along with other distributors) have delivered your catalogue to YouTube, as we do for any other digital retailer. YouTube has done two main things with this freshly delivered catalogue:

  1. Each track delivered has been turned into an “art track,” which is the officially delivered high quality audio and artwork and looks like this. YouTube also groups art tracks as albums like this. So now the user can listen to a complete album as they would do on other services. One of the main differences with Music Key is that where an official music video exists (delivered via a partnered artist channel), that video slots in to replace the “art track” in the album playlist. Note tracks 3, 5 & 7 on the Metronomy album.
  2. YouTube has created “Topic Channels” for artists, which are essentially a place where all interesting and relevant content from an artist lives, including “art tracks,” premium videos and even popular UGC content. Think of Topic Channels like artist pages on other services. Example: Metronomy Topic Channel

… Continue Reading

Freeloader Friday: Noah Wall, The Cabana Kids, Naomi Pilgrim & More

December 5, 2014 Freeloader Friday No Comments

888831944690Happy Belated Thanksgiving, folks! A week late, as this office was gettin’ down on some turkey & dressing, but there’s always time to give thanks, nonetheless. Speaking of, there’s a brand-spankin’ new list of musical goodness you can be thankful for this weekend! It’s short and sweet, and will keep you groovin’ until Monday.

Noah Wall is our album streamer of the week. He’s out with the soundtrack he composed for Print the Legend, a sweet doc that covers many questions I’m sure you have about this whole 3-D printing world. Wall aligns his repertoire with the movie’s theme, creating a fully instrumental album reflecting the wonder, uncertainty and intrigue brought on by this new-age evolution.

Next up, the good ol’ boys from Quiet Life have a not-so quiet new tune for you. Their deluxe edition of previously-released “Wild Pack” features some new jangles, one having a rambler-gambler sort of wail to it. The Cabana Kids follow suit: their track has a Folksy twang to it, but also incorporates a bit of Shoe-Gaze Pop to get a good ounce of melodrama into the track.

As for music videos? Well, you can never have too many of those. Naomi Pilgrim takes a bit of a spiritual journey through the desert, Communions gives us an inside look into the life and legend of their “terrifyingly good-looking” Scandinavian selves (friends included), and Bad Cop does what only Bad Cop can do: mold a hairy beast of a man (think Bigfoot) into a news reporter’s lover. Weird as can be, but stupidly cool.

That’s it, Freeloaders! Like I told you, short and sweet this week. But that should keep you busy until Monday. Have a great weekend!

Noah Wall: Full album stream via Ad Hoc
Print the Legend out now on Driftless Recordings

Quiet Life: “Big Mistake” track premiere via Brooklyn Vegan
Wild Pack – Deluxe Edition out now on Mama Bird Recording Co.

The Cabana Kids: “Sortida” track premiere via The Wild Honey Pie
The Birds & The Bees out now on Small Plates Records

Naomi Pilgrim: “It’s All Good” official music video premiere via The Line of Best Fit
It’s All Good out now on Cosmos

Communions: “Love Stands Still” official music video premiere via Stereogum
So Long Sun / Love Stands Still out now on Tough Love Records

Bad Cop: “Wish You Well” official music video premiere via Impose
Wish You Well … And Goodbye out now on Jeffery Drag Records

Say More With a Lyric Video

December 5, 2014 Featured News, YouTube No Comments

LyricVideoAs YouTube carves out a larger space in the music community, the way music videos are being made and consumed is changing. With millions of artists and creators collaborating constantly, stunning music videos have been made that sometimes challenge typical production conventions. Along with YouTube’s Music Key, there are now multiple forms a music video can take. This combined with a lower barrier to entry has given rise to excellent alternatives you can consider when deciding how to publish your music on an evolving video streaming platform.

Building off of YouTube Art Tracks

With the launch of YouTube Music Key, you’ve probably started to see an influx of Art Tracks in the system (here’s one if you haven’t seen them yet). These simple videos are a great way to get your full catalog out to viewers and improve your chances for discovery. They expand your presence and give viewers more of your content to listen to. But you can do better.

Though a great addition to YouTube’s massive collection, Art Track videos provide a more passive viewing experience. Because the only visual is a static image, typical viewers press play, then move on to something else as they listen to the video in the background. This is still good because you’ve got them listening. However, it cuts down on engagement and your potential to draw the viewer closer.

A creative, yet simple lyric video could give you that extra hook to keep the viewer around your video longer. These typically incorporate animated text synched with audio to guide the viewer through each song. There are some amazing, intricate lyric videos out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to necessarily go that far with yours. A clean and punchy lyric video with nothing but colorful moving text could be all you need to get your fans following along. This sets your video aside from other Art Tracks and gives you more of a unique viewing experience for your fans.

Alternatives to the MTV-style Music Video

For better or worse, the days of tuning into awesome, cinematic music videos on MTV have been swallowed whole by reality TV marathons (RIP). These music videos still exist in part on YouTube and VEVO, but they’re being consumed and advertised against differently than in the old days, making the ROI of a huge video production more questionable. This is both good and bad news depending on how you look at it.

To produce and shoot a classic MTV style-music video costs tens of thousands of dollars. When MTV was the only way to watch music videos, this was a painful, but necessary struggle. Though these types of videos are still being made, they are no longer the unshakable standard. Since YouTube broke down the barriers of entry for publishing videos to the world, indie artists and major labels alike have found better ways to create videos for their music.

By embracing a more open community of viewers and creators, many artists have turned to lyric videos as a fast and cost effective alternative to full video production. Because lyric videos don’t necessarily require a live shoot, location, scheduling and casting can be removed from the process. With less of a logistical headache, these videos are often faster to create and publish, which is huge if tight deadlines are imminent.

Though a great animator could still run up your production costs, you at least have options and some room to work with. By keeping your ideas simple, a good animator can get you an excellent lyric video relatively quickly and for much cheaper than a traditional music video shoot. Make no mistake though, lyric videos aren’t just a cheap hack for indie artists on a budget. Huge pop acts like One Direction and Ariana Grande have used lyric videos to premiere top 40 singles, generating millions of views.

If you have the budget to hire a crew and shoot an amazing music video, by all means, do it. These are clearly the heavy hitters of the music video world, but not always the best way. Conversely, not having that budget doesn’t mean you’re limited to just Art Tracks. If you can create something in the middle with a clever, catchy lyric video, you’ve set yourself apart.

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.

Follow Us!