While checking out Apple Music after it launched this morning, I noticed a link targeting undistributed independent artists that points straight to CD Baby. While another link below it leads to a full list of approved providers, Apple, which seems to be making a real effort to support indie music, chose to highlight CD Baby as an onramp.
Why would Apple highlight CD Baby?
Apple certainly doesn’t want to take phone calls and field questions from hundreds of thousands of independent artists, but it’s also clear they think the indie music community is important to the success of their new service.
CD Baby, which has been distributing to iTunes since its inception, has been educating artists with what they need to do to get their music properly formatted and uploaded to Apple’s services. They also give away a lot of this information on their DIY Musician blog, and will hold the hand of any artist that uses their distribution services.
But CD Baby can not favor one music service over the other. As CEO Tracy Maddux wrote in Billboard last week, “In a big world, there will be room for many winners. This is the indie ethos. Remember, there are 6 billion humans on planet earth, most outside the largest music market in the world who don't have a credit card on file with iTunes. Apple Music is being launched worldwide, and in places where some of these services haven’t yet launched.”
How long CD Baby's highlighted status on Apple Music will last is anyone's guess. But on launch day, Apple has certainly tipped their hat in recognition of this d.i.y. music pioneer.