CD Baby launches YouTube multi-channel network
by Coral Williamson
Independent distributor CD Baby has launched a multi-channel network on YouTube named Illustrated Sound.
The company will build on its customer service and DIY expertise to help musicians hone in on more effective strategies and to help musicians hone their revenue-maximising strategies. Illustrated Sound’s initial focus will be on artist education, including guiding artists to improve their channel’s earnings and chasing down answers to complex questions.
CD Baby's director of strategic partnerships Phil Bauer said: “We’ve been an indie artist advocate and platform for nearly two decades. We bring scale and we have a track record of doing right by the artists.
“YouTube offers many resources for users to make the most of the platform but they tend to be scattered in a lot of different places. We have ambitious plans for what this could develop into, but first we want to capitalise on core competencies. The first step will be distilling all the advice and best practices into actionable pieces that artists can use, which in turn will help them make more money from the platform.
“Illustrated Sound’s forum will give artists a place to interact and connect. We hope to set up genre-specific channels. And our popular retail platform will allow us to target buyers by genre.”
Kevin Breuner (pictured), VP of marketing at CD Baby added: “CD Baby’s YouTube catalogue grossed $3.6 million in 2014, so it’s clear that a large number of our artists are using the platform, and some do it with real savvy. But we've identified many that have yet to follow even the first round of the simple suggestions laid out by YouTube to optimise their channel.
"There is an enormous amount of missed revenue because artists have not approached YouTube as its own platform. We're going to educate artists, and by bringing them into the network, we'll really have the opportunity to partner with them to drive more money for their content.”
The MCN will also be open to artists who do not use CD Baby. Launching with a dozen channels, the company hopes to grow the network’s offerings to a 1,000 channels in the first year.