CD Baby ends physical distribution, embraces streaming focus

CD Baby, the music distributor that expanded into India in 2019, has announced that it will no longer distribute physical CDs and vinyl and will be closing its warehouse in the US.

This decision reflects CD Baby’s shift towards the digital landscape and the growing dominance of streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music.

For more than 20 years, CD Baby has been a popular platform for independent musicians and artists who wanted to distribute their music physically through the sale of CDs and vinyl. However, the music industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, with a strong shift towards streaming.

CD Baby reassures artists that it will continue to provide digital distribution of their catalogs to digital service providers (DSPs) such as Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music. The company emphasizes its ongoing support for artists at any stage of their journey. CD Baby also hinted at exciting new features and offers that will be introduced soon to help artists manage their music careers.

CD Baby was founded in 1998 by Derek Sivers in New York and quickly became one of the pioneering online retailers for CDs by independent artists. The company also sold CDs, cassette tapes, and vinyl to brick-and-mortar retailers. In 2019, CD Baby became part of Downtown Music Holdings when the latter acquired AVL Digital Group and its portfolio of businesses for approximately $200 million.

Since its inception, CD Baby has paid out over $1 billion to artists, with $125.4 million distributed in 2020 alone from digital platforms, amounting to around $2.4 million every week.

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