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Sit Back, Relax & Enjoy the Show: YouTube Playlists

February 28, 2014 Featured News, YouTube No Comments

man-watching-tvWhile it will likely be some time before tons of people are watching YouTube on internet-connected TVs, more and more people are turning to the popular video platform to watch full length movies, documentaries and other pieces of long form content on their computers, mobile devices and tablets. The reason? Many people crave the same experience they get with traditional TV — the ability to flip it on, sit back and watch for an extended period of time without having to do much else (other than make some popcorn!). How can you tap into your viewers’ desires for a lean back experience? Create and update playlists on your channel!

As we discussed previously, YouTube has placed a larger emphasis on watch time and audience retention. The search and recommendation algorithms both reward videos and channels with higher watch time, and watch time also has an impact on ad CPMs, which can be affected by a number of factors. Playlists are a great way of extending viewing sessions and increasing your watch time. Pro tip: when promoting a video on your channel, always link to the video within a playlist. Odds are the viewer will stick around to watch more than one video.

Be sure to get creative with your playlists. Artist-specific playlists are great, but go above and beyond! Create them around sub-genres, creative themes and tentpole events. And don’t limit playlists to only videos on your channel. Use videos from other channels, too: fan videos, in-studio performances, live footage, etc. Playlists are also a great way of leveraging popular content on your channel (or someone else’s) to help drive views to your newer or less frequently viewed videos.

Be sure to update your playlists regularly and rotate them on your channel. They’re also a great way to keep your channel fresh and active, even if you’re not uploading new videos. It’s worth incorporating a playlist strategy into your YouTube planning and getting your viewers to watch for longer!

Having trouble with thinking of new content for your YouTube channel?  Check out our post on Solving YouTube Writer’s Block!

Karaoke In Your Backyard

December 19, 2013 Marketing No Comments

karaoke_jollyholidayjamsAs a huge fan of karaoke (best idea of a good time = reserved room + mic + tacky karaoke machine with drastically unrelated South Korean video clips), I’ve often toyed with the idea of buying my own personal karaoke player. Usually, the daunting task of keeping my library updated holds me back and I focus rather on planning my next night out with Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.”

So imagine my excitement when I realized that not only did The Orchard have a vast catalogue of karaoke tracks, but that they were also available for streaming on Spotify, Rdio, Deezer and all other streaming services. A few days later, we had three new playlists on both our Spotify and Playlists.net profiles:

In them, you’ll find summer hits like “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines,” musical favorites like “I Dreamed A Dream” and “Defying Gravity,” and holiday classics like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Even better, we’ll be updating these regularly to include the most relevant tracks for each playlist, and if we see you like your karaoke as much as I do, we’ll create more. Think Psychedelic Hits from the 70s, Timeless Classics and genre focused ones from Pop to Country and everything in between.

So pull out that hairbrush or egg beater and start belting!

WOMEX 2013: Of Playlists and Live Recordings

November 7, 2013 Marketing No Comments

header_womex13_654x130I recently had the chance to once again attend WOMEX — the World Music Expo, which took place in Cardiff this year, and which I’ve been attending regularly now practically since the conference’s beginnings (first known as the Berlin Independence days and held in what had only recently been called “East” Berlin)… As usual, I wanted to meet old friends, listen to great music and talk about and listen to how people were surviving — and they are — in these new “digital” days.

Of the top ten labels celebrated this year at WOMEX, we are working with at least half, including World Music Network, the award-winning label for 2013. Suggesting ways and means of helping these top labels make the most of developing trends is always part of our discussions, and as pioneers in this digital sphere, The Orchard is continually learning and testing new Marketing and Communications strategies.

One of these strategies which is coming to fruition and becoming scalable now despite having been available for quite some time is the creation of playlists for streaming stores. This is one of our development methods for labels who want to open up the channels of access to their music, and has since been extended beyond the original players — Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Aspiro — with the recent launches of iTunes Radio and Google Play Music All Access. Here’s just one example of a playlist we’ve created:

I have already gone on record with how I think streaming positively affects music accessibility in parts of the world where legal, convenient, or even any kind of music consumption is not available, and we have even pulled some very interesting positive results from streaming in more “mature” markets. I continue to believe there is a lot of undiscovered potential with these services, and look forward to uncovering them.

All these discussions with our labels are ongoing, interesting and fruitful, especially so this year with the added presence of my colleagues Naomi Moran, General Manager of our European structure, and Nic Rizzi from our London office. Naomi worked for several years at World Circuit and has a great reputation in this “World,” and Nic was there representing a really cool group he is part of, Anna Phoebe, as well as showing off some of The Orchard’s most helpful tools, like real-time Analytics, Marketable Events, Social Media activity paired with sales data, and more. These advanced tools help our labels understand their business in deeper ways and help make sound decisions when it comes to promotional expenses, touring dates and places, marketing efforts, etc.

Live recordings = Lost recordings?

