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About

CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux Knows What it Means to Do It Yourself

When Tracy Maddux—a passionate fan of live music—joined CD Baby, he decided he needed to see a show by each of the new employees he worked with. Nearly everyone at CD Baby plays music. It meant ...

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Contact

Publicist
Lex Lindsey
812-339-1195

Current News

  • 01/10/201801/10/2018

AVL Digital Group Acquires AudioMicro, AdRev, and DashGo: CD Baby’s Parent Company Expands Music B2B Services for Labels and Publishers

AVL Digital Group, parent company of CD Baby and Disc Makers, already one of the largest distributors and service providers to independent artists, has made a major step into B2B services with the acquisition of LA-based AudioMicro and its AdRev and DashGo divisions. The purchase adds significant capabilities for CD Baby to serve record labels, publishers, and other music companies. The company now represents one of the largest catalogs of song rights in the...

Press

  • Complete Music Update, Mention, 01/11/2018, One Liners: AVL Digital, Matador Records, Gaz Goombes, more Text
  • All About Jazz, Article, 01/11/2018, CD Baby Parent AVL Digital Acquires DashGo, AdRev Text
  • Billboard, Feature story, 01/10/2018, https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8093701/cd-baby-parent-company-acquires-adrev-and-dashgo Text
  • Hypebot, Feature story, 01/10/2018, CD Baby Parent AVL Digital Acquires DashGo, AdRev Text
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News

01/10/2018, AVL Digital Group Acquires AudioMicro, AdRev, and DashGo: CD Baby’s Parent Company Expands Music B2B Services for Labels and Publishers
01/10/201801/10/2018, AVL Digital Group Acquires AudioMicro, AdRev, and DashGo: CD Baby’s Parent Company Expands Music B2B Services for Labels and Publishers
Announcement
01/10/2018
Announcement
01/10/2018
AVL Digital Group, parent company of CD Baby and Disc Makers, already one of the largest distributors and service providers to independent artists, has made a major step into B2B services with the acquisition of LA-based AudioMicro and its AdRev and DashGo divisions. MORE» More»

AVL Digital Group, parent company of CD Baby and Disc Makers, already one of the largest distributors and service providers to independent artists, has made a major step into B2B services with the acquisition of LA-based AudioMicro and its AdRev and DashGo divisions. The purchase adds significant capabilities for CD Baby to serve record labels, publishers, and other music companies. The company now represents one of the largest catalogs of song rights in the world.                                                                                                          

AudioMicro includes the YouTube monetization platform AdRev, one of the world’s largest YouTube Content ID managers and Multi-Channel Networks; label services provider and distributor DashGo, whose powerful API is used by independent labels to send metadata automatically to music services; and synchronization licensing platform AudioMicro.com.

“Bringing these companies together with CD Baby will amplify our ability to serve more kinds of clients, from newly minted independent artists to established labels and publishers,” explains Tony van Veen, AVL Digital Group CEO. “The number of rights we now represent has multiplied substantially, and we have strengthened our arsenal of technology for rights holders with this acquisition. I’m very excited with how AdRev’s unique Content ID technology and DashGo’s API will help optimize asset monetization for artists, labels, and publishers across the globe.”

“As a company, CD Baby has a long history of using best-in-class technology to locate and claim all of the money made from all uses of our clients’ music,” CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux says. “The addition of AdRev and DashGo allows us to offer more in-demand services to our existing clientele, our core business of independent artists and small labels, and help monetize the content of a much broader range of music companies.”

Together, the companies will become one of the world’s largest music asset administrators. CD Baby already distributes almost 9 million tracks with nearly 1 million as publishing administrator and DashGo brings an additional 250,000 sound recordings as well as digital retail playlist, sales and marketing expertise. “Worldwide, it makes us one of the largest players, perhaps even the largest,” notes Maddux. “It's a big move for us in terms of asset administration capabilities.”

