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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Amazon Prime Music Kicks Off in the U.S.

amazon_prime_musicIt seems that everyone is getting into the streaming music market these days, including Amazon who launched Amazon Prime Music in the United States late last week. The new service is being bundled into the existing Amazon Prime subscription service rather than launched as a standalone product.

That means that existing Amazon Prime customers paying $99 a year for free shipping, streaming of TV shows and films, plus access to a lending library of e-books will now also be able to access Prime Music’s catalogue of streaming songs. The service is ad-free, with no restrictions on how often individual songs can be played and is compatible with iOS, Android, PC and Mac devices, as well as Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. Customers will be able to download songs for offline listening too.

Prime Music also includes “hundreds of Prime Playlists” created by Amazon’s editorial team, grouped by genre (Pop, Alternative & Indie Rock) as well as context (Happy & Upbeat, Party Time & Entertaining, Work, Study & Reading etc.).

At launch, Amazon Prime Music has “over a million songs,” which may seem considerably smaller than rival services; by contrast, Spotify and Deezer both claim to have more than 30 million songs. Another difference: new content will only be made available 6 months after its original release date. So it has less music and limited content, which begs the question of how appealing this service will be to consumers.

Some critics have already chimed in. BusinessWeek called the service “half-baked,” declaring “there is little reason to believe that Prime Music will lure people away from Spotify or Rdio.” The tech columnist at USAToday agreed: “If you’re already a paying subscriber to Spotify, or huge fan of Pandora, nothing in Amazon’s new Prime Music offering, introduced last Thursday, will make you want to switch.”

I think for the time being, Prime Music will be viewed as a perk or extra for already existing Prime members and can also be seen as a great re-introduction to Amazon Music. To find out for yourself, check out the introductory video below and try it out free for 30 days:

Who Do You Dance For?

Dance For MeFifteen-year-old Egor is forced to grow up fast when he leaves his native Russia behind to pursue a dance career in Denmark. “I didn’t feel like leaving at all. I just felt like dancing extremely much,” explains Egor in the opening of Katrine Philp’s film debut, “Dance For Me.” Blessed and cursed with a brilliant ability to dance, Egor must give up normal teenage life with his family in Russia for the opportunity to train and compete as fourteen-year-old Mie’s ballroom dance partner in Denmark. This feature-length documentary film, which premieres on PBS (POV Documentaries) on July 21st, tells the story of the pair’s decision to sacrifice everything in order to achieve perfection.

As this Danish Film Institute review points out, it is quickly apparent that for Egor and Mie, “being good is not enough, they want to be legends.” The pressure of this ambitious goal weighs heavy on the young dancers. Egor struggles with his distance from home and the culture shock of life with Mie’s family in Denmark. Through the pain, Egor maintains a stoic face and performs with grace and precision. As soon as the couple begins to dance, it is easy to forget that they are only children.

Winner of the Audience Favorite Award at the American Documentary Film Festival in 2013, nominee for Best Documentary Feature at the 2013 Raindance Film Festival and official selection at no less than four other festivals including Durham Full Frame, Auckland Documentary Edge Festival and Amsterdam IDFA, “Dance For Me” captures the beauty of these young dancers in moments of sadness, struggle, and success as they strive for perfection.

The film is out today on iTunes, and you can check out the trailer below:

Marketing with Raw Links vs. Managed Links

georiot_logo_homeHere at The Orchard, we love GeoRiot. We’ve written about how they can make you money before, as well as where to put your affiliate links to maximize your revenue. Today, we bring you a guest post from Jesse Lakes, GeoRiot‘s CEO, so he can tell you all about the difference between raw links and managed links, and how GeoRiot can help you make the most of your geo-targeted affiliate links. 

Promoting your music in international online marketplaces like iTunes and Amazon can be challenging, especially for independent musicians and record labels. Today we discuss one crucial tool that should be in every musician’s toolbox — a link management platform.

“Raw links” is the term we use for links that send users to a very specific item in a third party storefront, such as Amazon or iTunes. While using raw links in your marketing campaigns has been the industry standard since the dawn of the Internet, as online commerce evolves, so should your links.

The new standard of linking to items in the Internet’s largest stores is to use a “link management” platform. These services can range from a simple URL shortener (similar to Bit.ly) to a specialized platform where the consumer facing link is first pointed to the platform, then redirected to the appropriate song or album (like GeoRiot). When you put an additional layer between a click and the final destination, you unlock some incredibly beneficial tools, which we discuss below.

