Published Feb 18, 2020Independent wholesale music distributor CD Baby has announced plans to shutter its online retail store.
According to CD Baby, the store has dipped significantly in profits in recent years — so much so that it wasn't earning enough money for its artists to justify keeping it open. As such, the online store will officially close on March 31.
CD Baby Artist Services elaborated in the following statement:
Twenty years ago, when CD Baby launched the online store, it was revolutionary to help independent musicians gain direct access to their fans and the market. By 2009, sales through our store accounted for only 27% of the total revenue we paid to artists every week. By 2019, sales on our store comprised less than 3% of our clients' total earnings. With a few exceptions, the store is no longer a money-maker for most of our artists.
So, we're going to focus on what is making a difference for musicians today: our distribution, monetization, and promotion services. We WILL continue our physical distribution program because the majority of orders we ship are coming through Amazon and other retailers. If you've stocked us with CDs and vinyl, we'll still warehouse your product and fulfil those orders for you. We're just retiring OUR store.
In a statement, CEO Tracy Maddux added, "It will be bittersweet when we retire the store, the end of an era. But it will enable us to better serve the growing community of independent artists making music today in a fast-changing environment."
The company does plan to continue to distribute wholesale to its various vendors (including Amazon, Alliance and local record stores), meaning that its products will still be available for purchase. You just won't be able to get it straight from the source anymore.
CD Baby is currently the largest online distributor of independent music.