“We’re excited to add our LA team and capabilities to the CD Baby crew, and to continue to strengthen our technology to monetize our clients’ assets even more efficiently,” adds AudioMicro CEO Noah Becker. “Our whole staff is excited to be on board. This will help us grow even faster than before.”

AudioMicro’s headquarters will remain in Los Angeles, the hub of sync and production music. “It’s a great strategic fit for CD Baby,” Maddux concludes.

About CD Baby

CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to almost 650,000 artists and nearly 9 million tracks that are made available to 100+ digital services and platforms around the globe. Artists on the platform are empowered to monetize their rights while maintaining control of their own careers, and have collectively earned well over $500 million since the company’s founding. CD Baby’s Publishing Administration service allows over 130,000 songwriters to collect all of their publishing royalties. CD Baby has become the go-to partner for many icons in the new music industry. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Twenty One Pilots, and Macklemore had their start on CD Baby, while others like Ingrid Michaelson and Gregory Alan Isakov have maintained independent and highly successful careers while partnering with CD Baby. The CD Baby umbrella of business units also includes CD Baby Publishing Administration, CD Baby Licensing, distribution platform Soundrop, CD Baby Manufacturing, marketing suite Show.co, CD Baby YouTube Administration, multi-channel network Illustrated Sound, website host HostBaby, the CD Baby Store for downloads and physical sales, promotional tool HearNow. CD Baby is a division of AVL Digital Group, which is also the parent company of Disc Makers.

Announcement
01/10/2018

12/18/2017, Instant Verification: Now CD Baby Artists Can Unlock All the Power of Spotify for Artists Automatically
12/18/201712/18/2017, Instant Verification: Now CD Baby Artists Can Unlock All the Power of Spotify for Artists Automatically
Announcement
12/18/2017
Announcement
12/18/2017
If you’re a CD Baby artist, you’re instantly verified on Spotify, thanks to a new partnership between the indie music powerhouse and the streaming platform. No extra steps or logins, just instant access to Spotify’s data about listeners’ demographics and track and playlist performance. MORE» More»

If you’re a CD Baby artist, you’re instantly verified on Spotify, thanks to a new partnership between the indie music powerhouse and the streaming platform. No extra steps or logins, just instant access to Spotify’s data about listeners’ demographics and track and playlist performance.

“Getting verified has always been an important part of artists’ approach to Spotify, and now CD Baby artists can do it with very little hassle,” announces Kevin Breuner, CD Baby’s VP of Marketing. Artists using CD Baby as their distributor only need to log into their account and voila! They are verified.

Verification opens up a wide variety of tools for artists. They can see who’s listening in real time and track demographics and geographical location. They can compare the performance of different playlists and tracks to see what’s really getting traction. And users can find similar artists Spotify listeners are enjoying, to better target ads and marketing campaigns.

Spotify verified artists can also:

 

“Spotify has a lot to offer artists, and we’re happy we can give access to all our artists who want these tools,” says Breuner.

Announcement
12/18/2017

11/27/2017, YouTube and the Global Race for Fans
11/27/201711/27/2017, YouTube and the Global Race for Fans
Announcement
11/27/2017
Announcement
11/27/2017
The last few months I've been on the road in Nashville, Barcelona, Mumbai and Rio, meeting with artists and I’ve noticed something is brewing. The gates are down and independent artists are dashing into the music world like no other time before. MORE» More»

The last few months I've been on the road in Nashville, Barcelona, Mumbai and Rio, meeting with artists and I’ve noticed something is brewing. The gates are down and independent artists are dashing into the music world like no other time before. It’s got many people outside the independent music scene looking over their shoulders.

What’s the cause of all this? YouTube.

It’s no secret that YouTube is a disruptive factor in the music industry. It provides incredible opportunities for every type of artist to reach fans all over the world with their music. It also enables new and unsigned artists to compete with popular artists and the mainstream music industry on a more level playing field thanks to its technology. Those once rare viral music videos that plastered headlines a few years ago were signposts for a new way to build music audiences.

