DIY Musician Podcast

By CD Baby

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 Mar 1, 2021


Making music has never been easier, but building a music career today is altogether different. Finding the right audience for your music takes an entrepreneurial mindset, a lot of hard work, and a willingness to experiment. The DIY Musician Podcast features interviews with artists of all styles and backgrounds who’ve found a unique but authentic pathway to success, as well as in-depth discussions with music publicists, promoters, lawyers, publishers, talent buyers, and more. This podcast is geared towards independent musicians who want to build a sustainable music career without giving up (too much) financial or creative control. Hosts Kevin and Chris work with hundreds of thousands of artists at CD Baby, and are actively releasing and promoting their own music too; they're part of the same community they’re helping to educate and encourage with each new episode.

Episode Date
#316: Musician's Guide to TikTok

No matter what genre of music you make, TikTok is one of your biggest opportunities for finding fans and building an audience today. If you still feel like you're sitting on the sidelines while the rest of the music industry rushes headlong into TikTok, this is the episode for you — a broad overview of TikTok for musicians. Kevin and Chris describe what makes TikTok unique in the social media landscape, how the algorithm surfaces content, a few tricks for driving TikTok engagement, and much more. Plus listener feedback!

Oct 03, 2022
#315: 50 Promo Ideas in 50 Minutes

One of our most frequently asked questions is “How can I promote my music?” In the era of limitless opportunities for music promotion on social media, through email and with new formats like short-form video, it can be difficult to know where to start.That’s why we compiled this list of 50 promo ideas and crammed it all into 50 minutes!

Sep 23, 2022
#314: Power Up Your Music Videos

If you think you need to spend thousands of dollars shooting a professional looking music video just to get people to watch, think again! Short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels and trusty standbys like YouTube have made it easier than ever for indie artists to reach new fans with quick, affordable videos. In this live podcast recording from the 2022 DIY Musician Conference, Kevin and Chris explain how to make music videos without breaking your wallet or testing your patience. 

Sep 15, 2022
#313: 2022 DIY Musician Conference Recap & Highlights

With hundreds of attendees both in person and virtual, dozens of presentations from industry insiders and countless jam sessions, mentoring workshops and after parties, the 2022 DIY Musician Conference was the biggest and best indie music event of the year! If you were there, you doubtless made some connections that will last the rest of your music career. If you weren’t, this Conference recap is the next best thing.Kevin and Chris discuss their five takeaways and highlights from the weekend in Austin. And they give us a preview of what’s next for the DIY Musician Conference.

Sep 07, 2022
#312: How to Promote Your Live Shows with Bandsintown

Live music is officially back! If you’re an artist who plays live often, Bandsintown is an essential tool for listing and promoting your shows.From notifying fans about when you’ll be in their area, to recommendation algorithms to get your music in front of more listeners and a free email platform right in your account, Bandsintown offers artists plenty of ways to connect with fans new and old. Bandsintown Managing Partner Fabrice Sergent joins the podcast to discuss the platform. Learn about Bandsintown’s offerings for artists and fans, and how they’ve pivoted during and after the pandemic.

Aug 19, 2022
#311: Live Gigs: Thrive, Survive, or Die?

Touring and playing live can be a great way to expand your audience, sell merch and interact with your existing fans. But there are also many things that can go wrong on the road. From vehicle troubles to poor sound systems to fatigue, we address all the issues artists face on tour, and how to handle them.

Aug 08, 2022
#310: Crafting Your Music’s Elevator Pitch

Before anyone ever hears your music, they need to be convinced to listen. Maybe they’re getting a recommendation from a friend or they see a cool Instagram ad or blog review. Maybe it’s an eye-catching album cover.But sometimes it’s the description of the music that captures someone’s imagination. But you don’t have all day to sell someone on your music. So your description has to pack a punch.Learn how to come up with a compelling elevator pitch for your unique sound with the help of Chris Robley and special guest Cristina Cano.

Aug 02, 2022
#309: How Sync Licensing Can Launch Your Career

With Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” and Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” seeing runaway success after their placement in Stranger Things, sync licensing is back in the news. While these are classic hits from veteran artists, independent musicians can also benefit from just one big sync placement.Learn how sync can change your music career and get expert advice from special guest CD Baby Manager of Sync Licensing Brett Byrd.

Jul 26, 2022
#308: Successfully Releasing an Album in a Singles World

Even in the age of singles, there are many benefits to releasing an album. Learn why you should keep albums part of your release strategy, and how to successfully release an album.

