How to Do an iTunes Pre-Sale for Your Music DIY Musician Blog

iTunes Pre-Sales Now Available for CD Baby Artists

With over 28 million tracks in their catalog, 25 billion songs sold, and billions in annual revenue, it’s no secret that iTunes is still the major player in the digital music game. And we’ve got good news: CD Baby artists will now be able to make their music available for pre-sale on iTunes.

What’s an iTunes pre-sale?

An iTunes pre-sale allows your fans to order your music from iTunes in advance of its release. Then, on the official release date, your pre-sale customers will receive an automatic download of your music into their iTunes player. All pre-sales will be credited on the official release date, so the more pre-sale purchases you get, the higher your sales ranking on the day of the official release.

Artists who have albums with 11 or more tracks are also eligible to choose an “instant gratification” track.  iTunes will make that track available for preview and purchase on the date your pre-sale begins. The instant gratification track will be available for purchase as part of the pre-sale album, which means any iTunes customer can purchase this track by itself, or have it instantly downloaded when they purchase your complete album during the pre-sale period!

A pre-sale must run 1-4 weeks before the Current Release Date (the actual release date you set in your CD Baby member account). In order to be eligible for pre-sale, your Current Release Date must also be at least 30 days in the future.

Why would you want to make your music available for pre-sale on iTunes?

Well, if Justin Timberlake’s latest promo campaign tells you anything, a pre-sale on iTunes is a great way to build hype, giving you an extra 4 weeks to create buzz before the full album actually drops. And iTunes is prime real-estate for music retail — so those 4 weeks can have a big impact.

To make your music available for iTunes pre-sale, sign it up with CD Baby!

via How to Do an iTunes Pre-Sale for Your Music DIY Musician Blog.

Blog – The 3 Pillars of Music Fan Engagement

1. Authenticity

First and foremost, communication with your fans must come from you, the artist, in your voice. Not your manager, label, or intern. People aren’t interested in hearing generic updates from your label or agent. They want to get to know your personality, hear about your experiences. Essentially, fans want to feel like they’re on the journey of your career along with you.

Now, can updates sometimes come from your manager/label/intern? Yes, but sparingly, and it should be made clear when the updates are not coming directly from you. For example, on Facebook and Twitter, any updates coming from your management/label could be tagged with “- Team Example Artist”. Nobody else should try to “sound” like you if they’re updating your social media profiles on your behalf.

2. Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to engaging with your fans. You can’t post an update on Facebook one day, then disappear for several weeks to come back and find that a bunch of fans responded with questions that you never answered. People will likely stop paying attention if you don’t have a consistent presence. There are tons of distractions out there, so to truly break through the clutter, you have to be consistent. Take some time every day to check your social media profiles, respond to fans, ask questions, and start conversations.

3. Sustainability

And finally, when it comes to fan engagement, you have to sustain it over the long term. Don’t expect immediate results. It might take months of being consistent to start seeing more quality interactions with your fans, which in turn could lead to new fans, more people at your shows, and increased sales.

There are literally thousands of distractions out there for people. But if you show up every day ready to engage with your fans in some way; answering a few emails, responding on Twitter, asking questions on Facebook, and you sustain that over months, then years, you will no doubt develop a solid fan base to give yourself the best opportunity to build a sustainable career.


Never Leave Your Fans Hanging

One extremely important thing to keep in mind when it comes to fan engagement: never leave a fan hanging. If they email you, email back. If they leave a comment on Facebook, respond, or at least “Like” it. If they reply or ask a question on Twitter, respond back. A short answer or a quick thank you can go a long way in making that fan feel special, like they’re an active part of your world.

As an artist, it really has become part of the job description to interact with your fans. And since fans now have access to an unlimited amount of music, if you leave them hanging, chances are, they can easily find an artist that won’t.

via Blog – The 3 Pillars of Music Fan Engagement.

How To Fund Your Band’s Kickstarter When You Have No Fanbase – Launch & Release

The Prowling Kind has just laid out a textbook performance of how to fund a Kickstarter with little to no fan base. The facts:

this is TPK’s 1st album

they started with basically no fan base (other than personal connections)

they had no email list and very few FB or Twitter fans

they raised $8215


The Basic Ingredients:  Purpose Worth Backing, Personal Connection, and Call To Action

These are the required characteristics that your band needs in order to have a successful Kickstarter.  Period.

But wait, you say, I have definitely seen projects that lack this…

Well, I have too. But whether we see these qualities or not, they do exist.

In the case of a project for $800 that has 35 backers, sure you may not see them up front. But that project creator had to put it on the line somewhere, whether it was in face to face conversation, telephone calls, text messages, or social media communication, who knows?

In TPK’s case, it is all right there in the project’s video and project description.

