Author Archive

Does radio play still matter? (Seven industry insiders weigh in)

April 17, 2014{ 1 Comment }

shutterstock 149610761 300x169 Does radio play still matter? (Seven industry insiders weigh in)For decades, radio ruled the music world.

If an artist—or, more likely, a label—wanted to sell lots of records, they needed their music to be in wide rotation across the country. And that meant spending many many thousands of dollars hiring national radio promoters who knew the secret radio handshake.

Fast-forward umteen years and the standard model for getting your music played on commercial radio isn’t all that different. What HAS changed is our listening habits. We have more options now. There’s still terrestrial radio, of course (including commercial, community, and college stations), plus satellite radio services, genre-specific online programs, podcasts, customizable streaming radio platforms like Pandora and iTunes Radio, and more.

Have these changes in the radio landscape altered how people in the industry feel about the importance of radio? I asked seven friends of CD Baby for their opinions.

The experts weigh in: is radio play important when it comes to an artist’s success?

Read more »

Get over it! No one is stealing your music on YouTube

April 15, 2014{ 3 Comments }

musicpiracy 234x300 Get over it! No one is stealing your music on YouTubeI understand. You worked hard creating your music. You’re proud of it. You’re protective of it. That’s your right, of course. But there’s a point where protectiveness can turn into paranoia.

Over the past few years, I’ve spoken with a couple composers who will only record their music via MIDI keyboard with headphones on because they’re afraid their neighbors will steal their song ideas. I’ve heard about songwriters who won’t play new songs live for similar reasons. I’ve talked to artists who won’t sell MP3s because they think the whole world will pirate their latest album. As far as I can tell, these are otherwise rational people.

And yes, there are many musicians out there who don’t want their music available on YouTube because they think it will be stolen by some nefarious character who spends time using evil software (the YouTube-to-Mp3-converter) to rip audio off the internet — audio, I try to remind these musicians, which would already be available on the video streaming platform FOR FREE to anyone with a computer, smartphone, or tablet. So why would anyone want to go through the trouble to steal it?

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How to turn a boring gig into a memorable event your fans can’t stop talking about

April 14, 2014{ No Comments }

1147100 10153118507690599 2146464763 o 800 300x199 How to turn a boring gig into a memorable event your fans cant stop talking aboutMake your average gigs more dramatic [an interview with The Orion Experience]

The Orion Experience was tired of playing the same old kinds of gigs. You know the ones: you arrive on time, throw your gear in the corner, rush on stage 15 minutes before your set, plug in, play for 45 minutes, etc.

They wanted to make every one of their shows a memorable event. They wanted to make deeper connections with their fans and encourage more audience participation. They wanted to have more control over their performance environment.

Many indie bands share these same frustrations, but they don’t always envision a way to change their live show circumstances. The Orion Experience did. Read more »

CD Baby not affected by Heartbleed

April 14, 2014{ 1 Comment }

220px Heartbleed.svg  CD Baby not affected by HeartbleedYou may have heard a lot over the past week about a newly-discovered internet security bug called Heartbleed.

Our IT staff has been keeping track of the Heartbleed flaw since news first broke in security forums, and we wanted to let you know that CD Baby was not affected by this bug. Our systems remain secure and your data, including your financial and login information, is safe.

That being said, this IS a serious bug. While all CD Baby sites are secure, many other sites on the Internet were impacted — and some are still working to make their sites safe. So we think it’s a good idea to change your passwords as soon as possible for ALL sites, regardless of their vulnerability to Heartbleed. 

Yes, we know: MORE passwords to remember!!! Ah, the Internet.

What’s your pre-show ritual?

April 11, 2014{ 8 Comments }

shutterstock 186174944 240x300 Whats your pre show ritual?

The day of the show has arrived. You gather your gear together, pack up the van, and drive to soundcheck. You find parking, unload, line-check, dial it all in. Then what? Between soundcheck and your set time it’s easy to feel suspended in your own weird world of nerves.

Many seasoned musicians have developed ways to deal with the pre-show jitters: a band chant, a long prayer, a shot of tequila, running through a couple songs backstage without amplification, going outside for a breath of fresh air, reading a favorite book, etc.

How do you fill those minutes or hours of anticipation before your concert? What’s your pre-show ritual? We’d love to hear what your habits are for getting amped up or grounded (whichever you need most) before you play live.

Read more »

The 5-minute musician website makeover

April 9, 2014{ No Comments }

Website update The 5 minute musician website makeoverGot time for a little light spring cleaning on your website?

Most people that encounter your music will find you online. That means it’s crucial to keep your band website up-to-date. If your site looks like a ghost town, your fans might stop visiting, stop sharing your content, and stop recommending your music to their friends.

Let’s not let that happen. Now that we’re well into spring, take five minutes or so to clean out the cobwebs and spruce things up a bit.

1. Remove outgoing links to websites you don’t use

Still linking your fans to an old MySpace page you haven’t updated in 7 years? Yeah, you might want to delete those links. Best to keep your fans on your own website where you can control the experience, rather than sending them to a social media dead end.

