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The DIY Musician Conference, designed exclusively for the independent musician

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

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

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

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 »

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

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 »

10 things you’ll learn at the DIY Musician Conference

July 14, 2015{ 1 Comment }

DIY Musician ConferenceCD Baby’s first-ever DIY Musician Conference is really taking shape.

Unlike many music industry events, this one is centered entirely around YOUR needs as an independent musician, and it’s all happening this October 23-25 in Chicago…

… but our early-bird price of just $49 (for all three days) lasts only until the end of July.

So register now!

What should I expect at the DIY Musician Conference?

We’ll meet up on Friday night, hang out a bit, and then head down to the open mic at Bottom Lounge where you’ll have a chance to play your best songs for a room full of supportive independent musicians across many genres. And then lets hang out some more on the Bottom Lounge’s epic rooftop deck, which has some of the best views of the Chicago skyline.

Then we have a weekend full of exciting breakout sessions, workshops, panels, and keynotes planned — all geared specifically to DIY artists who are working to move their careers to the next level.

On Saturday night, there will be some awesome showcases where you can hear great music, meet other DIY musicians, and talk with conference speakers.

Who should attend the DIY Musician Conference?

Read more »

You don’t want people saying THIS about your music online

July 14, 2015{ No Comments }

Read more »

5 music career lessons I learned from gardening

July 6, 2015{ 4 Comments }

5 music career lessons borrowed from gardening

I finally get gardening. I mean the appeal of it, not the green thumb part. Over the past few months I’ve been building and tending to my very first vegetable garden. Naturally, this made me think of… DIY music careers!

It’s one of the oldest cliches, the metaphor of life as a garden (or visa versa). But I’m about to go there. So take out your self-help trowels and dig with me a while.

We’re all wrestling with the big things — mortality, a lack of control, finding a sense of purpose — whether we reveal the signs of that struggle on the surface of our lives or keep them buried way deep down.

In that light, I think gardening is a game, a little model of existence, and an expression of how we try to shape, fight against, or accept the variables that are at play in our world. Plus, contestants get some tasty veggies for playing.

On a good day, a garden is a parcel of peace within the chaos, a place from which you can enjoy the literal fruits of your labor. On a bad day, it doesn’t feel so peaceful. Like life. And yes, of course, there’s the whole cycle from birth to death made evident in the microcosm of a garden as it moves through the seasons.

So obviously there are lots of parallels to draw between gardening and life. I figured we could take a look at a few as they pertain particularly to your musical life. Read more »

How to post an update on Apple Connect (Apple Music’s new social network)

July 1, 2015{ 40 Comments }

How to post updates on Apple Music through Apple ConnectConnecting with your fans on Apple Music

I just posted my first update on Apple Music using Apple Connect, the streaming service’s social networking feature, and I figured I’d share some step-by-step instructions.

Before you can use Apple Connect, you’ve got to:

* get your music onto Apple Music,

* claim your profile,

* download Apple Music onto your device, and

* familiarize yourself with this new streaming service.

From there, sharing content with your fans on Apple Music is pretty easy.

Here’s a quick tutorial with screenshots on how to post an update on Apple Music

1. Open Apple Music on your device, go to “Connect,” and click the compose icon (to the left of the magnifying glass search icon).


Read more »

A strolling tour of Apple Music

June 30, 2015{ 3 Comments }

Apple MusicI’ve been looking forward to the interactive streaming aspect of Apple Music with excitement for a while now.

As for the radio (Beats 1) and social networking (Apple Connect) features of the new service? Well, I suppose you could say I’ve been a skeptic in advance, BUT… Apple Music is finally here, and I’m sold on ALL of it.

To trot out some jargon: Apple Music is robust, intuitive, and personal.

Walk with me, won’t you?

Apple Music: the new music streaming service at a glance

First, you’ll need to access Apple Music (which requires iOS 8.4 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch). Here’s some instructions on how to download Apple Music onto your device.

Next, let’s take a peek around. Read more »