CD baby: Independent music sales actually UP^

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forge
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CD baby: Independent music sales actually UP^

Post by forge » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:19 am

Ok this article is a year old, and some of you may have already seen it on gearslutz, but I just found it and it's interesting, and positive for a change!

the discussion about the future of the music industry comes up now and then on here so I thought I'd cross pollinate

CD Baby founder had this to say about the question of file sharing killing music:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/1645282-post11.html
Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby wrote:I have a problem with questions that start by assuming that everything is going to hell.

It's like the old "have you stopped beating your wife?" question. Neither yes nor no will be correct, because the question assumes something wrong.

So first, I have to clear something up:

Sales are WAY up for the independents.

Independent musicians are doing better than ever before.

While the Eminem and Beyoncé sales fall, the independents are selling more than ever.

It's a wonderful spreading-out of sales. Less at the top, more at the bottom.

But the news only tells you about the falling sales of the majors, because those are the easier ones to track. So by only reporting the easy half of the story, they've got the story all wrong, which leads to people believing it, then making assumptions based on it.

Now, if you were to ask me, "Sales are up. Independent musicians are selling more than ever before. Why do you think that is?" - we could have a more accurate discussion.

But I can't answer, "Is file sharing killing music?" - because music is more alive and well than ever.
Last edited by forge on Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:26 am

is the free exchange of the story of jesus christ killing christianity?
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

logic_user99
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Post by logic_user99 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:29 am

Johnisfaster wrote:is the free exchange of the story of jesus christ killing christianity?
LMFAO.

I'm pleased that 'indie' music is on the up; it's really good to know that people who are making music for music's sake (rather than for serious big-bucks) are reaping some kind of reward.

CD Baby is excellent, too. I've bought a couple of really good ambient CDs from them.
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detroitechno
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Post by detroitechno » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:11 am

This is great news, but with all due respect... this is coming from the mouth of a guy making money off of indy artists.

A positive article is going to help promote the site, indy music, and encourage people to spend money at cd baby.

A negative article would hurt the site, make people go else where, cancel account's etc...


Now I'm not being a 'negative nancy' here. I'm just speculating where this is coming from. I've learned to take everything in life from both sides.

If that is the case, it's great news! But I'd take it with a grain of salt.
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forge
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Post by forge » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:56 am

detroitechno wrote:This is great news, but with all due respect... this is coming from the mouth of a guy making money off of indy artists.

A positive article is going to help promote the site, indy music, and encourage people to spend money at cd baby.

A negative article would hurt the site, make people go else where, cancel account's etc...


Now I'm not being a 'negative nancy' here. I'm just speculating where this is coming from. I've learned to take everything in life from both sides.

If that is the case, it's great news! But I'd take it with a grain of salt.
I know what you mean - I'd more or less given up any hope of there still being a recording industry, this is why I posted the link

he qualifies it a bit more later on:
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
do you mean that the average independent label is selling more albums now than they were pre-download era.
Yes, definitely!

In 1997, there was no company that would sell your CD online, so I had to do it myself. That's how CD Baby accidently started.

My only sales were at live shows, or going through individual consignment shops, etc. Only people in my area could buy my music, unless they really wanted to mail me a check and wait a couple weeks.

Now only 10 years later, everyone all around the world is buying music online.

At CD Baby, we sell about 2000 albums a day, and about 1000 a day are people "just browsing", buying music they hadn't heard of a few minutes before.

30% of our orders are from overseas. People in Brazil buying $200 of music from artists in Cincinatti and Charlotte. People in the Japan that place huge $500 orders every week from otherwise-unknown artists. It's amazing!

And yes, most musicians I talk to who have been doing this over 10 years feel that they're doing better now than ever. That they have better reach than ever. That they're on a more level playing-field than ever. People are more willing than ever to find and buy independent music online.

We pay over $200,000 to our musician clients every Monday night.

Last Monday's weekly payout was over $2.1 MILLION dollars, just for the week's sales from cdbaby.com, iTunes, and others combined. All of that going directly to independent musicians. No labels. No distributors.

If you ever feel that nobody is buying music anymore, come hang out here for a day.

If some of your friends at labels aren't doing as well as they were before, I don't know what to say, because the buying environment is better than it's ever been.

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Post by Hidden Driveways » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:27 pm

A lot of things can happen in one year. So far in 2008, CD Baby has been bought by Disc Makers, and Mr. Derek Sivers no longer even works for the company.

I'm all for independent CD sales going up. I've got over 900 copies of my album in my apartment waiting patiently. In the past year one dude in Australia, one woman in Ireland, and and one guy from the States has bought my CD while browsing CD Baby. It's microscopically small beans, but I honestly have to say that I'm totally stoked those three transactions took place.

Vinyl on the other hand had like a 45% spike in sales in 2007. I'm guessing that 2008 is going to bury that number. I will not manufacturer CDs ever again in my life. I hope to press my next album on vinyl, and have a coupon inside for free digital downloads, and a sticker on the cover about the free downloads. I'm serious about this. I'm taking a server side programming class right now just to figure out how I can pull this off. I believe this is THE business model for the future of the music industry.

forge
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Post by forge » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:56 pm

Hidden Driveways wrote:A lot of things can happen in one year. So far in 2008, CD Baby has been bought by Disc Makers, and Mr. Derek Sivers no longer even works for the company.

I'm all for independent CD sales going up. I've got over 900 copies of my album in my apartment waiting patiently. In the past year one dude in Australia, one woman in Ireland, and and one guy from the States has bought my CD while browsing CD Baby. It's microscopically small beans, but I honestly have to say that I'm totally stoked those three transactions took place.

Vinyl on the other hand had like a 45% spike in sales in 2007. I'm guessing that 2008 is going to bury that number. I will not manufacturer CDs ever again in my life. I hope to press my next album on vinyl, and have a coupon inside for free digital downloads, and a sticker on the cover about the free downloads. I'm serious about this. I'm taking a server side programming class right now just to figure out how I can pull this off. I believe this is THE business model for the future of the music industry.
8O wow - not wrong - that's a lot for 1 year!

yeah even reading that I was still wondering if it's worth making CDs - I was seeing it more as a glimmer of hope

I agree about vinyl and have been having the same thoughts

I've kind of decided recently to start just making albums and release them more or less on the radiohead donate model - not really expecting to make money off it at least in the beginning, but just for the sake of building up a catalogue and working on a live show and stirring up some interest that way

I think the thing with the music industry now is not to hang all your hopes on ONE thing that will be your income stream, but for it to be multi-faceted

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Post by jahnlay » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:24 pm

Yea, I read that one of the main reasons for vinyl taking off again was that a buyer at Best Buy ordered 20000 REM vinyl by mistake. One of the store managers put them on the shelf and they sold 20 copies in a day. Ever since, all of the major retailers have bolstered their vinyl store space and all of the major bands are starting to put out vinyl again. Amazing.
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Post by Hidden Driveways » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:50 pm

jahnlay wrote:Yea, I read that one of the main reasons for vinyl taking off again was that a buyer at Best Buy ordered 20000 REM vinyl by mistake. One of the store managers put them on the shelf and they sold 20 copies in a day. Ever since, all of the major retailers have bolstered their vinyl store space and all of the major bands are starting to put out vinyl again. Amazing.
I wonder if it was a mistake, or a "mistake." :) Us vinyl freaks have been known to go out on a limb from time to time.

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