New and improved iTunes Trending Reports now available in your CD Baby account

By Chris Robley
May 4, 2016{ No Comments }

iTunes Trending Reports from CD Baby

We’ve vastly improved our iTunes trending reports. Check them out now!

A few months ago we introduced Spotify trending reports in your CD Baby dashboard. Now we’ve added new and improved iTunes trending reports too. Say goodbye to clunky spreadsheet downloads, say hello to easy-to-read stats and graphs, right from inside your Members account.

Log in, take a look, and run an iTunes report that’ll show you:

* Where your listeners are

* What your most downloaded tracks and albums are

* The countries where you’re most popular

* and more Read more »

Making a living as a musician touring the college circuit

By Guest Blogger
May 3, 2016{ No Comments }

Touring the college circuitWhat’s Working in Indie Music Today: Lessons in Success from New Artist Model Member Mike Sullivan

By Dave Kusek and Lindsay McGrath. Sponsored by the New Artist Model: Turn your passion for music into a rewarding career.

One of the best ways to get new strategies and ideas for your music career is to look at what other musicians are doing. So I’m going to be bringing you a series of case studies from really talented and successful musicians who are all pushing the envelope in the world of indie music. You can read the full article on New Artist Model.

Musician Mike Sullivan makes his living touring colleges.  The Los Angeles based independent singer songwriter has made the grade on the college circuit playing more than 250 gigs over the past 10 years.

Mike loves playing schools.  He likes the kids, the travel and the fact that some of his favorite musicians like John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Sting and Prince got their start traveling the same road.  But he is also working to help his career graduate to “the next level” so he can share his work with current fans while winning new ones. Read more »

Jealous of Radiohead? They just deleted their entire Internet presence

By Chris Robley
May 2, 2016{ 2 Comments }

radioheadLast year I wrote an article called “Three lessons you SHOULDN’T learn from Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke, and Beyoncé.”

Well, here’s another to add to that list: Delete your entire Internet presence.

It’s just the latest in a long string of amazing moves Radiohead has made over the years that work wonders for them, but would probably fall flat if you tried something similar.

If you visit the band’s website, Facebook page, or Twitter profile, you’ll see… nothing. Except for the fact that millions of people are now following an empty shell of an account. The feeds are gone. Activity has flatlined. Instead, the band has sent cryptic leaflets to fans in the mail. And on queue, the whole world — including this blog — is talking about it!

There’s much speculation that the surprise blackout means Radiohead’s 9th studio album will be released any minute now.

How will they promote their new music without an Internet presence? Well, in typical Radiohead fashion they’ve unplugged and they’re letting the rest of us do their online promo work for them. Brilliant. Genius. And something that many DIY artists would love to do every once in a while.

Imagine it: you suspend or delete your profiles, turn the computer off, and get back to making music, music, music, music, music! I’m jealous.

But that doesn’t make it a smart marketing strategy for lesser-known musicians. Read more »

Using YouTube sections: keep your fans engaged by organizing your videos

By Chris Robley
May 2, 2016{ No Comments }

Sections give your viewers a super easy way to explore grouped content right from your YouTube channel page.

With sections, you can organize videos on your YouTube channel according to theme, style, series, genre, etc. For instance, on my channel I’ve created sections for live videos, music videos, Art Tracks by album, interviews, and more. Read more »

YouTube improves Content ID system

By Chris Robley
May 2, 2016{ No Comments }

Monetization During Dispute - YouTube

Up until last week, a disputed rights claim on a YouTube video meant that the video could not be monetized until the dispute was resolved. According to a recent blog announcement, YouTube is changing that:

We understand just how important revenue is to our creator community, and we’ve been listening closely to concerns about the loss of monetization during the Content ID dispute process. Currently videos that are claimed and disputed don’t earn revenue for anyone, which is an especially frustrating experience for creators if that claim ends up being incorrect while a video racks up views in its first few days.