Artists are now using YouTube to act like the TV stations, radio programmers, and newsrooms of the past. And YouTube itself is highly engaged in helping creators unlock the potential of its platform. In August at our 3rd annual DIY Musician Conference, YouTube staffers attended in force, showing creators how to create and promote their music and videos on YouTube.

As I traveled, I got a little curious myself about how YouTube might be changing the world of music. So to explore these international scenes, on long airplane rides, I read Streampunks, the new book by the company’s Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl. It left me energized and intrigued, with a new appreciation for artists around the world who are unlocking YouTube’s potential.

The first time I observed a YouTube success at CD Baby was in 2012 when we got a call from a publisher that owned the composition rights to the song “Somebody That I Used to Know” by the artist Gotye. He called because Gotye’s song was number one everywhere in the Western world, except Canada, where a cover of the song had topped the charts instead. That cover was an appropriately licensed version by the band Walk Off the Earth, who released a brilliant video, “5 Peeps, 1 Guitar,” that powered its version to number one instead. As of this writing, the group now has 2.8 million subscribers and is approaching 700 million aggregate views on its YouTube channel, in addition to 188K followers on Instagram and 2.9 million Facebook likes. They’ve used their YouTube channel to continually create quirky, interesting, compelling videos and build their repertoire to include a major label release that includes a gold certified record.

At CD Baby, we’re fortunate to work with a number of other artists who have built thriving independent music careers using a similar YouTube-first approach, building a fanbase with a steady release of covers before releasing their own original content. We’re also thrilled to see the rapid growth in earnings for independent creators whose music and videos we administer on YouTube. In the past five years these earnings have grown from virtually nothing to nearly 10% of the $100 million our artists will earn this year.

The amazingly talented vocalist Peter Hollens whose channel has 1.7 million subscribers and 264 million views has built much of his career on YouTube. He also has 126K Twitter follows. The band Ninja Sex Party appealed to its 1 million YouTube subscribers last year with a physical pre-release of “Under the Covers,” selling nearly 44,000 CDs and vinyl records and debuting on the American Billboard charts at number nine. And just in case you’re tempted to write this off as a fluke, it’s worth noting that NSP has just repeated this success a few weeks ago, with their second release, “Under the Covers 2.” The group used YouTube to pre-sell 25,000 CDs and released in the top 20 on the Billboard charts. This approach to building a fanbase of YouTube subscribers as a bridge to the next level is no longer novel, and it’s happening all over the world.

YouTube is unsettling the order of things everywhere in the music industry for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it enables the artist to connect directly with more than 1.5 billion potential fans worldwide. There is no other digital platform that unlocks this large of an audience worldwide (second place might be Apple iTunes with over a billion users, and third is China’s Tencent, which has more than 500 million subscribers.)

YouTube also lowers the barriers of investment for art. A well-thought out, highly creative and competently performed video can now compete with the high cost, commercially produced, major label financed videos on a more level playing field. It enables artists to retain both ownership and creative control, leading in my opinion to more diverse creative expression.

The platform also provides incredibly valuable data directly to channel owners and creators with a few clicks. Utilizing YouTube’s analytics, creators know who their fans are and where their fans are, which in turn helps them conceive content that resonates with their audience. This enables creators to understand how to better deploy their most scarce resource: their time. It helps them understand things like where to tour and even what kind of content to create. And it does this in near real time. YouTube enables transparency in an industry known for opacity.

YouTube paid out more than a billion dollars to the music industry in 2016. That is triple the amount of ad supported revenue paid out by Spotify, although less than either Apple iTunes or Spotify in aggregate dollars. And YouTube is here to stay as part of the massive Google-Alphabet ecosystem. Next time you hear an industry pundit decry the low per stream payouts from YouTube, consider who the source is and who is really threatened by access, transparency, diversity of art and competition for fans worldwide. I’m excited to see how both YouTube and other platforms evolve in how they are connecting artists and fans.  My hope is that Apple, Spotify and emerging platforms like Tencent also invest in these tools of connection that are clearly helping Independent artists level the playing field. 

