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Apply to join Illustrated Sound, CD Baby’s YouTube network

By Chris Robley
August 4, 2015{ No Comments }

YouTube network for musicians: Illustrated SoundWant to make more money from your YouTube channel? Join Illustrated Sound‚ CD Baby’s YouTube network.

If you have a YouTube channel with over 500 subscribers‚ we can help you make more YouTube money with CD Baby’s YouTube network Illustrated Sound.

Illustrated Sound is a YouTube network that applies the “power in numbers” principle to YouTube monetization‚ combining the volume of multiple artists’ channels in order to help you:

* Make more money from your YouTube channel

* Build your YouTube audience

* Drive more video engagement

* Develop a smarter content strategy

* Optimize your channel and videos

* Earn higher ad revenue from your music on YouTube

Illustrated Sound is an ADDITIONAL service to our existing YouTube Monetization program, and it’s FREE to sign up. It’s the perfect complement to what you can already access though CD Baby. Read more »

Performance, production, and composition tips from Mutek 2015

By Chris Robley
August 4, 2015{ No Comments }


Montreal’s Mutek is a five day celebration of both digital culture AND live performance.

Our friends at Landr attended the 2015 event and shot a bunch of video interviews with some of the performers about music production, setting creative limitations, the relationship between analog and digital, gear envy, and how inspiration often comes when you leave enough room for mistakes.

Check a couple more of the videos out below… Read more »

The 2 Biggest Myths About Giving Your Fans Free Cover Songs

By Guest Blogger
August 4, 2015{ No Comments }


At Loudr, we often have conversations with fellow musicians about cover songs, and one of the most common things we hear is: “I’m not really interested in selling my covers; I’d rather just give them away for free.”

While this may seem like a great marketing plan, it relies on two popular, but untrue assumptions:

Myth #1. If a cover song is given away for free, permission from the copyright holder doesn’t need to be obtained.

Myth #2. If a song doesn’t generate money, a royalty doesn’t need to be paid to its songwriter.

Let’s dive into each of these myths in more detail

Myth #1. If a cover song is given away for free, permission from the copyright holder doesn’t need to be obtained.

Read more »

Choosing the single release strategy that’s right for your song

By Chris Robley
August 3, 2015{ No Comments }

10 strategies for releasing a single

10 ways to release a single

There’s a lot more to releasing a single than just throwing it up on SoundCloud or Bandcamp. And I’m not talking about distribution — though, ya know, (plug) you should totally get your latest single onto Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and more.

Global music distribution is important, but what I’m talking about here is the strategy behind the release of your single: How are you going to attract listeners and encourage downloads? How is the launch of this single going to enhance your relationship with your audience? How will this song help you get to the next level in your music career?

As a music marketing tool, you can do a lot of different things with a single, and there are a number of strategies you can employ for its release.

Here’s a list of options (and thanks to Jon Ostrow, from whom I borrowed some of these ideas) — and remember, you can combine some of these strategies for the same single:

1. Release the video single

With this approach, you would premiere your song on YouTube, perhaps first as an album art track and then followed up later with an official music video (and then even later with live videos or lyric videos), and use YouTube cards to drive engagement. Be sure to link your fans via cards, annotations, or in the video description to a place where they can purchase the download. Read more »

It all starts with a song: 10 different kinds of singles that can help you reach more fans

By Chris Robley
August 3, 2015{ No Comments }

10 kinds of music singlesIn the second half of the 20th century, the album overtook the single as the dominant music format — but now in the era of Spotify and YouTube the single has made a huge comeback.

Since many of the technological and logistical barriers to releasing new music have been removed, it makes sense that artists want to get their latest songs directly to fans as soon as they’re mixed and mastered.

Most music careers are made, after all, on the strength of a single song (though hopefully there’s a string of great tunes to follow).

We’ve talked a lot about singles before on this blog, from the reasons why artists should be releasing new music more often, to building an effective promotional campaign around the launch of your single.

