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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Annotations 2: Revenge of the Annotations

My friend Matt Gielen and I discuss all aspects of running YouTube channels from the very small to the cliched 30,000 foot view. Matt’s as old a hand at YouTube as you can get and has done great work leading the audience development effort at Frederator Studios, distributors of the finest animated shows on YouTube. We’ve discussed annotations at length and Matt has written the definitive blog post of 2014 on how annotations could be hurting you. Please go read that! Since his post is so definitive, I wanted to touch on some examples from our network where we’ve also proven those best practices, not rehash them.

For our purposes we’re going to use two videos from our action sports channel, Echoboom SportsStreet Dreams is a feature-length film about skaters and features many popular skaters from 2008/2009. We have uploaded the full film to the channel and it’s currently the most-watched video there.

Street Dreams Poster

The other video is a full scene (what we call a “full part” in Action Sports video) from our release Like a Lion – The True Story of Legendary Skier Tanner Hall

Like a Lion film poster

With Street Dreams you can see that the video, launched in January, has very high close rates on its annotations. This means viewers are actively shutting them off. I consider annotation closes to be anti-clickthroughs. They aren’t simply a viewer passively ignoring your message. They are actively doing the exact opposite of what you want them to do. The clickthrough rates (CTR), in this case on annotations asking viewers to subscribe, are very low in part because there’s a high close rate.

… Continue Reading

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Danielle?!?

DanielleDiGiacomoDanielle DiGiacomo
Senior Manager, Film Distribution
Joined The Orchard in January 2012 (right after Sundance that year — I think about all my time in relationship to film festival schedules)

You seem to always be in multiple places at once: panels, movie premieres, signing indie film deals. Tell us, please, what the #&@% do you do, Danielle??!
Here at the Orchard, I work on acquiring documentaries and indie films for distribution, both digital-only, and now, all rights distribution. With the release of Rich Hill, our first big theatrical, my job has shifted slightly to really being focused on acquisitions where we can get all rights to a film — theatrical, broadcast, DVD, AND digital. That said, I also spend a large part of my time signing deals for straight to digital releases, as well as larger catalogs, which are still an incredibly important part of the film business here.

I also do client management which means that along with working as a quarterback among all the other departments here to make sure all aspects of a film’s release — marketing, sales, PR, accounting, etc. — are on target and necessary things are being communicated to the filmmakers. I do this not only for these tentpole releases, but also oversee a small team of Abe Schwartz, our kickass Film/TV Coordinator, and Kayleigh Butera, who just recently joined us and also rules, in making sure that the lines of communication are always open between The Orchard and our film clients, and that all of their questions and concerns are answered.

It’s so nice to see our Film/TV department growing and we loved making the premiere of Rich Hill an Orchard outing! Are there any other upcoming films you’re working on that we should look out for?
Yes, the film/TV department here has grown aggressively and ambitiously! With some amazing and experienced new team members having joined us from Focus Features, Tribeca Film, Sesame Street and SnagFilms, Doug ramping up and leading the Film Biz Dev team, and a new fearless leader — Paul Davidson — we are poised to take over the galaxy! Now all we need is a talking raccoon. But seriously, the films that we are releasing for the rest of this year and early next, and the manner in which we are releasing them — to the top indie cinemas, on major Cable/Satellite platforms including Comcast and DirectTV — are really making us a player in independent film, and the industry has definitely taken notice.

I’m super excited about the upcoming releases of some of the films I’ve recently acquired — Rich Hill (obviously); No No: A Dockumentary — a really fun and well-done Sundance and SXSW documentary about Doc Ellis, who pitched a no hitter while on LSD in the 70s; Harmontown, about the controversial and hilarious Community showrunner Dan Harmon, which features comedians like Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, and Jason Sudeikis; and Point and Shoot, an incredible doc by Marshall Curry, who has already been Oscar-nominated twice for two recent documentaries. There are a few other big ones, but they will be released later and I’ll have plenty of time to get the word out about them!

