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Releasing a Single - What I Learned

Part of my strategy for getting my music out and making it available for people to listen is releasing singles. Studio time is expensive, and album production is even more expensive. I've been practicing my home recording skills in hopes of releasing music on my own that sounds good.


That's where the story of Fingerprints comes in. I featured Fingerprints, sung by young vocalist and songwriter Grace Titus in my New Music spotlight. After several hours of study using Rob Mayzes' home studio techniques, which I highly recommend, I remixed a "radio ready" version of the song for release. I chose Spotify as my target platform because I wanted to pre-release the single for consideration in Spotify's Release Radar and curated playlists.

The Good, The Bad, and the Dummy

Well, those are three things I'm calling myself. I'm hoping I made all the mistakes one can releasing this song, because it didn't go quite like I planned.

It cost $14.95 to release a single through CD Baby, where I released my album. Since I already have an account and the necessary legal and regulatory stuff in place, it seemed like the best choice.

CD Baby's online forms are simple, but can be confusing. First, when asked the artist name for the song, I got 2 choices in dropdown menu: Dave Berman (me), and David Berman (me, but maybe also somebody else). I selected David.

Wrong! My album, Club Dave Music is under Dave Berman. I suppose I should have remembered that. I also had to fill out all the artist info for Grace that I (Dave, that is) already had in CD Baby's database. Since the song features Grace, there is a whole separate group of questions and answers I won't go into here. Let me just say it was no less confusing that everything else.

And Now, for Something Completely Different

Fast forward 2 weeks, and I got the good news: Fingerprints is live on Spotify. When I followed the link, I saw the song listed as a song and album (no big deal). But, I couldn't find it on my artist page. Or should I say, I couldn't find it on Dave Berman's artist page. The song is right there on David Berman's page.

Yup, a musician from Baltimore has Fingerprints on his site, because I don't know my own stage name. My first and only reaction was to get it changed.

Step 1 - look for help at Spotify. Their help content says your distributor has to make the change, and it can take up to three weeks.

Step 2 - look for help at CD Baby. You can see this coming, right? CD Baby says they just send the info you give us. If you want to change it, cancel the release, pay the fee, and go through the release process again.

Now it's $30 to get one song out. Big decision. So far, I'm leaving it alone. Baltimore David hasn't taken the song off his artist site, and I send the link out to everyone I can. The biggest downside is no Release Radar or playlists, since I didn't know when the song "pre-released." Lessons learned!

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