Author Archive

How to sell more band merch in 2015

December 18, 2014{ No Comments }

sell more merch at shows 300x199 How to sell more band merch in 2015Managing merch sales isn’t the sexiest part of your music career, so I can understand if it keeps falling to the bottom of your to-do list. But with a new year approaching, it’s time to set some serious band merch resolutions!

Maybe you need to get rid of that ratty old suitcase you’ve been keeping your CDs in for years and construct a better merch display.

Maybe you need to finally get around to re-ordering t-shirts.

Maybe you need to recruit a superfan to go on your next tour to help out at the merch booth.

There are plenty of ways to step up your merch game in the coming year. If you’re wondering how, read on…

14 articles that will help you sell more merch at shows and online

1. Thirteen merch table basics for bands: if you’re not doing #5, you’re missing out on sales

2. Don’t go broke buying merch: a band t-shirt strategy you need to know

3. Four ways to accept credit cards at your next show Read more »

Creating multiple revenue streams for your music

December 12, 2014{ No Comments }

Unknown1 1 650x387 Creating multiple revenue streams for your musicIn this exclusive webinar, Dave Kusek of the New Artist Model talks to Kevin Breuner, VP of Marketing at CD Baby, about many of the tools we offer and how you can use them to earn more money from your music.

Learn how to:

1. Earn royalties for the usage of your music on YouTube

2. Sell more music on Facebook

3. Sell new music using CD Baby Free

4. Get paid publishing royalties

5. License your music for film and TV

6. Grow your fanbase with Fanbridge

7. Fund your next album, video, or tour with PledgeMusic

To learn more about how CD Baby can help you grow your independent music career, check out this FREE webinar. Read more »

Why you need an honest critic in your corner

December 10, 2014{ 3 Comments }

shutterstock 67217074 Why you need an honest critic in your cornerWill your friends tell you when your music stinks?

Of course it feels great when people compliment your music, but do you have someone in your life you can count on to always tell it to you straight — even when their honesty hurts?

In an article on Pigeons & Planes called “The Most Important Person in My Corner,” one young rapper talks about how a friend of his who can be an outright jerk helped him mature as an artist by not pulling any punches when it came to criticizing the music.

Before meeting the critical friend (named Chris), the artist was getting praised by his friends and family, and believing every word of it. Here’s what happened:

This approval just fueled my confidence, and I started taking rap seriously. I started practicing, recording freestyles over beats I ripped off YouTube. Eventually, I was connecting with producers online and making original music. Years passed, and rap became a huge part of my life.

But even when I started promoting my music on YouTube and SoundCloud, I wasn’t gaining any traction outside of my friend group. In my little bubble, I was the dopest rapper alive, but the rest of the world wasn’t hearing it. What was going on?

When I left the suburbs for college, I started meeting people who weren’t as easily impressed (no offense to my high school friends—they meant well). That’s where I met Chris.

Read more »

4 ways for musicians to accept credit card payments at shows

December 9, 2014{ 3 Comments }

merch 650x433 4 ways for musicians to accept credit card payments at showsYou’ve played a great show. Fans are lined up at your merch booth. You’re taking cash, making change, and signing CDs. Then a guy walks up and wants to buy a couple discs and a t-shirt — but he only has a credit card.

Are you going to turn him away? No, you’re going to process his credit card transaction right then and there, in the sweet, dank, dark-lit, beer-soaked corner of a basement rock club.

How to take credit cards for merch sales

Note: many of these credit card solutions are not available internationally, so if you live outside the US and know of a reliable way to accept credit cards in your country or region, please let us know in the comments below.

1. Square.

Probably the most widely-used solution amongst musicians for accepting credit cards on-the-go. Square will send you a mobile credit card reader that you just plug into your phone or tablet (iOS and Android devices). Swipe a card through the reader, push a few buttons, and the money will be in your bank account in 24-48 hours. Square takes 2.75% per swipe, and will process Visa, MC, Discover, and American Express charges. Read more »

Webinar: Creating Multiple Revenue Streams with CD Baby

December 5, 2014{ No Comments }

IJEa9LOn 400x400 Webinar: Creating Multiple Revenue Streams with CD BabyOn Thursday, December 11th, Dave Kusek (of the New Artist Model) will go behind the scenes at CD Baby to show you how to make more money with your music.

In his exclusive live webinar with Kevin Breuner, VP of Marketing at CD Baby, Kusek will discuss how DIY artists that distribute music through CD Baby can:

  • * increase revenue from CD and download sales
  • * collect more licensing income
  • * earn more money from YouTube videos
  • * sell more music on Facebook

Catch it live or watch the replay. All FREE. Register now.

