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The Marketplace Presents: Conduit Mobile

November 27, 2012 Client Tool, Featured News 1 Comment

Conduit MobileMeet our latest partner: Conduit Mobile. The mobile app creator is getting all kinds of press these days, and it’s not without good reason. Their sexy app offers every function you could dream of with the ease of use you’ve always wanted.

What’s more, they’re compatible with all major mobile devices, including iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android and Windows. No coding, no fuss — here’s a snapshot of some of the features Conduit offers:

  • Promote your music: Offer fans your hottest playlists and latest songs.
  • Share your LiveAlbum: Let fans take, share and view pics of your shows right from the app via a shared album on Facebook.
  • Make it yours: Customize your app’s look, feel and functionality to match your brand and unique style.
  • Publish your events: Keep fans up to date on your tour dates, signings, launch parties and shows.
  • Reach out to fans: Send location-specific push notifications to let fans know of upcoming shows, parties and promos in their area.

When you sign into Conduit, you arrive at the Edit menu, which is composed of three tabs: Content, Style and Info. Let’s look at these in a bit more detail:

  • Content: As with all our Marketplace apps, Conduit Mobile automatically imports your content from The Orchard Workstation, including your Info, Releases, Events, Videos, Social Links and any other good things they can find from your Artist Builder and Release Builder profiles. Keep in mind that once you’ve set up your app, anything you update within your Workstation, Facebook, YouTube and so on will automatically update in your Conduit mobile app as well. You can always edit the content you want to include, i.e. tracks, photos, etc, and you can easily add and customize additional pages such as Map, Contact, LiveAlbum Photo Stream (a recommended tool similar to Instagram that allows users to take and post photos directly within your app), eCommerce and so on.
  • Style: This is where you can manage the look and feel of the app, from app title to custom icons as well as header and background images (transparent images are preferable and specs are listed based on the platform for which you are creating the app) and colors. Tweak your navigation layout, and click Update Changes.
  • Info: This tab includes the app info that appears in each platform marketplace, including app name, official icon and description, as well as a checkbox to allow ads within your app and earn extra revenue.

Once you’ve tinkered and perfected your app, you’re ready to submit it to stores. You can do this by clicking on the To Market menu at the top of the page and selecting one by one which stores you want to send your app to. You’ll need a developer account for each store to submit as well as the native files (instructions here). If you have a Platinum or Diamond subscription with Conduit, they’ll take care of the submission for you — you just need to fill out a form with your developer credentials and submission preferences.

Speaking of subscriptions, all clients have access to a free trial, which includes 500 visits to mobile site and 25 mobile app installs. Once you’ve hit those numbers, you can choose between a Gold subscription at $22/month (unlimited site visits and up to 5,000 app installs), a Platinum subscription at $62/month (unlimited site visits and unlimited app installs) or a Diamond subscription at a one-time cost of $499. Go to the Home menu to update your plan.

There’s lots more you can do with your Conduit mobile app by navigating through the Home, Promote, Analytics and Notifications tabs on the top menu bar, including getting a mobile site URL, redirecting mobile users to that page, creating an HTML Promo page, tracking active users and their activity by platform and location, and sending targeted push notifications to your fans.

Check out the demo video below for a more visual look at how to use Conduit in the Marketplace, and make use of Conduit’s slew of specific how-to demos for the best ways to use every part of their app.

Conduit Mobile is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

Note: There are some fees associated with submitting your app to each store (one time vs. yearly) and each store has varying approval times (between 1 hour for Android and minimum 10 days to 2 weeks for Apple). 

Songpier Embraces All Your Screens

November 13, 2012 Client Tool, Featured News 1 Comment

It’s been in The Orchard Marketplace since launch; it’s consistently one of our most popular apps; it was one of the first HTML5 mobile apps out there… I’m talking about Songpier, the mobile app builder that’s now a whole lot more.

You might have noticed that Songpier — or Songpier Studio as it’s now called in the Marketplace — has completely revamped both its look and its offering. Manage your mobile app, desktop website and social sites all in one convenient location, and more than ever share it with your fans, no matter where they’re looking.

So what’s new, exactly?