What we haven’t talked about much are all different kinds of singles you could be recording and releasing in order to build your music career. So here’s a list…

10 kinds of singles

Read more »

Hotel Guide — DIY Musician Conference 2015

By Chris Robley
July 30, 2015{ No Comments }

DIY Musician Conference hotel optionsA list of Chicago hotel options within walking distance of the DIY Musician Conference

CD Baby’s 1st ever DIY Musician Conference will be happening October 23-25 at Chicago’s historic Congress Plaza Hotel — and though that probably feels like a long way away, it’s only 3 months from now!

We want to make sure your experience at the conference is both inspiring AND affordable. That’s why we’ve kept ticket prices low (early-bird pricing, which ends on July 31st, is only $49). We’ve also arranged special discounted room rates at the Congress Plaza Hotel for $149 a night.

Other hotel and hostel options near Grant Park

But not all attendees will necessarily want to stay where the event is being held. If you’re looking to spend a little more, or a little less, on your accommodations, here’s a list of options that are nearby the Congress Plaza Hotel (520 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605) in the Grant Park area: Read more »

Early-bird pricing for the DIY Musician Conference ends Friday

By Chris Robley
July 30, 2015{ No Comments }

Early-bird price for DIY Musician ConferenceGet your conference tickets today for only $49

We’re getting really excited for the first ever DIY Musician Conference this October 23-25 in Chicago, and we’ve started to announce the names of some of the speakers and artists who will be leading seminars, performing showcases, and helping to make this event a really valuable experience for independent musicians that want practical and actionable advice on how to take their music to the next level.

This list includes live performance coach Tom Jackson, hip hop artist Black Milk, and indie music-marketing master Martin Atkins (who has also played drums for PiL, NIN, and several other famous bands that don’t have fancy acronyms).

BUT… you only have one more day to buy tickets at the reduced price of $49!

Our early-bird special ends at midnight (PST) Friday night, July 31st. (Midnight — meaning Friday night/Saturday morning, to be clear). Once the second hand on the clock leans into August, the price is going up.

So buy your tickets now, and get ready for an awesome three-day conference specifically designed to address your needs as a DIY musician. Read more »

Apple Music, 30 days later: what you need to know

By Chris Robley
July 30, 2015{ No Comments }

A musician's guide to Apple Music14 articles about distributing and promoting your music on Apple Music

It’s been a month since the launch of Apple Music, the new subscription streaming service from the folks who brought you iTunes, the iPad, the iPhone, the iPod, and (just so you don’t think I’m some kind of acolyte) let’s not forget Pippin and Ping.

So how’s it going? Well, some sources claim Apple Music already has 10 million users. Not bad for the first month, if the rumors are true,  though it remains to be seen how many of those users will stay aboard once their credit cards start getting charged at the conclusion of the free 3-month trial period. Read more »

The DIY Musician Conference, designed exclusively for the independent musician

By Chris Robley
July 29, 2015{ No Comments }

The music conference built for you

CD Baby’s first ever DIY Musician Conference is happening this fall in Chicago. The event, which is geared specifically towards your needs as an independent artist, will take place at downtown Chicago’s historic Congress Plaza Hotel from October 23-25.

This isn’t going to be an industry gab fest. You’ll get actionable advice and walk away with a realistic plan to move your music career forward.

Who should attend?

Well, chances are if you’re reading this blog, we’d love to see you there.

But to be more specific, all our keynotes, breakout sessions, and workshops will address the needs of: Read more »

Links to the iTunes store now default to Apple Music, but there’s still a way to send fans directly to iTunes

By Chris Robley
July 29, 2015{ No Comments }

iTunes and Apple Music links

You may have already discovered that some of the existing links to your music on the iTunes store now open up Apple Music as the default. If you hadn’t, go to your website now and click on the links to iTunes; see what happens.

Depending on the user and the circumstance, it’s possible that those old links will open the web version of iTunes (not opening the iTunes store within the iTunes player) on your computer. At least that’s what happens on my desktop when I click the iTunes link from my website. But if I click the same exact link on my iPhone… Apple Music.  Read more »