CD Baby, Inc.
CD Baby new logo.jpg
Available inEnglish, Spanish, Portuguese
FoundedMarch 10, 1998; 24 years ago (1998-03-10)[1]
Woodstock, New York, U.S.
DissolvedMarch 2020 (retail store)
HeadquartersPortland, Oregon, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide
Founder(s)Derek Sivers
IndustryDigital distribution, music publisher, online music store
ProductsDigital distribution, promotion
ParentAVL Digital Group (Downtown)
SubsidiariesAudio and Video Labs, Inc. (Soundrop)
URLcdbaby.com

CD Baby, Inc. is an online distributor of independent music. The company was described as an "anti-label" by its parent company's Chief Operating Officer Tracy Maddux.[2] The CD Baby music store was shut down in March 2020 with a statement that "CD Baby retired our music store in March of 2020 in order to place our focus entirely on the tools and services that are most meaningful to musicians today and tomorrow."[3] They continue to provide distribution services to artists as of March 2022.[4]

In 2019, CD Baby was the only digital aggregator with top preferred partner status with both Spotify and Apple Music,[5][6] and it was home to more than 650,000 artists and nine million tracks that were made available to over 100 digital services and platforms around the globe as of May 2019.[7]

The firm, as of 2018, operated out of Portland, Oregon, with offices in New York City and London.[7][8]

History

CD Baby was founded in 1998 in Woodstock, New York, by Derek Sivers.[9] Sivers was a musician who created the website to sell his own music. As a hobby, he also began to sell the CDs of local bands and friends. Sivers originally listened to every CD he sold (the company later employed people specifically to do this, but today,[when?] CD Baby no longer listens to every submission).[citation needed] Sivers eventually hired John Steup as his vice president and first employee.[10]

Sivers partnered with Oasis Disc Manufacturing[11] to distribute the complete Oasis artist roster.[12]

In 2000, the firm moved to Portland, Oregon, where they remain headquartered today. In 2004, CD Baby began offering a digital music distribution and became an early partner of iTunes.[13]

In August 2008 Disc Makers, a CD and DVD manufacturer, announced that they had bought CD Baby (and Host Baby) for 22 million dollars following a 7-year partnership between the two companies.[14]

In 2012, CD Baby added YouTube monetization to its services that come included with music distribution.[15]

In 2013, CD Baby Pro Publishing was launched as an add-on that assists independent songwriters in administering their composition rights and collecting global publishing royalties. The service is now available to songwriters in more than 70 countries and territories.[16]

In March 2019, Disc Makers sold CD Baby (as part of the AVL Digital Group) to Downtown for $200 million. AVL's physical product divisions, Disc Makers, BookBaby, and Merchly, were acquired in a separate transaction by the Disc Makers executive team as part of the newly formed DIY Media Group.[17]

On March 31, 2020, CD Baby ceased its retail sales of music, in any format, but continued to manage wholesale music distribution for its musician clients.[18]

Technical history

Until 2009, CD Baby ran on PHP and MySQL.[8] Sivers announced in 2005 that he was rewriting all the systems in Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL.[19][20] After about two years of work, he felt that the rewrite was still less than half done, and he threw the new code away and rewrote it again in his original programming language, PHP, and database, MySQL. Sivers noted that "Rails was an amazing teacher" but he concluded that PHP was up to the task once he had learned the lessons Ruby on Rails taught him.[21]

CD Baby relaunched the website with major infrastructure changes (using ASPX) to support future growth, including redundancy that protects the original material on the site in a way that initially was not available to the artists. The website is no longer being run with the original or revised PHP. The new site experienced significant glitches initially, but this did not prevent the company from continuing to pay its artists as sales were reported to CD Baby by partners and others, monies received, and artist-chosen payment points reached.[22][23]

Services

For its clients, CD Baby offers digital music distribution, worldwide publishing rights administration, monetization of music use on social video platforms, sync licensing, music marketing, online advertising, cover song licensing, and physical distribution and order fulfillment for CDs and vinyl records.[24] By opting into their online distribution service, artists can authorize CD Baby to act on their behalf to submit music for sale to online retailers such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora Radio, and 150+ other streaming services.[15]

The company also hosts two annual conferences for independent musicians looking for education, networking, and performance opportunities. Described as "the only music conference geared specifically towards the needs of independent artists in charge of their careers", the DIY Musician Conference took place in Chicago in 2015 and 2016, Nashville in 2017 and 2018, and is scheduled in Austin for 2019 and 2020.[25]

