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Who’s in control at a Kid’s Concert? (And how to make sure it’s YOU)

By Guest Blogger
September 11, 2014{ No Comments }

shutterstock 176478422 Who’s in control at a Kid’s Concert? (And how to make sure its YOU)[This article was written by Maryann Harman, award-winning Children's artist and founder of Music with Mar., Inc.]

You chose to be a children’s artist. Probably because you like kids. You’ve sung for small groups, and that was fun. Then you were asked to do a concert. You thought, “No problem. I’ve got this.”

When you get there, you start noticing things you didn’t think of. The first one is that concerts are different than singing to a group of kids at a party or in a school setting. Other things are:

1. Parents letting their kids run around;

2. Children trying to climb on stage;

3. Older children who will clearly get bored, and that leads to disruption;

4. Parents engaged in other activities (ie texting, conversation); and

5. The way the room is set up isn’t going to work!!

Ah!!!!! Read more »

How to make money from your music on SoundCloud

By Guest Blogger
September 10, 2014{ 5 Comments }

soundcloud logo 300x190 How to make money from your music on SoundCloudIntroducing SoundCloud’s new revenue sharing platform: On SoundCloud

SoundCloud has always been a distinct outlier in the online streaming music industry. What has set them apart is how they allow anyone to upload and stream music without any annoying ads or monthly fees. For the past six years, SoundCloud has continued to thrive, even in a market dominated by competitors. However, despite their success, the company has shifted gears and recently launched their new creator partner program, called On SoundCloud.

Similar to YouTube’s Partner Program, the new service will allow artists to monetize the content they upload to SoundCloud through paid advertisements. The paid ads will appear on either the SoundCloud player or within a streaming audio file. When the program was first introduced, there were no specific terms to outline how exactly the revenue sharing would work. But from what I’ve read, it sounds like the artist will be compensated for each time an ad appears on any track they uploaded. Read more »

Do you think rock is dead? (Gene Simmons does)

By Chris Robley
September 9, 2014{ 11 Comments }

long live rock Do you think rock is dead? (Gene Simmons does)People have been lamenting the death of rock for decades. Now KISS frontman Gene Simmons, in an interview with Esquire, has declared that “rock is finally dead.”

Long live rock.

But what’s the postmortem? According to Simmons, “Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered.”

By file-sharing, downloading, freemium business models, and a lack of fan support.

“I am so sad that the next 15-year-old kid in a garage someplace in St. Paul that plugs into his Marshall and wants to turn it up to 10 will not have anywhere near the same opportunity that I did,” said Simmons. “He will most likely, no matter what he does, fail miserably.”

Maybe my bias is showing through too soon, but I’d like to first point out that perhaps the 15-year-old kid doesn’t want a Marshall stack cranked up to 11 anymore. Maybe he’s happy playing an acoustic guitar, or a microKORG, or a clarinet, or an iPad.  Read more »

Please read this before your next band photo shoot

By Chris Robley
September 8, 2014{ 27 Comments }

shutterstock 150490304 Please read this before your next band photo shootYou want to take great band photos, don’t you? Not just ones where everyone’s in focus and the bassist remembered to wipe the stalactite of spit from his upper lip?

Yeah, of course you do. We all do — especially when the difference between your music getting ignored and getting big exposure in the press often comes down to one thing: having great band photos.

But in order to get that great shot you’re going to need the right clothes, the right setting, the right lighting, the right expression at the right moment, and the right photographer to catch it all in one instant. For many of us, that’s already a tall order. Now consider this: a single band photo is not enough.

You need great band PHOTOS — plural.

Why? Read more »

How to write a press release (and get press)

By Guest Blogger
September 5, 2014{ 2 Comments }

pressrelease How to write a press release (and get press) [This article was written by Ari Herstand and originally appeared on Ari's Take.]

I get a lot of questions about press. Of course everyone wants a 5 star album review in Rolling Stone or an 8.7 in Pitchfork, but you have to be realistic about your press pursuits.

If you have never received press, there is a very slim chance that you will get an album review in a popular blog or nationally distributed magazine. Your best chance for media coverage is your hometown papers, magazines and blogs or local publications in cities you’re touring to.

The difference between Rolling Stone’s music editorial staff and the La Crosse Tribune music editorial “staff” (person) is one of them has a backlog of tens of thousands of CDs waiting to be reviewed and the other is in constant need of material. Can you guess which is which?

