56985 cd 20baby 20logo 20square
  • 56985 cd 20baby 20logo 20square
  • Aee08e5e e3f0 419f b491 359fbe3a3092
  • 38d7ff68 6899 4604 ac8b d274b60173ba
  • 19562 cdbaby logo
Loading twitter feed

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 ...

+ Show More

Contact

Publicist
Lex Lindsey
812-339-1195

Current News

  • 12/14/201612/14/2016

Armed with Fan Data: CD Baby Empowers Indie Musicians with New Analytics and Trending Dashboard

The fans are out there. Their clicks and taps can make a musician’s career. But how are fans listening? And where do they live? These questions stand between indie artists and substantial career development and revenue. CD Baby helps answer these questions with a new data analytics tool that’s been over a year in the making.

In addition to physical and digital distribution, as well as streaming and licensing opportunities, thousands of CD Baby artists now have access to a...

Press

  • NY Times, Mention, 02/05/2017, Soundrop offers digital distribution solution for "a demographic that wants to create differently” Text
  • Hypebot, Article, 01/17/2017, CD Baby, Music Gateway Partner To Provide New Sync Opportunities For Indie Artists Text
  • Music Connection, Article, 01/01/2017, Assignments - Jon Bahr, VP, Music Publishing and Rights Management
  • Rain News, Article, 12/14/2016, CD Baby adds new analytics dashboard Text
  • + Show More

News

12/14/2016, Armed with Fan Data: CD Baby Empowers Indie Musicians with New Analytics and Trending Dashboard
12/14/201612/14/2016, Armed with Fan Data: CD Baby Empowers Indie Musicians with New Analytics and Trending Dashboard
Announcement
12/14/2016
Announcement
12/14/2016
The fans are out there. Their clicks and taps can make a musician’s career. But how are fans listening? And where do they live? These questions stand between indie artists and substantial career development and revenue. CD Baby helps answer these questions with a new data analytics tool that’s been over a year in the making. MORE» More»

The fans are out there. Their clicks and taps can make a musician’s career. But how are fans listening? And where do they live? These questions stand between indie artists and substantial career development and revenue. CD Baby helps answer these questions with a new data analytics tool that’s been over a year in the making.

In addition to physical and digital distribution, as well as streaming and licensing opportunities, thousands of CD Baby artists now have access to a Trending and Analytics dashboard. The new tool provides interactive data reports of geographic heat maps of countries, states, and cities where an artist’s music is most widely streamed and downloaded.

“This knowledge gives our musicians a vital guide of not only where to tour, but where to market their tracks and albums via targeted social media promotion,” says Kevin Breuner, CD Baby VP of Marketing.

With the new Trending and Analytics tool, artists can also observe trends in how their fans are listening, whether through Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes or other streaming services. Within streaming services, artists can also find out which tracks are most popular as well as the most popular playlists that have boosted their track plays. Data is also broken down to show preferences for desktop, mobile, or tablet listening.

Digesting this influx of data turns out to be an immense undertaking. “We often receive up to 14 million lines of data in one night from Spotify alone and trends in this data changes constantly.” says Erica Sinkovic, CD Baby Manager of Product Development. “Now artists can observe these changes on a daily basis.”

“Our new analytics features are the next logical step in our expansion of our CD Baby Pro artist dashboard,” explains Kevin Breuner, CD Baby’s VP of Marketing. “We’re working to become a truly one-stop shop, where artists who have been historically shut out of entire sides of the business can gain access to real income and vital information.”


About CD Baby:

CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to more than 400,000 artists. The CD Baby catalog makes up an estimated 17 per cent of iTunes track offerings. With a one-stop professional dashboard allowing indie musicians to manage their royalties and licensing, CD Baby has become the go-to partner for many icons in the new music industry. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Macklemore had their start on CD Baby, while others like Ingrid Michaelson and Gregory Alan Isakov have maintained independent and highly successful careers. Greg Brown, Willis Earl Beale, and Grant Lee Phillips are among musicians who’ve dropped the old label system and turned to CD Baby to strike out on their own.

 
Announcement
12/14/2016

11/23/2016, CD Baby Announces Acquisition of Show.co and Related Assets
11/23/201611/23/2016, CD Baby Announces Acquisition of Show.co and Related Assets
Announcement
11/23/2016
Announcement
11/23/2016
CD Baby, the leading distribution and royalty administration destination for independent artists, has acquired Show.co, the digital music marketing platform and Soundrop, once the most popular playlisting and social listening app for Spotify. MORE» More»

CD Baby, the leading distribution and royalty administration destination for independent artists, has acquired Show.co, the digital music marketing platform and Soundrop, once the most popular playlisting and social listening app for Spotify.

