How to Create an Album

I discuss creating an album. The process, issues I ran into, CDbaby, and record labels.

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Transcript

building any business in the center of venture capital. I am Alex Edmonds, also known as supremerumham on the internet. And this is the building indie business podcasts. Okay, so today I'm going to be talking about how to create an album. So a little backstory on this is, I have invested in a friend album, right so I'm helping them create it. Right, so financially I've invested, and I'm just helping them optimize everything to be, you know, the best as possible to be as successful as possible to get as many downloads as possible. So, I'm going step by step with him. It's basically like I'm creating the album with him, right. So that's what I'm going to talk about how we have created the album, and how we are listing the album for this episode, and other episodes I'll talk about the other aspects of creating an album. So I'm going to talk about how we have actually created the album step by step. And our new taking up record labels, and what is difference between how we're doing it like the indie version of it. And what a record label would do. Right, so, um, yes, let's get into it. I'm also gonna be talking about the issues that we have with the service that we use, right. Yeah. Okay, So let's get into it. The first thing we need to do is create wav files for optimal audio content. So, for the podcast. The audio content like, Like this audio file that you're listening to, is an mp3 file. Right, so I take that mp3 file, and I upload it to crony crony.fm Check it out for your podcast hosting needs. Okay. Um, yeah, so for the, the audio content of the album, it's a WAV file. And this is because wav file, apparently, is the best audio content for listening, I guess. And so I went out before I got on the proning all the audio files the podcasts were wav files, and they were huge, like, like a 26 minute podcast would be 250, megabytes. And now, my 33 minute interview with Josh was like 30 Right, so they're, they're a lot bigger, right, and then, okay, yeah, so then I have to upload the those wav files to our service, but first I need to create a album cover, so we created the album cover. It's just a simple square 3000 pixels by 3000 pixels. And then you need to get your album on every service possible. Kind of like podcasting, right. So this is why you reached out to me because I have experienced with all of this. And so I looked up like oh how to get your album on Spotify title Napster apple. And they told us that we needed to use a service, and it listed all these services. And then I CCDB, right, and I'm a huge dark service fan, so I knew of them. I yeah, I was like, even though I know he's not associated with it. I was like okay, I'm using CD Baby, no matter what. Right. and so I was cool. Yeah, so they have you fill out all this information. Right, so they start out with the basic information. The artists name, the title of the album. The release date, the record label, copyright owner and UPC, and what the UPC is, is it helps us get paid. So CD Baby collects all the royalties, and you need a different UPC for every album you produce. And this is like the little barcode on the, the album cover, they used to see when I was like CDs. Right. So yeah, you go basic information UPC, then they ask you, do you want physical or digital copies right so they're there, they would help you make a CD if you want. I kind of wanted to do this because it's pretty cool, like just to have it. And maybe play it, but I don't have anywhere to play an album. Right. I don't have a CD player anymore. Not on my laptop. So I was like, let's not do that, but like for the book I want to do that, I wanted to like have a book and put it on my shelf, and I'd be able to pull it out whenever someone asked me, right, but I didn't do that. Alright so the next thing you do on CD Baby. Is it create the tracklist. And this is just literally like saying, This is how many songs, this is how many. So this is side a side B, like volume one volume two off. How many, how many tracks are on the album, and then just listing the names of every tracklist or for every track. Right. It's very simple, very straightforward takes two seconds in this part. and then the, the majority of the work is after the tracklist. So the next is the song credits it as you list the, the artists who are on the track so let's say if I had kid cardi on the track. Then I put, alright, cuz he was on this song, and then there's parental advisory. Is it explicit, or is it clean right. Are there any swear words, then it's the language. Yeah, is it English, Spanish, Dutch, is the song recorded live. Is it an original composition, is it a cover, or is it public domain. So this is like, like is the song originally created by you and written by you or is it like a Nirvana cover did Nirvana write the lyrics, or is it public domain is it like singing. Not happy birthday but like, very common known song, right. Um, song credits, is anyone featured, right, who wrote it, did Kati write it, or did supreme Rome hammered it right, and you got to do this manual, one by one. It will track by track. So if it's 10 albums or 10 tracks, it's pretty easy. If it's 40, it's gonna take you a while because you have to click through and just, you know check every box every time there's no like everything the same button. Yeah. So that sucks. And then you pick the genre. Genre g e r e g n Ari. Ari. Ari, yes. Er Ari. Okay. So you pick the genre, you say, alright, this is a rock album this is rap. This is country, and then you pick the mood, and the mood is like, you know, is it funny. Is it casual, is it relaxed, and then you pick the recording location, and it gives you like a bunch of hubs. It's not like California, it's like San Francisco, LA, Houston. It's not like, oh I can put San Jose, right. So yeah, and then distribution asks you Do you want to pick like what streaming services do you want to add on in that list 150 Right. And this is why I chose to CD Baby as well, because I can't get the album on 150 platforms myself, like, like even with podcasts and I missed a couple, right. So, yeah, it lists a bunch, it'll even put it on tick tock, which I think is pretty cool. Um, so yeah like tick tock title. Spotify and Spotify is a big one. Yeah and it's just like streaming from every, like, other countries streaming platforms, it's not just like us. It's like the ones from better Europe exclusive. So that's pretty cool, right. And then I like, I recommend doing them all, and it even asked you like, oh, here are the ones that are paid. Here are the ones that are unpaid. Do you still want to do the ones that are unpaid, and I say just do it because you have nothing to lose, like it doesn't cost you any money to put them on those free platforms and if someone finds your music and like starts telling their friends about it and they start listing the album on Spotify, which is where you would get paid, then, yeah, it's very simple, right. Okay. And then for distribution. Next step, they ask you