Promoting Your Album on a Budget (Part 1)

Promoting Your Album on a Budget (Part 1)

August 15, 2010
in Category: reviews, tutorials
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As a follow up to my previous article, 8 Tips for Getting Your Music Heard (For Free),I decided to up the ante a bit, and see what was possible with a budget of  $150.  The test album for this experiment is my own instrumental collection of beats, “Instrumentally Sound” by the Sound Scientists.  This series of articles will also serve as reviews on CD Baby, GrooveShark, SoundOut, Jango Artist Airplay and CreateSpace.  At the end of the process I am hoping to get my music into all of the major online stores (iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody) and into regular rotation (or as close to it as possible) on various online radio stations (Pandora, Grooveshark, Jango, etc.).  It’s always great to get feedback too, so the more information I can get about my listeners, the better.

I’m writing these reviews from the perspective of an artist trying to spread their music through as many avenues as possible.  The reviews won’t be based on profits, but on how useful each services proves to be, how easy they are to use, and anything else that impresses or disappoints me.  Seeing how the album is already available online for free in multiple places, it would be a tainted experiment to judge anything based on sales.  Plus, this is not so much about how to improve sales, but how to improve the amount of people that actually hear your album.

The budget I decided on originally was $100, but in order to review more services, I upped that to $160.  There is still plenty you can do for under $100 in order to gain a little more exposure.  The other requirement I have for this series, is that all of the processes must be digital, and all done online.  I do not want to bother with manufacturing, mailing, inventory or any of the overhead that goes along with physical CDs.  Unfortunately, some services (like Pandora) require a physical retail album (complete with UPC) – however there are ways to get around that too, without spending any money out of pocket.

First things first – any respectable artist with an album these days, has that album for sale in iTunes and Amazon MP3 (among other places).  Even if you aren’t planning on making a living off digital album royalties, it’s great to refer people to your work in the same places they get all of their other music.  For this, CD Baby seems to fit the bill perfectly.  The next post in this series will cover the entire process of submitting your music to CD Baby, which includes digital distribution via iTunes, Amazon MP3, eMusic, Rhapsody, Napster, Spotify, Verizon V-Cast, Nokia, Zune, and lots of other services that I hadn’t even heard of.


  1. Pingback: Promote Your Music on Grooveshark NOW! | HipHopProduction

  2. Gonzales

    r u serious? justin bieber? that is definetely NOT a step forward! i’ll never listen to raekwon again if he does that…he should beat the fuck out of JB’s face, that’s all i can say

  3. The Farm-Assist

    As easy as it is to hate JB (I can’t atand the little shit personally), these guys are simply trying to spread their brand. Kanye and Raekwon are trying to ensure themselves a few more years on the market by getting a song out there to the next generation that may not be listening to this style of music yet. There comes a point in every kids life (especially the girls) where they stop listening to their heart-throb musician, and actually listen to music because they like it. Kanye and Raekwon are using this opportunity to give these kids a look at their music, in hopes that when they reach that moment, they will choose to buy one of their CDs. It’s actually a very rare opportunity, as how many Disney artists are willing to shred their innocent image to do music with someone as “mature” as Kanye…

  4. The Farm-Assist

    Ummm… Anybody notice the numbers in the picture above DON’T ADD UP!!! 13000 plays, at 10 cents a play, is not 500, it’s 1300.. 27,500 plays at 7 cents would be $1925… They can’t even advertise their prices correctly, and they want me to put them in charge of distributing my music, based on a system of “I pay you and just trust that you will play my track X amount of times”? They can’t even count pennies, let alone play counts…

    1. t (author)

      ha, I never realized that. To be completely honest the whole Grooveshark promotion is a little disorganized, and it’s very hard to track and see that you truly got the plays you paid for. Still with that said, it’s a pretty decent service – although not sure how useful it would be if you actually spent $1000 on it. There are probably other things that could help more for the same price.


    Interesting post. I have a few friends doing the same experiment you’re doing which is trying to promote their albums on a budget. So far it’s going well. They’re using paid methods and free methods. I hope everything works out for all of you we need more good music out there. Peace!

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