Orfium, a music streaming startup company out of Los Angeles California, has embarked on an ambitious mission to streamline the way people create, share, and consume digital music. Since starting out as a beta in January, Orfium is beginning to make waves with its recent public launch in July that includes an elegantly redesigned user interface and experience.
Just like any new innovation or product hitting the market place, end users can find a bit of a hurdle to adopting new options and shedding the habits of more familiar platforms such as Soundcloud. So, we sat down with Orfium’s team to give you a practical cheat sheet to get the ball rolling on this next generation platform.
For sake of ease we’d like to offer our information based on two segments.
1. I am a listener that doesn’t not currently make or share music and wants to browse and collect music.
2. I am an artist that creates and wants to share music OR am an individual that manages copyright or curates music.
If you’re a music fan who wants to discover new music, create playlists, and organize your musical collection, you’re in luck. Orfium makes it very intuitive to create a profile and get rolling.
Just like most modern platforms you can choose a variety of your pre-existing channels to link your account to. For example if you have a Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Open ID, account (just to name a few) you can immediately sign up for an Orfium account without a hastle. Simply hit the signup button and choose which account you’d like to be associated with your Orfium ID and follow the steps. If you don’t want to or don’t have a profile on any of Orfium’s default instant import profiles simply follow the standard email signup form.
Protip: Once you have secured your Orfium account it’s always prudent to fill out your profile, including your profile and header photos. Feel free to add details about your musical and personal interests, the key here is to make your profile your own!
Finding & Following Music
Once you have your profile sorted out, it’s time to get your feed built out. There’s several ways to do this: If you’re a fan of a particular genre you can pop into the discover section or use the search function to find artists, songs, and playlists that match your tastes. Or if you would like to see what's currently trending on Orfium you can use Top Charts on the left sidebar to see what material is trending based on formats (Songs, Artists, Albums, and Playlists)
One of Orfium’s more interesting features is that not only do you have the ability to follow artists, curators, and listeners but also the ability to follow Albums and Playlists.
Building Playlists & Organizing Music
Once you’ve found content you like, you’ll be able to easily organize and manage your music in the “My Music” section on the righthand sidebar. You can easily filter your music to find whatever you need to based on Genre, Subgenre, Mood, Instruments, or Vocals. Additionally you can find songs that you have purchased through the site under the playlist section (Purchased Tracks)
To create a playlist simply hit the plus sign under your playlist tabs and name your new playlist. Voila, that easy. To add music to the playlist you’ll have to click the “Add to Playlist” button on the desired track, choose the playlist, and done! You also have a convenient “Favorites” playlist already created for you and you can one-click any track’s “Add to Favorites” button to add to this playlist.
Additionally, other people on Orfium can interact with your playlists and even repost them just like soundcloud. To better engage with the ecosystem it’s a good idea to share/repost things that you like. After all, Orfium is a hybrid social platform.
Protip: To make a playlist private, when creating a playlist simply check the checkbox next to the padlock button. Private playlists won’t appear on your public profile feed.
Let’s Get Social
Outside of pure listening, Orfium offers ways for you to engage socially with other users and your favorite artists! You can share your thoughts and important updates from your profile page. You can also view and interact with others’ posts in your feed. Additionally you can create, rsvp to and manage events from your page!
For Artists Section
Before we dig into the meat and potatoes of your creative options as an Artist on Orfium, let’s talk about artist verification. While all accounts are able to upload content, monetization options are only available to verified users. The verification process requires a copy/photo of a government ID or Passport which can be uploaded to the ‘Verification’ tab under Account Info & Settings.
The ID Verification is used for tax purposes and to prevent copyright fraud. However, this is completely optional and not required if a user only wants to upload non-monetized content
Importing From Soundcloud
Outside of direct uploads, Orfium gives you the ability to directly import songs available on your Soundcloud. The first step, is to make sure your Orfium account is synced to your desired soundcloud account. If you signed up with a soundcloud login, then you should be good to go here. Otherwise make sure to add it on your profile page via the channels option or by choosing the “Upload from SoundCloud” option via the upload page.Once you have the right Soundcloud connected, hit upload and select the tracks you would like to import.
IMPORTANT NOTE: your tracks on soundcloud must be made available for download. Unfortunately that does mean that tracks that only have purchase links must be made temporarily available for the system to reach it. Once it’s transferred over, however you are free to remove download ability. This is a limitation imposed by SoundCloud on their API.
There’s a lot of options to choose from once you’ve uploaded a track. Under consumer policy you have the ability to allow free downloads, institute a follow for download policy, and many other options. Check them out!
Orfium can assign a wide variety of tags and data to tracks so it’s in your best interest to correctly tag your details. You can select, genres, moods, instruments, and vocals that may be present in the work. This will help Orfium align people looking for art like yours. Orfium is working on implementing a mass upload / update workflow to speed up this process as well as the ability to copy settings from another track to make things easier.
Your Licensing Options
(Orfium Advanced Monetization)
As it stands Orfium has several available options for licensing and monetizing your content. If you aren’t concerned about specific details on monetization, you can select “Maximum Monetization” which will opt you into everything Orfium’s platform has to offer, including future revenue streams as they are rolled out. Don’t worry as any individual service can be opted out of at any given point. For the more knowledgeable artist or agent, there are a plethora of options to adjust that gives you a wide degree of control on the way your content is sold, licensed, and utilized. Micro Licensing allows for content buyers to license your content depending on the scope of their project. You can adjust the cost of each level of licensing in relation to expected project budget and lifetime revenue. Some simple guidelines are as follows:
- Standard license permits use in projects with production + direct advertising costs < $2,000 AND lifetime revenue < $2,000
- Extended license increases these limits to $10,000
- Premium license increases these limits to $50,000
These licenses take a lot of the unnecessary detail work out of the general licensing agreement and can be changed just like the rest of the monetization options at any given time. It’s also nice that Orfium’s micro-licensing limits are structured in a way that ensures it won’t cannibalize any of your bigger publishing deals. It really just automates the smaller deals that wouldn’t be worth a publisher’s time to go after, plus it pays out 80% which is nice considering every other micro-licensing platform pays out only 50% or less.
As well as the above options, you can also license your work under the widespread Creative Commons system. Each of the six options are available and you can learn more here: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/)
While this article is meant to be a high-level overview of your options on Orfium. There are a few additional details worth mentioning when adding your work to the platform. If you are a remixer or using a derivative work, be sure to tag the original material through the interface. If the original piece is not on Orfium you can use a 3rd party link to denote it. It’s both respectful to the original artist as this gives them credit for the original work and it actually cross promotes both songs by creating a link back on their corresponding related tracks sections.
Secondly, Orfium has much more functionality planned both for users and for monetization options in the future. Keep your eye out for Live Sets functionality (with the ability to tag tracklists or setlists) as well as Podcast/Series function that will allow creators to upload continuous parts of a series and allow fans and listeners to follow along as well.
With all of this info, you should be well on the way to enjoying music on Orfium. Dive in!