Ari Herstand (Ari's Take)
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Q

I want to sign up for CD Baby Pro, but some of the provisions freak me out, like allowing outsiders to change my lyrics, create derivatives and samples from my songs. Am I being paranoid?


Ari Herstand (Ari's Take) responded on 10/18/2016
A

I wouldn't necessarily worry about that. You still own the copyright to the song and no one can legally release a derivative version of your song without the copyright owner's (you) permission. I believe they put that in there if a TV show wants to use your music and they need to mute the lyrics during the show or something like that. You can always write them and ask: cdbaby@cdbaby.com

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Q

I need advice for an artist who is an indie producer, engineer, mixing engineer, and all that jazz. What about me? how do I get exposure and get paid like the big wigs??


Ari Herstand (Ari's Take) responded on 10/18/2016
A

Hey there. It's all about what you create. Do your recordings stand up against what's on the radio or if you don't do pop, does it stand up against the music topping the (indie) charts? If so, it may be worth signing up on SoundBetter and AirGigs to advertise your services.

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Q

I posted my music on bandcamp and was contacted by a company called Radio Ready PR Plans. They wanted to market my stuff to radio and help me sleek up my website, press releases, bio, stuff like that, as well as pitch my songs for licensing. They ask for $600 one time and 40% of every placement. Is this a good deal?


Ari Herstand (Ari's Take) responded on 10/18/2016
A

Never pay a licensing company up front for services. Licensing companies only should get paid when you get paid. They get a commission typically between 30-50%. 40% is reasonable. $600 is not.

However, they seem to be combining a couple services: bio writing, press release, photos, radio pitching. If that is the case, then make sure the $600 is going to pay for those things and not for licensing services.

Always ask what radio stations, specifically, they will be pitching you at and what their success rate is. I'm assuming it's college radio. Which can be fine, but how are you going to leverage the college radio adds?

What are their synch licensing successes? Are they just going to get you on MTV shows for free or will they be working to get you the $50,000 ad campaigns, $10,000 prime time television spots, $80,000 movie trailers and movie inclusions.

Get a breakdown exactly where the $600 is going. Ask if they will work with you just on synch licensing for 40%.

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Q

After reading your review, I'm still conflicted. Please advise with your experience which one of the digital distributors is the best to go with. I have signed up with tunecore but I am a bit dubious and havent spent any money yet
Thanks


Ari Herstand (Ari's Take) responded on 10/18/2016
A

If you're planning to release songs regularly, Tunecore and CD Baby will get expensive. DistroKid would be the option for you. If you're only planning to release 1 album a year or so, CD Baby or Tunecore are fine. If you earn more than $1,000 (in a year) from downloads/streams, Tunecore is better because they don't take commission. However, if you have not sold more $1,000 (in 1 year) CD Baby is better because they don't charge you $50 every year. I crunched the numbers and you need to earn about $1,000 every year for the $50 annual Tunecore charge to be worth it.

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Q

what level of mention should an opening act have on the bill


Ari Herstand (Ari's Take) responded on 09/21/2016
A

They should be listed for sure. Typically below the headliner's name. But on more artsy posters it can be placed elsewhere

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Q

Does CD baby own publishing rights over your music? I put a song up there July 2014 and they released it on Youtube without my knowledge or permission.


Ari Herstand (Ari's Take) responded on 09/21/2016
A

they have an opt in for YouTube ad revenue collection. They don't own anything. They will claim your videos to collect ads on them and then pay you but no, no ownership. You don't have to opt in for this (if you just do distribution and not the "Pro" option)

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Q

hi I am wanting to change from songtrust to tunecore; i have been with songtrust over a year and have not seen anything and i have alot of music out there and i know it takes time will there be any problem or will i lose out from the past year


Ari Herstand (Ari's Take) responded on 09/21/2016
A

I wouldn't recommend you switching from Songtrust to Tunecore. It's a huge hassle and honestly Tunecore won't do anything more for you than Songtrust would (and you need to pay $75 signup fee). Until you start working with a full on publishing company (not just an admin publishing co - like these are) you can't expect anything more than royalty collection.