The Purpose Worth Backing and Personal Connection sort of blend together in the back story of the project: a tumultuous childhood on the run from a convict father and a mother’s love for an outlaw. It is, indeed, an intriguing storyline and definitely one that many people can envision themselves in.

TPK also has a very clear Call To Action in their video right at the 48 second mark: ‘we would love for you to be a part of this… so please check out our website… and give what you can…’

Marketing The Project: Our Interview With Mickey of TPK

Ian (L&R):  How and who have you reached out to? individual personal connections? coffee shop dwellers? family? etc… by in-person discussion, email, FB, phone, etc.?

Mickey (TPK): One thing we did specifically, was printing and distributing of Kickstarter flyers. They had our name/ logo and link for people to check out and help fund us. We put these at all our favorite local spots. (coffee shops, clothing stores, venues etc) We did post a ton on social media sites…and while overkill is never good, we realized that a relatively small amount of people were actually seeing each post we made… comparatively to how many “friends” we had, so in all actuality many didn’t get the message till the 2nd and 3rd post. Also, a friend in marketing told me in order to get people to act it can take 7 to 12 times of reminding, so we took this concept to heart. We sent out personal e-mails too.

Ian (L&R):  How many on your mailing list?

Mickey (TPK): In theory, over a thousand (online) , but in reality those were personal connections. We started building a fan base amidst the Kickstarter launch. (and realized the difference) So, this isn’t something we’d recommend. Already having a following would have made things a lot smoother. (We knew that going in, but were willing to do it the hard way over waiting)

Ian (L&R): Where has your funding coming from?

Mickey (TPK): Friends and friends of friends mostly. A few family members, but mostly acquaintances. Although, some of the band members families did go above and beyond and were such a blessing. So we couldn’t discount them certainly!

Ian (L&R): Assuming much of it was through personal connections, how did those interactions go for you? What did you say, where you comfortable saying it, and how did people respond?

Mickey (TPK): If we had direct interactions, we’d start by talking about our album and the concept for it, or inviting them to shows. If they wanted to know more it was natural to explain about Kickstarter and often people were excited to help out and get our album in advance.

One other lesson I learned – We found out that a lot of the time the people you plan on being your biggest supporters may let you down. Although, what’s exciting about that is realizing you have all these people you never dreamed of rooting for you to succeed. Don’t give up…. listen to the encouraging voices, they have more value than all the negative ones.

Ian (L&R): Anything else that might be helpful?

Mickey (TPK):  Don’t worry about publicizing too much or over-saturating. What feels like overkill on your end, might be just the right amount of times to finally encourage that person who keeps forgetting to back. Oh, and pray, pray lots!


When it comes to building a following and marketing your band, cultivating and regularly engaging your email list with content they value is definitely the way to go.

But many bands haven’t had the chance to do so either because they’re just starting out or because they haven’t taken the time to do it.

Either way, when it comes to marketing your Kickstarter project, there is MUCH TO BE GAINED from your personal connections.

Mickey’s situation and advice looks much like others whom we have encountered in the midst of writing our 100 Music Kickstarters series.

Heed their advice:

Get personal and reach out to those in your Circle of Influence!

via How To Fund Your Band’s Kickstarter When You Have No Fanbase – Launch & Release.

Three Must-Know Music Licensing Contract Points | American Songwriter

Many musicians find the legalities of the music industry scary or, according to some research from my blog and newsletter, haven’t even looked at a contract. In fact, the music industry itself has made a point to tout it’s legal strength anytime someone tries to do something inventive and effective in the music space, rather than trying to learn from or emulate the result (zing!).

The fact of the matter is that yes, you do need a lawyer to review your contracts and licenses. However, you don’t need one in order to understand the fundamentals of a license. You see there are three key terms when a television show, film, or ad agency wants to license music. These three terms are also the foundation of negotiations and help determine the cost of the copyright to be used. Here they are:

Media: This is essentially the “what” of a music license. Will it be broadcast on TV, streamed on the internet, or will it be used for an in-house presentation? It can be any one, or any combination of, pretty much anything you can think of.

Term: This is the “when” of a music license. Licenses can be as short as a one-time usage or as long as eternity (called perpetuity). While there are few times as an artist you would want to license a song in perpetuity, this is something music libraries do with relative frequency. It also saves a huge headache for the producing company, and keep in mind a license in perpetuity is only for the ONE usage outlined in the media definition.

Territory: This is the “where” of a music license. This will delineate where exactly this particular project is going to show up. Will it show up all over the world? Will it just be in Ohio? Maybe it’s going to be shown at a convention center.

There you have it, the licensing basics. Keep in mind all of the above can be adjusted and negotiated and the cost of the license should reflect such adjustments.

