Billion-Dollar Baby: CD Baby's Artist Payouts Cross the $1 Billion Mark, Speak to Strength of Independent Music Ecosystem 20 Dec 2021
Downtown Music Holdings' CD Baby is announcing that it has paid out more than $1billion to its artists since the company's 1998 founding. To achieve this, the company has empowered more than a million artists worldwide to distribute 10 million+ tracks to listeners.
"For us, it's not just about how much the top earners make, but also about what the payout means to all of the unique artists we work with who are charting their own course, based on their creative vision and their personal versions of success," says CD Baby President Joel Andrew. "Our mission has always been to work as hard as possible to serve musicians dedicated to doing their own thing, their way. Our success is a reflection of their success."
The $1-billion figure is more than a number to the artist services company; it's a sign of the strength of the community of independent musicians and creators who have coalesced around CD Baby. Independent musicians like the ones CD Baby serves have grabbed an increasingly large market share of the music business. The independent music sector grew to more than 43% of the total global market by ownership in 2020 according to an October 2021 report from MIDiA.
CD Baby has been a key player in this trend, as the first and one of the few remaining independent music distributors. Run largely by artists for artists, it has spent over two decades empowering independent musicians through industry-leading service, self-promotion tools, expert guidance, and strong partnerships with the world's biggest music and social platforms. It has also devoted itself to in-depth education for independent artists, launching a wildly popular blog, the first podcast dedicated to DIY musician issues, and the first conference for independent musicians.
CD Baby's relationship with Downtown began in 2014 with the launch of CD Baby Pro, a songwriter royalty collection solution for CD Baby clients utilizing Downtown's Songtrust platform. Downtown acquired CD Baby in 2019 and has invested significantly in enabling the company to drive innovation in the technology, tools and resources that help level the playing field for artists at all levels.
"As business partners since 2014, we appreciated the depth of CD Baby's organization and its incredibly loyal client base, two key drivers of our acquisition," said Downtown CEO, Andrew Bergman. "Unique in the industry, they have long understood that not all creators are the same, each having their own story, ambition and art to share. With CD Baby now leveraging resources across Downtown's platform, including technology, royalty collection, global licensing operations and capital, we are able to drive equity and innovation to all creators at an accelerated pace."
Downtown, which has a global team of 600 employees in over 20 cities, is the world's leading music services provider. Today, millions of artists, songwriters and enterprise clients from over 145 countries, including many of the largest music, entertainment and gaming companies, manage over 23 million music assets on its platforms.
While they have access to top tier rates, for many CD Baby artists, the money they earn means more than mere income; it gives them direct encouragement and a tangible sense of validation for their artistic endeavors. "Earning money has helped me in the sense that I can replace equipment when things go faulty," says East Coast-based soulful pop/R&B artist Lee Wilson. "But beyond the practical, the money has helped me focus more on music and has enabled me to go down to part-time in my day job, instead of full-time. Hopefully one day, I'll be able to transition full-time into music alone."
"It feels very good to have substantive rewards for my work, as part of a positive feedback loop. It gets hard to be creative in a hermit-like vacuum—especially during a pandemic, when live performance is not an option," explains ambient/electronic artist Robert Rich, who's been working with CD Baby since 2004. "Seeing some income is a reminder that people do actually listen and care about the music."
It can also encourage an artist to keep pursuing their creative vision. As UK trance vocalist and songwriter Natalie Holmes puts it, "Earning money from what I do has helped me to improve my own confidence, which in turn spurs me on to get better with everything I create."
