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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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Samantha Brickler

Current News

  • 12/12/201812/12/2018

Save the Date: DIY Musician, The Biggest, Best Gathering for Motivated Self-Managed Musicians, Heads to Austin in August 2019

1500 musicians of all ages, career stages, and walks of life. Engaging, actionable presentations by people like them, people who have worked for years to get music heard and to build fanbases. CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference spans three days of intensive, celebratory interaction and learning, designed not to give a platform to industry talking heads, but to give artists the tools they need to leave the ballroom and change their creative lives and careers.

This year, the conference is...

Press

  • Rolling Stone, Feature story, 11/03/2018, Inside the Secretly Lucrative World of Solo Piano Music Text
  • Billboard, Feature story, 06/25/2018, CD Baby Expands Operations to London, Hires Rich Orchard & Steve Cusack Text
  • Rolling Stone, Mention, 07/10/2018, Why Charts Matter, and What It Means When Drake Dominates Them Text
  • Billboard, Feature story, 03/06/2018, CD Baby, Now In Its 20th Year, Says It Paid Out $80M to Indie Artists in 2017 Text
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News

12/12/2018, Save the Date: DIY Musician, The Biggest, Best Gathering for Motivated Self-Managed Musicians, Heads to Austin in August 2019
12/12/201812/12/2018, Save the Date: DIY Musician, The Biggest, Best Gathering for Motivated Self-Managed Musicians, Heads to Austin in August 2019
Announcement
12/12/2018
Announcement
12/12/2018
1500 musicians of all ages, career stages, and walks of life. Engaging, actionable presentations by people like them, people who have worked for years to get music heard and to build fanbases. CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference spans three days of intensive, celebratory interaction and learning. MORE» More»

1500 musicians of all ages, career stages, and walks of life. Engaging, actionable presentations by people like them, people who have worked for years to get music heard and to build fanbases. CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference spans three days of intensive, celebratory interaction and learning, designed not to give a platform to industry talking heads, but to give artists the tools they need to leave the ballroom and change their creative lives and careers.

This year, the conference is moving from Nashville to Austin, to connect with a fresh community of musicians in another deeply musical city. The presentations, workshops, mentoring sessions, and jam rooms will be waiting for musicians on August 16-18, 2019 at the downtown Hilton.

“CD Baby pays close attention to what our artists need,” explains Kevin Breuner of CD Baby. “We know they are often hungry for a real plan of action, for helpful advice and encouragement, not for another panel on abstract business issues facing major labels.” The focus is on accessible, actionable ideas and tips that work for musicians at a variety of career crossroads, meaningful takeaways that energize and transform.

“The magnitude of this experience has been amazing. It exceeded my expectations beyond belief,” says indie-soul singer-songwriter AHI. “Bob Boilen said I was his favorite new discovery. I’m on clouds. The DIY Musician Conference changed my life.” Boilen went on to invite AHI for a Tiny Desk Concert.

This year’s edition will take full advantage of Austin’s quirky, rootsy music scene, bringing in artists, presenters, and other participants that reflect the city’s idiosyncratic creativity and charm.  

2019 DIY Musician Conference
August 16-18, 2019 
The Austin Hilton
Tickets on sale now at www.diymusiciancon.com

Announcement
12/12/2018

12/12/2018, Save the Date: DIY Musician, The Biggest, Best Gathering for Motivated Self-Managed Musicians, Heads to Austin in August 2019
12/12/201812/12/2018, Save the Date: DIY Musician, The Biggest, Best Gathering for Motivated Self-Managed Musicians, Heads to Austin in August 2019
Announcement
12/12/2018
Announcement
12/12/2018
1500 musicians of all ages, career stages, and walks of life. Engaging, actionable presentations by people like them, people who have worked for years to get music heard and to build fanbases. CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference spans three days of intensive, celebratory interaction and learning. MORE» More»

1500 musicians of all ages, career stages, and walks of life. Engaging, actionable presentations by people like them, people who have worked for years to get music heard and to build fanbases. CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference spans three days of intensive, celebratory interaction and learning, designed not to give a platform to industry talking heads, but to give artists the tools they need to leave the ballroom and change their creative lives and careers.