“We’re excited to continue Show.co’s powerful marketing tools for musicians,” explains Kevin Breuner, VP of Marketing at CD Baby. “It’s another set of tools we can offer to the independent musicians we have worked to support and encourage for years.”

More than 5,000 labels and artists use Show.co to share content and collect important data that strengthens their connection to their fans. The Portland, OR-based firm plans no changes to Show.co’s services.

In addition to continuing Show.co’s offerings, CD Baby plans to revamp Soundrop, which went dormant after Spotify shifted its third-party app strategy. Soundrop will become the new springboard for artists looking for an alternative distribution approach, one that favors constant creation and single-first strategies. The revived Soundrop will be the new home for many Loudr artists, the distribution service CD Baby acquired earlier this year.

“We are very happy to see a new home for Show.co and a new future for the Soundrop brand,” says Jørn Haanæs, Soundrop’s former CEO. “Soundrop and Show.co were both about helping artists connect with their fans. To finally see the last part of our original vision take effect is wonderful.  Entering into music distribution was always the dream, as that’s the ultimate fan connection, now it’s soon to be the reality.”

It’s all part of CD Baby’s ongoing efforts to put artists’ needs first and to find the right tools and services to support their careers. “We see this as another high-caliber way to serve musicians and give them the best of what’s out there,” concludes Breuner. “For existing Show.co customers, it will be business as usual.”

About CD Baby

CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to almost 500,000 artists and 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. Its one-stop professional dashboard, CD Baby Pro, allows indie musicians to collect all of their publishing royalties. CD Baby Pro administers the publishing rights of more than 500,000 songs for 100,000 songwriters.

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

Announcement
11/23/2016

11/17/2016, CD Baby Hires Industry Veteran Jon Bahr as Vice President of Music Publishing and Rights Management
11/17/201611/17/2016, CD Baby Hires Industry Veteran Jon Bahr as Vice President of Music Publishing and Rights Management
Announcement
11/17/2016
Announcement
11/17/2016
CD Baby is pleased to announce Jon Bahr as Vice President of Music Publishing and Rights Management. A 13-year veteran of ASCAP, Bahr brings strong relationships and experience to the position, which now includes administering more than 500,000 compositions for 100,000 songwriters in CD Baby Pro, in cooperation with SongTrust. MORE» More»

Independent distributor and artist services company CD Baby is pleased to announce the hiring of Jon Bahr as Vice President of Music Publishing and Rights Management. A 13-year veteran of ASCAP, Bahr brings strong relationships and extensive experience to the position, which now includes administering more than 500,000 compositions for 100,000 songwriters in CD Baby Pro, in cooperation with SongTrust. Bahr will remain based in New York City.

“I’m thrilled to bring onboard a skilled and experienced industry veteran to spearhead CD Baby’s rights management initiatives,” says CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux. Bahr’s expertise will supplement the company’s constantly expanding offerings. CD Baby has been at the forefront of creating support structures to support independent artists and their royalty and rights needs, boosting income and helping create substantive careers. The company distributes nearly 7 million songs to a wide range of digital services, such as Spotify and Apple Music.

"CD Baby has been the heart and soul of the independent music industry for many years and I've spent my career serving these same music creators,” Bahr enthuses. “I'm incredibly excited to lead the growth of CD Baby's publishing capabilities, deliver new opportunities to artists and get more money into the pockets of songwriters."

Bahr worked at ASCAP since 2003, most recently as Senior Director of Marketing & Communications. Bahr oversaw ASCAP's advertising, sponsorships, member benefit partnerships and marketing campaigns. He was a creator and executive producer of the successful annual ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO conference, heading content, sponsorships, logistics, customer service and marketing for the event. Bahr was instrumental in driving the success of ASCAP's 100th birthday integrated marketing campaign, including the star-studded commissioned film, Why We Create Music, and its companion song, "More than the Stars." Prior to ASCAP, Bahr worked at music booking agencies Artist Group International and Ted Kurland Associates, Emcee Artist Management, Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's organization True Majority and managed indie rock band, The Slip.

“Publishing remains one of the cornerstones of artists’ careers, and CD Baby is committed to providing the best possible administrative support to its CD Baby Pro artists,” explains Kevin Breuner, CD Baby Vice President of Marketing. “Having Jon on our team will help us reach our goal of being a one-stop place for independent artists to manage and grow their careers.”

About CD Baby

CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to almost 500,000 artists and 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. Its one-stop professional dashboard, CD Baby Pro, allows indie musicians to collect all of their publishing royalties. CD Baby Pro administers the publishing rights of more than 500,000 songs for 100,000 songwriters.