Jul 14, 2022
#307: The 2022 DIY Musician Conference Preview

With 60,000 new tracks released on Spotify every day, you need an advantage that will help your music rise above the noise and get noticed amidst that daily mountain of new music.You can’t leave it to luck. Your advantage will come from work, strategy, connections, and collaboration. And you can find all of that at the DIY Musician Conference.Learn how to prepare, what to bring, and most importantly: What to achieve when it’s all happening!

Jul 07, 2022
#306: 7 Ways to Feel More Confident About Your Music

Most people in the world don’t know what it’s like to put themselves and their ideas out into the world. There’s a level of vulnerability involved in releasing your music for others to hear. These are your hopes and dreams, your thoughts and ideas and your creativity all on display. From the indie newcomer to the seasoned singer-songwriter with a dozen albums to their name, we all have moments of doubt in our music journey. That’s why we’ve outlined seven ways to feel more confident about your music.

Jun 22, 2022
#305: 5 Ways to Ruin Your Spotify Presence

If your songs do well on Spotify, it means reach and revenue for your music. Sending the right signals to Spotify can lead to huge audience growth driven by personalized playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar.But sending the wrong signals to Spotify can ruin your presence on the platform, which means you’ll need to spend more time and effort to build back your standing. There are five major ways artists self-sabotage the work they’ve done on Spotify. We’ll outline each of them and offer some tips to build and maintain your presence on Spotify. 

Jun 14, 2022
#304: Music Marketing 101, Part 2
Having a plan and using the right tools is essential to building an audience for your music.In the second part of our two-part series Music Marketing 101, you’ll learn how to market your music on streaming platforms, social media and more. Reach your fans where THEY are!
Jun 02, 2022
#303: Music Marketing 101, Part 1
Do you want music fans to hear your music, love it and stick with you for life? Of course! But that doesn’t happen automatically.It takes marketing to achieve this goal. And not just marketing, but GOOD marketing. Learn how to effectively market your music to grow your audience in part one of our two-part music marketing series.
May 25, 2022
#302: 31 Music Revenue Sources

Are you looking to make more money from your music? Of course! We all are.The good news is there are more revenue streams for artists out there today than there have ever been. But most artists aren’t tapping into all of them. In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing ALL the revenue streams for your music. Because there are probably a few you’re missing.

May 17, 2022
#301: The RIGHT Way to Do a Cover Song

Cover songs can be an amazing way for you to build an audience and reach new fans, but there are some right and wrong ways to do them. We’ll show you how to choose the best cover songs for different scenarios like live shows, studio recordings and social media. Tired of playing “Wagon Wheel” and “Don’t Stop Believing” over and over again? Or do you think covers are just for wedding bands? Learn how to do cover songs the right way so you build your audience and connect with existing fans, while still maintaining your artistic integrity.

May 11, 2022
#300: The Indie Revolution Continues!
The DIY musician podcast has been going strong for 15 years, and this is our 300th episode! This episode is a celebration of the amazing independent artists that make up now-massive segments of the music industry. It's a celebration of all the people past and present here at CD Baby, who work tirelessly behind the scenes to level the playing field for all creators. And it's a celebration of perseverance, because there were so many times where it would have been easier to let the podcast fade away. In this episode, we'll discuss the podcast's origin stories, how the music industry has changed and how that change impacts the future.
May 04, 2022
#299: Adam Ezra - Making $200,000 From Your Artist Website

Growing and maintaining a sustainable music career is always a hot topic, especially as opportunities around music monetization continue to evolve. While some artists express frustration regarding streaming payouts, there are many more dependable ways to earn revenue from your music.Independent roots rock artist Adam Ezra has been proactive in connecting with his dedicated fans. This connection has allowed him to generate over $200,000 right from his Bandzoogle website. In our interview, Ezra provides some tips for indie artists to achieve the same level of success.

Apr 20, 2022
#298: Promote Your Music with Videos That ACTUALLY Go Viral
If you’re not promoting your music with short-form videos on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to grow your audience. And while everyone wants to go viral, actually achieving hit status on the social video platforms is difficult. That’s why we brought in experienced musician and viral content creator Gil Assayas to offer some expert advice on how to attract more viewers to your videos on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and more.
Apr 12, 2022
#297: How to Find Your First True Fans
Whether you’re just starting out or it’s been a while since you’ve released new music, it’s important to find real, true fans. These are people who love your music for what it is, not because they know you personally. In this episode of the DIY Musician Podcast, you’ll learn how to find those first fans at live shows, online and in your local scene.
Apr 06, 2022
#296: How to Book Gigs in 2022

Real, live, in-person gigs are finally happening again! That means you should start thinking about getting back out on the road and on stage. But what if it’s your first time out, or your first time in a long time? Or you’re just looking for a leg up in the hyper competitive world of independent music? You should consider working with a talent buyer to help you book the right venues for your music. Talent buyer Jeff Tuohy joins the podcast to discuss everything you need to know to work with a talent buyer and book all the gigs you could ever play.

