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The best days and times to post new videos on YouTube

By Chris Robley
March 27, 2015{ No Comments }

The best and worst time to post a new video on YouTube

When are your fans most likely to view your latest video?

Channel Frederator, a network of animators, recently shared some interesting data (compiled from over 1,300 YouTube channels) that shows when it’s best* to post new videos to YouTube based on highest and lowest levels of audience engagement — broken down by hour, day, week, and month.

* “best” based on those channels’ viewers

According to the report posted on, the best hours (EST) to post a new video on YouTube are:

YouTube: best time to post videos Read more »

When should you release your new music?

By Chris Robley
March 27, 2015{ 1 Comment }

World release day for new musicHow independent artists can work with (or around) World Release Day

The International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has announced that starting this summer, “new albums and singles will be released at 00:01 local time on Fridays.”

In the US, we’re used to new releases coming out on Tuesdays, but the IFPI is making Friday the international standard for a couple reasons: 1) they hope that releasing new music on payday will equal more music sales, and 2) since everyone is online these days, staggered release dates don’t make a whole lot of sense anymore.

According to Benji Rogers (president of PledgeMusic), in a recent interview he gave on the subject of World Release Day:

… the shift will work well for the major labels that have been lobbying for such a move, since they will continue to receive the lion’s share of attention…

Attention on social media will likely cater to the ones putting significant ad dollars behind it, creating a funnel effect where everyone vies for attention at the same time. Read more »

CD Baby features Ingrid Michaelson in “From the Crates”

By Chris Robley
March 26, 2015{ No Comments }

It’s #TBT at CD Baby, which means it’s time for another “From the Crates!”

This week, Andrea ventures deep into the warehouse to find a favorite from 2008, Ingrid Michaelson’s sweet folk-pop album BE OK.

Check out BE OK by Ingrid Michaelson on CD or vinyl at! Read more »

SXSW video recap of our favorite moments: plus, is it worth it for indie artists to attend?

By Chris Robley
March 26, 2015{ No Comments }

CD Baby at SXSWThe CD Baby take on SXSW: Is it “worth it” for independent musicians? What were our favorite moments? Read on…

We sent a great little gang of our very own CD Babies to SXSW this year, and man: what a time they had.

Between our showcase, our panel discussions, our Portland Party, and getting to meet a ton of current (and future) CD Baby artists, it’s amazing that we remembered to bust out the camera to capture some of the memories.

But we did! And we’ve compiled a few of those moments in a video that’ll make you feel like you were right there in the action (see below).

Should indie acts go to SXSW? Is it worth the effort and expense?

Phil Bauer (CD Baby’s Director of Digital Distribution) says: Read more »

The music contract you should NEVER sign

By Chris Robley
March 24, 2015{ No Comments }

Production company contracts: good or bad?Attorney Steve Gordon continues his excellent masterclass in music contracts over at Digital Music News.

In the latest installment he tackles “production companies,” which usually consist of one or two people who will help you record some demos and try to shop you to labels with the hope of cashing in when you ink a big record deal.

If you can structure your arrangement with a production company to benefit both parties, excellent! But oftentimes production company contracts lock the artist into terrible terms. Steve says:

There are many differences between a production company and a real label, but they have at least the following in common: Both production companies and labels own or have access to recording studios and equipment, and they both have producers on payroll or relationships with indie producers who they can call on to make professional recordings.

A real label, however, has the following additional assets: Read more »

Email autoresponders for musicians

By Guest Blogger
March 23, 2015{ No Comments }

How musicians can use autorespondersHow to get your newest email subscribers engaged with your music right away

[This article was written by Dave Kusek, founder of the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers, and songwriters. He is also the founder of Berklee Online, co-author of The Future of Music book, and a member of the team who brought midi to the market.]

Just about anyone who has music available is using the song-for-email strategy. If you’re not on board, basically you trade music in exchange for an email address. It’s a great way to grow your list, and by now we all know that email is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your fans and push out news and offers.

