About 10 years ago while I was working for MusicNow, Stephen Collins (workmate) told me about CDBaby and their web store services for independent musicians. Since then, I’ve released three albums through CDBaby and have digital distribution all around the world on just about every major digital music store/subscription service, including iTunes.
I’ve had the privilege to talk to Derek Sivers (founder of CDBaby) a handful of times about a few projects and was just amazed at his generosity and helpfulness. He went on to sell CDBaby and donate most of the proceeds, but his legacy lives on at CDBaby.
Over the past year, CDBaby has added many services for independent artists and labels, including YouTube and sync licensing. They also have an excellent DIY blog with extremely helpful articles for songwriters/musicians such as myself.
I was struck by the power they are putting in the indie’s hands. When you consider what is possible with just the YouTube licensing alone, it is quite amazing. Basically, the way it works is that as an artist with songs registered with CDBaby, you opt-in to various licensing arrangements. This gives the artist the power to enable millions of people to use their songs as synced music in a video – thereby earning a royalty from YouTube.
Along with streaming royalties from Spotify, Rhapsody and sales through iTunes among others, this could add up to some meaningful royalties. It’s all in the artists hands.
And as of last week, they have launched CDBaby Pro for artists who need to collect performance royalties from worldwide entities.
As an artist who embraces the DIY/indie paradigm, I say ‘thank you’ CDBaby.