Mar 29, 2022
#295: The Post-Pandemic Plan for Musicians

After two years of false starts and canceled tours, it’s finally time to plan for a post-pandemic music career. But with so many changes in the music industry, how do you get back on track? We’ll review the challenges you’ll face and provide helpful tips on booking tours, getting back on stage, marketing your music and much more.

Mar 16, 2022
#294: Before You Remove Your Music From Streaming, Listen to This!

You’ve likely seen some famous artists announcing they’re removing their music from streaming platforms like Spotify. These major artists can have an equally major influence on the music industry, and they may even inspire independent musicians to remove their own music from streaming platforms. But is this something indie artists should do? Why would they want to? And what does it mean to cancel your music? We answer all that and more on this episode.

Mar 08, 2022
#293: NFTs for Musicians, Pt 2
You might know what NFTs are, how they work and how to create and sell them. But…should you? That’s a totally different question. In part two of our series on NFTs, we talk through some of the opportunities AND challenges when it comes to musicians creating and selling NFTs.
Mar 02, 2022
#292: NFTs for Musicians, Pt 1

NFTs have been hyped as digital collectibles; as a way of building community; as a new format that could potentially revolutionize the music industry; as a way to return value directly to artists for their work. But what is the real opportunity for NFTs with musicians? Is there real profit to be made? Or are they just a fad? In part one of our series on NFTs, we outline everything musicians need to know to get started.

Feb 22, 2022
#291: Making an impact with cover art
The cover art for your single or album is one of the first points of contact that you have with your listeners, so it’s important to make a compelling first impression. After all, your cover art won’t just live on streaming platforms. It might also inform your social media presence, your videos, your website design, your ads, and more. That’s a lot of brand touchpoints, so it’s important to have a cover image that works well with your music.
Feb 16, 2022
#290: What every artist needs to know about mechanical royalties

What are mechanical royalties and how do you get them? If your music is not listed with the MLC, you’re missing out on mechanical royalties you’ve earned. That’s YOUR money! So how do you collect it? And just what is the MLC? We interviewed CEO Kris Ahrend for all the details, so this is a must listen!

Feb 09, 2022
#289: 10 creative challenges to get you out of your songwriting rut

Writer’s block happens to everyone, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating when you’re trying to create and coming up blank. If you’ve found yourself in a songwriting slump, try these fun challenges to dig out. You’ll emerge with a new perspective on your creative process, a revived outlook on music and -- most importantly -- a few new additions to your repertoire.

Feb 01, 2022
#288: Is social media dead for musicians?

When it comes to sustaining your music career, is social media… Dead? Dying? A zombie? Still the greatest tool we have, even though it’s killing our souls one post or doomscroll at a time? In this episode, Kevin and Chris take stock of the state of affairs with social media and its ability to move a music career forward.

Jan 26, 2022
#287: The new rules for cover art
The new rules for album art: Contrary to the old idiom, people DO judge a book by its cover. And the same goes for music. If your release’s cover artwork is blurry, unnecessarily cluttered or just downright ugly, it could put off potential fans before they even click “Play.” In Part 1 of our 3-part series on cover art, we warn artists about some common mistakes, as well as provide guidelines you want to follow so your distribution goes smoothly.
Jan 18, 2022
#286: Music predictions for 2022
Given that there’s no ONE path to success these days, CD Baby has made sure to empower artists in a myriad of ways: digital music revenue, publishing administration, sync licensing, physical manufacturing and distribution, social video monetization, label services, and more. That’s a LOT of the music industry right there. Which also means we have a lot of experts in-house who are shaping the present with an eye to the future. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss what their predictions were for the music business in 2022, particularly as it relates to independent artists. Do you have a prediction to share?
Jan 10, 2022
#285: What independent musicians can learn from The Beatles' Get Back

It may feel like there are few applicable lessons to learn from the unrivaled career of The Beatles. They were icons. They were giants. They were... mere mortals? Yep. Humans, just like the rest of us working musicians — bouncing between frustration and inspiration, struggling against their own flaws. And Peter Jackson's recent 8-hour documentary 'Get Back' lays that bare. In this podcast episode, Chris and Cristina unpack the many universal lessons that creative people should learn after watching the Beatles' process unfold in both catastrophic and triumphant ways.

