Up Close With CD Baby

warehouse It Started in a Garage: Launched in the garage of musician Derek Sivers in 1998, CD Baby started as a website for independent artists to sell their CDs online. Over the past 16 years, expanding exponentially with the growth of digital music consumption, it has evolved into the world’s largest online distributor of indie music, providing a “home” for 350,000 artists (in a whopping 850 musical genres) and a catalog of five million songs. Allowing consumers to buy directly from its artists, CD Baby has provided a groundbreaking way for artists to bypass the major labels. The company has paid out over $300 million to its artists. It is now owned by the same company that runs the CD/DVD manufacturing company Disc Makers.

Dynamic Expansion of Services: From its humble beginnings as a retail site where consumers could buy CDs and later digital downloads, CD Baby—which still sells CDs and vinyl—has added an expansive digital distribution system that distributes its artists’ music to dozens of stores like iTunes and Amazon, as well as various streaming services (including Spotify, Rdio and Beats Music). The company has tools to help artists sell directly to fans via a CD Baby widget that can be embedded on their websites and social media pages.


One-Stop Shop For Monetizing Music: Monetization services also include synchronization licenses for YouTube, film/TV, commercials and games. CD Baby puts its artists’ songs in a database that can be searched by music supervisors. Artists can also register songs with YouTube to sell ads within their videos, allowing them to receive a share of ad revenue. The company has paid out over $1 million in YouTube and sync royalties to its artists this past year, and that number is exploding. For those who sign up with CD Baby Pro, CD Baby will register their songs with ASCAP or BMI, collect performance royalties and also assist with collecting mechanical royalties on music sold overseas. In short, CD Baby has become the place where musicians can monetize all their music’s revenue streams with one account.

      Contact CD Baby via http://cdbaby.com or call 1-800-289-6923

By Jonathan Widran