In 2018, CD Baby paid over $100 million[5] to its artist community (a 25% increase from 2017[26]), bringing its total artist payouts to over $700 million. In addition to the services the firm offers under its own name, CD Baby also now owns and operates HearNow, Show.co, Illustrated Sound Network, and HostBaby.[27] HostBaby closed in 2019.[28]

Notable artists at CD Baby

CD Baby has a catalogue of more than 350,000 albums and over nine million downloadable song tracks. Music created by these acts, ranging from part-time hobbyists, to full-time musicians with successful careers, spans all genres, from avant-garde to world music. Dave Matthews has an album for sale on CD Baby, recorded with Mark Roebuck before the inception of Dave Matthews Band, released under the name Tribe of Heaven. Other notable artists releasing their music via CD Baby include Ingrid Michaelson who has used CD Baby for digital distribution for every release[29] as well as Twenty One Pilots, Gravity Noir, BCF LIl'Shine, Viper, Aloe Blacc, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Head and the Heart, Bon Iver, Fastface Timi, Sara Bareilles, and The National. Americana acts Mary Gauthier, Marshall Chapman, Lorenzo Jaar, Gretchen Peters, and Tom Russell; blues musicians Harmonica Hinds, Jeremiah Johnson,[30] and Liz Mandeville; American Italian pianist and composer Richard Aaker Trythall; Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe; the UK duo Nizlopi; the early music ensemble, The Boston Camerata; and Italian-born, American classical violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, music director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra; Iranian Pop Star Mohsen Yeganeh; South African Concept Artist Alessandro Batazzi; Russian American opera singer Elena Zoubareva; and Big Sur. American singer-songwriter Grayson Hugh sells his music on CD Baby, as well as on his website. Grammy Award-winning artist Janis Ian, a pioneer among independent musicians marketing online, sells her CDs on the website as well as through her own website. Indeed, CD Baby has served as the distributor for dozens of Grammy-nominated and Grammy-winning titles.[31][32][33][34][35]

American alternative rock band Lazlo Bane stayed as an independent band after their initial success with theme song for TV series Scrubs and went on to sell their music through CD Baby.[36]

The midwest punk rock bands Degenerates and Spite also sell their music on CD Baby.[37][38]

Hong Kong based singer Wing, best known for guest starring on an episode of South Park, also sells her music on CD Baby.[39]

Norwegian singer/songwriter Stig Gustu Larsen has released two top-charting EPs through CD Baby. The latest EP "Lifelines + Echoes" debuted at number one at the Norwegian iTunes charts.[citation needed]

World music artists who sold their albums on CD Baby also include Kaysha, Soumia, and Julio D.[citation needed]

Latvian-Brazilian singer-songwriter Laura Rizzotto has released multiple projects through CD Baby like her second studio album Reason to Stay in 2014 and an EP named RUBY in 2018.[40]

Labels

Beside artists, independent music labels also uses CDBaby. At example the German label Vier Sterne Deluxe Records[41] or the UK based label Chocolate Fireguard.[42]