However, for a lot of musicians, that’s where the strategy stops. The focus seems to be growing the list. What to actually send these new fans becomes an afterthought. Often, artists will just let those new email addresses sit and pile up until they have something new to send out. That means these new fans won’t hear anything from the musician for months. This is a wasted opportunity.

Don’t Block Your Own Leads

People don’t just give their email addresses out to anyone. With all the spam and junk mail flying around, we are all very wary of giving access to our inboxes, so the simple fact that these new fans cared enough to give you their email makes them a very strong lead. And they would probably do more to support you – if you gave them the chance.

Read more »

Aloe Blacc talks about the rights of a songwriter, and why the law needs to change

By Chris Robley
March 20, 2015{ 1 Comment }

WARNING: Not Suitable for Some Workplaces! (It’s a Real Time interview, so don’t expect Disney language… from Bill Maher.)

Anyway, in this clip Aloe Blacc talks about why copyright and music publishing laws need to catch up with the new technologies that facilitate the creation and dissemination of musical compositions. Read more »

Get a .rocks or .band domain name for your music website!

By CD Baby
March 20, 2015{ No Comments }

Get a .rocks or .band domain name

Get a new domain extension made just for musicians!

Do you want your website’s domain name to stand out from the pack? HostBaby has got the inside track on two new extensions perfect for today’s independent musician: .rocks and .band.

Yep. You can now own or!

And through March 31, 2015, you can save big on registering your new domain, with .rocks extensions for just $9.95, and .band extensions for just $19.95.

IMPORTANT: you do NOT need to host with HostBaby to have us reserve a .rocks or .band domain name for you.

Click here for details on how to register your .rocks or .band domain name today. Read more »

Why your band should be able to play in a few different configurations

By Chris Robley
March 20, 2015{ 1 Comment }

Why your band should be able to perform in different configurationsPerformance adaptability helps you play more music, earn more money, and build your audience

I have a lot of friends in Austin this week for SXSW, which means my Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of live concert photos. And one thing I noticed: in a lot of these shots, the bands are playing in some kind of altered or stripped-down configuration.

A synthpop band is on stage without their drummer. A guitar-driven rock band has gone acoustic. The sprawling indie folk ensemble has decided to put down their accordions, cellos, trumpets, and banjos in order to back up the lead singer as a kind of drunken choir.

This approach makes sense for SXSW where it’s tough enough to navigate through the crowds WITHOUT having to haul a bunch of heavy gear. When you sonically strip away some layers, you become more nimble (logistically speaking). You can play your set, break down, and quickly get to the next place you need to be.

Plus, if you, like some bands I know, are playing nine times throughout the event, changing up your instrumentation is one way to make each showcase feel special (for you and audiences).

But there’s a few good reasons why you might want to adopt a similar approach when you’re back home and playing local shows again too. Read more »

How to build your fanbase using YouTube Cards

By Chris Robley
March 19, 2015{ 6 Comments }

How to add YouTube cards to your video

Cards: the evolution of annotations

Have you used YouTube annotations to enhance your music videos?

Well get ready for YouTube “cards” — the new, mobile-friendly YouTube interactivity feature that will eventually replace annotations.

(Don’t worry, though; YouTube claims they won’t phase out annotations until cards can do everything that annotations did — and more).

So, what can musicians do with YouTube cards?

1. Raise funds through crowdfunding AND direct fan contributions

2. Sell merch

3. Build your email list by linking to your website

4. Announce tour dates or new releases (again, by linking to your website)

5. Drive video and playlist views (because the more watch-time your videos encourage, the better they’ll perform in YouTube’s algorithm)

Note: there’s no “subscribe” card yet, so you’ll have to keep using annotations to specifically drive YouTube subscriptions. Otherwise, there’s always hoping that people click on your channel watermark! Read more »