This year, the conference is moving from Nashville to Austin, to connect with a fresh community of musicians in another deeply musical city. The presentations, workshops, mentoring sessions, and jam rooms will be waiting for musicians on August 16-18, 2019 at the downtown Hilton.

“CD Baby pays close attention to what our artists need,” explains Kevin Breuner of CD Baby. “We know they are often hungry for a real plan of action, for helpful advice and encouragement, not for another panel on abstract business issues facing major labels.” The focus is on accessible, actionable ideas and tips that work for musicians at a variety of career crossroads, meaningful takeaways that energize and transform.

“The magnitude of this experience has been amazing. It exceeded my expectations beyond belief,” says indie-soul singer-songwriter AHI. “Bob Boilen said I was his favorite new discovery. I’m on clouds. The DIY Musician Conference changed my life.” Boilen went on to invite AHI for a Tiny Desk Concert.

This year’s edition will take full advantage of Austin’s quirky, rootsy music scene, bringing in artists, presenters, and other participants that reflect the city’s idiosyncratic creativity and charm.  

2019 DIY Musician Conference
August 16-18, 2019 
The Austin Hilton
Tickets on sale now at www.diymusiciancon.com

Announcement
12/12/2018

08/30/2018, CD Baby Hires Heli Del Moral as New VP of International Development, Expands Global Initiatives to Support Indie Artist Careers
08/30/201808/30/2018, CD Baby Hires Heli Del Moral as New VP of International Development, Expands Global Initiatives to Support Indie Artist Careers
Announcement
08/30/2018
Announcement
08/30/2018
CD Baby, the publishing and distribution powerhouse behind the world’s self-managed artists, has hired its first VP of International Development, Heli Del Moral. Del Moral will be building CD Baby’s business outside of North America and Europe. MORE» More»

CD Baby, the publishing and distribution powerhouse behind the world’s self-managed artists, has hired its first VP of International Development, Heli Del Moral. Del Moral will be building CD Baby’s business outside of North America and Europe. Del Moral’s hire comes hot on the heels of the company’s recent expansion in Europe with the opening of its UK office and will augment the already robust team of Latin America-based CD Baby representatives working to support independent artists in their home countries.

Del Moral will join the Portland team starting September 4, 2018.

Del Moral brings an overlapping set of skills and passions ideal for the new role. He has served in leadership positions at some of the most influential brands in the media industry. For more than a decade, Del Moral worked at Disney as director of international marketing and promotion for ESPN and ESPN Deportes, driving profitability for the Latin America region, developing the European market and supporting business growth in Australia, sections of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Prior to Disney, Del Moral served 8 years as National Director of Marketing and Promotion at Univision Network, working closely with high-profile celebrities and music artists in the Hispanic market, building relationships and promotional content for artists and television programs, and as executive producer of network image.

Like many CD Baby leaders, Del Moral has also had a substantial creative career. He is the recipient of three Emmy awards and numerous Telly, Promax and other honors for his creative efforts.  He is passionate about the music and entertainment industry and has profound admiration and respect for artists and their craft.

“I believe that CD Baby is ideally positioned to expand its global reach and I am excited to work together with our international group to help artists around the world release their music, gain their independence and realize their dreams,” says Del Moral. “I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”

“We’re delighted to welcome Heli to the team. His deep knowledge and experience in growing international markets has been well demonstrated at ESPN and Univision,” remarks Tracy Maddux, CEO of CD Baby. “We’re excited to unleash his talents to help market and develop the CD Baby brand worldwide.”

About CD Baby

CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to 650,000 artists and more than 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 over $600 million since the company’s founding. CD Baby’s Publishing Administration service allows over 160,000 songwriters to collect all of their publishing royalties and currently administers over 1 million songs.