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

Announcement
11/17/2016

05/13/2016, CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference Returns with Relevant, Targeted Info for Career-Building Indie Artists
05/13/201605/13/2016, CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference Returns with Relevant, Targeted Info for Career-Building Indie Artists
Announcement
05/13/2016
Announcement
05/13/2016
Actionable, artist-driven advice. That’s the main inspiration for the DIY Musician Conference presented by CD Baby, the only conference created specifically to give independent artists tools, skills, and ideas they can implement instantly. Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Chicago’s Congress Plaza Hotel, Sponsored by GigSalad & Berklee Online MORE» More»

September 30-October 2, 2016 at Chicago’s Congress Plaza Hotel, Sponsored by GigSalad and Berklee Online

Actionable, artist-driven advice. That’s the main inspiration for the DIY Musician Conference presented by CD Baby (diymusiciancon.com), the only conference created specifically to give independent artists tools, skills, and ideas they can take home and implement instantly.

Now in its second edition (September 30-October 2, 2016 at Chicago’s Congress Plaza Hotel), the conference is expanding and including high-energy talks, carefully curated panels, and useful workshops by artists and music industry pros. “We’ve asked a lot of artists what they need and want more of, and have designed the program with this in mind. We’ve included more workshops and one-on-one mentoring,” explains Kevin Breuner, VP of Marketing as CD Baby. “The conference isn’t about a big-name speaker talking in general terms, or about information that is more geared toward managers or label execs. This is about content that people can use right away to move their careers forward. It’s about strong takeaways.”

This year’s keynotes include Jack Conte, one of the driving forces behind Pomplamoose and founder of artist funding platform Patreon. Conte is a perfect example of how indie musicians are finding uncharted roads to success and building significant careers using digital tools, innovative marketing, and good old-fashioned hard work.

“I'm super pumped to be a part of the conference,” exclaims Conte. “Being in an indie band for 10 years is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I can't wait to dive into the nitty gritties and answer some questions.”

Some of the nitty gritties include the art and craft of songwriting, with Grammy-nominated writer Steve Seskin whose songs have been recorded by and scored chart hits for Waylon Jennings, Alabama, Peter Frampton, and Tim McGraw, among others. In-demand fashion and commercial photographer Becky Yee will not only share tips on how to get great band photos, but will work with artists at a special photo booth, with shots artists can take home with them.

Topics will range from managing the creative process to booking a house concert tour, from putting on a stronger live show (the live band makeover with veteran manager Tom Jackson) to diving into sync, publishing, and streaming revenues. In addition, Berklee Online, the premier platform for online music and music business education, will curate several panels.

When not absorbing new ideas, artists can hang out, network, and even play together in a new feature this year, the Jam Room. “We had a lot of spontaneous music making last year,” recalls Breuner. “It started with just a few artists playing, then got really big. Artists asked for a dedicated space to jam, and we’re doing it.”

“This conference is one of the most engaging, productive artist events of the year for PledgeMusic and me,” says Benji Rogers, who in addition to his role as founder and chief strategy officer at PledgeMusic, is an advocate for new, more artist-friendly tech approaches to music rights and distribution. “I’m really excited to return."

About CD Baby:

CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to more than 400,000 artists. The CD Baby catalog makes up an estimated 17 per cent of iTunes track offerings. With a one-stop professional dashboard allowing indie musicians to manage their royalties and licensing, CD Baby has become the go-to partner for many icons in the new music industry. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Macklemore had their start on CD Baby, while others like Ingrid Michaelson and Gregory Alan Isakov have maintained independent and highly successful careers. Greg Brown, Willis Earl Beale, and Grant Lee Phillips are among musicians who’ve dropped the old label system and turned to CD Baby to strike out on their own.

Announcement
05/13/2016

05/03/2016, Of Lawyers and Metadata: How to Handle the Devil’s Bargain Offered by Music’s Value Destroyers
05/03/201605/03/2016, Of Lawyers and Metadata: How to Handle the Devil’s Bargain Offered by Music’s Value Destroyers
Announcement
05/03/2016
Announcement
05/03/2016
What the industry needs are more innovators and fewer lawyers. We can’t stand by as class-action vampires step in to sue everybody and anybody whose data is incomplete. The winners from that kind of strategy are the lawyers; no one else will benefit in the long run. MORE» More»

by Tracy Maddux, CEO, CD Baby

Ninety-nine percent of the data in existence was created within the past two years. Yet, more than 99% of recorded music was created before the past two years. Recorded music was largely an analog phenomenon until the ’90s and the digital era. The institutions that sprung up around the music--to record, distribute and monetize, even to secure copyrights and administer royalties--were all created as analog institutions, not forced to compete, or even exist, in a digital world until very recently.

