CD Baby Office, December 2017 – We were lucky enough to meet with Kevin Breuner, VP Marketing at CD Baby, a music distribution company which is famous for its positioning on independent artists and helping them all the ways they can. Founded in 1998 by Derek Sivers, the company hasn’t changed DNA since.
Only last month, CD Baby distributed more than 14,000 new releases from artists, both physically and on online platforms. Even though the physical side of the business is decreasing, it remains an important part of CD Baby’s business. Walking through the warehouse full of CDs, and now more and more pieces of vinyl, we can feel why.
Kevin Breuner hasn’t stopped studying how an artist can emerge in today’s world. He has animated more than 200 shows on CD Baby’s podcast channel called DIY Musician. CD Baby’s blog is also a great source of tips for any artist trying to make it in the music world. Take as an example this great article on the things every musician should do before releasing a single.
So we asked Kevin what were his most important advice for emerging artists releasing music in 2018. So here they are, the 2 most important things musicians have to understand in 2018 to give them the best possible odds.
1. Try to understand how the streaming platforms, and especially Spotify work
Being heavily data-driven, Spotify is sensible to how artists behave on the platform. Releasing just one tune out of the blue may not be the good solution to get under the radar of Spotify editorial teams.
However, releasing tunes, EPs and LPs regularly might be the right way to succeed. Indeed, Spotify rewards artists who are particularly active on the platform. That’s how Kevin and his band Smalltown Poets made their way through the Release Radar playlist on Spotify. So keep on following the trends and what Spotify likes.
2. Stop thinking you have to sell your music before people will listen to it, focus on having them listen to your music
There’s been a change in paradigm in the last decades. Before, artists and record labels would try everything to sell records, and then people would listen to it. Now it’s the exact contrary. Artists need only one thing: for people to listen to their songs. It’s the only way to build a fanbase, people who’ll start coming to show, buy merch…
Who is Kevin Breuner?
Kevin Breuner has been working at CD Baby for 12 years. He arrived in 2006 and started at the call center, answering musicians’ questions all day long. Now he is VP Marketing for CD Baby. When he started, there was not even a marketing department.
Until now, he has hosted more than 200 shows on CD Baby DIY Musician Podcast and develops the CD Baby brand in Europe with the first European DIY Musician Conference, which will be held in April 14th-15th on Berklee College Campus in Valencia, Spain (more info).
On top of his work, he’s the guitarist of the successful Christian rock band Smalltown Poets, which was formed in 2006 and earned 2 Grammy Awards nomination for Best Gospel Rock Album.
These are two really great tips! Thanks.