The reason it’s, dare I say, easy to get press when you’re on tour is because local publications are always looking for material – especially the daily papers. Even blogs with a local focus need material. Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and the bunch get inundated with more music than they have bandwidth for. Read more »

How to keep your guitar safe during air travel: tips for flying with your instrument

By Chris Robley
September 5, 2014{ No Comments }

Screen shot 2014 09 04 at 8.41.08 AM How to keep your guitar safe during air travel: tips for flying with your instrument

Download the free guide to flying safely with your guitar

You’ve probably heard horror stories about expensive guitars being destroyed by air travel — maybe via careless baggage handlers or rapid humidity changes during flight.

In CD Baby’s newest guide — “Tips for Flying with Your Guitar” — you’ll find some quick tips to help you minimize the chances of becoming another victim of guitar mistreatment.

Inside, you will learn about:

* When you should check your guitar and when you should carry it on board

* How to make sure you can keep your guitar with you during flight

* How to safely pack your guitar for travel

* What to do if your guitar gets damaged during flight

* How to get the airline to take responsibility for the damage Read more »

What do all successful musicians have in common?

By Chris Robley
September 4, 2014{ 13 Comments }

shutterstock 131746688 What do all successful musicians have in common?Is there one trait that is shared by all successful artists?

There are countless musical genres (CD Baby’s online store boasts almost 700 genres and that’s just scratching the surface); there are many ways to create great music; there are numerous paths to success; and every musician defines “success” differently.

Despite all the various styles, methods, and temperaments, though, there must be some personal quality that every successful artist has in common: The need to connect with an audience? Discipline? Golden ears? A reverence for the music that inspires them? Daring? The desire to make something that will last?

If you ask me, the common thread for musicians who’ve been able to sustain successful careers is that they’re blessed (or cursed, depending) with some mixture of persistence, stubbornness, and delusion. They have to believe, often in the face of much indifference or criticism, that the music they’re creating is important enough to one day move listeners.

What do you think? Is there a single quality that all good musicians must possess?

Read more »

CD Baby Free: sell your music directly to fans, even if you’re being distributed by another company

By Chris Robley
September 3, 2014{ 2 Comments }

cdbaby free CD Baby Free: sell your music directly to fans, even if youre being distributed by another companyIntroducing CD Baby Free — a no-cost way to start selling, streaming, and sharing your music online

Yes, you heard us correctly: CD Baby Free!

Artists no longer need to pay a one-time signup fee to sell digital downloads on CDBaby.com or via our free promotional tools such as the CD Baby Music Player and MusicStore for Facebook. We’re opening the cdbaby.com retail site to every musician on the planet.

There’s no upfront fees and no cancellation fees, so you have nothing to lose — and we only take a 15% cut of your sales (which is comparable to other, similar services like Bandcamp). If you decide at some later point to upgrade to our full distribution service (which gets your music onto platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon), you’ll make even more money per sale, as our share of your digital sales will be reduced to just 9%.

If you already distribute your music through another company, no worries; you can still use CD Baby Free to tap into our huge base of independent music buyers (1.5 million unique monthly customers). Read more »

The website mistake that’s guaranteed to drive your fans away (and other web tips for musicians)

By Chris Robley
September 2, 2014{ 2 Comments }

WebTipsBanner 650x165 The website mistake thats guaranteed to drive your fans away (and other web tips for musicians)

 

A whole season’s worth of web tips to help you smarten up your online music marketing

Well, somehow summer slipped by without me posting one of my usual monthly recaps of The HostBaby Blog. To make up for it, here are links to all the best online music marketing tips from June, July, and August — beginning with an article that addresses a website mistake too many musicians are making, and one that is sure to frustrate most of your fans and visitors.

Here are the most recent HostBaby Blog articles:

The website mistake that’s guaranteed to drive your fans away

5 things your fans want to see on your website
 
Email marketing for musicians: “Make sure your emails are a reference” Read more »

Mobile phones at shows: A promotional boost for you or a grand distraction?

By Chris Robley
August 29, 2014{ 40 Comments }

Screen shot 2014 02 24 at 7.56.49 AM 1 650x218 Mobile phones at shows: A promotional boost for you or a grand distraction?Perennial copyright curmudgeon Don Henley recently told the Daily Telegraph that “videoing a concert with a phone is a violation (of The Eagles’ rights).”

“It spoils it for people who are going to come to a show in the future,” he said. “We’d like for them to experience it for the first time in the audience rather than experience it on a crappy video that sounds horrible.”

As far as I’m concerned, if you have to sell a kidney in order to afford a ticket to an Eagles concert, you deserve to be able to shoot a little video to prove that you were there. Furthermore, I’m not sure that a crappy YouTube video qualifies as an “experience” for the diehard Eagles fan. They’re still going to want to go to the show.

But matters of copyright aside, what’s happening at concerts today when so many attendees are holding up their smartphones to snap pictures, shoot videos, or tweet about the show? Read more »