CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux Knows What it Means to Do It Yourself
When Tracy Maddux—a passionate fan of live music—joined CD Baby, he decided he needed to see a show by each of the new employees he worked with. Nearly everyone at CD Baby plays music. It meant ...
Spotify has proven vital to emerging and independent artists for distribution and income--and now as a launch pad for serious marketing efforts. From a tiny fraction of overall listening ten years ago to a huge slice now, streaming platforms provide a new place for independent artists to actively engage fans.
Thanks to CD Baby’s recent new offerings via marketing platform Show.co, artists have more ways to reach listeners and build an audience. The coolest feature: pre-save campaigns that automatically convert post-release to “save,” a feature unique to CD Baby and show.co. It’s like the beloved iTunes pre-sale links, but for a new streaming reality.
CD Baby offers a set of tools that opens up possibilities once only within the reach of major labels--free to all CD Baby artists. “We work to support our artists’ efforts to reach fans where they listen, and Spotify is one of these crucial places,” says Kevin Breuner of CD Baby. “More than 30,000 labels and artists have already used Show.co’s services, so we know it works. We are really proud to offer this to our artists as a part of their already comprehensive toolbox.”
In the hands of each CD Baby artist, Show.co can launch numerous campaigns to drive audience growth and list building, promote new music and videos, and more. These calls-to-action can include following the artist on Spotify, subscribing to the artist’s YouTube channel, engaging in a contest, premiering a music video and more. Artists also have the opportunity to trade music singles for a fan’s email address. Once the fan submits their email address, their city and country are also automatically collected, providing valuable information for marketing efforts such as tour promotion.
Pre-saves are the streaming music-era answer to the pre-sale link. Via Show.co, these campaigns roll over automatically to “save,” once the album is released. “The automatic pre-save is a proprietary feature,” explains Rebecca Bateman, Senior Marketing Manager at CD Baby. “Pre-saves are not built into Spotify. We figured out how to both create a pre-save campaign and then turn it into a regular save campaign automatically once the release goes live, so the campaign stays relevant,” with no action required from busy artists.
Show.co had quietly attracted the attention of major labels (Universal) and big indies (Rounder, Nettwerk), as well as others. But since the acquisition by CD Baby, its 650,000 independent artists are able use the service for free to share content and collect important audience data. For artists and labels who do not use CD Baby, Show.co’s marketing services cost up to $99 per month.
Pre-saves are more than a gimmick; it’s a way to grow a fanbase and gain full access to fans. “Show.co provides an amazing direct-connect for our artists and their fans,” says Breuner. “Indie musicians can not only build their email lists, but also track what platforms their fans are using to consume their music, thus guiding the artist on what music streaming and video services to focus on.”