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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 »

DIY touring tips: planning, launching, and rocking your next tour

By Chris Robley
July 28, 2015{ No Comments }

This is a pretty fantastic video series (and YouTube playlist) from SoundFly all about touring as as DIY musician.

It addresses everything from the reasons for touring, the costs, how to find the right venues for you, how to route your tour itinerary, contacting talent buyers, promoting your shows, and much more. Read more »

Five OTHER ways to build your email list now that MP3s aren’t worth what they used to be

By Chris Robley
July 28, 2015{ No Comments }

Building your email list without MP3sLately I’ve been referring to the years between the launch of iTunes and the launch of Apple Music as “the download decade.”

Music streaming is nothing new, of course. Rhapsody has been here for years; Spotify has grown so popular that its brand name is almost synonymous with music streaming; and giants like Google, Amazon, and YouTube have all entered the streaming game.

But now that Apple is in the race, things feel different. Apple is perhaps the one company that can shift consumer habits in a dramatic way, and in a short period of time (they already have 10 million users in less than a month, according to some sources), towards paid music streaming.

And when the whole history of recorded music is available to you on-demand for $9.99 a month, and when you’re already paying for a data plan to watch Netflix on your phone, it seems like the music download will soon become a consumer’s last resort.

I actually can’t remember the last time I paid for a download from iTunes (or anywhere else). Since Spotify came to the US, I’ve been either streaming music on my phone or computer, or listening to CDs and vinyl.

When’s the last time you downloaded something? It’s kind of a pain, right? File management!!!

So all this is my long-winded way of saying: MP3s aren’t worth what they used to be. When you want to incentivize someone to sign up for your email list at shows or on your website, simply offering an MP3 from your latest album probably isn’t good enough. Read more »

Mac Lethal sets an aspiring rapper straight: “This took 17 years”

By Brad
July 24, 2015{ No Comments }

Mac Lethal on what it took to get where he's atKansas City rapper Mac Lethal has paid his dues. You might know him as the fast rapper dude from YouTube, but Mac’s been doing this for years. He took first place at the legendary Scribble Jam in 2002, the same year he released his debut album, and he’s been a worldwide presence in the indie hip-hop scene ever since.

Such a presence, in fact, you can even find a bunch of his tracks at CD Baby! But I digress.

Mac ran into a fan recently, and was a little shocked at how this up-and-comer envisioned the process by which Mac got to where he is. So, he took to Facebook to set the record straight.

Take a look at the expletive-filled post below, and let us know your thoughts – have you ever had an experience like this? Do people underestimate the amount of work that goes into mastering a craft? Do we make too many excuses for why we’re not where we should be? Read more »

Post-album rollout: 5 tactics for ensuring your music has a long-term impact

By Guest Blogger
July 23, 2015{ No Comments }

How to promote your album after it's been released

[This article was written by Eric Bernsen, and it originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.]

With months and sometimes even years going into the creation of a new body of work, it’s an understood expectation that artists put together some sort of marketing plan in anticipation of their album release. And once your music is available, it feels like the weight of the world is officially off your shoulders. However, too many musicians suffer the fate of their album having a few days of initial buzz but losing most of its momentum within the first week or so. So much music comes out on a daily basis that it’s hard to stay relevant even when you have a devoted fanbase. Therefore, it’s vital to implement multiple post-album release tactics that will help your music maintain its relevancy.

Here are five recommended methods you can put into action as an artist that will please your core fanbase, introduce new people to your music, and ultimately ensure your tirelessly crafted album has a long-term impact.

1. Blog outreach

Read more »

Interview tips for musicians: how to get the most from your publicity opportunities

By Chris Robley
July 23, 2015{ No Comments }

Interview tips for musicians

Giving a compelling interview as a musician

When it comes to promotion and publicity, interviews can be one of the most fun and gratifying ways to spread the word about your music — since they’re all about your biggest passion: your music!

Luckily for independent artists, there are more media sources looking to interview musicians than ever before. Magazines, zines, blogs, podcasts, radio shows, TV shows, YouTube channels, etc.

As the person being interviewed, you’ll either be providing a writer with context and quotes for a story, or the audio/video of your conversation will be the content itself (depending on the outlet). So obviously you don’t want to just go on the air or get on the phone with a journalist without having thought through some of the things you’ll talk about in advance.

If you’re quick-witted and confident, sure, you can probably wing it and still give a compelling interview. But for everyone else, here’s a few musician interview tips in preparation… Read more »