One final point: It comes down to how many people are going to see a project, and how much you value your music, the exposure, and the project itself. If someone wants to license your song for all-media, worldwide in perpetuity (which I would HIGHLY advise against unless you’re running a music library), they’re anticipating a lot of people are going to see it. This means the exposure is high, which is great, but they’re also asking for a lot of rights which means it should be a cost consideration vs. the history of your song.

In the end, you can do a lot of legwork as far as marketing and licensing music yourself. When it comes to contracts of course consult a lawyer before signing anything. But understanding these basics should help give you a good idea of how to gauge a music license and evaluate a proposed fee to ensure you’re getting a great deal.

via Three Must-Know Music Licensing Contract Points | American Songwriter.

How To Make A Living In The Modern Music Business |

Buoyed by selling a chunk of his eponymous headphone line, Dr. Dre pulled in $110 million last year. His earnings were easily the most of any rapper, rocker or pop star in the world—and, according to a recent report released by Berklee College of Music, about 2,000 times what the average musician earned in 2012.

Dr. Dre made the bulk of his money on headphones, but he also raps, produces and plays the occasional concert. Amid the Great Recession, lesser-paid musicians are also learning that becoming jacks-of-all-trades is a crucial part of the modern business. The average personal gross income of the 5,371 musicians surveyed by Berklee was $55,561, of which $34,455 per person came from musical work. More than half of all respondents reported generating income from at least three different jobs.

Although the decline of the music business over the past decade has been well-chronicled, the Berklee report reveals that the industry is no longer in a free-fall in terms of employment–the percentage of respondents who reported a decrease in income was roughly the same as the percentage who reported an increase. Industry watchers are optimistic about job prospects for those looking to make a career in music.

“I’m very bullish about it,” says Peter Spellman, director of Berklee’s Career Development Center and author of Indie Business Power. “Where I sit … it makes me very hopeful for our musicians here and what they can do. But it does require a certain amount of business savvy and marketing savvy, in combination with your musical savvy, to succeed.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a bit more guarded, projecting a 10% increase in the number of music jobs in the U.S. through 2020, compared to 14% across the broader economy. But the BLS pegs average hourly wages at $22.39 for musicians, 50% more than the countrywide average of $16.27. And Berklee’s study reveals many music jobs where salaries top out in the six-figure range, some in fields that didn’t exist in the old music world.

Read More:

via How To Make A Living In The Modern Music Business |

Making Money from Your Music in 2013: The 7 C’s « DIY Musician Blog DIY Musician Blog


[This article was written by guest contributor — and longtime friend of CD Baby — Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR.]

It’s the new year, and the current news surrounding the music business is still bad. At this stage of the game, CD sales are barely part of the conversation and it can feel discouraging and downright depressing if you are trying to earn actual money from making music.

I believe the way a vast majority of artists will make money in 2013 will be through crowd funding. However, crowd funding will not work unless you actually have a crowd who is willing to fund.  This is why authentic communication and a plan are vital.

The first step towards building a crowd is building true rapport with your fans and friends on social media.

I have seen it thousands of times – artists misuse their email lists and socials by ONLY reaching out to their fans when they have something to SELL them (a show, a new release etc.) This is where 95% of artists fail.

Every study on sales has proven one thing: People hate to be sold to, however people love to buy and people always love to buy from people whom they like and trust.

New studies are coming out showing that people only part with their money, especially in the music world, when they feel that the artist has “earned it” through social media engagement.

You as an artist are a brand and if you want to make money you must have a product line. A crowd funding campaign is a fabulous place to launch a product line because it dictates that you create multiple levels that people can invest in.

That’s right… a crowd funding campaign actually helps you create a product line – TA DAH!

The 7 C’s TO Making Money in 2013


Do you have fan base to sell to?

This means:

A) An Email List

B) An Active Facebook Community

C) Twitter Followers

D) Blog Readers (and your blog cross-posted on Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Twitter & Facebook)


Always think about how you can grow your fan base and your list!

I consider a real fan base a MINIMUM of 10,000 (between all sites) and 1,000 on your email list but 5,000 – 10,000 is a great goal number to work towards for a list.  Why BECAUSE ONLY 10% open it!!  (on average).

What is your product line?

Do you only sell CDs and MP3s?

Do you have assorted merchandise?

A fan club / monthly offerings?

Do you do something unique and special aside from music you can offer?

Do you tell your mailing list you are available to play private events and parties or weddings or BBQs?

Have you ever even mentioned you’d like to play a gig in THEIR homes? J


Are your monthly newsletters well designed, consistent and trackable?

If not, you should switch to a service that helps you create an effective newsletter and tracks how many people open it. And communicating regularly and consistently is key.