  • One song was never enough: You can now select as many songs or releases you like to include in your Songpier.
  • Be social: Sync all your content to Songpier Studio from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and RSS feeds and send new content back.
  • Collect fans and emails: Customize playback restrictions by song to encourage fans to Like you on Facebook, giving you access to all their deets. Choose from Always Free, Require Faving After 3 Plays or Require Faving.
  • Think of everything… and everyone: Enhanced sharing options make it easy for all users to access your site from anywhere and still get all the information they need.
  • Don’t lose sight of anything: Keep up with what-you-got-from-where and what-is-published-where thanks to icons throughout the Studio that indicate where each item was imported from and where it’s published.

Here’s how to make the most of all these new features in the Marketplace:

  • Once you’ve launched Songpier from the Marketplace, the app will connect with your content through the API. Select the tracks you’d like to include; toggle the switches to additional content on or off for Events, News, Photos and Videos; and click Sync Now. Note that you can always add or remove content when you launch the app, or by clicking Pull next to The Orchard in the Social Connect menu on your Dashboard.
  • Don’t just sync with The Orchard, sync with all your socials! Go to Social Connect on your Dashboard and link up with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You can also hook into your RSS feed so all your updates get included on your Songpier page too.
  • Manage your page’s look by tweaking your Artist Profile and Appearance. Pick your app background, icon and skin, and preview the whole lot on all devices by clicking on the various options on the top right.
  • Fine tune your app using the menus under the Content section. Organize your Songs (pick a featured tune, customize each song’s look, add lyrics and select playback restrictions), News items (import them from your socials), Events, Pictures (add titles to your albums and pictures or share stories in the descriptions), Videos and Discography (include purchase links). You can even link to your Merch store so fans can buy your stuff straight from the app.
  • Now that you’ve perfected your app through Songpier Studio, share it with the world using the numerous Share options at your disposal. Send the page link, download and share your QR code, lead mobile users visiting your official website to your Songpier-mobilized page using the Mobile-izer tool, and embed customized playlist or song widgets anywhere you’d like.

On top of all these exciting updates, the new interface is easy on the eyes and easy on the brain. So play around with it and find out for yourself why Songpier is reliably one of our top apps!

To get a visual step-by-step of how to use the new Songpier Studio, check out the demo video below, and get an idea of what Songpier looks like in action on Der König Tanzt’s mobile-optimized site.

Songpier is available via The Marketplace. Find out more about them on their One-Sheet.

The Orchard Loves to Market… Part One

Here at The Orchard, we take pride in delivering the music of our artists and labels to all of the places around the world where it can be purchased or listened to. Once it’s delivered, we use our charm and relationships to get front-and-center placement so that our clients’ music gets the attention it deserves, and the royalties, too.

We figure that everyone enjoys pretty pictures, so we created the graphic below to highlight some of the outlets we market to. There’s a lot — which is why we have a global team located in major music markets to do the heavy lifting.

The Orchard's Marketing Map: Money Makers

Thanks to Airene Resurreccion for the graphic.

Music of The World Meets The World of Music

October 17, 2012 Marketing 1 Comment

The Orchard Offices around the WorldAs I am making the last preparations for my next participation in a Trade Fair, representing The Orchard at WOMEX 2012 in Thessaloniki, Greece, even I can’t try to pretend that “it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.”

I’ve had a long and enjoyable relationship with WOMEX through my work with various World Music distributors, labels and artists over the last 20 years, starting with WOMEX’s precursor, the “Berlin Independence Days,” which were held in East Berlin just after the fall of the Wall. In those “physical” days — lasting well into this new “digital” century developing the international sales of Cesaria Evora, Lucky Dube, Salif Keita, Toure Kunda or The Skatalites (yes I insist that Reggae also fall in the scope of “World Music,” as does Electro Cumbia or Hungarian Speed-Folk) — involved mainly finding the right distribution partners distribution, promotional activities (via key media outlets and actors of the live scene) and developing solid mutually advantageous business relationships. A lot of these relationships have become friendships and despite changes in companies, some industrial disasters and difficult financial moments, many of these people are still strong players in the very tight-knit World Music community.