Dec 29, 2021
#284: Releasing music for the first time
Are you planning to release your first song? Or... your first song in a while? Let's talk about all the things you'll need and need to know to ensure your music gets out there as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Dec 20, 2021
#284: Releasing music for the first time
Are you planning to release your first song? Or... your first song in a while? Let's talk about all the things you'll need and need to know to ensure your music gets out there as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Dec 20, 2021
#283: Bryan Ewald: Artist endorsements and diversifying revenue

Even megastars "piece it together." Ticket sales, merch, streaming, publishing, appearances, sponsorships, the list goes on. But how can a DIY musician earn a living via a diversified revenue stream that includes production, session work, and teaching? And how do you score a major endorsement deal at the indie level? In this episode, Kevin interviews Brian Ewald about with Paul Reed Smith Guitars endorsement and all his various endeavors that keep a full time musician.

Nov 30, 2021
#282: Band Vs. Solo Artist - How You Make Decisions
One decision, whether to go solo or work with a group, can have a huge impact on how you make, market, and monetize your music. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk through some of the differences and similarities between those two alternate paths for your music career. Plus listener questions.
Nov 22, 2021
#281: E-commerce 101 for musicians
What separates full-time from part-time musicians often comes down to merch sales — not just at gigs, but ONLINE too. Do you have YOUR e-commerce game dialed in? Are you profitably selling shirts, hats, CDs, vinyl, mugs, posters, books, and VIP experiences to your website visitors and social followers? In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk through the foundations of e-commerce for musicians.
Oct 28, 2021
#280: Jackie Venson - Adapting for success

In this episode, which was recorded at the 2021 virtual DIY Musician Conference, Jackie Venson details how she adapted for continued success during the uncertain times brought on by the pandemic. Not only has she maintained her career trajectory, but it has thrived in new ways she didn't expect.

Oct 20, 2021
#279: Productivity hacks for musicians
As a DIY artist, you need to manage every aspect of your music creation and marketing. At the same time, your audience's attention span is shortening, so you feel the pressure to be MORE productive than ever. It can be a grind. So how do get things done, on time, every time, without burning out? In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk 10 productivity hacks for independent musicians. Plus, they answer listener calls and questions.
Sep 10, 2021
#278: 10 music videos you should be making right now
As a musician today, your VIDEO presence is likely what has the most impact on your ability to reach new listeners and engage your fans. So you need a steady flow of good video content. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk through some video ideas that will help you stay inspired, get videos published on a realistic timeline, and (most importantly) help you build your following.
Aug 17, 2021
#277: Tips for getting back on the stage in 2021
Are you ready, like REALLY ready, for the return of live gigs? In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about what artists should (and shouldn't) be doing to make the most of the return to concerts and touring. Plus listener calls and emails.
Jul 18, 2021
#276: How I grew my Spotify monthly listeners over 2,000%!
Growth on Spotify. We all want it. And there are a hundred online courses teaching you how to run PAID traffic to boost your streams. But Siren & the Sea grew their monthly listeners on Spotify by more than 2000% WITHOUT running ads — using only email and organic posts on Instagram. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk to Cristina Cano of Siren & the Sea about her creative social content, her playlist pitching, and more.
Jun 21, 2021
#275: How you know when you're ready?
DIY musicians don't actually want to do it all themselves. Nor should they! BUT... there's a right time and wrong time to grow your team, take a big risk, or attempt the next big thing. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk through some criteria for knowing when you're ready for the next step in your career.
Jun 01, 2021
#274: Create the perfect release plan
We have big dreams whenever we releases new music — more fans, more money, more recognition. But there's a difference between a goal and a wish. In this episode, Kevin and Chris provide a detailed framework for your next release that will help you get actual results. Plus listeners calls and emails.
May 10, 2021
#273: 6 Music Trends that are wasting your time
As musicians, our most valuable resource is time. Yet we often spend that time on things that don't matter. Or that won't help us achieve our actual goals of growing and engaging with our fanbase. In this episode, Chris and Kevin discuss six common or trendy things that musicians waste their time on. Plus, answers to listener calls and emails.
Apr 07, 2021
#272: The state of music streaming

The State of Streaming: CD Baby artist's revenue increased 26% in 2020 over the previous year. What music platforms drove the most revenue? What does today's fractured listening environment mean for your music promotion? In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss the data and the story the numbers tell.

Mar 11, 2021
#271: Musicians guide to YouTube

Can musicians succeed on YouTube if they're not "YouTubers?" Yes, though there are many lessons musicians should learn from creators who use YouTube as it's intended — managing a video channel with consistent programming. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss those best-practices, YouTube promotion tips, and how audio content is monetized on the biggest music platform in the world.

Feb 19, 2021
#270: What every artist is asking

Every musician's path is unique, but a lot of times we're all wondering the same thing. How to reach new listeners during a pandemic? How to make sure our single releases build towards the album? What's the best way to brand our music? Etc. In this episode, Kevin and Chris tackle some common listener questions at the start of 2021.