NEWS & PRESS
Campaign to change the ownership model of Grassroots Music Venues extended to 31 December 2022 Ed Sheeran has thrown his weight behind the campaign by Music Venue Trust (MVT) to make a radical intervention into the ownership of the UK’s Grassroots...more
YouTube Shorts to host classic David Bowie footage to celebrate new â€˜Moonage Daydreamâ€™ documentary
SERIES TO MARK DEBUT OF BOWIE’S CATALOGUE ON YOUTUBE SHORTS VIEW THE SHORTS HERE In an exciting first, YouTube Shorts are celebrating the release of the definitive new David Bowie documentary ‘Moonage Daydream’ by hosting a selection of classic footage of The Thin White Duke on YouTube Shorts. It will...more
Respected executives Matt DuFour, Kebu Commissiong, Carlos Escalona Cruz and Lou Plaia join the Utopia Music company Sentric Music Group, part of Utopia Music, has made four key A&R hires in the United States, bringing experienced executives Matt DuFour, Carlos Escalona...more
The Awards Show on Thursday 8th September was postponed due to the death of Her Majesty The Queen. The re-scheduled 2022 Mercury Prize with FREE NOW Awards Show will now take place on Tuesday, 18 October 2022 at the Eventim Apollo,...more
Fresh from wowing the crowds at Reading and Leeds, pop-dance duo piri & tommy have just signed major publishing deals. piri has signed a direct deal with Warner Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, while tommy...more
Date: 14th - 16th August, 2023Location: Prestwold Hall Estate, Loughborough Register: https://www.dcentralize.ioDCentralize Festival will put the power back in the hands of the music community by transitioning into a DAO, enabling token-holders to participate in decision-making of the festival. By joining the...more
FORMER CHRYSALIS/BLUE RAINCOAT SENIOR MARKETING EXECS ANNOUNCE TRANSITION TO ARTIST MANAGEMENT TO FOCUS ON NOVA TWINS, THE MYSTERINES & OTHERS. Respected music executives John Leahy and Rupert King have transitioned into full-time artist management roles, moving over to Blue Raincoat Artists,...more
Leading UK dance club Stealth has begun a new chapter opening to rave reviews in Nottingham following a major transformation over the summer. The award-winning club that regularly features in DJ Mag’s ‘Top 100 Clubs in the World’ is returning with...more
Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE, said: “While we are pleased to see the Government taking steps to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis, today’s announcement delivers little for the UK’s world leading live music industry.“Jobs are already on a knife edge, and we...more
IMPALA recognises Didier Gosset at Reeperbahn festival for his outstanding contribution to independent music
Didier Gosset receives IMPALA's prestigious Outstanding Contribution Award during the association’s annual meeting in Hamburg. Didier’s work as Communication and Network Director has been crucial in expanding the IMPALA membership’s breadth to over 30 countries today. He played a key role...more
"Today's announcement from the Chancellor means very little for our £1.76bn UK festival industry. We've faced unprecedented challenges on increased costs, supply chain and low consumer confidence, with audiences facing a social emergency. This shows no sign of relenting as...more
The London-based artist services agency, Aveleen Rose Entertainment has announced new management signing with rapper and spoken word artist John Bernard. Corina Sabou, the CEO and founder of Aveleen Rose Entertainment, said: “What impressed me the most, apart from his artistry,...more
UK Music Urges Government To Protect Music Industry From 'Economic Storm' As New Report Reveals Sector's Fragile Recovery
UK Music, the collective voice of the UK music industry, publishes its This Is Music 2022 annual report today (Sept 22), which reveals how the sector began to recover from the initial impact of the pandemic. Unveiling the report, UK Music...more
Celebrating a landmark birthday, BBC Two’s Later… with Jools Holland at 30 is to be recorded before 3,000 fans at one of Britain’s most famous concert venues on Wednesday 5 October. 30 years, 60 series and over 450 episodes since it all began back...more
- India Arkin will release her debut album on vinyl after being spotted by hmv staff following gigs in her university town of Newcastle - More than 100 gigs are set to take place in hmv stores this National Album Day...more
Major music company, Warner Music, and sporting charity, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, have come together with the support of local broadcaster, Cool FM, to host their first ever careers event for young people in Belfast at the city’s Oh Yeah...more
BeatStars Publishing Announces Recent Producer Signings - Including Hitkidd, 1SRAEL, Pxcoyo, Emkay, Chris Rich and RedMOSK
Responsible for Multiple Platinum Hits and Tracks by Lil Uzi Vert, Megan the Stallion, Future and More Today, BeatStars Publishing announces recent producer signings, including Hitkidd, 1SRAEL, Pxcoyo, Emkay, ENRGY, Pilotkid, Chris Rich, RedMOSK, DeeMarc, Dystinkt, Lil H, and Josh Petruccio. Since...more
