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Welcome, Chris!

March 5, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

Chris HeydtIntroducing Chris Heydt, Software Engineer

I’m thrilled to be here at The Orchard, working at the intersection of technology and media. My first gig out of college was at Citigroup, where I worked for two years as an information security analyst. I then joined Sony Music (Sony BMG at the time) as a software engineer, where I spent six years building and maintaining systems that powered sales and distribution of ringtones as well as e-commerce sites for Sony artists. After a subsequent stint at a startup focused on children’s financial education, my path has brought me back to the world of digital media.

I’m excited to be joining the Technology team as a Software Engineer, where I’ll have the privilege of working with some really smart people.

How to Market Developing Artists: The Basics

January 23, 2014 Featured News, Marketing No Comments

back-to-basicsI’m sure most of us can agree, the music universe is so over saturated to such a great degree that searching for new music can often times make my head explode. So how is it possible for potential fans and consumers to sort through this endless sea of music to get to to unknown establishing acts of the world? In this article I’ll talk about a few bare essentials and marketing basics around developing a new artist. A lot of what I’m about to discuss isn’t rocket science and can easily be executed with minimal to no costs.

Probably one of the most important marketing tools that should never be overlooked is social media. Many developing artists already have their own social properties built out with existing followers. It’s necessary to keep these pages current with frequent updates about tours, new releases, links to buy their content, and general band updates in order to keep those fans not only informed, but engaged. They want to hear about the next music video, or what’s happening along their tour. There are also many ways artists can help attract new followers through their socials such as contesting, posting new content, conducting Q&A’s with fans, etc.

Easy accessibility is key. One of the greatest luxuries of digital music is the immediate access to music in seconds without getting off your couch. As a result, we have evolved into a culture of music consumers who if not handed music with seamless ease, can loose interest quickly. There are a few ways to accommodate these consumers especially within the digital retail space. One of the most important is including buy links on band’s websites and social media properties. Having the links readily available directing potential customer to a release’s buy page is very effective. Another way is to make sure you are building out artist pages where you can. iTunes, Amazon, and many stores will allow your own artists images and artwork to exist in the store. By building out these artist pages, you’re allowing customers to easily attain an artist’s discography too which is a good thing. Building up followers on artist’s Spotify profile allows those followers to be notified in the future of new content by this artist. Lastly, keeping fans informed of how, when, and where they can purchase or access artists’ content is crucial as to not leave customers searching for that information on their own, because let’s be honest, a good majority of them won’t.

Keeping up with the new technology and music industry developments seems like a no brainier, but we sometimes forget how important that can be. Being informed can help put developing artists at the forefront of these advancements so you’re not playing catch up later. Tech developers are consistently pumping new devices, apps, services into the marketplace quicker then ever. Knowing how you can effectively utilize these new technologies with your developing artists is critical. For instance, new streaming service Beats launched in the US this week, are you up to speed with the most current information on how this service can benefit your artists?

There are lots of other inexpensive, free, and easy ways you can market a developing artist outside of what was discussed here. I’ve merely only starched the surface with the opportunities at your disposal. At the end of the day, it all comes down to knowing your customer/fanbase and how to best reach them; I hope that some of these topics help with your future marketing agendas.

15 Ways Technology Has Impacted Our Business… For Better or Worse

the orchard 15 anniversaryA lot has changed since The Orchard opened its doors 15 years ago. Whether it’s the way music is delivered and played, or how it’s marketed and shared, there’s no tip-toeing around it: without technology, we wouldn’t have created the opportunities to develop the way we have.

Here are 15 technological advances that have marked us, in good ways and bad (though we like to think we took the bad and turned it into something positive!):

  1. Computers
  2. Internet
  3. Evolving Formats of Music and Music Players (from vinyl and MP3s to Walkman and MP3 players)
  4. P2P/Torrents
  5. Streaming
  6. Cloud/CDNs (Content Delivery Networks)/FTP
  7. Prosumer technology
  8. UGC
  9. Watermarking/Fingerprinting technology
  10. Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  11. API technology
  12. Social networks
  13. Smartphones/Mobile/Apps
  14. Mobile payments/Micro-transactions
  15. Pin Codes/QR Codes/USB Drives

And in more detail…

… Continue Reading

Jason Pascal and Josh Builder Tackle Copyright and Cloud Technology This Month

March 14, 2012 Orchard News No Comments

If you weren’t able to make it down to SXSW this week for the four panels we’re participating in, here are two you can catch nearby at the end of the month:

Right here in New York, Jason Pascal – VP, Licensing & Associate General of The Orchard – will be at the Institute for Information Law & Policy to talk about international approaches to copyright reform. The date is March 27; RSVP to this address by 3/20.