is pre sale for iTunes, and what this is, is you pick a track, people can listen to when they pre order it, right, and then you pick a pre sale date. So, I'm Kid Cuddy's last album that chosen came out in December of 2020 and I pre ordered it, I buy albums I don't. I buy his albums I don't buy anyone else's albums, when his albums come out I preorder them, right. And so, you set a date, and then you pick a pick a track from the album that people will be able to listen to when they preorder it so I don't remember. I don't remember the track, he let me listen to you, or if there was one, because it was like it was like a week for his album in between like when I pre ordered it, and when the album came out. So, of course you have the option to not have a priest, pre order track but you can. And yeah, so we chose that. And then, so the album, it comes out in May. And we chose a date in April, and it's like a month in between the preorder and the album release date because I made a mistake with the book, I announced the book in April. And I said, July, and I think it'd be really good to have a month where it's just like the preorder phase. The this is coming out, and we can announce like step by step. We're doing this for the album today. We're doing this for the album. We're doing this and it's 28 days, we're doing this since 25 days until the album comes out. So we're gonna try that and see if that works. I don't know, dude. Okay. So then, iTunes wants to know if you have any tracks that are 10 minutes or longer. Right, so the reason why they asked this is because iTunes makes tracks that are 10 minutes or longer album only. So, on iTunes you can buy songs for I think it's $1.99 or 299. You can buy these single tracks. Instead of buying whole album, but with this 10 minute track, you can only buy it with the whole album. I don't know why they do that, I even had to look this up, CD Baby didn't tell me. So I just thought that was pretty interesting. Okay, um, territory restrictions. So it's like hey, do you want to not let some other country like or area, listen to this album, you know, maybe you don't like people from California, and you don't want to let them buy your album. I totally understand I don't like people from California and I'm in California. So, that's totally cool if you don't like people from California. I'm okay with that, let me know even we'll talk about it, right, we'll bond over the fact that we don't like people from California. Okay, so then you upload the audio. Right. And you do this one by one as well, on it so it lists every track, and then just says like, upload upload upload upload like, like you do one by one, but you can upload it all at the same time, it just makes it like slower to process everything. I remember. So our track is, is 21, or our albums 21 tracks right so I just took like I did the first. No, I did all of them at once, and so I did all 21 And then the first one and it loaded, and then I left and went to go get some water, and it was still like 15 Even after like three, four minutes. So, yeah, it takes a while. I don't I don't know if loading them one by one, would be faster. I don't know. And then it takes one to three weeks to inspect, right, a little slow. I don't know what they're inspecting. I should ask, that'd be really interesting to find out. Yeah. So then, this is like, we're, we're in like third week. And then, last week we were on the YouTube channel, and the audio content got flagged, because our Yeah, by CD Baby, because they were like, oh you don't own this audio content we do, And it said like, this is property of our, our company. So that was cool. That only took two weeks. Right. And it got flagged because it's like, oh, you need to pay these guys right so for every time that that gets played on YouTube. That's going to be a royalty and that's what CD Baby does is it collects royalties for you. Right. So, yeah. Um, yeah, like I said, I'm a big fan of CD Baby, but it has issues, right, and the one issue that we ran into several times. It's just that it's super manual on like, basic things, like I, we forgot the password. Right, so we had to have an email exchange with their support to change it. And even, even when I was running open podcasts before him, like, you could do it automatically. All you had to do was click Forgot My Password, and an email will be sent to you that I set up. So that's like things that you don't need to, you know, that some things that need to be manual, and I've had, I had more than one attempts to have an exchange with someone, to get the password change. So here, Here's how it goes with CD Baby. Right. You click forgot my password, and then they're like, Okay, we'll send you an email, but also give to email support right so then you have to say, Oh, I forgot my password, and then they're like, Okay, we'll send you a link in a couple of days. Right, it's not like you click the button, then you get the email, right. So, yeah, and then they're like yeah, the email last 72 hours. So if you submit. If you submit your forgotten password on Monday, and you forgot so Friday, then you have to do it over, right, that that was annoying. And then, of course, another issue was the no same info button wasn't, you know, you had to do it manually again. And then, this is why I think it takes one to three weeks to inspect, is that they do it manually. Like there's no, okay. So what they're doing is they're making sure that all the info is good for Spotify Apple title, and they don't have a program for this, like, there's no okay, this is a red flag. This is a red flag. There's someone checking it manually. And that's why I think it takes one to three weeks. Okay. So, you know, there's, there's ND and then there's, Um, there's record labels that help you get get money make money in the music industry, like the usual path is you make your music, you get signed to a label, and then the label helps you. And so, traditionally, you'd sign with a label, well not traditionally. So, traditionally when you work with the label. They would give you an advance for the for the album, to finish recording the album, right, and then they would handle promotion distribution, concerts, setting up interviews, and they give you money. Right, so they give you like $200,000 to finish the album, and that's an advance. Right. But the thing with that is that the record label gets paid first on the album. So, let's say, they give you $200,000 To finish the album, then you're all done, it's ready to go. And then you start going, you start doing concerts, you start doing interviews to start making money on the album, right, the record label gets paid first. So, in some cases, the band, or the artist doesn't see $1 until the record label gets their advance first. The advances and like the advances alone. It's not a payment, or anything it's not a paycheck. It's a loan. Okay. So yeah, that's all I have for this episode on CD Baby provides promotional tools to help artists promote the album, and I will be talking about that in a future episode, so stay tuned if you like this episode. Thanks for listening. Have a nice day. Bye.