Using YouTube sections: keep your fans engaged by organizing your videos

By Chris Robley
May 2, 2016{ No Comments }

Sections give your viewers a super easy way to explore grouped content right from your YouTube channel page.

With sections, you can organize videos on your YouTube channel according to theme, style, series, genre, etc. For instance, on my channel I’ve created sections for live videos, music videos, Art Tracks by album, interviews, and more. Read more »

YouTube improves Content ID system

By Chris Robley
May 2, 2016{ No Comments }

Monetization During Dispute - YouTube

Up until last week, a disputed rights claim on a YouTube video meant that the video could not be monetized until the dispute was resolved. According to a recent blog announcement, YouTube is changing that:

We understand just how important revenue is to our creator community, and we’ve been listening closely to concerns about the loss of monetization during the Content ID dispute process. Currently videos that are claimed and disputed don’t earn revenue for anyone, which is an especially frustrating experience for creators if that claim ends up being incorrect while a video racks up views in its first few days.

Today, we’re announcing a major step to help fix that frustrating experience. We’re developing a new solution that will allow videos to earn revenue while a Content ID claim is being disputed. Here’s how it will work: when both a creator and someone making a claim choose to monetize a video, we will continue to run ads on that video and hold the resulting revenue separately. Once the Content ID claim or dispute is resolved, we’ll pay out that revenue to the appropriate party.

Read more »

The 100 greatest American music venues

By Chris Robley
April 29, 2016{ No Comments }

best american music venuesWhat makes a great venue?

My friend Sofia Talvik and I call them “unicorns” — those rare performance spaces that sound great, feel great, and inspire the audience too.

Consequence of Sound has compiled a fun list of 100 such unicorns, concentrating on great American music venues, covering rooms and outdoor spaces of all shapes and sizes, from a small strip mall oasis to Madison Square Garden.

I think I’ve played on half a dozen of these stages, seen great shows at quite a few more, and plan to tackle the rest before my 500th birthday.

How about you? What do you think makes a great venue? Read more »

Hotel Guide — DIY Musician Conference 2016

By Chris Robley
April 29, 2016{ No Comments }

DIY Musician Conference hotel optionsA list of Chicago hotel options within walking distance of the DIY Musician Conference

CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference will be happening September 30th through October 2nd at Chicago’s historic Congress Plaza Hotel.

To be close to all the action, book a room at the Congress Plaza Hotel for just $159 a night. (This price is guaranteed only through September 15th, so reserve your room soon!)

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:

[Note: I’ve listed estimated prices based on current internet quotes, but prices fluctuate with availability, so don’t hold me to these figures.]

1. Travelodge Hotel Downtown Chicago (from $139) — 65 East Harrison, Chicago, IL 60605

2. Hostelling International: Chicago, The J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Hostel (from $36) — 24 East Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60605

Read more »

“You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 21”

By Chris Robley
April 28, 2016{ 10 Comments }

Musical Success StoriesWe’ve asked before: Are you too old to make it?

And the answer, no matter your age, is that you’re never too old to make it in music, as long as you define “making it” as creating great music connects with an audience large enough to sustain your independent music career.

That being said, I know the music industry in particular can feel like it revolves around youth. So when I saw a quote on the subject by Miss Mentelle getting shared a lot on Facebook yesterday, I thought it’d be good to post it here. Here it is:

At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.

At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.

At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.

At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.

Read more »

Earn an extra $5 from everyone at your next show

By Chris Robley
April 27, 2016{ No Comments }

GigTown, the mobile app that connects local musicians, venues, and concertgoers, is doing something interesting to help you earn more money from your live shows.

For every fan that uses the GigTown app to “check in” at one of your concerts, you’ll earn $5 — even if the gig wasn’t booked through GigTown.

The company has set aside $20,000 each month for this “tip campaign” as a way of attracting new users (both fans and musicians) to the app. Read more »

The ABC’s of musical collaboration

By Guest Blogger
April 27, 2016{ No Comments }

Music collaborationThe search for the perfect collaboration partner – and managing that relationship – can take up a lot of time and effort. We all want that cohesive bond, that magical unspoken stoke that yields pure gold. But there are pitfalls along the way, perhaps the biggest downside being if you don’t set yourself up correctly, you could eat into your own creative time – which is your most valuable resource.

Compatibility comes in many forms, creative tastes and styles are as broad as the spectrum of music itself. You can’t expect to find that perfect match without first understanding that everybody has different influences, workflows, songwriting habits, and organizational skills. As you approach a project, recognize these differences and ask the tough questions to determine if your aspirations and values align. Be honest with yourself and with your potential collaborator, and you might just make magic.

With all that said, here are some basics that you should embrace, and the questions you should ask yourself and your potential partner. The ABC’s of collaboration are:

Always Be Screening

You’ve nailed down a few candidates that you’re vibing with and you’re geared up at the potential this fresh inspiration could bring to your creative process. It’s an exciting time, but pump your brakes; you should always screen your new buddy before jumping in full-on. Read more »

CD Baby representing at the 2016 ASCAP Expo, so stop by and say hi!

By Chris Robley
April 26, 2016{ No Comments }

This weeASCAP EXPOk, CD Baby will be sponsoring the ASCAP Expo at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

If you’re attending on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, stop by the CD Baby booth. We’d love to hear about what’s happening with your music.

If you’re gonna be there for a while on Friday, April 29th, we have a lot planned. CD Baby has reserved the Runyon Room (2nd floor, mezzanine) for three different informational sessions, including:

11:10am — CD Baby: How to Legally Distribute a Cover Song

Cover songs are some of the most effective ways to grow your audience. But if you distribute a cover song without securing the proper license, you could find yourself in a world of legal hurt. In this workshop, the CD Baby team will walk you through the cover song licensing process so you can legally offer your music in places like iTunes, Spotify, your website, Soundcloud and YouTube, and make sure the songwriters and publishers get paid.

Read more »

Protect your ears!

By Guest Blogger
April 26, 2016{ No Comments }
inside an ear

How musicians and audio engineers can prevent hearing loss

Your ears are your biggest assets, so don’t take them for granted. There’s no coming back from serious hearing damage or Tinnitus (ringing in your ears).

Try to limit your exposure to two hour blocks (not always possible). Then rest for 30mins (do some quiet editing). My Engineering professor would also recommend complete silence for 15 mins if time was tight.

Sometimes I’d even put on ‘construction’ ear protection (the big ones that fit over your ears). After long periods of exposure to loud music the hairs inside your ears get tired and they need a break so they can ‘wake up’ again.

Read more »

“An idiot’s guide to touring in 2016”

By Chris Robley
April 25, 2016{ 1 Comment }
Photo from Magnet Magazine

Photo from Magnet Magazine

Peter of the band Deep Sea Diver wrote a tour diary for Bandsintown that’s both funny and full of good advice.

I suggest you read the original article for the laughs, but I’ll summarize the tips below:

Put some money in the bank beforehand

You never know what could go wrong on the road — flat tires, running out of merch, etc. — so make sure you have a little cash in reserve for emergencies.

Try to get a sponsorship

Find a cool local business that wants some extra attention. Slap a logo decal on your van, head out on the road, and collect some sponsorship dough for spreading their name far and wide. Read more »