Song Exploder, which I’ve talked about before, is where “musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” I think songwriters especially will enjoy this podcast. But really anyone who likes hearing about the creative process will like it too.
One of my favorite episodes is the one with Weezer, and not just because I grew up listening to them. It’s because front man Rivers Cuomo has such a unique songwriting process.
And The Writer Is…
Ross Golan (writer/co-writer of “My House” by Flo Rida, “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande, “Fresh Eyes” by Andy Grammar) hosts the And The Writer Is… podcast. Every episode, he talks with “an acclaimed and venerable songwriter to intimately discuss what happens behind closed doors in the music industry.”
They cover the songwriting process, the business side of music, personal stuff — all of it. One of the more interesting episodes is the one with Andy Grammar.
DIY Musician Podcast
The goal of the DIY Musician Podcast from CD Baby is (surprise) to help DIY musicians succeed. They mainly cover the business/marketing/practical side of music-making. So if you’re out there trying to make music your career, you’ll want to give this podcast a shot.
In a landmark deal, the songwriting industry and music streaming companies partnered to cut a deal with the federal government, reports The Tennessean.
Without getting too much into the legal jargon, here’s what the new deal means: streaming companies will now be able to easily license songs, while songwriters and publishers should see an increase in their own digital rates.
Here’s a little more detail on what the deal will lead to:
“Songwriters and publishers could be identified more accurately and paid more promptly,” thanks to a soon-to-be mechanical digital rights organization run by music publishers and funded by streaming companies
Boosted royalty rates for songwriters, thanks to rate courts being able to look at sound recording royalty rates as a factor when they set rates for songwriters and publishers
More boosted royalty rates for songwriters, thanks to us being able to present as evidence for more royalties the sync licensing deals (our music in TV/film) we get.
ASCAP and BMI can take their rate-setting disputes to any of the federal judges for the Southern District of New York, instead of being assigned to one federal judge
The DIY Music Train Will Keep Chugging — Hop On
Now is one of the best times to be a DIY musician.
Anyone can record music in their bedroom and make it sound professional (check out the Audio Recording category for more on that). It’s so easy and affordable to distribute your music worldwide.
It’s simple — create an account for free, upload your songs, start selling directly to your fans, and collect up to 85% of sales (BC takes 15% from all digital music sales, 10% from merch sales — see here).
Plus, they’ve designed simple and cool customizable artist pages, and the embeddable players look great.
Free to sign up and list your music
Fair revenue share pricing
Good looking design
No compensation for song streams
I use CD Baby to get my music on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and a bunch of other digital music stores. The cost options are Free, Standard for $49, or Pro for $89 (see image above), then they take 9% commission from digital sales.
Plus, they have additional services, like song mastering, sync licensing, and they’ll even make physical CDs for you.
Distribution to nearly every digital store
One-time distribution fee
They’ll make physical CDs or vinyl for you
To distribute your music, you need to buy a UPC (Universal Product Code) — an additional $5 for a single or $20 for an album
Tunecore and CD Baby essentially do the same thing — distribute your music to almost every digital music store. They also will press physical CDs for you, among other similar services. But there’s one big difference — the way Tunecore works is they charge an annual fee for each release.
So, for example, if I distribute three albums for $30 each, I’m paying $90 a year to keep them listed. If I don’t have $90 worth of digital sales per year, I’m losing money. However, to balance this, they don’t take any sales commission.
Years ago, I worked with Tunecore to distribute my music, but sadly I wasn’t selling enough music back then to break even. So I switched to CD Baby and have been with them ever since.
But it depends on your situation — Tunecore might be a great fit for you.
Distribution to nearly every digital store
You keep 100% of your sales commission
They’ll make physical CDs for you
Annual fee per album and per single
Music licensing — allowing someone like a filmmaker to use your song in their video in exchange for a fee — can be a nice money-maker. You can earn anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars per song used, and you can often license the same song multiple times.
Musicbed and Audiosocket seem like great starting places for musicians who want to get into this industry, especially electronic musicians and composers.
Want More Info?
If you’d like a super in-depth review of some of these websites and many others, I’d recommend checking out Ari Herstand’s review over on aristake.com. He did so much work on it. It’s a lot of info, but worth the read.