Have you asked your fans what they want to buy?

Interview them and ask!

Your fans may want coffee mugs or yoga mats and unless you ask you will never know.

For Newsletters or Online: Survey Monkey & Pop Survey


For Twitter: Twtpoll


For Facebook: Poll Daddy



Do you have another talent that your fans don’t know about?

Do you paint?

Do you write?

Is there another way you make money that your fans may want to know about?


Do NOT Dive into a Campaign without a PLAN

Know which platforms to use and understand how to run a smooth effective campaign.

My Cyber PR Guide to Crowd Funding will HELP and you can get it by (that’s right!!) contributing to MY crowd Funding campaign!


Here’s the fun part – Count De Monay

So to recap:

1. Calculate – Assess what you have to work with! How many fans are in your communities – Socials, Newsletter, physical mailing addresses and YES even telephone #’s

2. Capture people ontoyour email list – Every day think about whom you can add to your list.

3. Communicate regularly and consistently using trackable html emails and by monitoring your socials to see what is working!

4. Canvass – When your list gets to be at least 1,000 strong ASK them what they may like from you and how much they will pay.

5. Create – products, events fan clubs and house concerts to satisfy your fans!

6. Crowd Fund – Know what to do before you launch – a wing and a prayer does NOT equal a plan!

7. Count your money – $$ Cha Ching!

Here’s to your success in 2013!

via Making Money from Your Music in 2013: The 7 C’s « DIY Musician Blog DIY Musician Blog.

Sandra Aistars: On Empowering Artists

With last weekend’s Oscars, the annual ritual of red carpets, statuettes and acceptance speeches has come to an end. Awards Season is a celebration of the accomplishments of the individual members of organizations such as The Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA, the Directors Guild, the Recording Academy and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The glitter and glamour of the Oscars celebration, however, is far removed from the less familiar reality of most artists, creators and innovators in the U.S.

Two reports issued this month shine a spotlight on the degree to which creative work is exploited without creators’ permission. The USC Annenberg Innovation Lab released the second installment to its Advertising Transparency Report, showing that major online ad networks are still servicing pirate websites devoted almost entirely to infringing music and movies. The report also reveals that ads for major brands appear on such sites regularly. If you want to send the CEO’s of those brands a message that their financial support of these criminal enterprises is unacceptable, you can do so on the Copyright Alliance website.

Although according to the Annenberg report, several ad networks, including Google’s, show signs of reducing the number of ads placed on pirate sites after being identified in the initial report last month, a separate report released last week indicates that Google places those same sites at the top of its search rankings six months after the company announced that the worst infringing sites would be demoted to lower rankings. Even sites which Google acknowledges have been the subject of more than 100,000 infringement notices remain at the top of returned results, a problem exacerbated by the search engine’s autofill function.

It is not surprising that the companies (and their surrogates), whose business model largely consists of monetizing the stolen intellectual property of creators, are also proselytizing the virtues of “reforming” copyright. And of course it would be just these websites, ad networks, and search engines that would profit most from the types of “reforms” they suggest.

So as Awards Season now draws to a close, take a moment to consider why protection for creative works matters.

A copyright belongs to the artist from the time a work is created and recorded in some form, regardless of whether she has registered it or taken any formal action. Copyright empowers the artist. It may be the only asset the artist has in a negotiation with an online distributor or a traditional media company. It opens the door for a business deal. If you weaken copyright, you undercut the creator’s initial bargaining position, diminish the incentives for innovation and threaten the viability of large segments of the creative class.

Copyright also ensures the creator’s freedom of choice is protected. It enables her to choose how she shares her work. She can use a work in multiple ways simultaneously. She can license the use of the work commercially to support herself and new projects, while at the same time making the work available for free to a cause she believes in. She can also choose not to license her work for uses she doesn’t agree with. Limiting the creator’s freedom to choose how and when to share her work, would enslave her creatively.

Finally, copyright is about freedom. It is core to protecting freedom of expression. But it also gives authors the freedom to thrive. Copyright is a unique form of property because, unlike inherited wealth, it springs from an artist’s own imagination, hard work and talent. Under the right conditions a creator can use its protections to launch a career or build a business, regardless of the economic circumstances she came from. That fact should entitle copyright to more protection than other forms of property, not less.

The need for strong copyright protections might not be the first subject that you consider enjoying the glitz and glamour of awards shows. But the reality is that most of the thousands of creative individuals we represent at the Copyright Alliance will never be asked “who are you wearing” on a red carpet. Yet protection for their creative work is a very real concern for them. If you care about creative culture in your community, empower artists, respect their property and freedom of choice, and don’t allow parasitic businesses to exploit them.

via Sandra Aistars: On Empowering Artists.