Being an independent artist is challenging. There’s so much to manage from creation and business, distribution and licensing, to your website and social media. However, being an independent musician can also be rewarding – the key is learning how to effectively manage your time and resources to get the most done each day.
Now there are plenty of resources and tools available for independent musicians. The trouble sometimes is finding the right ones to get the most bang for your buck without driving yourself crazy having to learn every new thing. Instead of picking and choosing individual services from a lot of different companies, it can be cheaper and more efficient to find a few that can do everything you need. Take CD Baby for example.
You may know CD Baby as a music distribution company, but they also have tools and resources that you probably didn’t even know about – tools that could help you save time and make more money! In this article we’ll go through a fraction of CD Baby’s vast toolkit as a preview to an upcoming webinar.
1. YouTube Royalty collection
YouTube has always been a great place to promote your music and attract new fans, but now you can also monetize it by placing ads in your videos and in videos that use your music. In other words, you can get paid when other people use your music in their videos – even if it’s just in the background. To take it to the next level, you can actively seek out covers and placements for your songs by getting in touch with video content creators.
As an individual artist, keeping track of every single use of your music on YouTube would be impossible, but CD Baby can actually fingerprint your music in YouTube’s Content ID system, automatically tracking whenever it is used in a video. When a use is identified an ad is placed on that video and you get a piece of the ad revenue. If you’d like to learn more about this, be sure to join the webinar!
2. Facebook MusicStore
As an independent musician, Facebook is probably a key part of your marketing and promotional efforts. These social media platforms have really broken down the barriers in the music industry allowing artists to succeed without major label support. You can talk directly to your fans, get instant feedback, and even send them exclusive news or special promotions, so it makes sense to be able to sell your music directly on the platform as well.
The CD Baby Facebook MusicStore allows you to sell your music from a tab on your Facebook page. While this should never replace the music store you have on your website, having multiple funnels through which fans can purchase your music is always a good thing. If you want to learn how Kevin uses Facebook MusicStore with his band, Smalltown Poets, sign up for the webinar.
3. CD Baby Free
While you’re not giving a percentage of your earnings to a record label as an indie artist, a big chunk of your income is probably going to the tools and services you need to keep your business running. Especially when you’re just starting out, having a low-cost or free way to get your music to your fans can really help save money.
CD Baby Free allows you to sell your music on your website, Facebook page, and on CD Baby.com for free. There’s no upfront charges or fees, you keep 85% of the money, and you’ll get paid weekly.
4. Collect Publishing Royalties and License for Film + TV
The publishing industry is becoming more and more accessible for independent artists. In fact, many TV and film supervisors actively seek out independent music for sync licensing. On top of that, you earn royalties every time your song is played on the radio, in a venue, and online. However, it’s very easy to miss out on money you’re entitled to if you don’t have everything organized.
CD Baby will affiliate you with a Performing Rights Organization if you’re not already, register your songs with collection agencies in more than 100 countries around the world, collect all publishing royalties, and distribute it back to you. You can also choose to license your music through CD Baby for use in TV, film, games, and apps.
5. Partnerships with PledgeMusic and Fanbridge
On top of the services CD Baby offers in house, they are also partnered with PledgeMusic and Fanbridge to give independent artists access to tools to help grow and engage their fanbase.
Fan funding platforms like PledgeMusic have emerged to give artists the tools to engage with their audience and draw on their fan base to fund albums while also providing deeper engagement. CD Baby artists can get the support and guidance they need to run a successful Pledge campaign.
Email is also a great tool for independent artists, but just blindly sending out messages won’t get you very far. With CD Baby and Fanbridge you can create customizable signup forms for your website, use analytics to improve your emails’ performance, and run targeted campaigns for your superfans.
As you can see, success as an independent artist is possible. Not only that, it can be extremely lucrative for anyone if you have the right tools and strategies. To help you, Kevin Breuner will be joining Dave Kusek in a FREE webinar. He’ll be sharing some of the best tips he’s learned from his time as a CD Baby employee and artist. We hope you’ll join us and get the strategies you need to start your successful independent music career.
If you are interested in learning more about how you have create a plan for success for your band or career, check out the New Artist Model, the alternative online business school for independent musicians, songwriters, producers, managers and new businesses. You can see a free video mini series here on musician strategies, team building, booking gigs, copyrights and setting up multiple revenue streams.