In our latest Industry Voices interview, we talked to Kevin Bruener, Director of Marketing for CD Baby. CD Baby is music distribution company based out of Portland, Oregon. Starting in a garage in 1998, they’ve become the world’s largest online distributor of independent music. In addition to distribution, CD Baby also has expanded into website hosting, ebook publishing, podcasts, blogs, and affiliate programs. With all these services, CD Baby is a very important resource for any independent artist.
We talked to Kevin about the benefits of CD Baby, the run-down on their service, and some tips on how to sell your music as an artist.
1. To start, please state your name and position with CD Baby, and give us a little background about the company.
Kevin Breuner – Director of Marketing for CD Baby
2. What is the benefit of an artist selling their music through CD Baby rather than another distributor?
CD Baby offers the widest amount of services all in one place. From digital distribution, to CD distribution, all the way to sync licensing and publishing administration. Our goal is to help artists make money from their music everywhere possible.
3. Your company has expanded beyond music distribution into affiliate programs, website hosting, ebook publishing, podcasts and blogs. How has this expansion helped grow the businesses and the artists you work with?
We spend a lot of time trying to meet the needs of the independent artist community, so we're always developing and trying new things. As the industry changes and grows, we want to make sure we're there helping our artists along the way.
4. Can you give us a run-down of where the music gets distributed online for bands who have not used your service?
We distribute music digitally to over 60 retail stores around the world including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, Rdio and more. Basically, we get your music in all the music services that matter. We also distribute and sell CDs through our website, Amazon, and through thousands of retail stores around the world (You can see the whole list at http://members.cdbaby.com). Our artist's CDs sales are actually up 15% over last year!
5. Your DIY Musician blog gets a lot of traction in the music industry. What was the motivation behind starting the blog?
With our blog, we just want to be a helpful resource to the independent artist. Our hope is that the content we create will help them move their career forward.
6. Does the company work with any third-parties to help create a better service for artists?
Yes, there are several third party deals we have in place. One key relationship we have is with a company called LimeLight. They do cover song licensing, which is something CD Baby doesn't do. It's a very specialized service, but they are great and it makes more sense for us to work together with them than try to start a similar service. For indie artists, they are the best place to go to get the mechanical license for the usage of a cover song.
7. Your site has a unique name, where does CD Baby come from?
It's just a name that the original founder came up with. No big meaning behind it.
8. In your opinion, where do you see the music industry in five years?
The music industry is definitely going through a period of change. It's tough to say where things will be in 5 years, but there are a lot of new exciting revenue opportunities opening up for indie artists!
9. Are there any artists that have worked with your company since the beginning that you guys have watched grow enormously?
Macklemore is our latest artist to see massive success. Other bands like The Head and the Heart, The National, Owl City, and many more all got their start on CD Baby.
9. Do you think CD Baby can be credited to a part of that artist’s growth?
CD Baby helped them reach the world with their music.
10. Finally, do you have any tips for artists on selling their music?
Make sure you have your music everywhere people enjoy music, and make sure you clearly direct your fans to where they can buy your music.
To find out more about their services, check out CD Baby at http://members.cdbaby.com.