In addition to meeting with labels, we had a specific desire this year to reach out to WOMEX participants who focus more on concerts, festivals, touring, artist management, etc. The notion that so many live recordings were wasted — and these are recordings that are often of equivalent sound quality to studio recordings, and even more dynamic because of the presence of a live crowd — had come up in conversations we’d had with similar actors in the music sphere and we wanted to pursue the idea further. It turns out these recordings are often not contractually available for sale, either after the show for those who were in attendance or as downloads/streams for those unable to attend. I know there is a great number of concerts happening around the world by artists that I love and that I would be happy to be able to access and pay for.

Our discussions with the key players we met reinforced the feeling that these musical moments were currently lost, along with ways of re-engaging with a fan’s intense live experiences with their favorite artists and potential revenue for everyone involved: artists, labels and festival organizers. Yet again, we can and must think outside the box in this rapidly changing space and figure out the best way to develop our role as distributor — which is to make all music that can be monetized as available and accessible as possible all around the world.

Be Everywhere At The Same Time — Reflecting on My A2IM Indie Week Panel

June 27, 2013 Marketing No Comments

Jaclyn Ranere A2IM PanelNo, I haven’t figured out how to clone myself. Instead this was some sage advice doled out during the Future of Monetizing Digital Panel that I moderated during A2IM’s Indie Week last week. Along with Oke Goettlich (finetunes), Jason Lekberg (Eleven Seven Music), Lisa Levy (Robbins Entertainment) and Chris Welz (Dead Oceans / Jagjaguwar / Secretly Canadian / SC Distribution), we discussed how to use streaming services to maximize revenue and fan engagement, and tackled some streaming skepticism along the way.

Before diving into a lively discussion, I began with a quick overview of where people are consuming music; not fully comprehensive, but an exploration of  different revenue models to highlight a few different points:

  • YouTube is a gigantic music library.
  • People don’t spend a lot of money annually on music at iTunes.
  • But, people are paying for music! Take a look at Sirius XM subscriber numbers and account fees.

And then we dove right in, taking questions along the way. Lisa provided a solid base for the conversation with a story of how her boss (the label owner) was anti-streaming, until they pulled some tracks down and proceeded to watch the downloads decrease. Lesson learned!

After that, our illustrious panelists illuminated the crowd with some key tips:

Release music at the same time on all services globally. This means download and streaming across all territories. Just because you hold something back from a service or territory doesn’t mean the fans won’t find an alternate (illegal?) way of getting your music. Or, they just won’t listen at all (which is what I do when I can’t find albums on Spotify).

Educate your fans on streaming. The faster we can make paid streaming subscriptions ubiquitous, the faster the music market will grow.

Create playlists to engage your fans and encourage discovery. If you have a developing artist, include tracks from trending artists, so the playlists will show up in their searches. As we’ve said on the Daily Rind, ShareMyPlaylists – which just announced a rebranded site today under the new name Playlists.net – is a great service to help increase your playlist subscribers.

That about sums it up. Thanks to the awesome panelists and energetic audience who made this a fun afternoon. Do you have some tips to share? Or have a bone to pick with one of my ideas? Tell me in the comments!

Share Your Playlists in 1, 2, 3 Easy Steps

June 25, 2013 Marketing No Comments

sharemyplaylist-70_600With an active community of music fans who have shared 22 million tracks via 139,000 playlists to date, ShareMyPlaylists continues to prove its worth. If you recall, we already touted them around this time last year. Compare the numbers and see the growth for yourself.

Today, ShareMyPlaylists receives 1.5 million unique visitors and 2.5 million page impressions per month. Breaking it down, it comes out to 200 new playlists uploaded a day, 300 new members a day and an average of 40,000 playlists played… per day. That’s pretty impressive stuff right there.

There are so many reasons why this service is great and easy to use. For branding, all playlists can be uploaded with custom graphics to increase visibility. HTML links and copy can be loaded to accompany a playlist. To help gauge popularity, you can track the number of plays each playlist receives. Fully licensed lyrics for all the tracks can also be displayed.

SMP also offers branded pages to store high quality playlists from selected partners. On Artist pages, you’ll find all tracks within playlists, all releases available in Spotify, as well as all playlists that feature that artist.

In addition, marketing opportunities exist to extend the reach of your playlist via a network of banner ads across the site, editorial picks, newsletter mentions and Featured Playlist spots on the homepage.

There are only 3 steps to uploading a playlist to ShareMyPlaylists.com. Once you are logged in (you can register on the website), complete these next easy steps.

  1. Click on the “Submit Your Playlist” button near the top of the page.
  2. Follow the instructions for playlist title, Spotify URL, etc. Most important is to upload custom playlist artwork to ensure your playlist stands out. Default size for artwork is 150 x 150 pixels, although SMP will automatically resize if larger.
  3. In the “Playlist Description” field, SMP accepts HTML, so feel free to include links back to your web properties.

With these few steps plus those in our previous blog post, you’ll be an expert on structuring playlists and ensuring they’ll generate views and listens. In the meantime, feel free to check out our page on ShareMyPlaylists!

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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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