Fire In The Booth announcesÂ new partnership with Donny â€œDizzy Clean Faceâ€ Flores to spearhead US developments
Charlie Sloth announced a new partnership with award-winning music industry titan Donny “Dizzy Clean Face” Flores. Flores is to help spearhead the US communications for Fire In The Booth as the platform shows huge growth in the US territory. Flores will...more
Sérgio Affonso to step down after more than 15 years as President to run his own independent label Leila Oliveira is being promoted to become President of Warner Music Brazil, effective from October 28. She will step up into the role...more
Oscar-winning producer Paul Epworth congratulates the first Ivor Novello Scholar, Andy Skinner, calling him â€œan inspirationâ€
Songwriter Andy Skinner from Bangor, Northern Ireland, has been confirmed as the first Ivor Novello Scholar and will have his fees paid to study TheWRD from The Ivors Academy. TheWRD is a new Access to Higher Education Diploma in Creative Entrepreneurship with...more
NATIONAL ALBUM DAY 2022 – SATURDAY 15TH OCTOBER “CELEBRATING DEBUT ALBUMS” Presented in association with audio partner Bowers & Wilkins and broadcast partner BBC Sounds EXCLUSIVE LP RELEASES & REISSUES ANNOUNCED TO COINCIDE WITH NATIONAL ALBUM DAY:ALT-J, BLACK SABBATH, BLOSSOMS, BUNNY SCOTT, CHASE...more
UTA’s Music and Marketing Practices See Momentum with Expanded Presence Over the Past Year Leading global talent, entertainment and sports company UTA today announced that Anna Gregorek will join the agency as Senior Director of Music Brand Partnerships (MBP), a newly...more
Legendary British musician Stormzy honoured as Diversity ChampionRina Sawayama to receive Innovator Award in association with Amazon MusicFinal nominees revealed ahead of ceremony on 28 SeptemberCeremony tickets selling fastLive Show & After Party tickets on sale here with rising star...more
FRANK TURNER TO GIVE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AND OTHER SPEAKERS CONFIRMED Music Venue Trust (MVT) has announced Ticketmaster as the headline sponsor for its forthcoming Venues Day annual networking event, which takes place on Tuesday 18th October at Hackney Church (formerly known as...more
James Radice to step down from his role after eight years Warner Music UK has today announced that Charlotte Saxe will be promoted to become SVP, Legal & Business Affairs from 3rd October. In her new role, she’ll be reporting directly to Tony...more
YouTube announces new ways for creators to make money, supporting the next wave of global creative entrepreneurs
At its inaugural Made on YouTube event, the platform reveals that over the last three years, YouTube has paid creators, artists and media companies more than $50B Today YouTube introduced the next chapter in rewarding creativity on the platform. At its...more
"Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this intervention by the Government, which appears at face value to comprehensively tackle the immediate short term energy crisis for Grassroots Music Venues. We await full details of the scheme and the method of implementation by...more
Digital Sports MGMT represents leading brands such as Warner Bros and Xbox, and influencers such as Danny Aarons, ShaunaGames and AJ3 YMU today announce the integration of leading sports marketing, gaming, and entertainment agency, Digital Sports Mgmt (DSM), into their global...more
Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE said: "We welcome this support from Government, but we are clear that this needs to be sustained past the next six months. Spiralling energy prices have already forced music venues up and down the country to...more
Music Mudder 2022, the music-inspired endurance event organised by leading talent agency Wasserman Music, in partnership with music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins, successfully raised over £55,000 for the charity, on a day filled with mud, sweat and cheers. The event saw teams...more
Paid single sales drop to lowest point in 17 years (see Analysis)
Mini-budget outlines tax cuts, but entertainment sector notes lack of support; Ed Sheeran champions intervention into the ownership of Grassroots Music Venues (see News)
Why musicians are cancelling tours to protect their mental health (see Features)
Mercury Prize sets new date (see News)
CMA publishes responses from industry to its streaming economy report (see News)
UK Music publishes This Is Music 2022 annual report (see Reports)
Why major labels and Spotify love fake artists (see Opinion)
Spotify launches audiobooks business (see Digital)
YouTube announces new ways for creators to make money (see Digital)
The art of being dropped (see Features)
Warner Music Group is moving beyond superstars – and that is a good thing (see Comment)
Just how financially secure is music publishing? (see Analysis)
Ruling highlights PRO Tariff structures for music festivals in the EU may be unlawful (see News)
Universal Music Group launches Virgin Music Group (see Business)
YouTube paid over $6bn to the industry in last year (see Digital)
Why Wall Street is still betting on the music industry (see Analysis)