The bulk of the data meant to help collect revenue for music rights holders is not ready for the digital world. Much of this metadata is incomplete. It is often in conflict with other data sources and does not form a complete picture of the recording it’s meant to describe. The underlying music that consumers enjoy and which serves as the livelihood for songwriters, labels, publishers and artists must have clean and connected data to ensure that digital revenue reaches its correct earner.

Setting aside feelings, good and evil, what is happening in our industry is technological disruption and changing patterns of consumer preference as renting music becomes as popular as buying music. This is irreversible and as participants in an industry, we have to choose our path to the digital world carefully for our industry to prosper. If the participants in our industry vilify and attack each other, either through litigation or extortive threats of litigation, we engage in zero-sum behavior: one entity wins, one entity loses. This is not a path towards the creation of a healthy music industry. And it does not solve the metadata problem.

What the industry needs are more innovators and fewer lawyers. We can’t stand by as class-action vampires step in to sue everybody and anybody whose data is incomplete. The winners from that kind of strategy are the lawyers; no one else will benefit in the long run. I repeat: litigation is a zero sum strategy and it is a wealth destroyer, not an industry creator. Litigation rarely enables or forces fundamental changes.

We need to find a way forward, but first we need to reframe the problem in a way that sets up mutually acceptable outcomes. Certain industry players and middle-men have set up the debate (we’ll call these the value destroyers from here on out) to say the newest entrants to the market, like Spotify, operating on imperfect metadata, intended all along not to secure rights or pay rights-holders. These value destroyers say, “They are inherently evil and will have to pay for their actions!” This view of the world is overly simplistic and dangerous to the industry itself.

Other industry participants such as the artists, composers and their labels and publishers (we’ll call them value creators from here on out) facilitate the creation of wealth for themselves and art for the consumer by making music, distributing it and monetizing music rights via the digital service providers (DSPs). There are other neutral intermediaries in the market that serve vital interests: publishing organizations, data consortiums, the societies in collecting performance royalties, SoundExchange, distributors. These all have a place in the value chain, enabling value creators. 

The DSPs operating with this imperfect data are not inherently evil and their intent has rarely been maligned. In fact, new technology takes time to get right; new business models take time to make money. We’ll call these the market makers.

We are on the cusp of an all-out war in which the value destroyers attack the market makers to the detriment of the value creators. We will all lose if we choose to allow this to happen.

Let’s start with two basic facts.

One: There are competing interests with the music industry around the sound recording and composition copyrights. These interests compete for a pool of revenues allocated by market makers through direct negotiation or statute.  These competing interests must work together in order to assure working marketplaces.

Two: The most critical factor ensuring that all copyright holders get paid their appropriate share of revenue is to have metadata at the song or track level that describes all those interests perfectly.

If there are gaps in the data, someone gets screwed. Their money goes undistributed – for a time at least – into ‘black boxes,’ or pools of money allocated for unidentified interests to claim. After a time, that unidentifiable ‘black box’ money is distributed on a pro-rata basis to the top earning value creators. All of the venerable institutions of administration, the PROs and SoundExchange for instance, from time to time release un-attributable money to the big earners.

This is not true of the market makers, who hold this money until their intermediaries, like HFA or MRI, can identify the appropriate rights holder. Those pools of money are growing, and smelling increasingly attractive for attack by the value destroyers.

Now, I’ll make an argument that will not be popular with the value destroyers and a few value creators. Legal action, such as the recent songwriters looking to get certified as a class action, will in the end only distribute others’ money unfairly and to the detriment of all value creators. All of the revenues earned on DSPs such as Spotify are subject to claim by rights holders first. Without willing participants in the marketplace, the market makers cannot succeed.

Lawsuits against market makers, for harms real and imagined, will enrich lawyers and intermediaries and do nothing to solve the underlying problem of bad data. And it’s a Devil’s bargain for those songwriters on the sideline who are considering similar action. Join, and you might get paid if you win the lawsuit. Don’t join; your pool of potential royalties just got diluted to pay a settlement. In actuality, the class-action lawyers will likely find a way get paid win or lose, from pools of creators’ money generated on the marketplaces.

What is a creator to do? My suggestion is this: go and perfect your metadata. If you believe that your music has been used and that you have not been paid because your claim on the underlying music is not perfected, then go and perfect it. It’s a much more effective and beneficial action to use your trade group, publisher, agent, manager, distributor, aggregator or even lawyer to point out and take ownership in a work and then go and ask for money than seeking remedy in the courts. It is the primary function of any intermediary to go and represent your interest in a direct and constructive way than to utilize the blunt force of a lawsuit that will take years to complete and will only destroy the value of the market makers and redistribute the pool of royalties in an inequitable way.

Imagine a music industry wrought with litigation that drains the economic life and vitality from it. Now imagine a music industry that values rewarding creators first. Now choose.

Announcement
05/03/2016