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15 (Humorous) Orchard Predictions for 2013

December 17, 2012 Orchard News No Comments

the orchard 15 anniversaryThis is it… our last 15th anniversary post for the year. It’s been a great one, and as we shared in last month’s post, we’re so very grateful to have these incredible years behind us and such promising prospects ahead.

For this post, we got all Orchardite minds together to assemble our trimmed down 15 most likely predictions for 2013. The product you see below is a carefully crafted selection of scientifically backed probabilities, and we stand behind these insights 100%.

1. Cleopatra will release Sounds Like… The Sound Of Music Meets Gangnam Style.

2. ICQ will launch a major comeback including direct chat lines with your favorite artists.

3. Our Compilations department will invent a new genre called “PUBSTEP,” Irish folk tunes set to dubstep beats. It will become so popular that iTunes will create a new genre page for it.

4. Apple will introduce iChew, described by Phil Schiller as “an amazing leap in chewing gum technology.” Each iChew will be WiFi and Bluetooth enabled, letting you download new flavors from the Cloud, or if you’re an AT&T customer, using your 4G connection. It will be Siri activated by double-chomping with your canine tooth and speaking the flavor you want to download. Within seconds, the iChew will taste exactly like the requested flavor. Each flavor will cost 99 cents, and each stick of iChew will cost $399.99 for the Trident size, $499.99 for a “Hubba Bubba” size.

5. Lychelle [our wonderful receptionist] will forget to send out an email about washing the fruit before consuming and someone will consume before washing.

6. Tee Pee Records will issue a vinyl release with blotter acid in the label ink. Lick, spin and enjoy!

7. One of Richard Gottehrer’s YouTube ideas — a cooking show filmed at CBGB with recipes sung by The Raveonettes — will become so wildly popular that Honey Boo Boo will mention it on her show.

8. We will be approached by a startup that would like to offer our clients the ability to automatically send their fans customized Happy Birthday songs on their birthday. This startup will have just received 6 million dollars in funding.

9. The Orchard’s Got Talent will beat The Voice in a ratings war.

10. What.cd will be heralded as the future of record stores.

11. Microsoft will announce a bold new direction for the Xbox platform: video games.

12. After several more rennovations, the kitchen will become self-aware, reveal itself to be Hal9000, and turn on Mike P. Fueled by its own supply of caffiene and energy drinks, it will begin sabotaging the music distribution operations and give us no choice but to become a vendor of faulty Nespresso machines.

13. Leaps in nano-biotech will result in the RIAA developing a way to infect P2P filesharers with “monkey pox.”

14. Richard Gottehrer will write a new Orchard theme song. Ask him to sing the original.

15. In 2013, people will stop predicting the future.

Ladies and Gents, iTunes 11 Has Arrived

November 30, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

iTunes 11 is here! With a complete redesign of both the iTunes player and the iTunes store, we wanted to point out some great new features that you can use to optimize your listening and shopping experience.

First, let’s start with the player itself. You will notice when you first open iTunes 11 that there is no longer a sidebar, which has been replaced with either more browsing space on an album level or has been turned into a browse by artist/genre area. Now — if you weren’t quite ready to give up that sidebar, DO NOT FRET! You can still access it by clicking on the “View” drop-down and selecting “Show Sidebar.”

A few more big changes you will notice with the player are focused around the album view. Apple’s new album artwork layout offers a great way to quickly browse through your albums while still being able to enjoy all of your colorful album artwork. When clicking on any album, an ‘expanded view’ will appear. Not only does this expanded view show you the tracks of that specific album, but if you click the ‘In the Store’ button on the upper-right corner it will also show you Top Songs, Top Albums, and Recommended Songs [from other artists], all of which you can purchase right from your music library. How’s that for some intuitive up-sell!

Gone are the days of the unknown queue when using iTunes ‘Up Next’ feature. This functionality allows you to access a full list of upcoming and previously played tracks by clicking this button  in the Now Playing window. You can also click the arrow button next to any track and either place the track at the front of your queue by selecting ‘Play Next,’ or simply add it to your queue by selecting ‘Add to Up Next.’

Check out the new design of the Mini Player by clicking the button on the upper-right of your player. You will notice that the player is much sleeker in design, only displaying the track name, artist name, and album artwork. Hover your mouse for Play/Pause, Forward, Back, and Volume Control. And notice that you can now also access ‘Up Next’ and search your library right from the Mini Player.

There have also been some big changes to the iTunes Store. Toggle from your iTunes Library to the store by clicking the ‘iTunes Store’ button on the upper-right of your player. This will take you to a fresh new redesign with bigger showcases, sliding bricks and all around bigger album artwork.

One functionality that iTunes has added to the store is each artist now has a dedicated page. This will contain a Collection page, which showcases all of that artist’s Albums, Songs, Music Videos and Movies along with other artists that listeners have bought. The Artist Info section allows you to browse through the artist’s biography, influencers, followers and contemporaries. Some artists also have a Gallery option, which allow you to view a variety of high-resolution photos from their career.