Here’s another one worth spreading the word on… It turns out you’re kind of a big shot and won a Peabody Award (no less!) for your work producing the Orchard-distributed documentary, Best Kept Secret. What’s your secret, and what other superpowers are you hiding from us?
Ha! No superpowers, unfortunately. If I had them, we would’ve won an Oscar and I would’ve flown onstage to pick it up. Working on Best Kept Secret was an amazing — and time-consuming — experience. For a documentary, the timeframe was short — it actually only took a couple of years from start to finish, but it was more than a full time job. I actually did work on it full time for a little over a year before I joined The Orchard, and by that time, we were in post production, so I was able to concentrate that work on nights, lunch breaks and weekends. But, now with The Orchard, there’s no way I could be that hands-on of a producer again. For projects I do now, I’ll co-produce or Associate Produce, take a role that is less demanding and more advisory/helpful.

My only secret there is that I work after work. And before work. And on weekends. And I have insomnia. Also, my husband likes to clean and do dishes. The triple whammy of getting married, working on the film and getting a job at The Orchard forced me into a very antisocial place for a while, and I’m glad to take a break and prove to my friends that I haven’t gone off the grid.

Well now that everyone knows how amazing you are, your social calendar is going to fly off the wall. Thanks for sharing with us what the #&@$ you do, Danielle!

favorite dance move: My favorite dance move is not mine — it’s my husband’s. He does an award-winning robot. (If you count winning his high school talent show an actual award).
best panel you’ve ever been on and why: A panel on distribution at Krakow Film Festival in Poland, because they gave us all wine to drink while we panel-ed! Eastern Europe knows how to do it right.
must-see movie of the year so far: Rich Hill, obviously. Aside from that, Boyhood is a must see for many reasons, not least of which it’s the first fiction film to ever be filmed with the same actors over the course of 12 years. An incredible achievement and just top notch filmmaking.
random fact: Here’s a couple of fun ones: I have an identical twin who is 2 minutes younger and lives 10 minutes away from me, in Clinton Hill. You can tell her apart by the two tiny kids she has with her. My grandfather discovered Element 61, Promethium, a fact which a few people have thought I was making up?!

Freeloader Friday: Johnny Aries, Katrina Leskanich, The Twilight Sad, Elliott BROOD, Iron Reagan, Souls of Mischief & American Hi-Fi

August 22, 2014 Freeloader Friday No Comments

Johnny Aries UnbloomedIt’s a pretty quiet Summer Friday here in the New York office – and our second to last one! Along with that, we’ve got a short list of Freeloader faves from the week. So I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Just in time for the last days of summer, Johnny Aries (The Drums) premieres a full album stream of his lackadaisical, Smiths-sounding EP. It’s that totally recognizable melancholic, yet charming Brit rock. There’s a second full album to be streamed: that’d be from Katrina Leskanich – yep, of Katrina & the Waves. It’s her 2nd solo album, and it’s got all the Singer-Songwriter Pop you’d expect.

On to the track premieres! The Twilight Sad are back with a most excellent somber-sounding tune that includes some added electronic echoes that mix perfectly with the very Scottish bleak-Rock. To snap you out of that mournful headspace, there’s Elliott Brood’s danceable Country-tinged melody, filled with claps, bouncy rhythms, and harmonies that’ll melt your heart. If you’re more in the mood to melt your face off, though, there’s Iron Reagan’s Deathcore Metal track with guitar riffs and heavy chanting that’ll get you rallying.

To wrap things up, Souls of Mischief have a cooly-constructed lyric video with cartoon-like typography, while American Hi-Fi cruise in their 60s Chevy and take you inside their recording studio.

That’s all for this week, folks — Just a few more days left in the summer, so get out there and enjoy!