Future Proofing

Using a good link management platform with your marketing efforts gives you some great insurance as it offers you the ability to edit the final destination URL for your links. This is a lifesaver when your marketing efforts include promoting music via social media, email, press releases, blogs, and/or articles where you either have no ability to edit the original link or there are significant delays involved. Instead of having to manually change the link for each individual promotion you’ve done, you can instead just edit the destination once, and the links you’ve already marketed will automatically use the new redirect.

An example of when this comes in handy is when a new version of your album or song becomes available after you’ve already started your campaigns. All you’d need to do is update the URL to point to the new item in your link management platform once it’s available. While it may not be an everyday practice, you’ll thank yourself for the forward thinking if you do find yourself in a pinch.

Watching your traffic

Keeping a pulse on your marketing efforts is an essential step to getting your music out to the masses. Being able to answer a question like which campaigns or social media channels are sending the most clicks to your music is important in helping you decide where to invest your marketing time and resources. Unfortunately, with raw links, you won’t get any of those details, which leaves you in the dark about what’s working and what’s not.

Most link management tools offer at least basic reporting on things such as referrers (websites that sent traffic to those links), the geography of where your clicks are originating, and a overview of the type of device used when clicking the link — all of which can provide incredible insights to your listeners.

Specialized Tools

A specialized breed of link management tools offer even more benefits including incorporating a major e-tailor’s affiliate programs to help you earn commissions, localizing and translating links for a global audience, and giving deeper insight through advanced reporting and tracking.

Both iTunes and Amazon have affiliate programs that reward musicians for sending traffic into their storefronts. Leveraging these programs is a no-brainer for independent musicians and labels as it pays them for an activity they are already doing — sending traffic into these stores. However, the affiliate programs require different tracking IDs for different regions so some intelligence is required to determine when to use the appropriate affiliate ID, which depends on the listener’s geo-location. When choosing a link management platform be sure to pick something that at a minimum supports affiliate links, and ideally one that incorporates support for all of a retailer’s affiliate programs.

One massive advantage of selling/marketing music on Amazon or iTunes’s platforms is that you reach a truly global audience, which means potentially more sales if you send users to their local storefront (something raw links don’t accomplish). However, because of licensing and distribution agreements, and language and currency differences, links will differ between storefronts so using a raw link won’t cut it. When an international user clicks a link that directs them to the incorrect storefront or the link errors out, your chances of converting that click to a sale go down significantly.

Intelligent link management platforms alleviate this problem by “localizing” and “translating” a link. Localization refers to when the service sends each user to their own local storefront instead of whichever store the original link is from. Translation is where the ID of the item is different between stores and the service needs to not only localize, but also swap out the correct ID for the same item in the new store. Both localizing and translating links give your users the best possible experience, which makes it much more likely for them to purchase and enjoy your work.

Another benefit of the more advanced link management platforms is sophisticated reporting and tracking capabilities. What if instead of just seeing total clicks from different social channels or marketing campaigns, you could also measure how efficient your different links were at making a sale? Actionable information, when acted upon, can boost the efficiency of your marketing.

If you are actively marketing music inside the iTunes or Amazon ecosystem, we encourage you to check out GeoRiot.com or reach out at contact@georiot.com. My team and I have built what we feel is the best link management platform around. All of the features I’ve mentioned above are available for zero up front cost, and you’ll never reach for your wallet to pay for our service. We also offer free support for the Amazon and iTunes affiliate programs, so reach out with any questions you may have. Happy linking!

GeoRiot is a company that provides industry-leading affiliate linking capabilities to indie musicians and labels. With a single, unified link, Amazon, and iTunes traffic is directed to the appropriate, geo-specific item in that user’s local storefront to improve international user experience. Additionally, the GeoRiot service allows musicians to leverage the many country-specific affiliate programs simultaneously, typically doubling their affiliate commission simply by sending traffic to purchase their music. GeoRiot has served over 2 billion clicks for thousands of clients worldwide.

Freeloader Friday: Big Freedia, Cerebral Ballzy, Vanna, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, French Style Furs, Blackburner, Ted Nugent, Suicide Silence, Sweet Apple & Boy Jumps Ship

Big Freedia Just Be Free Album CoverYesterday marked the kickoff of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and, I don’t know about you, but for me, no sporting event is complete without some tunes bumping in the background. So, thanks to this week’s Freeloader Friday lineup, your weekend is about to be soccer and song streaming perfection.

