#103: Roundtable – News, Fan Funding, Sound Exchange and a Special Offer

Listeners to this episode will be privy to a special deal from both CD Baby and HostBaby.  So don’t miss it.  In this episode of the DIY Musician Podcast: UK music subscription service Spotify shares some positive results, Ustream unveils new features, and Apple launches iLife 11. The Podcasters discuss fan funding projects and dig into last weeks interview with Bryan Calhoun of Sound Exchange.  Thanks for all the great listener comments!

On the show, Kevin reads an email by Sarah Donner, who is seeing some success by connecting her videos to the right niche market.  You can check out her video for the Center Pivot Irrigation Song here.



  • The same dog also did the album version on “Meddle”. Like “Mr Moonlight” for The Beatles this is widely considered to be the all time least popular Pink Floyd track.


  • Why doesn’t the podcast work for me? It used to stream perfectly fine, but for the last few months it only plays the first 20 seconds or so and then freezes 🙁 doesnt work in the pop up player and doesn’t download. I have a brand new computer with highspeed internet. I don’t understand.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.



  • Thanks for the discount. Already signed up my holiday album. The DIY Musician Blog sparked the path. 10 originals and 2 public domain covers later it’ll be going up around Nov 20. ‘like’ ‘Martin Blasick – singer/songwriter’ on facebook to see daily holiday countdown vids. Kind of cheesy. Lots of fun and joy. Thanks Kevin, Bolt & Chris for keeping the indie scene flowing with ideas.

  • Meghan,

    I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble! It’s working fine on our end. What web browser are you using? We’re on Macs, so I can’t test Internet Explorer. You might try a different browser.

    Another solution, is to subscribe through iTunes, as it sounds like you’re having issues with the podcast website specifically.

    If none of those solutions work, let me know. Are you outside the USA?

  • Thanks for the reply, Kevin!

    I am indeed outside the USA (Canada) and am using Firefox with Windows 7. The subscription through itunes is working great! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Now that I’ve actually heard the podcast (haha), I’d like to comment on the UStream discussion.

    I started broadcasting a weekly webcast on Ustream around 6 months ago and love the regular free service and am looking forward to investing in their Producer Pro program. Though I don’t have nearly enough viewers or a polished enough production to be considered for the pay per view option , I don’t think I would use it anyway… at least not for the weekly show. Part of what makes the webcast magical is the fact that it is very interactive and anybody can join in for free and come and go as they please. Part of the point is to bring people together. I wouldn’t want to exclude people for financial reasons. As an independent artist, I think that’s really important. The only time I would be interested in using a pay per view service would be for a special event, such as an exclusive online concert someone wants us to put on for themm, or a CD release (and include the CD with the cost of the ‘ticket’).

    Happy Halloween!


  • Hey guys,

    FYI there is a website called Kapipal | http://www.kapipal.com which uses your exsisting PayPal account and Kapipal’s website to run a Kickstarter-esque campaign.

    Great for those who don’t want to or can’t find someone to build a site to do a crowdfunding project.

    Keep up the great podcasts.

  • It’s on:

    Please take a look. Like me on Facebook:

    You guys have motivated me. Thanks again. Best to all.

  • One more quick note on Fanfunding unless you havent read it already: Argument Against Fan Funding | http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/an-argument-against-fan-funding.html

  • Perfect timing with the discount! I have two new albums and just added them for CD Baby sales and digital distribution. Thank you!

  • anyone else into ustream and have a channel to share? I’d love to check out what the CDbaby community is up to. post links below plz

  • Just listened to episode #15, where you predict that the beatles will by on itunes by christmas. I thought, “huh, good guess,” until I realized that the episode was recorded in 2007!

  • Missing you guys! Hope everything is OK.

  • It’s 9.1 cents a play. Every song under five minutes is 9.1 cents each. If I make my own album.I will make sure I spell my name right on all my websites.I’m going to pinch a dog by the ear on the next song I make. and to practice my scales! http://www.leetaylormusic.net great job with the podcast.

  • Posted this elsewhere–sorry to duplicate but I think this is where is was supposed to go…

    Hey, guys,

    Heard my call on the show (finally getting caught up with the podcast) and you heard right–$2-3 per PLAY on XM/Sirius. I wish I could open my statements and tell you exactly but I don’t have the proper codes to access my most recent statements.

    Doing the math, I’m making about $27/day (quarterly earnings divided by 91.25 days/quarter) and I think the only significant royalties I’m getting are off one channel on satellite radio. There’s no way I’m getting pennies per play or I’d be on the air non-stop. As far as I can tell, they’re playing me less than 10X per day. (XMFan.com is supposed to tell you all the times you’ve been played but I don’t think it’s 100% accurate).