Johnny Aries: Full album stream via Bullett
Unbloomed out August 26 on Frenchkiss Records

Katrina Leskanich: Full album stream via Pop Matters
Blisland out now on Katrina’s Web

The Twilight Sad: “There’s a Girl in the Corner” track premiere via Noisey
Nobody Wants to be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave out October 28 on FatCat Records

Elliott BROOD: “Jigsaw Heart” track premiere via KEXP
Work and Love out October 21 on Paper Bag Records

Iron Reagan: “Four More Years” track premire via Loudwire
The Tyranny of Will is out September 16 on Relapse Records

Souls of Mischief: “Ghetto Superhero” lyric video premiere via OK Player
There Is Only Now out August 26 on Linear Labs

American Hi-Fi: “Golden State” music video premiere via Vevo
Blood and Lemonade out September 9 on Rude Records

A Little Bit (But Not Too Much) About Album Trailers

Coming Soon

There are a lot of little things we can do to help our clients get the word out about their music. We build splash pages, optimize social profiles and make sure they’re posting the right things at the right times. Lately, we’ve also been encouraging our clients to really embrace the use of album trailers across all socials, but particularly on Facebook and Instagram.

Album trailers provide the opportunity for fans to sample a clip of new music and learn basic information about a new release while they’re scrolling through their feed (which, let’s be honest, they’re doing all day anyway). Facebook doesn’t have a specific time limit for videos, but we’ve found that trailers between 15 and 30 seconds do best. When uploaded natively (as in not shared from another network), videos auto-play in the Facebook news feed as users scroll by. This catches the eye and leads to noticeably higher engagement rates. Similarly, Instagram video lends itself perfectly to album trailers. The 15 second time limit allows just enough time to get the message across without giving too much away, and the ability to choose a cover image allows the creator to feature a still image conveying information without requiring the user to play the full video.

One of the best things about album trailers is how easy (and in my opinion, kind of fun) they are to make. We often use a service called Animoto to create trailers for our clients. Animoto is great because they’ve created a simple and straightforward interface that uses a super secret original algorithm to sync a small deck of images and title cards with a song clip of your choosing. This means that when the music changes, the image changes — automatically. The only downside to Animoto is that you gain simplicity at the cost of some control. But not to worry — we can easily put together completely customizable trailers using basic music and video editing programs and a little bit of Photoshop magic.

Whether you’re putting out a full length album, music video or even a single, trailers are a great way to let your audience know something’s coming and they should start getting excited about it.

SXSW Panels: Get Your Vote On!

logoHere at The Orchard, we love a good roundtable chit-chat about what’s going on in the industry. So, as you might’ve guessed or already know, we’re really big on conference panels! Next year’s SXSW is no different (yes, we’re already deep in planning…). For the occasion, we have two very important topics to discuss, along with killer speakers who’ll knock your socks off with their knowledge. We just need YOU to get your vote in by September 5th so that we can make these hot-topic discussions come to life.

Vote to see my session at SXSW 2015!Everyone is on YouTube these days, probably even your grandmother. It’s one of the best places out there for new music discovery, and can also be a great tool in an artist’s revenue-making back-pocket. But lots of artists and labels keep getting caught up in the same YouTube conundrum — which is more valuable: making a profit off these videos, or reaching worldwide glory status through exposure? Do we even have to choose? In the panel we’ve pitched, titled “Exposure vs. Revenue on YouTube: Must We Choose?,” our own Sarah Caliendo, VP of Video Services, along with YouTube’s Elliott Walker and Bob Lugowe of Relapse Records will lead you through the ins and outs of creating your own YouTube strategy. Exciting, informative stuff, right?!

Vote to see my session at SXSW 2015!Film distribution is another heavy-hitter in conversation these days — think day-and-date release rise — and we’re all over it with plenty to say. In our suggested panel, which we’ve called “To Window Or Not To Window: Film Release Strategies,” we’ll talk about all the different elements to consider when releasing a new project. From release platforms to distribution strategies, each film needs its own, specific implementation process, and who better to take you through them than our Senior Manager of Film Distribution, Danielle DiGiacomo, along with Adam Klaff of VHX and Harmontown Director Neil Berkeley. Together, they will discuss and give concrete examples of all the windowing opportunities out there and, depending on the film, audience and genre, determine which tactics to use.

Hopefully you’ve already gotten your SXSW badges and are all set for the big shindig. We hope you’ll support our panel picks and will choose to be part of the conversation by voting away (just click on the “vote for my session idea” icons above!). Don’t delay — voting ends September 5!  See y’all in Austin.

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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