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The Orchard Polishes Its Deutsch with Membran Entertainment Group

Manlio_BradColleenDorisGuten 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 — we opened our first office there in 2006 — and with so much potential for growth in the region, we knew it was time to grow our roots. Manlio brings over two decades of experience to the table, not only in the German music market, but also across Europe. We know that with him and Membran by our side, our labels and artists will benefit on all fronts: more label and marketing attention on the ground, a wider network to add to our 25+ markets around the world, and a stronger presence across Europe.

In addition to that, Membran will now handle all of our physical distribution in Europe, rounding up our partnership into one that promises great things.

Find out more in our official press release, and, if you want to polish your Deutsch too, take a look at this feature in MusikWoche.

ProSiebenSat.1 Gives Streaming Services a Run For Their Money

ampya logoThe media group ProSiebenSat.1 is expanding its music business on the Internet and wants to secure a big slice of the growing market with music subscriptions. On Monday, the company launched its new service, Ampya. This should provide a full-service solution for music: Ampya offers more than 20 million songs, 57,000 music videos and 100,000 radio stations according to ProSiebenSat.1. This places it as a main competitor to established rivals Spotify and Simfy. Even Napster announced a week ago that it planned to massively build up its presence in Europe.

To differentiate itself from other services, Ampya will focus on editorial reports. The goal is for users to come to Ampya to get music news from around the world and to listen to or view it all. Users can create their own lists and receive personalized recommendations based on listening history. Moreover, Ampya is the only streaming service to also offer music videos. “We want to become a main competitor for  Spotify,” said Manuel Uhlitzsch, CEO of Magic Internet. The software comes from Mondia Media, who worked with 60 software developers and about 20 editors for more than two years on the development of the platform.

The new service will first be offered as an ad-supported trial version to sign up new users. Later, Ampya will offer a 5 Euro version for PC version and a 10 Euro version for mobile without commercials. This corresponds almost exactly to the model Spotify follows.

With a history in music and talent shows, the ProSiebenSat TV group has already established itself in the music business. It also owns an entertainment and music label in conjunction with Star Watch Entertainment Group. In addition, the company operates MyVideo, a VOD platform which offers more than 50,000 music videos, one which we at The Orchard also distribute our content. has 7.3 million users according to the company. Clearly, the video, gaming, online music business is an important and powerful driver for growth for ProSiebenSat.1.

All we can say is, the European streaming industry is bursting with options, and all services are upping the ante on each other to compete for the number one spot. Will Ampya be it?

To Point Fingers and Claim Responsibility… Or Not

December 3, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

GavelLast month in Germany, the Federal Court made a ruling which moved to limit the liability of parents for their minor children’s illegal music sharing. The court’s decision stipulates that parents are not liable for the illegal music file sharing of their minor child if they have educated their children enough about the prohibition of participating in file sharing on the Internet.

The ruling represents a setback for the music industry, which demanded several thousand Euros for damages and legal fees. The case was triggered by a 13-year-old who illegally downloaded music and spread it on the net.

As Florian Drücke, the Head of the Federal Association of the Music Industry, warned, the judgment does not mean that parents no longer need to worry about the surfing habits of their children. “The recent statement of the Supreme Court should not be ‘misunderstood’ as a free ride for parents and their children to careless file sharing,” explained Drücke. “What concrete steps parents must take, especially for repeated violations, remains to be seen in the view of for the judgment.”

The issue is not about monitoring the children — we know that over-supervision is not a recipe for success when it comes to 13-year-olds. Rather, it’s about building their awareness for the value of music, films and books. The question is, how do you do that?

150 German Companies at MIDEM, The World’s Largest Music Industry Trade Fair

January 24, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

It’s not just 150 German music companies, but also advertising agencies and digital music marketers which are presenting themselves on January 28-31, 2012 at the world’s largest music industry trade fair MIDEM in Cannes. The midem committee is expecting 8,000 trade visitors from 80 countries at the Palais des Festivals on the Côte d’Azur. The repertoire of music offered ranges from pop and rock to jazz and classical.

Over the past few years, midem has seen a significant change in its customers. The midem festival used to be the place where artists met record labels, publishers and producers. Now, technology is the driving force that pushes music into the future. midem 2012 is packed with the tech industry’s leaders, teachers, and rising stars, and this year, Germany has a prominent place among them.

Dr. Heinz Stroh, CEO of the Germany Music Publishers Association (DMV) in Bonn, said: “Visitors to midem get to know the latest developments in digital music. Never before has the interest in German Music been so big.”

This might be thanks to the new licensing agreement between Bitkom and GEMA, which has lifted the ban on music services like YouTube and Spotify. The digital world in Germany promises much growth as the industry become more favorable to services like Spotify, including Simfy, Deezer, Apple’s iTunes Match, Nokia Music, Mix Music, Google Music, and more.

I’m looking forward to seeing what midem has in store for labels and digital music companies this year.

Why Must Germany Live Without Spotify?

November 30, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

Perhaps the greatest jukebox of the Internet has arrived to Austria and Switzerland. As of last week, Spotify is available to Austrian and Swiss Facebook users, through agreements with the Austrian performance rights societies AKM and Austro Mechana, and with Switzerland’s Suisa.

Germany however will have to wait, because rights holders are still not granting any licenses.

Spotify allows users to browse through and stream over 15 million songs. Any new subscriber can listen to unlimited music for up to six months, after which the free service is capped at 10 hours per month. For a €4.99/month subscription, users can listen to music on their computer with no time limits and commercial-free. For €9.99/month, users can also listen to songs on their smartphone.

With the latest additions of Austria and Switzerland, the Swedish streaming service is now available in 11 countries, with Scandinavia, the U.K. and France being Spotify’s first markets, and including the U.S. which launched the service in July. According to Jonathan Forster, the European manager of Spotify, of the more than 13 million users, 2 million – or 15% – pay for their access.

Although the service is not yet available in Germany, the music labels are ready to work with Spotify to offer their songs and albums for streaming. However, Spotify cannot come to an agreement with GEMA, the German performance rights organization.

Issues with GEMA

While Spotify wants to compensate rights with a flat rate, GEMA apparently wants to enforce a charge per stream. This would make it difficult for Spotify to calculate the service and the profit margins would diminish as more users sign up.

Why can’t they just mirror the agreement they made with the Austrian and Swiss collecting societies? They would… but all the details of the agreement are secret.

Facebook Partnership Promises Growth

Representation in the major European markets is of great importance for the company’s growth strategy, particularly since Simfy already offers a streaming service with very similar features. Furthermore, according to a New York Times articleSpotify has apparently not reached profitability with its business model. The company lost more than 40 million dollars in 2010.

A partnership with Facebook will ensure a steeper growth in user numbers. Spotify is Facebook’s preferred streaming service and offers, among other things, the possibility to listen to songs with friends on the streaming platform.

Alas, we will wait with bated breath. Germany, stay tuned!

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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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