CD Baby, Inc. is the largest online distributor of independent music in the world. The company has been described as an "anti-label" by Tracy Maddux. CD Baby is the only digital aggregator with top preferred partner status with both Spotify and Apple Music, and it is home to more than 650,000 artists and 9 million tracks that are made available to over 100 digital services and platforms around the globe.
|Founded||March 10, 1998|
Woodstock, New York, U.S.
|Headquarters||Portland, Oregon, U.S.|
|Industry||digital distribution, music publisher, online music store|
|Products||digital distribution, promotion|
|Parent||AVL Digital Group (Downtown)|
For its clients, CD Baby offers digital music distribution, worldwide publishing rights administration, monetization of music use on social video platforms, sync liscensing, music marketing and online advertising, cover song licensing, and physical distribution and order fulfillment for CDs and vinyl records. 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.
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.
In 2018, CD Baby paid over $100 million to its artist community (a 25% increase from 2017), 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.
CD Baby was founded in 1998 in Woodstock, New York, by Derek Sivers. 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, CD Baby no longer listens to every submission). Sivers eventually hired John Steup as his vice president and first employee. Currently, there are one hundred or so employees of CD Baby whose work ranges from warehouse work to programming to business development to customer service.
Although the majority of artists who use CD Baby are North American, about thirty percent of orders for CD Baby are overseas.
In 2001, the firm moved to Portland, Oregon, where they remain hedquartered today. In 2004, CD Baby began offering an digital music distribution and became an early partner of iTunes. 
In August 2008 it was announced that Disc Makers, a CD and DVD manufacturer, bought CD Baby (and Host Baby) for 22 million dollars following a 7-year partnership between the two companies, according to Sivers.
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.
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.
Until 2009, CD Baby ran on PHP and MySQL. Sivers announced in 2005 that he was rewriting all the systems in Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL. 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.
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.
CD Baby and musiciansEdit
Notable artists at CD BabyEdit
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 as well as Twenty One Pilots, Aloe Blacc, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heads and the Heart, Bon Iver, Sarah Barreilles, and The National. American country acts Mary Gauthier, Gretchen Peters, and Tom Russell; blues musicians Harmonica Hinds, Jeremiah Johnson, and Liz Mandeville; American Italian pianist and composer Richard Aaker Trythall; Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe; the UK duo Nizlopi; and Italian-born, American classical violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Music Director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra; Iranian Pop Star Mohsen Yeganeh; 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.
Fabien Biancalani (French singer), also sells his music on CD Baby.
Norwegian singer/songwriter Stig Gustu Larsen, have released two top charting EP's through CD Baby. The latest EP "Lifelines + Echoes" debuted at number one at the Norwegian iTunes charts.
In the newsEdit
- "Spotify, Apple Music Helped CD Baby Artists Earn Over $100 Million In 2018" , Forbes, by Spencer Dukoff, January 9, 2019
- "CD Baby, Now In Its 20th Year, Says It Paid Out $80M to Indie Artists in 2017", Billboard, by Dan Rys, March 6, 2018
- "Serving Alt-Artists, a Proud 'Anti-Label'", New York Times, by Larry Rohter, August 12, 2014
- "Independent Musicians Find Unexpected Rewards in Streaming", New York Times, by Ben Sisario, October 22, 2015
- "CD Baby Finds Success in Online Music Niche", NPR's by Marcie Sillman Morning Edition, December 28, 2004
- "CD Baby's Unlikely Alliance with Best Buy" by Annie Baxter, NPR's Morning Edition, February 2, 2006
- "Baby Love" by Matt Welch, LA Weekly, June 9, 2005
- "Derek Sivers of CD Baby", Venture Voice, Show # 19
- "It's the future, baby: How CD Baby helps indie musicians with online distribution" by Kristin Thomson, Future of Music Coalition, October 8, 2003
- The Future of the Music Business: How to Succeed with the New Online Technologies, by Steve Gordon, Backbeat Books, 2005, ISBN 0-87930-844-3, p. 213-225 ("An Interview with Derek Sivers, Founder and President of CD Baby")
- "CDBaby.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- Rohter, Larry (2014-08-12). "CD Baby, a Company for the Niche Musician". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- Dukoff, Spencer. "Spotify, Apple Music Helped CD Baby Artists Earn Over $100 Million In 2018". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Apple names The Orchard, Kontor and CD Baby 'Preferred Plus' music distributors as part of new program". Music Business Worldwide. 2018-11-13. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "CD Baby Expands Operations to London, Hires Rich Orchard & Steve Cusack". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "About CDBaby.com | CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Sell Your Music Worldwide". CD Baby. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Worldwide Digital Music Distribution". CD Baby. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "CD Baby DIY Musician Conference Moves To Austin, TX". Music Connection Magazine. 2018-09-04. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "CD Baby, Now In Its 20th Year, Says It Paid Out $80M to Indie Artists in 2017". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Tools & Resources To Promote Your Music - Music Promotion". CD Baby. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- Sivers, Derek (2011). Anything You Want. United States of America: Do You Zoom, Inc. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-936719-11-2.
- Soloman, Micah. "Oasis Disc Manufacturing (Choose a package that radiates quality and eco-friendliness!)". Oasis.
- Soloman, Micah. "Sell your music worldwide with CD Baby". Oasis.
- "Indie artist payments from CD Baby increase 33% in 2017, and other numbers you'll want to see [INFOGRAPHIC]". DIY Musician Blog. 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "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.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "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. 2018-08-15. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Downtown buys CD Baby owner for $200m". Music Business Worldwide. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- "CD Baby rewrite in Postgres and Ruby, Baby!". Onlamp.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Migrating to Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL: An Interview with CD Baby". Oreillynet.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "7 reasons I switched back to PHP after 2 years on Rails". Oreillynet.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Sell Music Online - Sell worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, and More!". CD Baby. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Sell Music Online - Sell worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, and More!". CD Baby. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Ingrid Michaelson Discography;". CDBaby.
- "Brand Spank'n Blue - Jeremiah Johnson, The Jeremiah Johnson Band, The Sliders | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "Exciting year for independent musicians nominated for Grammy Awards". DIY Musician Blog. 2018-12-13. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Congratulations to all CD Baby artists nominated for a 2018 Latin Grammy". DIY Musician Blog. 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Strong independent showing for 2016 Grammy nominations". DIY Musician Blog. 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Impressive independent showing for 2017 Grammys". DIY Musician Blog. 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Big independent showing for 2018 Grammy Awards". DIY Musician Blog. 2017-11-30. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- "Lazlo Bane". CD Baby. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
- "Spite | The Emotion Not The Point | CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. 1985-02-23. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Degenerates | Degenerates | CD Baby Music Store". Cdbaby.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "About Wing". Wingmusic.co.nz. June 30, 2015. Archived from the original on April 18, 2016.
- Biancalani, Fabien. "Google search".[unreliable source?]
This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (June 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- CD Baby.net (information for musicians)
- CD Baby (retail store)
- HearNow (promotional landing pages and smart-links for new music releases)
- Show.co (online marketing and advertising tools for musicians)
- Illustrated Sound (YouTube network for creators)
- Hostbaby (webhosting and website creation tool for musicians)
- The DIY Musician Conference (education, networking, and performance opportunities for independent musicians)
- The DIY Musician Podcast (formerly the CD Baby Podcast, podcast covering music promotion strategies for independent artists)
- CD Baby @ Oasis Tools of Promotion page
- CD Duplication
- Disc Makers CD & DVD Manufacturing