Feb 03, 2021
#269: Getting your music promotion in order for 2021

It's a new year with many challenges still facing artist as they try to connect with music fans during a global pandemic. Take heart! Indie artists have always lead the charge when it comes to music promotion innovation and adapting to tough circumstances. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss what you'll need in order to make 2021 your best year yet!

Jan 13, 2021
#268: How to release your music in 2021

The way artists release music completely changed in 2020. As we approach 2021, artists are asking what is the right balance between singles and albums? How do you target and engage new listeners in the streaming world? Kevin and Chris answer these questions and more.

Dec 03, 2020
#267: Cheryl B. Engelhardt - Organizing your fans to reach a goal

Whether you're launching a new album, promoting a livestream, or trying to shoot for something bigger like a Grammy nomination, getting your fans onboard can be a challenge. In this episode you'll hear how Cheryl B. Engelhardt organized her fans to feel ownership in her quest for a Grammy nomination.

Nov 17, 2020
#266: Preparing for the 2020 holiday release season
Releasing music before the end of 2020? Listen to this episode, where Kevin and Chris talk about distribution deadlines, holiday music promotion, which Christmas favorites you can record without paying a mechanical royalty, and more. Plus, listener calls and questions.
Oct 30, 2020
#265: How artists make money from sync licensing

Sync licensing has grown into a huge opportunity for indie musicians to gain listeners and earn money. That's increasingly true for thousands of CD Baby clients whose songs have been licensed to numerous projects on almost every major and cable network, streaming networks, film studios, and more. What do the tracks that we place in film and TV have in common? How can you increase your chances of getting a sync placement? Let's talk.

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Oct 08, 2020
#264: Live-streaming on Facebook (Musicians, DON’T panic!!!)

The internet exploded with news that Facebook was no longer going to allow artists to livestream on the platform. Fortunately, that information was completely false. However, on this episode of the podcast Kevin and Chris help define the mysterious "listening experience" issue that has Facebook muting some artists videos. Plus, we take some amazing listener calls.

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Sep 26, 2020
#263: How to deal with failure and rejection

Let’s get real for a sec: Musicians are well acquainted with rejection and failure. But we don’t want to admit it, do we? In this podcast episode, Kevin and Chris talk about the kinds of rejections you’ll inevitably encounter as a musician, how to deal with it, and maybe even transform it into something positive. Plus listener questions.

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Sep 10, 2020
DIY Musician Stories Ep 05: Birds of Chicago

Birds of Chicago are a husband and wife folk/soul duo based in Nashville, TN.

In this episode of the DIY Musician Stories podcast, Alli and JT chat with Montse about their origin story, writing process, and what it’s been like to pause and pivot from a life on the road. They also talk about collective grief, the rejection every artist encounters, finding your tribe, and much more.

Sep 01, 2020
#262: Getting attention with online advertising

Few people are going to notice your music simply because you've made it. You have to do something ELSE to get attention, and online advertising opens up an affordable way to create awareness, stir interest, and build a fanbase as an independent musician. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about advertising for musicians, the power of a new interactive ad tool, and much more.

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Aug 26, 2020
#261: What musicians need to know about Instagram Reels

Musicians, it's time to get Reel. Instagram Reels — Instagram's answer to TikTok — is now available, and your music can be there too! In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss the features of Instagram Reels, why it matters for your music career, and what it means for TikTok. Plus, gossip and rants about Spotify's Daniel Ek, listeners calls, and more.

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Aug 21, 2020
DIY Musician Stories Ep 04: Maya de Vitry

Maya de Vitry is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. 

In this episode Maya tells us about releasing her beautiful album How To Break a Fall just as the pandemic started to hit. Maya and Montse also chat about holding day-jobs as an artist, self-forgiveness, and social media breaks.

Aug 12, 2020
#260: Creating videos for 2020 and beyond
When it comes to creating videos to promote music, most artists and labels are still operating under that old paradigm of one “Official” music video, which drastically limits their reach and potential impact they get from video. In this episode of the podcast, Kevin is joined by Diarmuid Moloney, the CEO and Co-Founder of Rotor Video to discuss how developing a video strategy in 2020 and beyond looks very different than what we were used to in the past.
Get 50% off your first ROTOR Video by using coupon: CDBABY50
Aug 12, 2020
DIY Musician Stories Ep 03: Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier is a Grammy-nominated folk singer-songwriter who has struck a balance between her own artistry and penning songs for singers such as Blake Shelton and Jimmy Buffett. In 2017, Mary was the keynote speaker at CD Baby's DIY Musician Conference, and had 1000 attendees wiping tears from their eyes after her talk about the transformative power of songwriting to heal trauma. In this episode, Mary conveys that power, while discussing her songcraft, and her new memoir "Saved by the Song," the way her life has changed since the pandemic, and much more.

