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CD Baby artists’ music now available on TIDAL

By Chris Robley
April 1, 2015{ No Comments }

Get your music on TidalYou’ve probably heard a lot of talk this week about a newly launched music streaming service called TIDAL, which offers:

* high-fidelity sound quality (yes, hi-fi streaming)

* high-def music videos, and…

*  curated editorial  content

Oh, and it’s also partially owed by Jay Z, who recently threw a launch party with appearances by Madonna, Alicia Keys, Kanye, and lots of other big names.

Subscribers can access the TIDAL’s catalog in high-fidelity for $19.99/month. There’s also a $9.99/month tier for subscribers who don’t need the high-quality audio.

If you’re currently distributing your music to music streaming services via CD Baby, your music will also be available on TIDAL. If you’re about to sign up a new album or single, we’ll distribute it to TIDAL so your fans can access your music in high-quality streaming audio! Read more »

The power of data for indie musicians

By Guest Blogger
April 1, 2015{ No Comments }

The power of data for indie musicians[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.]

In the music industry, musicians create music in isolation and then release it to the public. They spend weeks or months writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing and mastering. After all that work and effort up front, you don’t know how well the album will perform until after the fact – after you invested all that time and money into the music. The sales data starts rolling in and then you find out if it was all worth it.

If you look at it this way, the music industry really seems like a grand game of dice. It’s really an exercise in hope marketing. There’s no testing and no feedback during the creation process and in the end, artists spend their entire career on hoping people will like their music. Of course, labels have a pretty good idea what the audience wants, but even major label artists have flop albums.

Today, musicians don’t need to be stuck in this model. The internet pretty much gives you a direct connection to your fans and access to a huge community of music listeners. You can get feedback pretty much instantaneously online and I’m going to run down some strategies to do so in this article. Read more »

CD Baby Twitter Chat on April 8th: “your best touring advice”

By CD Baby
April 1, 2015{ No Comments }

CD Baby Twitter Chat

Chat with CD Baby on Wednesday, April 8th

Our first Twitter chat was a huge success thanks to all the artists who tweeted with us about independent music promotion. With people chiming in from all over the globe, the #DIYmusician hashtag even trended! Read more »

“Start with the assumption that the person listening to your music is going to hate it”

By Chris Robley
March 30, 2015{ No Comments }

Radio promo 101: assume the listener won't like your music

Radio Promotion 101: assume the listener won’t like your music

That’s basically what Bob Boilen (creator/host of All Songs Considered) advised during the “Public Relations, Public Radio, & More” panel at SXSW, emphasizing the importance of a great artist story when you’re trying to get radio play on NPR.

Ari Herstand wrote a great recap of this panel discussion for Digital Music News, with info on how to pitch your music to different producers and hosts at NPR. But the thing that struck me most about the discussion was Boilen’s insistence on having a good artist story.

According to the DMN article:

Boilen explained that when he was the music director of All Things Considered he always “made the assumption that the person listening to this music is going to hate it. And if you work from that premise then you have to find some way to tell a story and give [the listener] a reason to understand why this person makes the music they make and why they’ve chosen this path in life. You might hate the music… BUT you understand why they’re playing that music.” Read more »

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 »