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
08/30/2018

08/16/2018, CD Baby Publishing Reaches 1 Million Songs: 1 Million Songs Coming Out of the Black Boxes
08/16/201808/16/2018, CD Baby Publishing Reaches 1 Million Songs: 1 Million Songs Coming Out of the Black Boxes
Announcement
08/16/2018
Announcement
08/16/2018
We are thrilled to announce that CD Baby Publishing Administration is solving those problems globally for over one million songs and 160,000 songwriters in over 50 countries with direct affiliations at more than 30 Performing Rights Organizations worldwide. MORE» More»

Thoughts on reaching a major milestone by CD Baby's VP of Creator Services Jon Bahr

It’s true - the tides of the music business have risen in the past few years as streaming has gained a massive foothold with no signs of letting up. Alongside the rise has been a string of lawsuits, metadata/registration problems, unknown compositions, suppressed content, failed legislation (and current legislation that hopefully may soon pass), missing songwriters, royalty delays and royalties incorrectly paid out. In nearly every situation, the issue surrounds the underlying composition - the song, which was crafted by a songwriter.

We are thrilled to announce that CD Baby Publishing Administration is solving those problems globally for over one million songs and 160,000 songwriters in over 50 countries with direct affiliations at more than 30 Performing Rights Organizations worldwide. This groundbreaking milestone - with over 750,000 songs where we administer 100% of the publishing shares - is truly helping solve the industry’s publishing problem one songwriter at a time. Our global Publishing Administration service is getting these songwriters their rightfully owed money globally and emptying the often discussed many “black boxes” at collection societies.

At its core, CD Baby’s role is to help music creators both get their music into the world and make sure they collect upon every revenue stream for that music. We give artists and songwriters full choice to layer different services under creator-friendly terms as opposed to overreaching rights grabs. With 9 million recordings distributed (one million new tracks in 2017 alone!), four million songs with YouTube & Facebook monetization, three million songs under non-exclusive Sync Licensing, one million songs under Publishing Administration, 25,000 new Publishing songs registered a month, and 4,000 new songwriters a month collecting all their Publishing owed, CD Baby is getting money flowing to music creators.

At CD Baby, we educate that “No Song Should Go Unpublished.” A songwriter is inherently their own publisher, but knowing what to do usually ended with joining a performing rights organization like ASCAP or BMI in the US or SOCAN in Canada and hopefully knowing to collect as a both a writer and a publisher. In my thirteen year tenure at ASCAP, I met countless songwriters who said ASCAP was their publisher (which is incorrect). Not managing your publishing shouldn’t mean the writer doesn’t get the money owed, but it does within the international framework of how songwriting royalties flow..

In the US, for certain interactive services like Amazon Music Unlimited and Pandora Premium the album or single won’t go live - though completely delivered by a distributor - without a Publisher registration/license of their works via Music Reports Inc. (MRI).  We, as well as our artists and songwriters, certainly want their music to be available to as many listeners as they can unimpeded by their lack of publishing understanding.

Most unpublished songwriters aren’t aware of all of the royalty streams going uncollected. Though royalties should flow better if the Music Modernization Act becomes law, songwriters will still need to proactively get their mechanical royalties in the US or work with a partner/publisher that will. If not, their royalties will be given away after three years.. Writers still wouldn’t collect their mechanicals for streams of their music in the rest of the world.

Each songwriter that chooses to use our Publishing Administration when distributing their music with CD Baby gets more money for each stream or download and solves countless global data problems. In a streaming era, where mechanicals account for roughly half the publishing royalties owed, songwriters have royalties sprinkled in every country in the world where someone pressed play and they don’t realize it. In a real world example, a CD Baby published writer collected over $25,000 in just one country from a foreign online gaming platform that one wouldn’t think pays out directly.

The CD Baby songwriter community is truly global with 45% international releases. Our administration partnership with the great folks at Songtrust / Downtown Music Publishing allows us to collect at the source for our songwriters via their direct global affiliations with over 30 PROs covering in over 75 countries and territories where we have clients. In just 5 years in operation, we already have well over 50,000 songwriters administered at both ASCAP and BMI. We make it easy to get full global songwriter royalty collection with a simple 1-year term followed by a quarterly renewal and a fair 15% administration fee. In the US and Canada, a writer can even join a PRO as a songwriter without leaving our website. We are trying and succeeding at getting music creators their royalties, making it easy in the process.