If you’re a songwriter, or want to be, this episode is a must listen.

More episodes here:

Jul 29, 2020
DIY Musician Stories Ep 02: Amythyst Kiah

Singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah is a solo artist, and can be heard alongside Layla McCalla, Allison Russell and Rhiannon Giddens in the Grammy nominated project Our Native Daughters. In this episode of the NEW DIY Musician Stories podcast, Amythsyt Kiah talks openly about overcoming trauma and pain and how music was her emotional vehicle to process deep feelings. She speaks on the transition of music in her life from an escape into a career, on being a part of the Grammy nominated project Our Native Daughters, and how she’s been leaning into live streams during this time.

Jul 27, 2020
#259: 10 Strategies for releasing a single in 2020

It’s time to rethink the way you release singles. Standalone tracks are no longer SOLELY tied to larger album promo efforts. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss 10 strategies for releasing single songs so you can grow your audience, build algorithmic momentum on streaming platforms, and stay inspired. Plus listener questions!

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Jul 27, 2020
DIY Musician Stories Ep 01: Misty Boyce

Misty Boyce is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She is part of Sara Bareilles and Lord Huron’s band, and has an incredible solo career to boot! 

In this episode of the NEW DIY Musician Stories podcast, Misty talks about what it's like being a "sideman" vs. a solo artist, the artist/manager relationship, and her recent collaboration with Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith.

Jul 14, 2020
#258: Taking your live-stream to the next level!

With so many artists turning to live-streaming, it’s time to ensure you stand out from the rest and take yours to the next level. In this episode Kevin and Chris share more tips on presenting yourself like a pro. Plus, you get a rundown of all the gear Chris uses to pull off a top notch livestream.

The article on Zoom audio tips mentioned in the episode can be found HERE

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Jun 10, 2020
#257: Live-stream success pt 2 - Henry Invisible

On this episode of the podcast, Kevin chats with Henry Invisible to discuss how he’s using live-streaming to make his music go further and reach a broader audience. Henry had been live-streaming before COVID-19, but really took advantage of new opportunities that have popped up as people learn how to socialize in the currently reality.

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May 26, 2020
#256: Live-stream success pt 1 - Dawn Beyer
Like many artists, Dawn set her sights on Nashville in order to pursue her musical dreams. When things hit rock bottom, she randomly notice the “go live” button on Facebook and everything changed. In this episode you’ll hear how Dawn has turned her use of Facebook Live into a full time sustainable career.
Check out Dawn’s live-streaming resources at
May 17, 2020
#255: The truth about live-streaming!

Is your social feed crowded with seemingly every musician on the planet "going live" at once? How many of those livestreams feel like genuine, engaging events? In this episode, Kevin and Chris dig into a lot of the common misperceptions about live streaming and offer some best-practices as well.

Apr 30, 2020
#254: Important news you might have missed

You might have missed some important music industry news during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let's catch you up! In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about recent music biz developments that could impact your music career. Plus some great listener stories and questions.

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Apr 14, 2020
#253: What's the difference between This and That?

There are seven things that many musicians get mixed up — publishers and PROs, cover songs and Public Domain tunes, UPCs and ISRCs, etc. In this episode, Kevin and Chris clear away the confusion. What's the difference between "this" and "that?" Listen up!

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Apr 01, 2020
#252: What to do when your tour gets canceled

What do you do when a gig or tour is cancelled? Touring musicians are facing a time of uncertainty and financial sacrifice as the Coronavirus pandemic has lead to many public gatherings being postponed or cancelled. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk through some of the difficulties artists are confronting, and present a few alternatives to touring so musicians can still engage with fans, drive revenue, and make use of this unexpected downtime.

Our list of resources for artists can be found HERE.

Mar 19, 2020
#251: 7 tips for pitching your music

Whether you want a gig, playlist placement, or press opportunity, you're going to need to sell someone on your music — and that means "pitching." In this episode, Kevin and Chris dissect successful music pitches and find 7 things in common.

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Feb 28, 2020
#250: Social media marketing hacks
Promoting your music on social media can eat up a lot of your time. Sadly, most artists waste that precious time using social media in ways that are rote and uninspired. In this episode, Kevin and Chris walk through a list of quick tips that will help you get better results, have more fun, and create a deeper connection with your audience on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Feb 24, 2020
#249: Evolving with the music business

The music business is constantly evolving. Streaming dominates. Markets are truly global. The way people promote & monetize music shifts every year. And videos are growing shorter and more important than ever before. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about some important changes at CD Baby that will help artists stay ahead of the curve.

