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What’s New, UK?

itunes rdio we7 emusicLots of services are looking to start in the UK — and others are undergoing some interesting changes. Consider this your quick and dirty update:

The US streaming store Rdio has (finally) launched in the UK and several other EU territories. We will have more news for you in the coming weeks but we are looking forward to working with the team at Rdio and helping them make their store a success in the EU.

iTunes GB & IE now have a New Artist page which showcases debut releases from new artists. We are seeing some great successes for UK and Irish artists with several features for our content.

Napster has now launched its new store (powered by Rhapsody) and has a spanking new layout for you to play with. eMusic is about to launch its Android app and will be updating the service to a HTML5 mobile-optimized site. Sony Music Unlimited is now available pre-loaded on Sony Vita Handheld devices globally. 7Digital has refreshed its platform and has added an updated app (Android and iPhone only initially), and figures released recently show over 2 million mobile customers among which 800,000 are Android alone. Beatport has launched DJ pages allowing artists to coordinate their DJ charts and releases on a single page.

The UK streaming music service we7 has launched a new iPhone app: we7 Free Music Radio. It’s another move towards its personal radio service, streaming people’s stations to their phone and allowing them to download tracks and stations for offline play, while sharing details to Facebook, Twitter and email. we7 says it will be adding exclusive radio stations and audio content from artists and festivals, starting with Metronomy.

That’s it for this month. I told you it’d be quick and dirty…

Dive Into The Orchard’s Best of 2012 (So Far)

the orchard best of 2012Given the breadth of our catalogue, it is a fun (albiet daunting) task to pull together some of our favorite tracks of the year so far. So, we did it and you’ll love it!

We have a little bit of something for everyone. If you fancy some chill but cheery blues/jazz/gospel don’t miss the lovely Ruthie Foster. Need more metal in your life? Obvi Nuclear Blast‘s Meshuggah is included in the mix. Perhaps you want a fuzzy romantic indie tune? Radiation City‘s “Find It Of Use” will do it for you. Fancy some mildly offensive entertainment? Check out Bobby Light (AKA Rob Dyrdek)’s satyrical track “Do You Right” that has all the youngins dancin’.

Decide for yourself what your favorites are… We’ve got links to both Spotify and Rdio below, as well as our friends at ShareMyPlaylists — or you can listen to the playlist right now by just clicking Play below!

Best of 2012 (so far) on Spotify
Best of 2012 (so far) on Rdio
Best of 2012 (so far) on ShareMyPlaylists

Verizon MP3 Moves On + FiOS Rolls New Interactive Promotions

March 30, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

verizon fios mod mp3Well folks, the time has come. Verizon is to shut down its MP3 business. Starting this Sunday, April 1st (it’s no April Fool’s joke my friends!), RealNetworks will halt its ingestion of new content from Verizon. Current content in the Verizon MP3 catalogue will continue to be available until the service completely shuts down on May 17th, at which point all MP3s in the Verizon catalogue will be no more than a memory. However, ringtones and ringback tones will continue to be available, for all callers’ and being-called’s listening pleasure.

But that’s not all!

On a lighter note, Verizon FiOS just rolled our their new Facebook Timeline. With it, they launched new entertainment hub features, which means more opportunities for artists to build and promote music programs. With almost 80,000 “Likes” on their page and a renewed focus on programming and content, that’s definitely good news and bodes well for the development of an engaged social community. You can expect collaborations with Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody and more in the forms of playlists, live streams and video content.

One of FiOS’ big advantages is their targeted markets, which allow for increased success with geo-targeted promotions. So take the time you need to mourn the end of Verizon MP3s and meet us on the next boat with the exciting opportunities ahead with Verizon FiOS.

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

South Bye Southwest

March 21, 2012 Orchard News No Comments
Vintage Trouble The Orchard SXSW 2012

Vintage Trouble at The Orchard's Day Party, SXSW 2012

Even if you did not attend SXSW, you must have heard about the giant Doritos vending machine/stage, free BBQ via pedicabs, homeless hotspots, The Boss’ “you can do it” keynote or at least, A$AP Rocky’s do-rag.

No? Well it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on at SXSW and cut through all the noise, so I’ve put together some documentation of what The Orchard crew was up to for SXSW 2012.

Some members of our team arrived for Interactive to touch base with some of our tech partners and fellow nerds. Among the many were our friends at Webdoc, Fanbridge, Topspin and Rdio. We hit up some panels, tried to squeeze into the Al Gore + Sean Parker keynote and checked out the Google Village whenever we had a spare moment.

The Music Fest brought us together with loads of our clients and we did our best to get out to as many shows as we could, namely, Cleopatra RecordsBlackburner’s mind-blowing set, Lefse‘s lovely showcase, Volcom‘s beerfest and metal mania, Barsuk‘s stellar jam sesh and MANY more. Not to mention IODA’s day party with some of our favorite buzz bands taking the stage. The Orchard’s Day Party with Radical Dads, Arms, Scoundrels, Races, Vintage Trouble and Rhett Miller had us enjoying every minute of the day on Friday along with free tacos and beer at Parkside in Austin (PICS HERE). Also, we were thrilled to host the event alongside our sync department who announced their new venture, Concentrated Music.

This only touches on all of our festivities at SXSW but we do want to thank everyone who attended The Orchard’s Day Party and all the amazing showcases hosted by some of our favorite labels. Signing off with some of our staff favorites from SXSW 2012 (Poliça and Vintage Trouble took the top):

… Continue Reading

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