What’s our next act? There are some rights left in this neighborhood of music.

Announcement
08/16/2018

07/17/2018, Creative Fulfillment, Real Livings: DIY Musician Conference Offers Career Boosts and Camaraderie for Music’s Most Diverse Community
07/17/201807/17/2018, Creative Fulfillment, Real Livings: DIY Musician Conference Offers Career Boosts and Camaraderie for Music’s Most Diverse Community
Announcement
07/17/2018
Announcement
07/17/2018
In a few short weeks, more than 1,500 musicians from all over the world will gather in Nashville for one of the few truly indie artist-centric conferences out there: CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference. (August 24-26 2018) MORE» More»

In a few short weeks, more than 1,500 musicians from all over the world will gather in Nashville for one of the few truly indie artist-centric conferences out there: CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference. (August 24-26 2018) Unlike many industry events, DIY Musician equips working musicians of all backgrounds and genres with tools, inspiration, and networking opportunities to take their creativity and careers to the next level.

“Along with our musician community, we work with a lot of digital platforms who serve this community,” says Kevin Breuner, VP of Marketing at CD Baby and host of the popular DIY Musician podcast. “Every time someone from a digital service provider, say, has come to the conference, they’ve walked away amazed. They simply never guessed how diverse and engaged the independent musicians of the world are.”

The conference regularly attracts participants from all fifty states, as well as several dozen countries. These are musicians brand new to the scene and seasoned veterans making a living from music. They are all ages, all ethnic backgrounds, all musical styles and approaches you can imagine, from hip hop MCs to old-time one-man bands.

The 4th Annual DIY Musician Conference
Omni Hotel, Nashville, TN
http://diymusiciancon.com/


This year, the conference is hoping to further boost this community energy, planning even more chances to meet each other, play together, and exchange ideas about what’s working in this new, wide open era. Expanded jam rooms and showcases, as well as places and times to hang out and talk, will be one of the cornerstones this year.

DIY Musician will also tackle some of the toughest problems confronting musicians at all points in their careers: marketing and audience building in a saturated market. There will be sessions on Facebook ads for musicians on a budget, to using special marketing campaigns via sites like show.co to promote a fresh release. “A lot of what will be discussed lies at the heart of what got me interested in the DIY Musician podcast years ago,” explains Breuner. “It’s the idea that you can reach anyone and you can start building an audience just by engaging with people online and writing good music. You can be anywhere and still make it work for you.”

In addition to cutting-edge promo practices, the conference also offers a bevy of opportunities for artists to hone ever-important skills like mastering live performance. Expert and popular speaker Tom Jackson will be back this year with his live music makeover, a chance for selected groups to get a whole new way to approach their stage game.

Along with actionable tactics and strategy, the conference has made a practice of presenting success stories from unexpected corners of the music-making world. Folks like songwriter and guitarist Lance Allen, one of this year’s featured speakers, who figured out how to craft and pitch music to key streaming service playlists--and pay his mortgage. And Ariel Bloomer, whose blend of indie rock star and life coach spirit has inspired countless musicians and fans, and built her a satisfying life and viable career.

Everywhere at the conference, not just behind the podium, however, you can find tales of artistic satisfaction--on musicians’ own terms. “Every year it feels like there’s no better time than now to be an artist entering the marketplace. At the conference, I hear so many inspiring stories, from talking to people randomly. We’ll strike up a conversation, and then suddenly I have to start taking notes. That’s a great idea!” says Breuner. “You get so many artists from places around the world, with so many background and genre pursuits. You hear so many varied stories of success and creative fulfillment. It all has one underlying message: You can create the art you want and find an audience.”

About CD Baby
CD Baby is one of the largest distributors of independent music on the planet, home to 650,000 artists and more than 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 over $600 million since the company’s founding. CD Baby’s Publishing Administration service allows over 140,000 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
07/17/2018