Thursday, 11 December 2014: 1:00 pm (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada) Read more »

[Infographic] Social media for musicians: when to post, what to post, and how often

December 4, 2014{ No Comments }

social infographic 1 650x222 [Infographic] Social media for musicians: when to post, what to post, and how often

You’re using a handful of social media platforms to market your music, but you still have trouble keeping things organized, diversifying your content across channels, and timing updates to make the most impact.

If this describes you, check out the infographic below from Business 2 Community, all about what, when, and how often to post to the 9 most popular social media platforms: Read more »

How to make more money from your music this holiday season

December 4, 2014{ No Comments }

shutterstock 226346746 300x300 How to make more money from your music this holiday seasonMusic promotion resources for the holidays

“OK, already,” I hear you say. “You’ve posted half a million holiday-related articles on this blog.”

But that’s the thing about promoting your music during the holiday season: in order to capture the most sales in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ve got to be prepared in advance — and we’re here to keep the reminders going!

With that in mind, here’s a list of resources to help you get ready to promote your music during the holidays

1. Fifteen ways to make more money from your music this holiday season.

2. Six ways to earn more money from your music on YouTube this Holiday Season.

3. A list of holiday songs that’d require you to purchase mechanical licenses in order to cover them (and those that don’t).

4. A guide to earning more money from your music during the holidays.

5. Five tips for sending better holiday emails to your fans.

6. If you only do one thing to promote your music this holiday season, email your fans Read more »

Latin Grammy-nominee Snow Owl talks about his career as an independent jazz musician

December 2, 2014{ No Comments }

a3820458781 2 Latin Grammy nominee Snow Owl talks about his career as an independent jazz musicianColombian bassist (and CD Baby artist) Juan García-Herreros  — also known as Snow Owl —was nominated for a Latin Grammy this year in the category of Best Latin Jazz Album.

What’s it like for an independent musician to be recognized in this way? And what does it mean for his music? I asked Snow Owl a few questions about the Grammy process, recording jazz standards, running a DIY music career, his new album Normas, and more. 

An interview with acclaimed bassist Snow Owl

Well first, why the name “Snow Owl?” What does it say about you, or about your instrument?

First of all I want to say Thank You to CD Baby for taking the time to interview me and for supporting my career! Thanks to your wonderful services my music is being globally distributed.

Snow Owl is actually my real name. It is my totem spirit and guardian in this physical realm. My instrument, compositions and musicians are the wings which carry my flight. Read more »

“My band would be nowhere without Spotify”

December 2, 2014{ 19 Comments }

Screen shot 2014 12 01 at 12.26.01 PM 1 My band would be nowhere without SpotifyOne indie artist explains why Spotify doesn’t hurt musicians

It was big noise when Taylor Swift removed her music from Spotify last month, and music blogs (like this one) have kept the echo going ever since.

Much of the discussion has revolved around Spotify’s small payouts per stream, and how it’s not enough revenue for musicians to support themselves. Many assume that even if Spotify is good for the music industry at large, it’s bad for artists.

WIRED recently posted an article to the contrary, written by Ben Berry, co-founder of the band (and CD Baby artists) Moke Hill. For Berry and his band, Spotify has been “an enormous positive.”

Here’s what he says about Spotify’s effect on his music career:

We laid the foundation for Moke Hill with an EP that came out at the end of 2013, then worked on new material to complete a full-length release as a basis to secure label, management and booking partners. Over the course of this year, with no marketing, PR or label support, Spotify has exposed those songs to an audience who would otherwise have little chance of finding us. At last check, our song “Detroit” has been streamed 310,187 times.

He then goes on to talk about Spotify royalties, publishing and master recording rights, and why he thinks Taylor Swift might’ve made a mistake pulling her music from the streaming service: Read more »

The many realities of touring as an independent artist: what’s right for you?

December 1, 2014{ 1 Comment }

shutterstock 180210833 The many realities of touring as an independent artist: whats right for you?Jack Conte of Pomplamoose wrote a blog post last week about how his band toured for a month and grossed $135,983, but still LOST money to the tune of $11,819.

The piece is really interesting, going into detail about the band’s expenses, revenues, and what their attitudes are towards the “cost” of touring as an independent act.

His article has stirred up a lot of different kinds of conversations around touring. A UK band called They Say Fall posted “The reality of low-level band touring,” an article that basically says mid-level bands such as Pomplamoose could turn a profit by doing with less on tour: no roadies, sleep in the van, eat cheap food, etc.

While that kind of touring might be “sustainable” for a 10-day stint every 6 months or so when you’re 25 years old, it’s not a great option for bands that need to play 28 days in a row, drive long-distances between gigs, and put on a smiling face for  journalists, DJs, promoters, and audiences every night. Read more »