Announcement
11/27/2017

11/10/2017, Making Their Own Pop Luck: Alex Winston and Max Hershenow Revel in the Freedom of Indie Release as Post Precious
11/10/201711/10/2017, Making Their Own Pop Luck: Alex Winston and Max Hershenow Revel in the Freedom of Indie Release as Post Precious
Announcement
11/10/2017
Announcement
11/10/2017
Alex Winston and Max Hershenow (one half of MS MR) didn’t want to make hits. The old friends just wanted to make some songs together. They went back to music-writing basics, hanging out, and letting tracks unfold. The result was Post Precious, a surprise project that the duo decided to keep independent. MORE» More»

Alex Winston and Max Hershenow (one half of MS MR) didn’t want to make hits. The old friends just wanted to make some songs together. They went back to music-writing basics, hanging out, and letting tracks unfold. The result was Post Precious, a surprise project that the duo decided to keep independent, eschewing the label route and working with a small team and CD Baby to bring their dark-tinged, perfectly crafted pop to the world.

Winston had a long, trying track record with labels. The classically trained singer and self-taught instrumentalist and songwriter was dubbed the next Kate Bush by The Guardian after an early EP. The praise led to major label deals with the likes of Island, then to getting burned as her creative vision was throttled by slow moving corporate machines with divergent visions of what the young female artist should be. Her full-length album, though raved about by American critics at Pitchfork and Spin, faced what one Noisey writer called “a perfect storm of bad timing, poor management, and shit luck.”

“I thought I was signed for who I was, but they wanted me to be something completely different. I felt trapped,” Winston recalls. “You want to make those investing in you to be happy, but it wasn’t creatively fulfilling.”

Creative fulfillment sprang up elsewhere over the years, including in her work with friends like Hershenow. As they jammed together, revelling in the music and feelings that came from collaborating, they decided they needed to put out Post Precious themselves.

“Working independently, it feels much easier to pivot. When you work with a large label, it can take a lot of energy to push the project through, to get the support you need to run with certain ideas,” Hershenow explains. “Often when you write, the biggest impediment is the anxiety that comes when you focus on external factors. But with Post Precious Alex and I let the work lead us on any journey it needed to. We were free.”

“I was so burned out trying to chase what I was supposed to be,” reflects Winston. “This project came together because we were having a good time writing. We were making music for fun and it was so refreshing. It made sense that we’d work on all the other aspect ourselves, outside the label system.”

They knew they could drive it but not do it all themselves. So they turned to The SoundClub, a one-stop boutique label services and artist development shop run by Kelli Fannon (who worked at Rdio) and Sarah Manha (who’s worked in radio and artist relations). Building a nimble but dedicated team, Post Precious decided to use CD Baby as their distribution homebase.

“This kind of project is a case study of the new model of artist development: working with a small team, whether a manager or label services type situation, while retaining ownership & control of the music and creative vision and being scrappy with the approach to traditional tent-poles like PR, radio, and videos,” notes Ben Hubbird of CD Baby. “This is a chosen path for many artists who have lots of ties to the label system, but want to make music and promote it their way.

Winston and Fannon had worked together before, putting out a single Winston recorded between label deals. “At some point, I said, ‘Screw it, let’s do it ourselves.’ That track, ‘101 Vultures’ ended up being our most successful single. They really embraced it at Spotify and it got on a couple key playlists,” says Fannon. “We’re playing a label role, working on marketing as well as project management. We do press. We’re doing videos on the cheap. We’re touching everything and keeping it as DIY and scrappy as we can.”

This scrappy approach comes naturally to Hershenow and Winston. Post Precious reinforced the importance of creating in community, of finding support and inspiration from friends. “I live with amazing friends, incredible musicians, in LA. There’s a great music community around us in Beachwood Canyon, giving feedback and support. It feels like we’re part of an era,” muses Hershenow. “In a future when we don’t know what’s happening with the music, being part of a community of friends and other talented people who have our backs, whom we respect and support, feels like the real spine of a long-term career.”