See also

References

  1. ^ "CDBaby.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  2. ^ Rohter, Larry (August 12, 2014). "CD Baby, a Company for the Niche Musician". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 5, 2021. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  3. ^ "CD Baby Music Store". Store.cdbaby.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2004. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  4. ^ "Home". CD Baby. Archived from the original on May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Dukoff, Spencer. "Spotify, Apple Music Helped CD Baby Artists Earn Over $100 Million In 2018". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 5, 2021. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  6. ^ "Apple names The Orchard, Kontor and CD Baby 'Preferred Plus' music distributors as part of new program". Music Business Worldwide. November 13, 2018. Archived from the original on May 17, 2021. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "CD Baby Expands Operations to London, Hires Rich Orchard & Steve Cusack". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 20, 2022. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "About CDBaby.com | CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  9. ^ Sivers, Derek (2011). Anything You Want. United States of America: Do You Zoom, Inc. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-936719-11-2. Archived from the original on September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  10. ^ "Cd Baby in Portland, OR - (503) 595-3000". Chamberofcommerce.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  11. ^ Soloman, Micah. "Oasis Disc Manufacturing (Choose a package that radiates quality and eco-friendliness!)". Oasis. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
  12. ^ Soloman, Micah. "Sell your music worldwide with CD Baby". Oasis. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "Indie artist payments from CD Baby increase 33% in 2017, and other numbers you'll want to see [INFOGRAPHIC]". DIY Musician Blog. March 6, 2018. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "CD Baby sold to Disc Makers - news, torrent, wikipedia, free MP3, download, lyrics". Archived from the original on August 13, 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2008.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  15. ^ a b "Worldwide Digital Music Distribution". Cdbaby.com. Archived from the original on April 10, 2020. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  16. ^ "CD Baby now publishes over a million songs - and says it's 'helping solve the industry's publishing problem one songwriter at a time'". Music Business Worldwide. August 15, 2018. Archived from the original on June 5, 2021. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  17. ^ "Downtown buys CD Baby owner for $200m". Music Business Worldwide. March 27, 2019. Archived from the original on May 17, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  18. ^ Rodríguez, Andrea (April 13, 2020). "What you should know about the retirement of CD Baby's retail store". cd Baby. Archived from the original on June 5, 2021. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  19. ^ Sivers, Derek (January 22, 2005). "CD Baby rewrite in Postgres and Ruby, Baby!". Onlamp.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2021. Now, with Rails, there are a team of passionate geniuses contributing to this web-making framework daily. It's small enough that you can stay on top of it, and watch this framework get more and more powerful by the week. Improvements that are pragmatic not political. People using it to make effective websites, contributing to the shared framework around it as they go. Why not take advantage of all this brilliant work? It took a lot to get me to switch from PHP, the only language I really know, to Ruby. I tell my non-computer friends, "It's like the week before sitting down to write a book, I decided to write it in Portuguese instead of English, because it'll be easier." It sounds crazy, but we'll see.
  20. ^ Russell, Robby. "Migrating to Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL: An Interview with CD Baby". O'Reilly Ruby. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2021. Russell: How long was it between when you first started playing with Ruby to when you announced that you would rewrite CD Baby in Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL? What helped motivate that decision? Sivers: That was around January 2005, so about a year after I learned Ruby and a few months after I saw Rails. Really Rails didn’t impress me that much at first. I didn’t want to make a simple blog. I needed to make this massive ecommerce and intranet. It didn’t seem up for the job. I emailed DHH and told him I *wanted* to love Rails but didn’t see how it could work for CD Baby. He hooked me up with Tobias Lütke who sat with me on the phone for an hour over VNC - (me watching his screen while we talked) - and once I saw how ./script/console and helpers worked, I was convinced. Console and helpers are what pushed me over the edge. PostgreSQL was a no-brainer. Within an hour of learning it my very first time, I was hooked for life. As CD Baby has grown, I’ve had so so many problems with MySQL. PostgreSQL solves them all. (Mostly the forced data-integrity : foreign keys, constraints, etc.)
  21. ^ "7 reasons I switched back to PHP after 2 years on Rails". Oreillynet.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
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  23. ^ "Sell Music Online - Sell worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, and More!". CD Baby. Archived from the original on September 18, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
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  27. ^ "Tools & Resources To Promote Your Music - Music Promotion". CD Baby. Archived from the original on May 20, 2022. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
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  29. ^ "Ingrid Michaelson Discography;". CDBaby. Archived from the original on January 1, 2018.
  30. ^ "Brand Spank'n Blue - Jeremiah Johnson, The Jeremiah Johnson Band, The Sliders | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
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  32. ^ "Congratulations to all CD Baby artists nominated for a 2018 Latin Grammy". DIY Musician Blog. September 25, 2018. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  33. ^ "Strong independent showing for 2016 Grammy nominations". DIY Musician Blog. December 11, 2015. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  34. ^ "Impressive independent showing for 2017 Grammys". DIY Musician Blog. February 3, 2017. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  35. ^ "Big independent showing for 2018 Grammy Awards". DIY Musician Blog. November 30, 2017. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  36. ^ "Lazlo Bane". CD Baby. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
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  38. ^ "Degenerates by Degenerates; CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  39. ^ "About Wing". Wingmusic.co.nz. June 30, 2015. Archived from the original on April 18, 2016.
  40. ^ ""Ross & Rach"". Laurarizzotto.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2021. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  41. ^ "our Partners". Vier Sterne Deluxe Records. Archived from the original on January 3, 2022. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  42. ^ "UK Label Chocolate Fireguard "Best Of British" titles available On CD Baby and Soyuz label, Moscow". PRWeb. Archived from the original on January 3, 2022. Retrieved January 3, 2022.