All of these features make for a robust new store and player. I am sure there is more in store for iTunes in 2013. What do you surmise is coming?

Check out the Apple website for a demo video and more information on these new features.

There Can Only Be One Master… and It’s Not Bruce Willis

September 6, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

Bruce Willis vs. AppleThe illusion of digital ownership may (or may not — it’s been debated) have been unwittingly shattered by an outraged Bruce Willis facing his own mortality.

Indeed, there are moments in any struggle when all hope flags. When recourse to any sanctity in human decency has failed. A man’s viable choices left reduced and reduced, until finally “The abyss stares back into you.” Fully then we commit ourselves to passive despair.

This obstructive control is, of course, a reference to iTunes and their inheritance policy. Long nights I have wept against the truth that my children will not inherit my extensive .m4a catalogue. Long nights I have wept for my progeny, damned to the futile task of re-buying Blonde on Blonde.

In these moments I understand my legacy flawed.

There are some despairs from which a man can pull himself free, and some men are more adept at this than others. As Max Weber states, some men can possess “[a] certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which [they are] set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, … the individual concerned is treated as a leader.”

Such an individual can galvanize the masses through passionate oratory and mobilize people into action for their cause. Thank you John McClane.

The force of social change has awakened. I sat this morning beneath a new dawn, between a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud, and I heard as it were the noise of thunder and I looked, and beheld: THIS.

Perhaps I am getting a little carried away… So let us move on.

By the time I die, (I hope) Apple’s inheritance policy will be of little consequence. By then, we will be listening to music through the microscopic chip implanted in our brains, streaming on a 7G wireless network. Speeds will be so great that even the notion of ‘streaming’ will be forgotten, and the concept of ownership of digital content will be nothing but a brief, naïve moment in history.

15 Events We Would Never Have Anticipated in 1997

the orchard 15 anniversaryWhen Richard Gottehrer and Scott Cohen first founded The Orchard back in 1997, they did it because they could see the potential of digital way before its prime — before iTunes, YouTube and Facebook had even launched.

In 15 years, the industry has certainly come a long way, and while we pride ourselves in continually staying on top of the fold and up-to-date on the most recent and budding trends, we thought it’d be fun to go back and see some of the things we didn’t see coming — back in 1997.

  1. Independent music taking up a collective share of 25.2% of the market in 2011 (and 32.6% in publishing)!
  2. Millions of songs at your fingertips wherever you are through paid (and free/freemium) streaming services
  3. Over 1 billion people around the world talking to each other through social media, proving that word of mouth is more powerful than ever
  4. Instant social sharing, where when you listen to music (or read an article, or attend a concert…), your friends can see what you are listening to and when through Facebook’s Open Graph
  5. Public Performance and Broadcasting revenue (also known as Master Rights and Neighboring Rights) getting its biggest boost when revenue from Physical started to decline, thus helping labels continue to survive during harder times in the industry
  6. Sync licensing no longer being considered selling out to big brands, but becoming a popular way to increase exposure (check out some of our placements here!)
  7. Netflix successfully converting their massive DVD-by-mail subscriber base into an internet streaming user base
  8. YouTube successfully converting wide-spread copyright infringement into one of the largest commercial revenue streams for rights owners
  9. Apple products opening their previously-closed retail environment to include competing streaming services like Hulu, Netflix and Spotify
  10. The ability to communicate with multiple people around the world through a live video/audio stream 
  11. Seeing most music sales occurring through companies whose primary business is not music, such as Apple, Target, WalMart, Amazon, etc.
  12. The return of vinyl‘s popularity
  13. Today’s pop stars being picked by the audience (American Idol, X-Factor, etc.)
  14. That The Rolling Stones would STILL be touring and Keith Richards would be a New York Times best-selling author
  15. That a tech king like Steve Jobs could so greatly impact the music industry

Looking back at this list gets us pretty excited at how much the industry has evolved, and that we work in a field that is so versatile and innovative. So bring it on! We’re ready to roll for another 15 years!

Why Spotify Needs to be Worth $3.5B

March 27, 2012 Industry Trends 1 Comment

spotifyRecent rumors abound that Spotify is seeking a massive round of venture capital funding – a round that would value the company at a reported $3.5B. Initial reactions seem to be, essentially, “Wow, that’s high.”

Indeed, $3.5B is a lot of money. But there are many persuasive arguments to the effect that Spotify is worth it, especially in view of its growth relative to other players in the digital music space, including and especially iTunes. Matt Rosoff of Silicon Valley Insider does a very nice job identifying the cases for a $3.5B Spotify.

I want to point out something else: that Spotify, at this point in its 6-year history, needs to lay claim to enough money to make good on its goals. Right now. Here’s why, as I see it.

Their goals are, as explicitly stated or implied by their actions, extremely ambitious. The company seeks to:

  1. Become the leading streaming service for global consumer music discovery and ad-supported consumption
  2. Become the leading paid subscription music service for consumers worldwide
  3. Become the “OS for music” via its app platform

That’s all. Then add the fact that these goals find the company swimming in the same waters as the following companies:

… Continue Reading

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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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