Read more »

How one band collected $1800 they didn’t even know they’d earned

April 8, 2014{ 1 Comment }

OrionImage How one band collected $1800 they didnt even know theyd earned“With CD Baby Pro, we’ve already made $1,800 we wouldn’t have made otherwise.” – Orion Simprini of The Orion Experience

The Orion Experience has never toured internationally, yet since signing up with CD Baby Pro, the NYC-based indie-pop band has been paid $1800 in foreign mechanical royalties — royalties that, had they not been claimed, would have eventually been paid out to major-label artists.

Success can come from unusual places.

With so many ways to make money from original music, each successful band is bound to connect the dots differently. In the case of The Orion Experience, a few unpaid song placements on MTV and Nickelodeon started generating a lot of publishing royalties in foreign territories, but they had no way of knowing this money was out there.

With the help of CD Baby Pro, though, The Orion Experience set themselves up to collect all the money their music was generating from international download sales, global streaming, and more. Singer Orion Simprini now finds himself in a far more promising position than when he was signed to a major label more than a decade ago.

I was in a signed band in the 90’s that never made a dime,” he says. “But now we’re able to fund our projects with the money we’re making.”

Now that their hard work is paying off, The Orion Experience is thinking differently about their musical goals. They’re taking their concerts, Read more »

Marketing Your Music 101: how to create and tell your band’s “story”

April 8, 2014{ No Comments }

marketing your music Marketing Your Music 101: how to create and tell your bands story

In a previous article I talked about the importance of STORY when it comes to marketing your music. “Story” is a vague catchall word, I know. But what I mean is this: an extra-musical impression that develops in a potential fan’s mind, something visual or biographical or thematic which captures their imagination and makes them want to listen to your music right away!

In a crowded marketplace where literally millions of other people are creating music, competing for gigs, and asking for fan support, a good story — and how well it’s told — can mean the difference between obscurity and stardom. A good story is also essential when approaching the media; it makes it easy for the press to write about you and your music. If you present something that already reads like an article, or at least has a good hook that will excite their readers, you’ve basically done their job for them.

But what IS your story?

In order to effectively communicate your story, you have to know what it is first. Is it your bio? Your musical achievements? Your struggles and triumphs? A description of your sound and style?

It can be all of these things and more. But most importantly…

1. Your story should be focused

Your story won’t reveal all of the Read more »

How to get your music on Pandora Internet Radio

April 4, 2014{ 51 Comments }

TEMP Image 6 1 How to get your music on Pandora Internet RadioSubmitting music to Pandora is easier than ever

Over the past decade, Pandora Internet Radio has become one of the go-to destinations for music discovery. The popular radio service allows over 76 million active users to create customized stations based on their favorite genres and artists. Pandora’s recommendation engine (built on extensive human input) then streams a playlist that is altered by user engagement in real-time. In other words, Pandora is pretty smart at picking the playlist to start with, but the listener can give feedback (a simple thumbs up or down) and then Pandora gets even smarter!

For independent artists, getting music on Pandora can be a great way to build an audience without spending thousands on radio promotion or advertising. If you sound like Coldplay, whenever someone creates a Pandora station based on the music of Coldplay—bam!—your music could get served up, hopefully earning you a new fan or download sale (since Pandora also displays buy links).

But how do you get your music onto Pandora as an independent artist? It’s pretty easy, actually, especially since they began accepting submissions for digital-only albums a few months ago. Yep, pretty easy — except for one small detail, which we’ll discuss below. But first, here’s the simple steps for submitting music to Pandora.

How to submit your music to Pandora

1. Make sure you control the legal rights to your work.

2. Make your music available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, or Bandcamp. (Hey, if you’re a CD Baby artist, you’ve already got this covered!)

Read more »

Press release: CD Baby Sync Licensing hits $1.2 million mark paid out to independent artists

April 2, 2014{ No Comments }

shutterstock 29874241 300x205 Press release: CD Baby Sync Licensing hits $1.2 million mark paid out to independent artistsLatest quarterly payout shows continued growth in YouTube monetization for DIY musicians  

CD Baby, arguably the world’s largest distributor of independent music, working with over 300,000 acts, has announced that it paid out a record $400,000 in royalties to artists involved in the CD Baby Sync Licensing program for the fourth quarter of 2013. That’s a 70 percent increase over the previous quarter and 150 percent more than the same period in 2012. It sends the total that CD Baby has paid in Sync royalties rocketing beyond $1.2 million dollars.

“This is just the beginning,” says Kevin Breuner, CD Baby’s director of marketing. “It’s gone far beyond ‘found money’; this is legitimate income. When YouTube begins its streaming service it’s just going to grow exponentially. We did a test, seeding out YouTube channels with a subset of album artwork videos. Within a few days we had over 50,000 views and hundreds of channel subscriptions. That’s huge. We haven’t even begun to tap the possibilities yet.”

Although trade press headlines have focused on moves by Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes Radio, it’s YouTube that’s become the music streaming destination of choice for young teens. It’s already bigger than Sirius XM, Spotify, and Pandora combined, and unlike most of the other services, YouTube is already profitable. Soon they will be launching their music streaming subscription service.

Read more »