The tools that I will be bringing this year are only materially different. Instead of lugging around boxes of CDs, I’ve got a few presentations, pre-prepared collectively to be shown on a computer as to how best use our Sales Analytics, Interactive Marketing, or maximize results from Social Media Advertising. The goal of developing a mutually profitable network of relationships between the various actors of this sector stays essentially the same however, just more detailed, especially since the changing nature of the methods and means of consumption of music worldwide means that more and more world inhabitants are gaining access to their own cultures and those of others.

To quote from memory from an article that appeared in the Berlin Independence Days guide, World Music is also Bob Marley or Rod Stewart blasting from a battery-powered cassette player in Nairobi. However, in those days there was no realistic way of monitoring this usage such that all parties involved got paid. The mobile phone has become the essential vector of this progression in the controllable growth in access to music that we presented on The Daily Rind already a while ago. The main model is streaming via Telco bundles that includes Internet access with the possibility of listening to music.

These kinds of offers are spreading like wildfire across the world. Telephone operators have understood that musical content is a primary attraction within the Internet. For our labels and their artists, this specific source of revenue breeds additional sources of revenue, creating new uses and relationships with fans that can also be monetized. As I always say in my posts: music is contagious, and these models bring in lasting and growing financial returns.  This ecosystem exemplifies sustainable development — recontextualized!

So though we have already developed tactics on all of this in association with some of the most prestigious World Music labels around — Lusafrica (selected as World Music Label of the Year for 2012), World Circuit, World Music Network, Sterns African Records, Cantos/Frochot, World Village, Mr Bongo, Stonetree Records, ZZK, etc. — we are always looking for ways to improve these collaborations and build others by involving our teams in 26 different countries around the world. Each team demonstrates its expert knowledge and understanding of its local market and gives each of our partners the possibility of simplifying some of their work in order to focus on the essential point: discovering, producing and sharing great music from everywhere.

No Email Uncollected… And More Updates from DIY Music

October 15, 2012 Client Tool No Comments

DIY Music LogoSure, new apps are great — but updated apps are even better! Why? Because they aim to improve a product based on what people want and need. That’s exactly what DIY Music, the do-it-yourself e-commerce platform, has done with their series of updates to their app. As an Orchard client, you can benefit from all of them via our Marketplace.

So, what’s new with DIY Music these days?

  • Email Collection Tool: This is our favorite update, and we’re sure it’ll be yours too. Under the new Marketing tab in the app, you’ll now find a widget creator for your email for media tool. It’s the same deal as you’ve seen before: fans type in their email, verify their address and get a free download — all so you can beef up that mailing list!
  • Video Plug-In: You can now import your YouTube video links from Artist Builder into your Store widget for added value. (Unfortunately, Vimeo isn’t compatible.) Because it’s all about the visuals, right?
  • Customization: Your Store widget will be even more you with options to customize your text and background colors as well as background images.
  • More Detailed Analytics: If you’re a data lover, this one’s for you (if you’re not, you might want to become one!). In addition to your regular Sales Activity, your Reporting tab now provides additional Analytics on interactions that happen within any and all your widgets. Numbers are broken down by Category, for example Album, Song or Email for Media widget, and Actions, including views, activations (when a person actually clicks to open the widget), shares, plays, cart adds, cart removals and conversions.
  • Buy URLs: These allow you to get fans to buy your music instantly by sharing them on sites like SoundCloud or Twitter. Fans are automatically redirected to Amazon or PayPal to complete the purchase.
  • Better Pricing Interface: DIY heard your calls and changed the default pricing on albums to $9.99 and on tracks to $0.99. These are still totally adjustable, but this way your most common pricing options show up first. They’ve also added a Pre-Sale option, where consumers can buy your music in advance and get an email with a download link once it’s available.
  • Mobile-Optimized Landing Pages: Flash may be dying but it’s not dead yet. DIY Music has created mobile-compatible landing pages in HTML5 when fans are viewing your widgets on their smartphones. These can be branded too, adding to the experience.
  • SoundScan Integration: DIY Music now reports all your sales to SoundScan!

DIY has also revamped its store widgets for a fresher feel. They’re not only better looking, but they’re also easier to navigate. Plus, they have a new Help section to make sure you’re getting the best experience possible.

So go ahead! Try DIY Music out for the first time or rediscover it all over again.

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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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