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Feb 12, 2020
#248: TikTok 101 for musicians

TikTik Music Distribution

TikTok has more than half a billion active users, it's the most downloaded app in the world, and the entire platform runs on music! Now that CD Baby is delivering YOUR music to TikTok, Kevin and Chris walk you through TikTok culture, features of the app, and a few of the opportunities you have to promote your music with short video.

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Feb 07, 2020
#247: Dave Cool - Building a compelling artist website


Having your own pro website is even MORE important in an age where fan relationships are often owned by anyone but the artist. In this episode, Bandzoogle's Dave Cool talks about creating a good experience for your followers online, capturing their contact info, and using your website as the hub for your music career.

Feb 04, 2020
#246: Starting your music career from the beginning

First time releasing music? Returning to music after a hiatus? Where do you even start? With a plan — then you build the foundation. In this episode, Kevin and Chris outline the basic steps artists should take before, during, and immediately following their first release.

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Jan 14, 2020
#245: Merch sales and your music career

What kind of merch is selling in the streaming era? How do you experiment with t-shirts and other kinds of band merch without going broke? In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk through some of the things they've tried recently, both on tour and online, and some of the trends they see working for DIY musicians today.

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Dec 23, 2019
#244: How to monetize your Instagram

Instagram for Artists

With over 600 million users on Instagram every day, you need your IG game to be strong. In this session recorded at the 2019 DIY Musician Conference, Rick Barker shows you how to use IG to build your music career. Learn the tips and tricks that have helped Barker’s clients take their IG to the next level. He will cover IG Stories, IGTV and IG Live in detail, giving you the most up-to-date strategies and tactics in real time.

Dec 14, 2019
#243: What record companies don't want you to know

"Everything about my music career will get better, easier, bigger, once I'm on a label." That's what musicians tell themselves, and in most cases it isn't true. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about nine things music labels don't want you to know — at least not until it's too late.

Nov 27, 2019
#242: 5 things you need to know about mastering that have nothing to do with audio engineering

Music mastering can be the mysterious and stressful punctuation at the end of your creative recording process. Or it can bring out the best in your music, making it ready for streaming, CD, or vinyl. What should you expect in the mastering process? And what are some things you should beware? In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about 5 things you need to know about mastering, and they use almost zero technical audio engineering terminology.

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Nov 01, 2019
#241: Building a story into your marketing plan

Musicians are natural storytellers, but for some reason we don't apply that  talent to our music marketing. The best music marketing conveys a story that makes someone want to DO something with your music. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about how to liven up your music marketing so you're thinking way beyond uninspiring calls-to-action like "pre-save my music now!"

The song Parked out by the Lake can be found HERE.

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Oct 11, 2019
#240: Target audiences - How to dominate in a niche market

The world’s most successful artists, brands, and companies have one thing in common: They understand their true fans. If you want to build a sustainable, thriving music career, you've got to understand how to work with target audiences. This session, recorded at the 2019 DIY Musician Conference, is a master class in marketing, funding, and developing your art so that it reaches your most enthusiastic fans. Mixing inspiration, information, and practical application, this session offers practical steps for you to dominate a niche market. 

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Sep 27, 2019
#239: 7 things we just learned about pursuing a music career
Sep 12, 2019
#238: DIY Musician Podcast Live – Crowdfunding is dead. What's next?

Once upon a time crowd funding (or fan funding) offered artists the illusion of musical streets paved with gold, all paid for by their adoring fans. Fast forward to today, where many artist have hitchhiked down that hard road only to discover it's full of failed campaigns, extremely difficult work, and unfulfilled promises to both the artist and fans. What does funding look like for musical endeavors in 2019? In this live taping of the DIY Musician Podcast, Kevin and Chris will discuss that past, present, and future of funding for indie artists.

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Aug 28, 2019
#237: 6 months of music news in 60 minutes

Catch up on the first half of 2019's big music stories in less than an hour! Kevin and Chris talk through a number of recent news items that relate to independent music-makers. Plus, listener calls and emails that will blow your mind!

Aug 06, 2019
#236: The 7 most important things to know about distribution in the streaming era

Musicians make a lot of assumptions about what it means to "distribute" a track or album. In the wake of Spotify jumping out of the distribution game (almost as quickly as they jumped in), what should you look for in a long-term distribution partner? In this episode, recorded live at CD Baby HQ, Kevin and Chris talk about the most important things to consider when you release music in the streaming era.

Jul 20, 2019
#235: 5 things that can crush the soul of musicians (and how to avoid them)

A life in music is full of high highs and low lows — but being down doesn't mean you have to stay down. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about five common ways musicians get discouraged, and how to prepare your comeback every time!