Today, we’re announcing a major step to help fix that frustrating experience. We’re developing a new solution that will allow videos to earn revenue while a Content ID claim is being disputed. Here’s how it will work: when both a creator and someone making a claim choose to monetize a video, we will continue to run ads on that video and hold the resulting revenue separately. Once the Content ID claim or dispute is resolved, we’ll pay out that revenue to the appropriate party.

Read more »

The 100 greatest American music venues

By Chris Robley
April 29, 2016{ No Comments }

best american music venuesWhat makes a great venue?

My friend Sofia Talvik and I call them “unicorns” — those rare performance spaces that sound great, feel great, and inspire the audience too.

Consequence of Sound has compiled a fun list of 100 such unicorns, concentrating on great American music venues, covering rooms and outdoor spaces of all shapes and sizes, from a small strip mall oasis to Madison Square Garden.

I think I’ve played on half a dozen of these stages, seen great shows at quite a few more, and plan to tackle the rest before my 500th birthday.

How about you? What do you think makes a great venue? Read more »

Hotel Guide — DIY Musician Conference 2016

By Chris Robley
April 29, 2016{ No Comments }

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

CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference will be happening September 30th through October 2nd at Chicago’s historic Congress Plaza Hotel.

To be close to all the action, book a room at the Congress Plaza Hotel for just $159 a night. (This price is guaranteed only through September 15th, so reserve your room soon!)

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:

[Note: I’ve listed estimated prices based on current internet quotes, but prices fluctuate with availability, so don’t hold me to these figures.]

1. Travelodge Hotel Downtown Chicago (from $139) — 65 East Harrison, Chicago, IL 60605

2. Hostelling International: Chicago, The J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Hostel (from $36) — 24 East Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60605

Read more »

“You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 21”

By Chris Robley
April 28, 2016{ 1 Comment }

Musical Success StoriesWe’ve asked before: Are you too old to make it?

And the answer, no matter your age, is that you’re never too old to make it in music, as long as you define “making it” as creating great music connects with an audience large enough to sustain your independent music career.

That being said, I know the music industry in particular can feel like it revolves around youth. So when I saw a quote on the subject by Miss Mentelle getting shared a lot on Facebook yesterday, I thought it’d be good to post it here. Here it is:

At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.

At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.

At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.

At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.

Read more »

Earn an extra $5 from everyone at your next show

By Chris Robley
April 27, 2016{ No Comments }

GigTown, the mobile app that connects local musicians, venues, and concertgoers, is doing something interesting to help you earn more money from your live shows.

For every fan that uses the GigTown app to “check in” at one of your concerts, you’ll earn $5 — even if the gig wasn’t booked through GigTown.

The company has set aside $20,000 each month for this “tip campaign” as a way of attracting new users (both fans and musicians) to the app. Read more »

The ABC’s of musical collaboration

By Guest Blogger
April 27, 2016{ No Comments }

Music collaborationThe search for the perfect collaboration partner – and managing that relationship – can take up a lot of time and effort. We all want that cohesive bond, that magical unspoken stoke that yields pure gold. But there are pitfalls along the way, perhaps the biggest downside being if you don’t set yourself up correctly, you could eat into your own creative time – which is your most valuable resource.

Compatibility comes in many forms, creative tastes and styles are as broad as the spectrum of music itself. You can’t expect to find that perfect match without first understanding that everybody has different influences, workflows, songwriting habits, and organizational skills. As you approach a project, recognize these differences and ask the tough questions to determine if your aspirations and values align. Be honest with yourself and with your potential collaborator, and you might just make magic.

With all that said, here are some basics that you should embrace, and the questions you should ask yourself and your potential partner. The ABC’s of collaboration are:

Always Be Screening

You’ve nailed down a few candidates that you’re vibing with and you’re geared up at the potential this fresh inspiration could bring to your creative process. It’s an exciting time, but pump your brakes; you should always screen your new buddy before jumping in full-on. Read more »