Archive for the ‘ CD Baby ’ Category

Musical Mission Statements

I have said before that managing your social media campaigns can be like a full time job and can eat into precious time that would otherwise be devoted to writing performing or connecting with real people. This article on The DIY Musician Blog entitled “Musical Mission Statements, Sanity & You” says KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.

I haven’t formally worked on a mission statement before. What I have done is start a campaign called The Classical Movement, which gives praise to and shines light on the period of hip hop that I find most inspiring and what I fell in love with in the beginning. This is a time period between about 1992 – 1997 during which many of my favorite rappers debuted with their smartest, and powerful material. With The Classical Movement I aim to get back to that wittiness and achieve that raw sound that I loved from that period in time. With my material outside of the realm of The Classical Movement I aim to push the boundaries of hip hop by experimenting with different sounds and genres. I also love the idea of the concept album in hip hop. Having a story line really gives the listener a more complete vision of the artist’s vision and allows the artist to express a bigger and more complete thought. So that’s a long version of my mission statement. Working on shortening that, ha.

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Here is the article from The DIY Musician Blog from CD Baby:

Practicing. Writing. Recording. Booking. Web design. Social media. Videos. Marketing. PR.  Driving yourself mad wondering where to shift your focus? Go back to the basics.

Remember your mission statement!

Don’t have a mission statement? Make one. What would it look like? Here are some examples:

1) We are in it to win it. Fame and riches are our first concern.

2) All music that has come before is dead. We must strive to blaze our own path. Uniqueness!

3) Music is only a part of our balanced lives. We make music in order to have fun and improve our sense of well-being.

4) Music is our way of creating positive change on the planet. Social-consciousness!

5) Mystery is key. We must obscure, evade, and sidestep. Through a sense of enigma, we will forge our true connection with an audience.

Why should you state what your mission is upfront?

1) It will ensure that everyone involved in your band, group, or organization is on the same page. Your goals will be aligned, and that united sense of purpose will inspire your collective work ethic and creativity. If you make music on your own and direct your own career, you should still state your mission to keep yourself in check and better understand your goals. The better you understand yourself, the easier it will be to know how to connect with an audience.

2) For sanity’s sake. DIY artists already have enough on their plates. You can’t do it all. You’re going to have to let some opportunities pass you by. You’re going to have to let some responsibilities slip through the cracks. But which ones? Worrying about this can drive you mad. But by remembering your mission statement you can hold each decision up to that light.

-Chris R. at CD Baby


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A Modern Day Gold Rush (pt. 2)

A list of services that I either have used or will use. For many of those I haven’t used, I plan on checking them out and giving reviews to help you make a decision:

Marketing ToolsTopspin, ReverbNation, CD Baby, Trackbuzzer, FanBridge, Headliner.fm

FundingKickstarter (great idea for a site, it lets artists set up projects with goals so that fans can support the art they consume), ReverbNation “street teams”, ChipIn. You can also include a Paypal button for donations, or an Amazon Simple Pay Donation button. Here is an article from Music Think Tank

Playing More Live Shows — From a Hypebot article “10 Resources That May Help Artists Book More Gigs“: GigMasters (booking platform for artists and talent buyers), GigMaven (free and easy-to-use booking website for musicians; currently available in NY, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Austin, Phoenix and Ohio), Gigwish (influence venues, promoters and booking agents by enabling an artist’s fans and their local music scene to vote for them), G2.fm (an online booking community where bands and musicians connect with venues by sharing their music), Live Music Machine (get booked anywhere for any type of live music event, as well as getting booked directly from MySpace), MusiGigs (a private beta service that helps artists get booked by connecting venues directly to bands), OnlineGigs (booking and promotional tool, and one of the largest detailed venue databases), ReverbNation’s Gig Finder (search over 100,000 venues and clubs, and locate those that have booked similar Artists), Sonicbids (the largest and most successful online booking service for musicians, bands, managers, promoters, etc., as well as corporations and organizations looking to book artists), SplitGigs (a new social web-app that helps emerging artists find other artists to exchange and share gigs with).

