10 great tips to help you fail as an independent artist

10 Great Tips to Help you Fail as an Independent ArtistWe’ve all seen and read posts and eBooks about “how to succeed” as independent artists and to be honest, I’ve even written a few. But what about those of us who are bent on failure? Those of us who would like to know how to shoot ourselves in the foot? Those of us who would like to be more unsuccessful and confused? Well this post is for you! Some of these things I’ve done myself, and I can assure you – they work amazingly well! Read more.

Music Marketing 2.0: The Digital Brand Manifesto

Every artist needs a fully customized DIGITAL BRAND to succeed. Proper branding requires the following:

  1. A unique web domain separate from an artist profile on the record label website. The artist’s website functions as the central web hub for that artist’s digital brand.
  2. A simplified e-commerce system on the artist website. Easy check-out store supporting various forms of payment (PayPal, credit, debit, etc).

Read more…

Fresh Pressed: The Distribution

The DistributionWe caught this gem of an album coming off our presses from a Tennessee band called The Distribution. They’re a blend of old school funk and ghetto soul-pop which results in Motown nostalgia with a shot of LCD. Their music arises from and is heavily influenced by old soul, but is much more vital and modern than any sort of nostalgia.

It is not hard to love soul music and it is that love that brought these 7 musicians together from such disparate backgrounds as indie-rock, old black gospel and electro-funk. Read more…

Achieving Success with your Music – Disc Makers Seminar

LA seminarJoin us at our Los Angeles seminar where we will share years of knowledge about what it takes to be successful as a musician in today’s world, including:

• What Makes an Artist or Band Instantly Signable
• How Good Your Demos Really Have to Be
• How to Dramatically Increase Your CD Sales
• Radio Airplay: Myth Or Reality for Independent Artists?
• How to Get Distribution and Not Get Burned
• And Much, Much More! Read more…

Creating a Budget for Your New Album

creating a budgetCameron Mizell, freelance guitarist, producer, and consultant in Brooklyn, has written yet another excellent article for independent musicians. This article comprehensively details the time and costs involved in creating a new album. Mizell put together “a realistic cost scenario for every stage of creating a new album,” which could serve as an indispensable guide for those about to embark on the process. Read more…

Want to Make a Living? Be Everywhere.

Selling OutThe visually-oriented blog Information is Beautiful just posted some interesting stats and graphs displaying how much independent artists must sell through various channels online in order to earn the US minimum wage. It didn’t come as any surprise to us to see CD Baby’s name come up for ALL the channels through which you can sell music to your fans, but it is nice to see what we already knew confirmed by an outside study. Read more…

The New Release Schedule

Music 3.0M3.0 requires new thinking regarding song releases.

If we go back to the ’50s, vinyl singles had a notoriously fast manufacturing turnaround time, despite the labor-intensive process required to make a vinyl record. At that time, it was not uncommon to have a single (the small 7-inch “45” with a song on each side) on the streets within days of recording (and sometimes even writing) the song! Read more…

Promoting Your Next Show

Lets say you have a concert in two weeks. How would you normally advertise such a thing? Word of mouth? Handbills? Posters on phone poles? Ads in newspapers? Text messages to your friends? Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter Posts? An email blast? Writing a blog post?

Self promotion can be a lot of work. Sometimes all we have time for is a few email reminders, a post on MySpace and a text message on the day of the show. Read more…

What is a Free CD Worth?

I recently had someone on the Disc Makers blog ask me about a promotion they were thinking of doing for their upcoming CD. The idea was to give out 50-100 CDs to fans who were willing to recruit a certain number of their friends to join the band’s Facebook fan page. I thought it brought up some things that are worth thinking about. Here was my response:

My first thought is that you might get a better return on investment with Facebook advertising. Read more…

Digital Mixtapes: Case Study – Lil Wayne

lil wayneLil Wayne (aka Weezy F. Baby) is a name that most people who know music are familiar with.
Whether or not you like his work is a different matter entirely. Lil Wayne’s pop superstardom in recent years can largely be attributed to his stranglehold on the rap mixtape market.

Since 2006 Lil Wayne has released a seemingly endless flurry of mixtapes. With each one the bond between Weezy and his audience grows stronger. Read more…

Digital Mixtapes: Case Study – A Hustler’s Spirit Mixtape by Ludacris

A Hustler's SpiritSavvy businesspeople recognize and envision the revenue that mixtapes can generate when marketed wisely. Ludacris, an astute businessman (and my favorite MC), released his A Hustler’s Spirit mixtape in January 2010.

So what’s so special about this particular mixtape?

A Hustler’s Spirit is sponsored by Conjure Cognac–a joint venture between Ludacris and Norwegian cognac house Birkedal Hartmann. Read more…