The Self-Made Musician

Sharon Jones & The Dap-KingsGabe Roth is the bass player, producer, main writer and founding member of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the head of their label Daptone records. Gabe also recently won a Grammy award for engineering the Amy Winehouse record “Back to Black”. I was lucky enough to be in a band with Gabe in college back when he was a drummer. He is one of those enviable musicians who can pick up any instrument and make it look effortless. Read more…

Are You Too Old to Make It?

Most musicians I know hold a dream to someday ‘make it’ in the music business. To play in front of huge crowds and live a lifestyle that they can only imagine. Many of us believe that we’ll someday get there. Unfortunately most of us find ourselves growing older with an ever increasing fear that we’re missing the boat.

We’re conditioned to believe that if we’re going to make it then we have to do it at a young age. I had already started to have this feeling when I was in my early 20’s. I felt like I was slacking because I hadn’t ‘made it’ yet. Read more…

New Study Reports on CD and Radio Popularity

Myxer just released a report from a recent study they conducted, showing some very encouraging news for independent artists. The overwhelming majority of their users are buying CDs, and just under half of them use the radio as their primary means of discovering new music.

Despite the rise in smartphone users, and increase in purchases of mobile entertainment content, traditional media channels (including packaged CDs, live events, radio and television) still remain a popular way for people to access new music and artists. Captured in the latest BoomBox report, Myxer today reveals some surprising user preferences as they relate to music purchases, behaviors and trends across its 35 million-member community.

Check out the full results on the Music Industry News Network.

Using CDs and DVDs to Boost Response

The benefits of CDs and DVDs go far beyond entertainment. They have introduced new opportunities for effective business communication. And that’s especially critical during an era when every marketing and PR expenditure is mercilessly scrutinized.

Discs offer a simple, universal means to convey information to anyone, anywhere. You have to do some serious hunting to find a household that doesn’t have a DVD player, and computer DVD drives will play everything from the latest movie releases to the earliest audio CDs. Read more…

An Indie That Believes in CDs

The New York Times recently published “An Indie That Believes in CDs,” an article about the Concord Music Group and their continuing success. Glen Barros, Concord’s chief executive, says their label focuses on older folks, those who are committed to “timeless and authentic” music as well as great sound quality. This, in addition to their more balanced business model – all albums in their catalog pull their own weight – has Concord on track to make more than $100 million in revenue this year.

“The future of the music business is very bright,” Mr. Barros said. “People want to listen to great music.”

Read the entire article on the New York Times site.

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…

Should You Give Your Music Away?
The Great Debate.

No one’s arguing that the changes in the music industry haven’t tipped the scales in favor of the independents. Not only can you forge a path to success without the help of a label, you can choose from a variety of means to achieve it. But that leaves a number of questions on the table, including whether or not you ought to give your music away for free.

As an indie, CD and download sales can be a huge part of the equation in regard to your income. 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…

CD release tips

cdparty So you’ve put your blood, sweat, and money into making your new CD. One of the best ways to ensure disappointing results with your new CD is to release it with no plan for how to market it. Time and time again I’ve seen artists release CDs by just “making it available.” They put out a CD and ask people to buy it. They don’t pick a single and don’t have a plan to build anticipation. Don’t let that be you! Read more.

Tips to Ensure Success with Mastering

Paul Elliott, senior mastering engineer at Disc Makers’ SoundLab mastering studios, offers a few tips to help artists get the most out of their mastering sessions, as well as some of his own opinions about the role of mastering in the album-making process.

First, prepare an accurate track listing – in the proper order – of all the songs you are sending to the mastering engineer. If there are any alternate mixes, be sure those are clearly labeled and tell the engineer which one you prefer be used. Read more…