It might sound like a hokey idea, but hell, the Beatles did it every year and it certainly didn’t hurt their career. You can record your favorite seasonal song, upload it to CD Baby, and get worldwide distribution for just $9 (and with our new singles program, we throw in the $20 UPC barcode for FREE). Or, instead of selling the song, make it an exclusive track on your website, give it away on MySpace, or email it as a special offer directly to people who purchase your albums. Fans will get a kick out of it and they’ll be reminded of your music in general, thus planting the seed for gifting your albums when they’re stumped on what to buy for Uncle Gerry.
A few things to keep in mind:
1) You’ve got to crackin’. Christmas is still 3 months away, but people want to get their hands on new holiday music by Thanksgiving at least. So try to have your recording mixed, mastered, and ready for distribution by late October. We have the quickest turnaround time in the biz for getting new music onto iTunes, but you should still give your fans a big window in which to purchase your song in advance of the holidays.
2) It doesn’t have to sound like a million dollar production. Your fans will understand that you probably recorded this song for fun on your home-recording setup. So… above all else, have a blast with it and get creative!
3) Watch out for copyright confusion. If you are covering someone else’s song, make sure to acquire all the proper mechanical licenses in advance. If your song becomes a holiday hit on the local radio station, you don’t want to get caught having NOT paid the publisher for their song. Better to pay upfront than take a chance. You do NOT have to pay for songs that are in the Public Domain (written before 1923), so it is worth starting off by checking this list of public domain holiday songs.
4) Nothing beats a classic-in-the-making! Try your hand at writing a brand new holiday song. Check out Justin Jude’s “Motorbike Song” from PDXmas Vol. 1 for a great example of a humorous, original Christmas tune.
We’d love to hear any holiday songs you’ve recorded. Please feel free to share the links in the comments section below.
-Chris R. at CD Baby