If copyright isn’t your thing, head down South (though not as far as Austin!) to Philadelphia for March 28, when The Orchard’s CTO Josh Builder will be attending Phorum, a technology conference for business and IT professionals. There, he will participate in a panel entitled “Views from the Enterprise,” where he and other industry experts will discuss the impact of cloud technology on their business and how it could help benefit them in the future.

Here’s all the information you need to catch Jason and Josh this month:

Panel Discussion: International Perspectives on Copyright Reform
with Jason Pascal
6:00pm – 8:00 pm
Faculty Commons, W201 (185 W. Broadway – New York, NY)

Is current U.S. copyright law effectively dealing with online piracy? What laws have countries such as France, United Kingdom, and Spain implemented to address the piracy issue? Has anyone found the solution? Our program will address various international approaches to copyright law regulation as a means to combat piracy. Our discussion will focus on recent legislation such as HADOPI (three strikes) in France, the now-abandoned PIPA/SOPA in the United States, Sinde Law in Spain, and international treaties such as ACTAe. Panelists will compare the effectiveness of these approaches and the impact that it has on curbing online piracy.

Panel Discussion: Views from the Enterprise (Track 2)
with Josh Builder
2:45pm – 3:30pm
World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street – Philadelphia, PA)

A panel of enterprise users discuss how cloud technology is impacting their business models and enabling them to disrupt competition, create new economic models and gain market share. Panelists include Josh Builder of The Orchard, Robert Butler of the Hay Group, Simon Moss of Pneuron Corporation and a representative from JPMorgan Chase. Moderated by Rob Kelley.

The Orchard’s Viewpoint on SOPA and PIPA

January 18, 2012 Industry Trends 2 Comments

Google Search Box, January 18, 2012

There are likely more black pages, icons and avatars appearing on the web today than at any time in its history. Why? Two pieces of legislation being considered on Capitol Hill: The Stop Online Piracy Act (a House bill commonly called SOPA) and the Protect IP Act in the Senate (called PIPA).

From today’s Google doodle’s censorship iconography to Boing-Boing, Craigslist and countless other sites going dark while Twitter is immersed in “#stopsopa” and “#stoppipa” verbiage and imagery, the opposition to this legislation is obvious and growing rapidly. Several weeks back, a consortium of the “founders” of the web (not you, Al Gore) asked congress to (re)consider their actions and possibly listen to someone who knew something about the matter. Web giants such as Yahoo!, eBay, and Facebook, which apparently many people use, have also come out against the legislation. Today, Wikipedia powerfully darkened their U.S. home page and included the Orwellian statement “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge.” Um, no thank you.

The ins and outs of how we got here are maze-like and not worth rehashing. Wikipedia offers a wonderful (community-edited, of course) overview. In essence, there are bad actors on the web; sites which knowingly and willfully house copyrighted material with the full intent to disseminate that content to end users without compensating the intellectual property owners. This is true. And has been for a long while. No one debates the fact. Now, exactly what to do about it… that’s another issue. Very quickly, you’re in first amendment waters. Deep waters, indeed.

The Orchard has decided to let its feelings on PIPA and SOPA be known today. We feel that as providers of a technology platform and business engineered to facilitate the broad distribution, discovery and legal consumption of online content, we are uniquely positioned to do so.

Herewith a summary of our thinking:

  1. The Orchard is certainly concerned with piracy and is not opposed to measures which attempt to address it, be they business solutions or legislation. SOPA and PIPA are simply not the right ones as they are constructed in ways which may prove harmful to our business partners and, potentially ourselves, having the exact inverse effect legislators are seeking.
  2. It is far too early in the stages of innovation around digital content online to enact sweeping legislation which is at once broad in who may be targeted for infringing and on what grounds, while being very specific about the penalties involved. As has been pointed out, this puts at risk any site which may contain even one piece of “infringing content.” In other words, just about any site on the web.
  3. The Orchard is in the business of providing maximum reach for IP owners and, as such, can’t endorse policies that would stifle potential business innovations that allow for this to be done in a legal, consumer-friendly manner.
  4. We have watched legislative action often pale in comparison to business innovation in stemming piracy as business solutions tend to provide a “viable alternative” to piracy as opposed to merely whacking each mole that arises.
  5. We believe that the DMCA and its Safe harbor clause could be refined and iterated on to potentially provide some legislative support to business innovation.

It would appear that we are in good company as the Obama White House has come out against SOPA, indicating that it would only consider legislation “narrowly targeted only at sites beyond the reach of current U.S. law, [that] cover[s] activity clearly prohibited under existing U.S. laws, and [that is] effectively tailored, with strong due process and focused on criminal activity.” The statement went on to say that they would seek legislation “that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation.”

Clearly, this is not over. We will be actively watching and participating in the dialogue. We hope you will be, too.

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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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