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The Pandemic And Protests Are Shaping The Way Independent Artists Release Music

CD Baby has seen album submissions skyrocket with an over 100% increase. And TuneCore estimates submission volume has gone up between 20 to 40%.

Kevin Breuner, who is CD Baby’s SVP of Marketing and Artist Brands, says that indies like MonoNeon should continue to release music. Breuner is speaking as a music executive and an independent artist himself. He is a guitarist in the Christian rock band, Smalltown Poets.

“Music services, especially platforms like Spotify, are really doing things to reward artists for releasing music more consistently.” For instance, new releases can get the attention of Spotify playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar that can put artists in front of new fans.

Breuner advises artists to view an album release not as a moment, but a season. “I would have a new single come out in June from that album. I'd have a new single come out in July, and then I'd launch the album in August and then I'd try to follow up with some remix versions like a remix EP or alternate versions or live versions. What that does is every time [you release music] you're going to see a spike in growth of your audience.”

Photo of smiling Kevin Breuner who is wearing a t-shirt.
Kevin Breuner is the SVP of Marketing, Artist Brands at CD Baby, and a guitarist in the Christian ... [+] KEONI KUER
But sometimes, a release that’s not relevant to the pandemic and protests can go unnoticed. Breuner encourages artists to find new ways for fans to experience the song. This could be a stripped down version for an acoustic playlist or setting up a Facebook Watch Party or YouTube premiere to launch the song’s music video. For Breuner, his band is experimenting with remote live performances that mirror Zoom calls.