Jul 03, 2019
#234: The 2019 DIY Musician Conference preview

3 days could change the course of your whole music career. In this episode, Kevin and Chris discuss what sets the DIY Musician Conference apart from other industry events, and they preview some of the sessions, workshops, and opportunities they think will have the biggest impact on the way you make, market, and monetize your music. Plus listener calls and emails!

Jun 19, 2019
#233: Building a powerful setlist

Are listeners leaning in at your gigs, or are they tuning you out? There are many ways to build a solid set list, but lots of ways to lose your audience too. In this episode, Kevin and Chris talk about the different kinds of sets musicians perform, and how to put the right songs in the right order for each occasion.

Jun 10, 2019
#232: Before you choose your artist or band name, listen to this!

DIY Musician Podcast - Band names

Good band names are hard to come by. Before you decide what you’re going to call yourself as an artist, listen to this episode. Kevin and Chris list a number of common problems with band names, how to avoid them, and WHY your artist name can spell the difference between success and obscurity.

May 28, 2019
#231: Creating a livestream experience with your fans

Live-streaming gives you as a DIY musician a consistent, low-cost way to reach listeners on huge social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and more. You can also format your broadcasts in a number of ways: concerts, talking about your songs, AMAs, and more. In this episode, Kevin asks Chris Robley about his bi-weekly series of live-streamed concerts called “Lunch Songs Live.” The gear, the mistakes, and tips to get your viewers more engaged.

May 05, 2019
#230: Have your say - what musicians want to know pt 2!

In this listener feedback episode, Kevin and Chris answer emails and calls from DIY musicians who are wondering how to market their music in the streaming world, how to brand themselves, how to make sure every sale counts, and more. Plus, news about Amazon and Google introducing free, ad-supported streaming to Echo and Google Home users.

Apr 25, 2019
#229: How to build your list and make a profit giving away your music

In this live taping of the DIY Musician Podcast, CD Baby’s Kevin Breuner and Chris Robley compare notes on how they launched and managed their “Free + Shipping & Handling” campaigns to give away their newest CDs for free — while STILL making a profit, building their email lists, and converting casual listeners into fans. Concepts in this discussion can be applied to ANY sales or marketing funnel for your music, not just a traditional “Free + Shipping” offer.

Apr 15, 2019
#228: How to find a producer that won't drive you mad

A good producer can turn your songs into masterpieces. But a bad producer can ruin more than just your recordings. They can sap your self-confidence, wreck your reputation, and exhaust your energy and bank account. In this episode, Kevin and Chris give some pointers on how to find a good producer, what to expect of them, and how you can pave the way for a fruitful collaboration.

Mar 13, 2019
#227: Marketing trends to watch in 2019

The foundations of music marketing stay pretty solid: capture attention, offer value, lead listeners on a journey from awareness to action. But the house you build on that foundation is always shifting. What older marketing strategies still work for musicians in 2019? What are the new tools to tell your story? How do the shifting expectations of your audience alter your approach? In this LIVE taping of the DIY Musician Podcast, CD Baby's Kevin Breuner and Chris Robley will discuss what effective music marketing looks like today — and tomorrow.

Feb 21, 2019
#226: The new way to market you music!

At CD Baby, we are always looking for new and innovative ways for artists to market and promote their music. That’s why we’re happy to announce  Spotify audio ads and banner ad targeting as a new additions to our marketing platform. In this episode. Kevin and Jason ( walk through the new features that are going to change how artists promote their music to fans. If you still don’t have a a account, you can get it for free by creating a CD Baby account and clicking on the “Free Marketing Tools” link on the dashboard. 

Jan 30, 2019
#225: 25 ways you're sabotaging your music career

Are you standing in the way of your own success? In this episode Kevin and Chris talk about 25 kinds of self-sabotaging artist. Are you one of them? Listen in to make sure you’re not creating obstacles in your music career.

Jan 15, 2019
#224: Have your say, Pt 2 — what MORE musicians want to know…

As we close out 2018, we have another episode dedicated (mostly) to our listeners, where DIY musicians call and email with great questions and tips! “Mostly” dedicated, because the episode begins with Kevin and Chris sharing some of the successful things they’ve tried recently while releasing singles, touring, marketing music, and selling new merch!

Dec 17, 2018
#223: Have your say - what musicians want to know!

Our listeners ask great questions, so we thought we'd do a whole episode taking calls and emails from DIY musicians, and then try our best to provide answers that aren't bonkers. Plus, inspirational film and podcast recommendations that will help you close out 2018 on an upswing.

Dec 03, 2018