While signing up for a distribution process is certainly an important of getting your music out there, it doesn't end there. Here we look at ten things you must do once you've signed it up for distribution to ensure your new tunes actually make an impact.
Guest post by Chris Robley of DIY Musician
There’s more to getting your music out there than simply pressing the “finalize” button in your CD Baby dashboard. And there’s a big difference between simply releasing a new song or album and having that music actually make an impact.
Here are ten things you should do as soon as you sign up a new title with CD Baby to be sure you’re making the most of the release:
1. Create a Show.co account (for FREE)
Show.co is an impressive suite of music marketing tools used by major labels and giant acts such as Maroon 5, OASIS, and Britney Spears.
As a CD Baby artist, you get to use those same tools for FREE!
To start an account, log into your CD Baby dashboard and follow the “free marketing tools” link. Then check out these tips for creating a successful online music marketing campaign.
2. Subscribe to the DIY Musician Podcast
You’re already on the DIY Musician Blog, so I’m going to assume you know that this informational resource exists for independent musicians. But did you know we have a podcast too?
3. Bookmark the CD Baby Help Center
Got a question about digital or physical distribution, YouTube monetization, sync licensing, music publishing, and more?
Chances are the answer is in our Help Center, which — unlike the people who work at CD Baby — never has to sleep, so you can get the info you need 24/7.
4. Professionalize your publishing rights
If you write original music, you own the publishing rights to those songs. But do you have a publishing administrator to help you actually put those rights to use, collect all the publishing royalties that your music generates, and register your songs with collection societies around the world?
That’s exactly what CD Baby Pro Publishing does, and you can upgrade any release you’re distributing through CD Baby for a one-time fee (no annual fees). Get started HERE.
5. Double-check EVERYTHING
This is more housekeeping than anything else, but it’s crucial! Incorrect metadata can result in your music being delayed or removed from our digital partner platforms (such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Apple Music, Pandora Premium, and so forth).
So be sure all your song, songwriter, and publisher info is correct, that there are no spelling errors, and that the audio and artwork are correct.
Also, be sure to opt-in for all that CD Baby offers as part of its standard distribution package: YouTube monetization, sync licensing, worldwide distribution to tons of download and streaming platforms, etc.
It’s easy to skip these steps when you’re rushing through the release process. Go back now and make sure you’re set up to make the biggest splash. And then don’t forget to actually approve your single or album for distribution! (For real, it happens).
6. Set up a pre-sale on iTunes and Amazon
In the month leading up to your album release, as you promote the new music, you should also be capturing sales. Don’t waste a social post saying “new album coming soon” if your fans can’t actually DO anything about it (namely, give you money).
That’s where pre-sales on iTunes and Amazon come in. CD Baby makes it easy to start selling your album a month in advance, and then all those sales are tallied as first-day sales on your official release date, which helps you if you’re trying to chart.
Go HERE for details on how to set up an Amazon or iTunes pre-sale through CD Baby.
7. Verify your artist on Spotify
Spotify artist verification is super simple. It takes you minutes at most. And when you’re done, you’ll have a nice blue check mark by your artist name on Spotify. More importantly, once you’re given access to your Spotify for Artists account, you’ll be able to customize your artist profile, promote playlists, and more.
8. Create or update your web presence
If you’ve already got a website (and a billion social profiles), it’s time to refresh them with news, images, updated bios, and videos that are relevant to your latest release.
9. Get acquainted with our Daily Trending Reports
Every day in your CD Baby dashboard you’ll receive updated data to help you find out who’s listening to your music, where they live, which playlists you’ve been featured on, and more. Check it, read it, use it — HERE.
10. Check out “The most boring (and IMPORTANT) release checklist ever”
So far this list has been mostly limited to things that relate directly to your CD Baby distribution, but obviously you want to do as much as possible to promote your music. Go HERE for some more to-do items, including details about submitting music to Pandora Radio and registering with SoundExchange.