Patreon, Year Two

Patreon, Year Two

Patreon consumed my last year. Between launching my page, promoting it, and delivering on what I promised to patrons, there was little time left for other musical or marketing activities. These days, most of what I make from my music comes from patrons. Starting at $1 per month, they get exclusive first access to new…

What Artists Should Know About Playlist Push

What Artists Should Know About Playlist Push

UPDATE: I gave Playlist Push another whirl in March, and they’ve come a long way since I wrote this. You won’t miss anything if you skip straight to my latest review, Playlist Push Revisited. My Spotify numbers are weak compared to my other social stats. I hover around 1200 listeners and 3600 streams per month….

I Spent $500 Promoting My Song on Deezer

I Spent $500 Promoting My Song on Deezer

$500 is a lot of money. As much as I love testing out promotion ideas and sharing the results with you, that’s more than I’m typically willing to spend. In this case though, I didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. The referral link I included in my earlier article on Feature.fm (which will…

ReverbNation’s New Crowd Review, Reviewed

ReverbNation’s New Crowd Review, Reviewed

Which of my unreleased songs will people like? I have no idea. Friends and family aren’t much help either. Fortunately, I’m able to get unbiased feedback from fans of my genre through ReverbNation’s Crowd Review, which has been completely overhauled since ReverbNation’s acquisition of Audiokite last November. To call this market research simply “helpful” would be a gross understatement. My…

Why I Chose Patreon

Why I Chose Patreon

I haven’t bought a CD since 2011. If it isn’t on Spotify, to me, it doesn’t exist. Once you’ve experienced the convenience of having the entire history of recorded music in your pocket, why would you go back to schlepping files around? 50 million paid subscribers agree. Thus, it is with great sadness and a…

What Artists Should Know About MusicSubmit

What Artists Should Know About MusicSubmit

MusicSubmit is a music submission platform, similar to recently reviewed SubmitHub, but with a broader reach. They too cover music blogs, but their primary focus is online radio. CEO Michael Corcoran credited me with 25 “Best Shot” submissions to give MusicSubmit a spin. Now sit back as I share my journey from painful anonymity to online radio glory. Approximately. Step 1:…

Is Radio Airplay Still Worth It?

Is Radio Airplay Still Worth It?

Jango is a free internet radio platform similar to Pandora. Feed it an artist name and it generates a playlist of related songs. Radio Airplay injects songs from emerging artists into those playlists. I started using Radio Airplay a.k.a. Jango Airplay when it launched in March of 2009. Over the past seven years, my songs have racked up 340,246 plays at a…

These 59 Music Blogs Will Listen to Your Song, Guaranteed

These 59 Music Blogs Will Listen to Your Song, Guaranteed

UPDATE: I wrote this in March of 2016, and it quickly became my most popular post. Four years later SubmitHub has over 1100 curators including radio stations, YouTube and Twitch channels, Spotify playlisters, and Instagram influencers. Read about my latest experience, including tips and tricks from SubmitHub’s founder, here. I hate submitting my music to blogs. Hate…

What Artists Should Know About Feature.fm

What Artists Should Know About Feature.fm

UPDATE: Since writing this article, 8tracks disappeared and recently relaunched, so I’m not sure how much of this still applies. You can also promote your song on Feature.fm through Deezer. Read about my experience with that here. Right now my favorite Feature.fm feature is Smart Links. Every musical artist wants their work to be heard….

Audiam, AdRev, and YouTube Content ID

Audiam, AdRev, and YouTube Content ID

Someone is using your song in their video, and they didn’t ask. What do you do? You could tell them to remove it, or even report it to YouTube. It wouldn’t make you any friends, but you’d most certainly be within your rights. Or, you could just ignore it. It’s exposure, right? Even if you’re not properly…

The Definitive Album Release Checklist

The Definitive Album Release Checklist

Your album is mixed and mastered, finally! You’ve got cover art and maybe even replication lined up. Now what? This is the question I was hired to answer. Specifically, I was asked to create a to-do list for a band’s debut album. They were generous enough to allow me to share it with you. Keep in mind…

Crowd Review Track Smarts: SoundOut vs AudioKite vs Music Xray

Crowd Review Track Smarts: SoundOut vs AudioKite vs Music Xray

UPDATE: ReverbNation acquired Audiokite in November of 2016, and improved upon it with their new Crowd Review product, which I review here. This is the story of a mediocre song. An objectively mediocre song. My song. Curse you, data! If you’re looking for unbiased feedback on your latest track, you’ve got five options. Well, five-ish. There’s SoundOut,…

What Artists Should Know About Next Big Sound

What Artists Should Know About Next Big Sound

Perhaps you don’t sell too many albums on iTunes, or have that many SoundCloud plays or YouTube views. But maybe, just maybe, your music is really popular in some far off corner of the digital universe you never even knew about, and all that “exposure” you’ve racked up over the years is paying off behind the scenes….

