Interview with Disc Makers and CD Baby President Tony van Veen

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Disc Makers’ President Tony van Veen’s music marketing advice boils down to one thing – and it isn’t about marketing

Music Marketing advice

Ben Sword (AKA Chris Rockett) from Music Marketing Classroom interviewed Disc Makers and CD Baby CEO and President Tony van Veen (in which he reveals that Tony is his hero), and the two explore topics ranging from time travel (kind of) to digital music, music distribution, music marketing, and getting a music manager.

The mission of the Music Marketing Classroom is to empower musicians to create a sustainable income, even with a modest music career, and teaches a simple four-step marketing philosophy to achieve that goal.

Here’s a tidbit from the audio interview:

What is the one piece of advice, if you got in your time travel car, that you’d give young Tony van Veen back in the day? What would you need to know?
Learn how to write a better song. All success in music is driven ultimately by the song. Writing good songs does not guarantee success, by any means, but not writing good songs guarantees failure. The kind of stuff I didn’t do, that’s what I tell folks now. Listen to songs you like, but listen to Top 40 radio, you don’t have to listen to it all the time, but you have to be a student of good songwriting in order to be a good songwriter.

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

Professional songwriters offer advice on how to write a 

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2 thoughts on “Interview with Disc Makers and CD Baby President Tony van Veen

  1. Great interview. Thanks Tony for boiling it all down to the one, all-important piece of advise: Learn how to write a better song. When I compose, I find myself studying the music of my favorite artists and paying close attention to all the little details that make their music exciting and endearing to me. I find great satisfaction in working hard to match my quality to theirs, and more often than not, I end up going beyond their example and crafting a musical moment that takes on a life and identity of its own. I’m obviously not advocating copying someone else’s musical ideas, melodies, etc, but rather matching other professional musician’s quality, dynamics, and sense of structure and movement. I look at it this way: If I train hard to match an Olympic runner’s speed, what am I? Why, I’m an olympic contender. If I apply myself to write industry-level software code, what have I become? I’ve become an industry-level coder. Similarly, if I refine my musical creations until they match the refined, creative music that has made it to the very top, where can I expect my music to go? TO THE TOP, of course! But first I must learn to match and exceed what has already succeded.

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