Christmas time is huge for music industry revenue

The 12 ways of Christmas (music promotion).

Can you believe it? The holidays are almost upon us, which is good news for your music.

A huge percentage of the industry’s annual music sales take place in the last six weeks of the year. The same is true for CD and vinyl sales on CD Baby.

Get prepped now to make sure you’re ready for the rush!

The holidays are when people are searching for and buying new music, creating and enjoying Christmas-themed playlists on streaming platforms like Spotify, spending gift cards, and buying musical presents for friends. Your fans are also unwrapping smartphones, tablets, and voice assistants like Alexa — and they’re eager to access the music they love on those new devices.

Make sure you give your music every opportunity to get seen, heard, and purchased!

Want to earn more money from your music during the holidays? Try a few (or all) of the suggestions below:

1. Go full-distribution

If fans can’t find your music, they can’t buy it, add it to playlists, or share it from their platform of choice.

Platforms like Soundcloud and Bandcamp are amazing, but they’re not really “distribution.”

You have to go wide and make music available EVERYWHERE that matters.

And important as they are, it’s also not all about Spotify and Apple Music. Got listeners in China? Your music should be there. Got listeners in Latin America? Be sure you’re on Deezer.

It’s 2019. You can’t afford NOT to be everywhere your fans are. Make it easy for them!

Do you have any music that’s not available on popular digital platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube, and more? You could easily be missing out on streams and sales.

Get worldwide music distribution

2. Email your fans

Social media is fine, but it’s no substitute for an email newsletter delivered straight to the inboxes of your most loyal fans.

Suggest gift ideas, like t-shirts, mugs, or other merch items.

If you have holiday music, ask them to add it to their seasonal playlists.

Share a Christmas greeting video; write a 2019 retrospective; or just say thanks!

To learn how to create an email newsletter that will drive more engagement and boost sales this Holiday Season, check out “5 tips for sending better holiday emails.”

3. Look for holiday gigs in non-traditional venues

Concert opportunities abound during Christmas. People are out and about, so a little music in an unusual place can be a festive surprise, even if you’re not playing holiday music exclusively (always good to sprinkle in a few Christmas carols or holiday favorites though).

Here are some non-traditional venue suggestions you can investigate in your area:

  • Malls and shopping centers
  • Airports
  • Movie theaters
  • Gift shops
  • Big box stores
  • Community events
  • Office parties
  • Churches
  • New Year’s Eve parties
  • City square
  • Skating rinks
  • Tree-lighting ceremonies

4. Make a holiday playlist on Spotify and add your music

It’s easy to make playlists on Spotify. If you have holiday-themed music, make a playlist of Christmas music and add one or two of your tracks. Then be sure to share it with your fans!

Here’s one I made, trying to balance the classics with some newer, irreverent holiday tunes:

If you don’t have holiday music, you can still create a themed playlist based around your “gift list” (music from artists whose CDs or vinyl you’ll be giving as gifts) or your “wish list,” or an end-of-year recap: “My favorite songs of 2019.”

5. Run a limited-time Christmas sale

Tell your fans that during the holidays you’ll be selling your CDs, downloads, and vinyl on CD Baby at a reduced cost. Then just go back into your account and raise the price after the holidays.

Also, be sure to tell them about CD Baby’s ONE-CENT SHIPPING deal throughout the holidays.

You can also use our quantity-discount feature to encourage 2-for-1 deals on CD Baby’s music store, or even bundle your merch at gigs as a special holiday package where fans get 3 or more items (2 CDs and a t-shirt, for instance) at a discount.

Start this around Black Friday, because people are primed to pounce on discounts right after Thanksgiving.

6. Link to your merch or music store from your website

This one’s big. If you’re not giving your fans a way to hear and purchase your music from your website, you’re definitely missing out on sales. Before the holidays arrive, be sure it’s clear on your website HOW fans can buy merch.

If you have an embeddable store (through something like Shopify) or a built-in e-commerce feature on your website (like with Bandzoogle), USE IT!

7. Stock up so your customers don’t have their holiday gifts waiting on backorder

Make sure you have enough stock of merch items like shirts, mugs, CDs, or vinyl to meet demand. Just need a few CDs printed up? Check out CD Baby’s short run duplication service and order as many or few discs as you like.

8. Send holiday postcards

If you’ve saved the mailing addresses for your fans in Mailchimp, a spreadsheet, or elsewhere, make a list, check it twice, and send out some postcard greetings and make your listeners feel nice. Yes, this is an expense to you with no guarantee of a return. But if you find a way in your holiday greeting to share info about new music or merch deals, you could see a return. Worse case scenario, your fans appreciate you a bit more.

9. Reach new fans by recording a holiday single

Choose a Christmas classic, record it quickly, and make the process FUN (in other words, don’t stress too much about the production value). Then you can distribute the song to places like Spotify, where millions of people will be listening to or creating Holiday playlists.

Not sure which Christmas tunes you can cover without paying a royalty? Download our free guide listing popular holiday songs that are in the Public Domain (and those that aren’t).

10. Don’t forget about YouTube revenue

Make sure your entire catalog is opted in to make money from YouTube. Then, get your fans to make videos using your music to drive extra revenue. The Christmas season is when a ton of cash gets spent on YouTube advertising! Seriously, HUGE amounts of cash. Many advertisers spend the bulk of their annual budget in the last 6 weeks of the year on YouTube. If you’re monetized and earning ad revenue on YouTube, you’ll earn more during the holidays.

For more info, see our 6 Ways to Earn More Money from Your Music on YouTube This Holiday Season.

11. Offer a Free Track

Allow fans and prospective fans the chance to download a song on for free as an enticement to purchase the whole album. If they like what they hear, they’ll come back for more.

12. Advertise on the biggest music platforms and websites in the world

Billboard. Pitchfork. MTV. RollingStone. 

Your banner ads can run on those sites for an incredibly low rate compared to industry standards. You can also run 30-second audio ads on streaming platforms like Spotify for an extremely low minimum budget.

How?’s Ad Builder tool. Here’s how to get your message in front of diehard music fans in the places they already go to find new artists. 

Things get crazy around the holidays, so don’t feel like you need to do everything on this list. Addressing even a few of these items should help you increase your music sales towards the end of 2019!

If you have ideas to add to the list, let us know in the comments below.