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Team

Level Up: The Musicians Guide for Building a Team

By Music Business No Comments

Being an independent artist doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. In fact, you shouldn’t.

The best advice that Tierra Whack received came from Andre 3000 (Outkast). He told her it was very important to build a strong team to help exponentiate her career. Having this support system isn’t just about handling specific tasks for your business, it’s also to help you plan your next steps, keep you grounded and offer emotional support when needed.

If you really want to take your music career to the next level, you will eventually need a team. They don’t necessarily have to be people who you hire to work exclusively with you. At the very least, you need to form relationships and a network with skilled people who are good at what they do.

As someone who works on a number of artist teams myself, I’m going to cover what types of people you may need as an independent, how you may find them and what qualities to look for in each member of your team. Read More

Allee Willis with Butterscotch

The Most Important Songwriting Lesson From Hall of Fame Songwriter Allee Willis

By Songwriting No Comments

Who is Allee Willis?

Chances are you have heard at least one of her songs she’s written as she has been credited for many classic cultural hits including Earth, Wind & Fire’s hit “September” and the Friend’s Theme song “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts.

I had the incredible honor of meeting Allee and attending one of her parties at her LA home when she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The following day, she wrote a song with Butterscotch, as I documented the songwriting session. It was definitely one of the coolest experiences in my music career so far. Read More

Single Release Checklist for Independent Artists

The Ultimate Single Release Checklist for Independent Artist

By Music Business, Music Distribution 2 Comments

Planning to release new singles? Don’t want to miss any steps?

Putting out a new song is relatively straightforward, but there are a lot of things that go into the process of a successful release.

In this blog, I will discuss everything independent artists need to know about releasing singles. On top of that, I will share all my personal checklists that I use for my clients. I will literally cover the entire process in depth so you don’t have to worry about forgetting any steps. Whenever you release music, feel free to use this blog as a reference so you have all your bases covered. Read More

Smart Links

What’s the Best Smart Link Tool for Promoting Your Music Effectively?

By Music Marketing, Music Tools 4 Comments

When it comes to marketing your music online, a tool/service that every artist needs is a smart link for your music releases. For those who are more marketing savvy, you may know it as a landing or pivot page.

Although Spotify is the most popular paid streaming service, not everyone uses it and it’s not possible to link to all the different outlets your music is on when promoting it. This is where a smart link or music landing page comes in.

A smart link directs the user to a web page that contains links to all the different places people can buy or listen to your new release. In some cases, you may want to include other relevant links, song snippets and videos in your marketing efforts. Read More

Spotify Playlist Guide

Spotify Playlist Guide: How to Improve Discoverability for Your Music

By Music Streaming, Playlists, Spotify No Comments

In this modern digital age, streaming has become the primary way for us to discover, listen, and share new music. For musicians, this accessibility has allowed their songs to be discovered by new potential fans from all over the world.

One of the ways to reach new fans is through Spotify playlists.

Spotify playlists can potentially put you in front of the right people who are more likely to be into your music and turn into proper fans.

As an independent artist, it’s important to understand how Spotify works and how its playlist system can bridge the gap between you and potential fans.

However, the climate for streaming platforms like Spotify is competitive, so just uploading your song will not be enough. Keep in mind that 20,000 to 40,000 new songs are added to Spotify each day!

In this blog, I will go over the different types of Spotify playlists as a discovery tool to help you get more exposure for your music. Read More

How to Improve Your Song’s Performance in Spotify’s Algorithmic Playlists

By Music Streaming, Playlists, Spotify No Comments

Want your music to show up more on Spotify’s Discovery Weekly and Release Radar to get discovered by new potential fans?

Discover Weekly playlists have been streamed for over 2.3 billion hours between July 2015 and June 25, 2020. It can be a powerful tool to get more exposure for your songs within the Spotify ecosystem.

Spotify’s goal is to make the best song recommendations for their users based on individual listening behaviors, habits and music preferences. They use several metrics to evaluate what songs get included in their algorithmic playlists for a particular listener. No one knows for sure what all the metrics are since Spotify doesn’t share that information publicly.

However, there’s strong reason to believe saves are a strong signal for Spotify. Generally, a lot of emphasis is on getting more streams, but that’s only part of it.

In this blog, I will break down what the save-to-listener rate is and other key factors you need to know about. Working on these metrics will improve your chances of getting on Spotify’s algorithmic playlists and get more exposure for your music.
Read More

Canva Cover Art Banner

How to Make FREE Cover Art for Your Upcoming Album or Single Release

By Music Business, Music Distribution One Comment

Are you an independent artist on a budget looking to create album or single cover art for your upcoming release?

In this blog, I will go over everything you’ll need to know about cover art, including requirements to upload to your music distributor, cover ideas and other free tools you might need. It’s very easy for anyone to do, even without graphic design experience.

Most importantly, I’m going to show you how you can do it yourself with free apps online, so it doesn’t cost you anything. Read More

Patreon

Patreon for Musicians: My eBook Preview + Guest Blogs

By Music Business, Patreon No Comments

Instead of publishing a blog on my website for the month of April, I decided to write 2 guest contributions on other blogs. Because a lot of musicians are looking for alternative income sources right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to write the first edition of my Patreon guide for musicians.

What people may not know is that I currently manage one of the top-ranked music creator pages on Patreon. I’ve helped launch and manage Patreon campaigns for 3 separate artists so I’m quite familiar with the platform. In this eBook, I wanted to reveal everything I know on how to set up, launch and grow a membership business.

As much as I advocate and support a membership model through a platform like Patreon, I want to emphasize that Patreon is not for everyone. The concept sounds great for artists, but in reality, it’s not easy to execute. This is especially true if you’ve not an established artist with a larger following.

If you’ve thought about Patreon or just want to learn more, check out the articles I’ve written below and consider downloading the eBook. Keep in mind that I’m making the first edition free. I plan to charge for future editions when I add more content to it. Read More

Income Streams for Musicians Guide: How To Survive as an Independent Artist

By Music Business No Comments

“How do I make enough money as a musician so I can transition into a full-time music career?”

I imagine that’s the big question many aspiring and emerging independent artists wonder about.

After all, it’s believed by some that there’s no real money in music. After seeing the total music revenue in the U.S. dip in 2006, things have started to show growth again since 2015.

According to a 2018 report cited in Rolling Stones:

  • U.S. listeners are spending more money on music than ever before: over $20 billion a year.
  • Total music revenues have risen to about $43 billion a year, which includes on-demand streams, CD sales, radio play, live events, advertising.

There’s definitely money to be made from music, but unfortunately, most of that money isn’t going to the artists themselves. Artists only take home $5 billion, or about 12 percent of total music revenues. So what can you do about it? Read More

What’s the Best Music Distribution Service To Release Your Music – CD Baby, TuneCore or DistroKid?

By Music Business, Music Distribution, Music Streaming 2 Comments

Looking to get your songs in places like Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play and Amazon Music? You should, because as of 2019, music streaming now makes up 80 percent of the U.S. music industry’s revenue. Globally, it’s as high as 47%.

The good news is, getting your music into digital music stores and streaming services as an independent artist couldn’t be any easier. Finding the right company that makes sense for you can be a challenge. There are a bunch of music distribution companies you can go with to make your music accessible all around the world, but there are pros and cons with each of them. Read More