January 17, 2008

Land of the Free

Land of the Free

I recieved this article today courtesy of our affiliate, "Discmakers"

CD Baby’s Derek Sivers lets us in on a little secret… CD sales by indie artists are still growing.
By Andre Calilhanna | January 2008
“CD Baby is a little online record store that sells albums by independent musicians.” At least that’s how the CD Baby website describes it. Founded by Derek Sivers in 1997, the “little online record store” currently has over 200,000 artists selling music through the site, has sold nearly four million albums, and has paid close to $65 million directly to independent artists. The company began as a hobby for Sivers, who was a full-time musician at the time. Soon, he was selling CDs of friends and fellow musicians, and before long, CD Baby blossomed into a full-fledged online enterprise.

Today, Sivers is regarded as an icon in the indie music community, and in 2003, he was awarded the World Technology Award for Entertainment (the same was awarded to Napster founder Shawn Fanning in 2001). In 2004, CD Baby added digital download sales to its growing list of online offerings, and Sivers has long been a regular fixture on the music conference/speaker circuit. FastForward caught up with Derek to get his take on the state on independent music as we head into the new year.

How have you stayed relevant? As more and more players enter the online marketplace, how have you maintained your status as the #1 independent CD retailer?
Are we #1? Really? Cool! WHOO-HOO! We're #1!!

No really, we just stay focused on selling music. That's all. No advertising. No investors. No distractions. And we've been around for 10 years now, and have paid over $50 million directly to musicians. We're getting good at this.

What do you see as the most interesting developments in music over the last six to 12 months? Particularly as they relate to independent music.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, y'know?

Companies everywhere are experimenting with "what's the new model of the music industry?" But of course, musicians making great music with an interesting angle are still getting attention, and people are still buying more music than ever, but through lots of different sources now, which works in the independent musician's favor. more

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