    I tell you all this not to brag (I hope that’s not how it came across–you did ASK for hard figures, right?) but to let everyone know this is REAL money SoundExchange is paying. Everyone seems to be under the impression that their royalties would not be worth the effort it takes to register. I don’t know what, if anything, I get paid when Pandora plays me but satellite radio, being a subscription service, must have to pay more than traditional radio. Maybe it’s because it’s continent-wide?

    I am getting the royalties for owning my masters and as the songwriter (and performance royalty, too?) but I would think most of your listeners would be in the same boat.

    Granted, kids’ music is a separate entity but still, you’ll have no idea what your royalties are until you’ve registered with SoundExchange. I don’t remember it being all that hard personally.

    Anyhoo, keep up the great work and keep playin’!

  • Hey guys

    I’ve been loving on your podcast for mm gosh I guess a couple of years on and off. Time flies. Thought it might finally be time to comment on something, since your episode of fan funding happened to correspond with the tail end of my kickstarter campaign.

    I have finally come to a point where I realize the amount of energy and effort that needs to go into the marketing and promoting of an album is at least triple that of the album itself. But I owe it to these songs, and so I labor. My career has been steadily snowballing since I started thinking about how attention and energy works, especially with the internet. I processed my last couple of artistic ventures… what worked, what didn’t, and synthesized it all into this plan for a new album which I have just set in motion at the beginning of this month. I am really confident that it is going to successful, and the kickstarter campaign has proved that.

    But it’s super nervewracking. This is my baby, and I know from experience that no amount of that whining, crying, pleading, shouting about the beauty and artistic integrity of these (potential) songs will get people onboard. I’ve got to create something of a movement around the project. Here are a few things that have been working for me:

    1. Get specific… unless you’re a pop sensation, focusing on the general, everybody-and-their-mom appeal of your songs just makes you blend in with the pack… not an attribute that helps when fundraising. I find that it is more powerful to give a small group of people a “hey, he’s a ________, just like me!” experience than to attempt to avoid the mass populace having a “he belongs in another group” impression.

    2. Create an “Entry Point”… It never hurts to pick one trait of one song, or a thread running through the album and paint the whole project with what seems like a broad brush but is really just a kernel. As long as you’re not extremely misleading, no one is going to be angry that the reason they first got interested in your project isn’t the reason that they ended up loving it. (Especially if it’s REALLY GOOD)

    3. Encourage the Wave… I think of viral internet attention as a breaking wave that needs some encouragement, and it is easy to blow your load with a post on FB, twitter, and your newsletter all at once and then watch… nothing happen. If you know you’ve got a good product that’s worthy of attention, you’ve got to find a way to keep nudging it from different angles.

    I know that people don’t necessarily ignore my social network posts and my emails because they are uninterested. We are all busy, and it often takes several reminders for me to take action on even something that I am interested in. But I want to be reminding people as much as possible without feeling like I am spamming them. Here are a couple of strategies I’ve found helpful for this:

    a.) Announce Landmarks… Even if you’ve already heard from me about my Kickstarter campaign, you are probably going to be interested when I am at the halfway point and close to the end. So that’s three big outputs right there. I’ve announced the first two, big time (blog, website, FB, Twitter, Newsletter) and am preparing for the third.

    b.) Approach From Different Subject Angles… After a few months of silence, my website has gone back into full outreach mode again this month, with several posts along the subject lines of the “entry point”, which eventually come back around to the fundraiser. It gives people something to click on other than “here’s another update about my fundraiser, which you have either chosen to ignore or have already engaged with and are tired of hearing about.”

    c.) Approach From Different Accounts… People are going to get turned off if you repeat something over and over on your Facebook page. But if something repeats on your fan page AND your personal page, it’s their fault because they chose to follow both of you. For my project I even created a specific FB fanpage just for the project itself, so that gives me 3 different FB venues to post the same thing. We all know that things stick on FB depending on how many folks interact with it and there are a lot of arbitrary factors surrounding whether people interact with a post or not. Best to give them a couple of chances, so I stagger the same post over two days from 3 different accounts.

    Wow, I guess I found myself writing an essay. Obviously something I think about a lot and don’t have anybody to talk about with. Thank you for your podcast, to fill that empty void in my life. 🙂

    I’ll pause for now. Let me know if my thoughts are welcome or annoying or what. My Kickstarter campaign (13 days left!) is here: Get Naked Or Bust

    in peace
    Jon Watts

  • Great post, Jon. I totally agree with your idea about an ‘entry point.’ Just like a good song needs a hook, good marketing needs something specific that will stay in listeners’ minds.