Let’s kick it off with three killer full album streams. First up, as soon as you stream Big Freedia’s new Bounce album full of Electro bangers, a wild twerk party will inevitably ensue. Take caution (and check your surroundings) before you hit play. For something completely different, check out Cerebral Ballzy’s latest album of Hardcore Punk that is an intense and chaotic display of rage. Finally, get ready to thrash to the “pure adrenaline” that is Vanna’s new Metal release. It’s passionate. It’s furious. It’s passionous.

Now to the track premieres. We’ve got a taste of the latest from Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas: Soulful yet breezy vocals backed by swoony Cabaret-Rock. Then, a merging of poetry-activism and Dark-Rock on the latest sneak peek from French Style Furs. Next, listen to an eclectic mix of Eastern-European Folk alongside Bass drops and high-hats, plus guests spots from Lil Wayne and Royce Da 5’9, on Blackburner’s new genre-defying track. Lastly, don’t forget to check out some Classic Rock in the form of Ted Nugent’s old-school jam featuring Sammy Hager.

You’re in luck because we’ve got four videos for you this week. Start off with the lyric video for Suicide Silence’s newest groove, an extremely dark Deathcore track. Then, lighten things up with even more Big Freedia! Watch the Queen of Bounce strut her stuff in the streets – and the laundromat – while a team of dancers around her “release [their] wiggle” to this epic Electronica track. Next, let Sweet Apple take you out on the water in the music video for their forlorn Acoustic number featuring Mark Lanegan and Rachel Haden. Finish with the latest music video from Boy Jumps Ship, where the Pop-Punk band makes their way from the tattoo parlor to the barbershop to the boxing studio, and end up crowd-surfing with a room full of friends and fans who are singing along to this feel-good, unapologetic anthem.

While you watch Argentina, France, Colombia, England, and more face off in futebol (if we’re being Brazilian about it), crank these tunes and I promise you won’t be sorry. Happy weekend!

Big Freedia: Full album stream via USA Today
Just Be Free out June 17 on Queen Diva Music

Cerebral Ballzy: Full album stream via Pitchfork Advance
Jaded & Faded out June 17 on Cult Records

Vanna: Full album stream via Alternative Press
Void out June 17 on Pure Noise Records

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas: “Tired Oak” track premiere via Paste
Secret Evil out August 19 on Instant Records

French Style Furs: “Turn or Burn” track premiere via Refinery 29
Is Exotic Bait out July 8 on Frenchkiss Records

Blackburner: “Hotel Bitches” track premiere via DJ Booth
From Dusk to Dub out June 24 on Cleopatra Records

Ted Nugent: “She’s Gone” track premiere via Ultimate Classic Rock
Shutup&Jam! out July 8 on Frontiers Records

Suicide Silence: “Don’t Die” lyric video premiere via Hot Topic
You Can’t Stop Me out July 15 on Nuclear Blast

Big Freedia: “Explode” music video premiere via Fuse
Just Be Free out June 17 on Queen Diva Music

Sweet Apple: “Let’s Take the Same Plane” music video premiere via Stereogum
The Golden Age of Glitter out now on Tee Pee Records

Boy Jumps Ship: “Call to Arms” music video premiere via Vevo
Lovers & Fighters EP out now on Rude Records

Talk About a Grand Slam: The Orchard Acquires Sports Doc ‘No No: A Dockumentary’

No No DockumentaryIf you’re halfway through your corporate league’s baseball season or in the middle of MLB’s season on your couch, you’ll definitely want to catch No No: A Dockumentary, the narrative that shines light on the life of no-hitter base-baller Dock Ellis. And since we’ve acquired worldwide rights to the full-length, you’ll soon be able to see it for yourself!

The Orchard’s Film team scooped up the knock-out after its premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. When Fall 2014 rolls around, audiences will be able to score the release either theatrically or digitally by way of The Orchard’s documentary brand Opus Docs.

Director Jeffrey Radice captures a different side to the Dock story. Although he’s most-known for the no-hitter he threw while on LSD, his outspoken (at-times outrageous) attitude, and the foam hair curlers he wore during games, not many people are aware of his drug addiction, eventual turn-around, and the help he provided to others in similar situations.

Radice’s goal behind the film? “To share Dock’s full story with his legions of fans,” which Radice (making his directorial debut) and crew accomplish through detailed interviews from Ellis’s friends, family and teammates.

There’s plenty to read about the famed trip, but now you’ll be able to take your own trip down Dock Ellis’s memory lane to learn more about the MLB Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher.

You can get more details on the official acquisition from The Wrap and Indiewire, and read the complete press release here.

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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