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.