Online Distribution: Tunecore, ReverbNation, Ditto Music (UK based global online distributor worth checking out, I believe they offer free daily reports, 100+ stores), CD Baby, IODA Independent Distribution (Distributes audio and video, they do more work for you, but you must be accepted by the IODA team)

Recording Software — Here is a list that I published near the beginning of the Chi Guy Entertainment Blog. It is in order of popularity according to an article I found in Hypebot: 1. Avid Pro Tools, 2. FL Studio, 3. Steinberg Cubase, 4. Cakewalk Sonar, 5. Apple Logic, 6. Adobe Audition, 7. Apple GarageBand, 8. Sony Sound Forge, 9. MOTU Digital Performer, 10. Ableton Live, 11. Sony Acid, 12. Band-in-a-Box, 13. Steinberg Nuendo, 14. Steinberg Wavelab, 15. Propellerhead Reason

Online Mixing/Mastering: Studio ProsOnline-Mixing.comGotchanoddin.com (specializing in hip hop) and others. I prefer to go to a physical engineer who I have a relationship with for all my mixing/mastering needs.

Video Distribution for artists: YouTube, Vimeo, UStream

A pretty solid list, and I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch. These are the tools, now fly, fly like a bird.

Online Distribution (Tunecore, ReverbNation, and CD Baby)

Here’s how to get your music on iTunes and a number of other outlets where people can buy your music:

You have a few choices for distributors, each with their own benefits.  Tunecore is the one I went with for a few reasons. I wanted my music to be added quickly because I have been promoting the song and the timing is right right now. Tunecore guarantees that your song will be on iTunes within 72 hours. In my case, it took only a few! The other service I looked at, ReverbNation distribution, could have taken between 4-6 weeks. Way too long to wait. Another reason I went with Tunecore is because there is a deal through Myspace Music right now that gets you 50% off on Tunecore’s distribution services for your first year. Instead of paying $50 to distribute an album, and $10 to distribute a single, it’s only $25 and $5, respectively. To get the deal go to Myspace Artist HQ and click on the link for that Tunecore promotion. Tunecore allows you to select from a number of different outlets to place your music. They offer iTunes (US, CAN, JAP, EU, AUS and MEX), Amazon MP3 store (where you have some control over your price), Napster (the newer legal version), Medianet (powers music and media delivery for brands like iLike, Zune, HMV, Tesco, MOG, Ultimate Guitar and more), Spotify, Myspace Music, Rhapsody, eMusic, and a few others. I signed up to be placed on all those services for one flat rate of $5 for the single. Not bad, eh? The delivery to iTunes is guaranteed within 72 hours, and delivery to the rest of the services is guaranteed within 2-3 weeks.

ReverbNation just recently launched it’s own distribution service. They place your music in most of the same outlets as Tunecore, but the pricing is different and the delivery is slower. Instead of a one time fee, like Tunecore charges, they offer a yearlong service called the essentials package for $34.95/year. It includes all the above mentioned outlets as well as some lesser known ones like La Curacao, Intertech Media, and Moozone. ReverbNation also offers a pro package for $58.95/year that includes Pandora, Wal-Mart, Amie Street, We 7, Myxer, Puretracks, Think Indie, Shockhound and Nokia. They guarantee delivery within 4-6 weeks.

Another prominent independent distribution service is CD Baby. CD Baby is the world’s leading online distributor of independent music. It operates like a record store that only sells music that is sent directly to them by artists. They listen to every single album before it is posted for sale so that they can help find other new artists for you to hear as well. In addition to selling your digital music in the CD Baby store, and stores like iTunes, CD Baby can also distribute physical CDs or vinyl, assist you with making those physical copies, and hold the excess inventory in their warehouse. The cost per album is $35/album and $9/single. They deliver your music within 48 hours.

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