“You don’t have to spend a million dollars on things for them to click, for them to do the job,” says Winston. “Frankly, I was never really attuned to what was being spent. I was the creative person and I left the business to someone else. This is teaching me to become a businessperson. I’ve learned to be accountable for every dollar we’re spending.”

Post Precious is on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and SoundCloud.

About CD Baby

CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to almost 650,000 artists and more than 7 million tracks, getting independent music to more than 100 digital services and platforms around the globe and allowing artists to monetize their presence on YouTube. Artists using the CD Baby platform have earned more than $500 million since its founding and its Publishing Administration service, CD Baby Pro, allows over 100,000 songwriters/artists to collect all of their publishing royalties.

CD Baby has become the go-to partner for many icons in the new music industry. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Twenty One Pilots, and Macklemore had their start on CD Baby, while others like Ingrid Michaelson and Gregory Alan Isakov have maintained independent and highly successful careers. Artists like Rooney are among the musicians who’ve dropped the old label system and turned to CD Baby to strike out on their own.

Announcement
11/10/2017

10/18/2017, Pre-Save Me: Show.co’s Clever New Way to Encourage Fans to “Pre-Save” Upcoming Releases on Spotify
10/18/201710/18/2017, Pre-Save Me: Show.co’s Clever New Way to Encourage Fans to “Pre-Save” Upcoming Releases on Spotify
Announcement
10/18/2017
Announcement
10/18/2017
Show.co, CD Baby’s marketing platform, will now allow users to run marketing campaigns that offer “pre-saves” on Spotify. This means fans can hit save on an upcoming release, before the tracks are publicly available, and get the music right in their library come release day. MORE» More»

CD Baby’s music marketing platform has a new, proprietary perk that labels, managers, and musicians can add to the marketing mix

Show.co, CD Baby’s marketing platform, will now allow users to run marketing campaigns that offer “pre-saves” on Spotify. This means fans can hit save on an upcoming release, before the tracks are publicly available, and get the music right in their library come release day. For labels and managers, this means more direct engagement with and access to fans, plus a potential boost when fans start listening on that special Friday.

Pre-saves are the streaming music-era answer to the pre-sale link. Via Show.co, these campaigns roll over automatically to save, once the album is released. “The automatic switch from pre-save to save is a proprietary feature,” explains Rebecca Bateman, Senior Marketing Manager at CD Baby, who has an extensive background in programming and development. “Pre-saves are not built into Spotify. We figured out how to both create a pre-save campaign and then turn it into a regular save campaign automatically once the release goes live, so the campaign stays relevant.”

All an artist needs to launch a pre-save campaign via Show.co is a Spotify URI, the service’s internal links, and the date the release is slated to go live, information musicians can easily get from their distributor. Then they can go to Show.co and create a Social Unlock campaign. “On the date it is released, your music will magically appear in their library,” says Bateman.

These Social Unlock campaigns trade fan emails for goodies and access to favorite artists’ latest work or special assets created just for the campaign. “There’s a layer of distance between fans on social media and music or video platforms, and artists,” explains Kevin Breuner, VP of Marketing at CD Baby. “Show.co helps musicians bridge that gap, connecting directly with fans via email, which is still one of the best means to reach and keep an audience.” In return, fans get more exciting experiences, an early chance to hear a long-awaited new album, a discount to a show, or other perks.

Meanwhile, Show.co is continuously searching music and social media services for hidden opportunities for artists and for ways to use these opportunities quickly and easily. “Show.co is streamlining its plans, and we are focused on providing cutting-edge features,” Bateman states. “As digital service providers build out more capability in their APIs, we are always looking for ways to incorporate those changes and upgrades into Show.co's tools. Our goal is for this to be a best-in-class service for audience-building campaigns, turning them into real revenue generating opportunities for musicians.” 

Announcement
10/18/2017