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15 YouTube Videos Every Independent Musician Needs To See

The music industry is a brave new world in 2018 — especially for independent artists. Streaming revenue has been a boon for many, but some artists lack the know-how to monetize their art.

Independent artists accounted for more than $6 billion in revenue in 2016, and that figure is likely to rise annually for years to come, thanks to the ease with which anyone can distribute their music around the world in a near-instant. One independent songwriter/artist recently told me he's earning about $4,000 each month in Spotify revenue from a catalog of about 70 songs. "That's not enough to keep me at home off the road, but it's a pretty nice little chunk of passive income," he says.

CD Baby, which controls publishing on more than 1 million songs from independent artists and has helped millions more distribute their master recordings, recently staged its annual DIY Musician Conference in Nashville. The event brought together top artists, songwriters, and marketers from the independent community to cover topics relevant to today's DIY artists, including getting songs into popular Spotify playlists, utilizing YouTube correctly, and touring internationally without a booking agent.

For artists unable to attend the conference, CD Baby curated a playlist of 15 how-to videos. They're a fantastic resource for independent artists looking to bulk up their knowledge of the business. (And — spoiler alert — if you're an independent artist who doesn't want to learn more about the business side, you may not be able to support yourself as an artist for long!)

All 15 videos are worth watching, but even artists unable to commit to the entire series should check out the three below:

How To Pay Off Your House With Streaming Revenue

Get Your Music On Spotify Playlists

Strategic Brand Partnerships For Independent Artists

"At its core, CD Baby’s role is to help music creators both get their music into the world and make sure they collect upon every revenue stream for that music," says Head of Creator Services Jon Bahr. "We give artists and songwriters full choice to layer different services under creator-friendly terms, as opposed to overreaching rights grabs." Bahr told Music Business Worldwide that CD Baby estimates it delivers almost 50% of the independent artist songs in North America on streaming platforms, roughly 3,000 songs a day.

CD Baby will stage its 2019 DIY Musician Conference in Austin, Texas. Dates and ticket prices will be announced at a later date.