Can LANDR Replace Your Mastering Engineer?

Can LANDR Replace Your Mastering Engineer?

Drag-and-drop online mastering is here, and it’s free to try. LANDR (affiliate link) provides unlimited 192 kbps mp3 masters of your tracks in seconds. If you like what you hear, you can pay for uncompressed 16-bit .wav masters. Pricing is very reasonable at $9 for four or $19 for unlimited masters per month. Paid users also get to…

The Art of the Niche Music Video

The Art of the Niche Music Video

I had the pleasure of working with Matthew Myers on the soon-to-be-released Just Dance Kids 3 video game. As I got to know him and his music, I was blown away by the response to his highly targeted YouTube videos. This recent comment from darksilver1200 sums it up perfectly: “I feel sorry for all NON-otaku fans….

How to Comp Vocals in Ableton Live

How to Comp Vocals in Ableton Live

I’m long overdue for a music promotion post, but even more overdue for a new Color Theory release! Once I wrap up my next EP, I’ll turn my focus back to promotion, and of course share my efforts and results. In the meantime, I’d like to address a common concern for Ableton Live users: how…

YouTube’s Dirty Little Secret

YouTube’s Dirty Little Secret

Ever spotted a terrible video on YouTube with an inconceivably high view count? Of course you have. Would it make you feel better knowing that most of those “views” were completely automated and only lasted 30 seconds with the sound turned off? Vagex (referral link), a hugely popular YouTube exchange platform, is largely to blame….

Make Space for Tight Bass

Make Space for Tight Bass

The bass and kick are the foundation of your mix, and we want them to utterly dominate the lowest frequencies. I’m going to show you how to use a frequency analyzer to cut excess lows from every track in your mix, leaving clear, tight, punchy bass. Configure SPAN My favorite frequency analyzer is Voxengo SPAN….

Next Steps to Music Licensing

Next Steps to Music Licensing

I’m excited to bring you a follow-up to one of the most popular articles on this site, by friend and music licensing veteran Helen Austin. -Brian My music career has advanced significantly in the two years since I first wrote about film and TV placement. As more and more licensing opportunities become available to indie artists, I’m often asked for advice. It’s nice to…

What Artists Should Know About Earbits

What Artists Should Know About Earbits

Earbits is a personalized streaming radio site focused on independents, with no ads or subscription fees. Like Jango, Last.fm, and Grooveshark, they sell airtime packages to artists. At around a penny a play, it’s a relative bargain, especially since they only charge for songs played past the 30 second mark. Put another way, $50 buys…

7 Steps to Finding a Music Publisher

7 Steps to Finding a Music Publisher

Back by popular demand, I’m proud to present another guest post by friend and music licensing veteran Helen Austin. -Brian I’ve had songs with several publishers, from large instrumental libraries to publishers promising me Coke ads. I now write exclusively for pigFactory and get songs regularly placed in ads and on TV and movies (click here for…

An Argument Against “Pay What You Want” Pricing

An Argument Against “Pay What You Want” Pricing

Lady Gaga shot to the top of the sales charts upon the release of her last album, in part because it was deeply discounted on Amazon. Radiohead pioneered the “pay what you want” approach, with most downloaders opting to pay nothing at all. Last week I asked my fans which pricing model they prefer, and received…

What Artists Should Know About ReverbNation’s Promote It

What Artists Should Know About ReverbNation’s Promote It

Running a Facebook ad campaign is confusing. You bid for ad placement, but the price you pay bears little relation to your bid. What’s the difference between reach and social reach, connections and clicks, CPC and CPM? More importantly, is there any way to tell how many people played, downloaded, and shared your song, or…

That's all, folks!

That's all, folks!