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Tracy Maddux, CEO, CD Baby On Digital Distribution and More!

We're a value added service provider, if we're not adding value, the artist is free to take back the rights and transfer it elsewhere, at any given point! 
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Tracy Maddux is the CEO of CD Baby, providing tools for distribution, monetization, and promotion to over 350,000 artists.

We spoke to the CEO of CD Baby, Tracy Maddux, established CD Baby 20 years ago. Today it has established itself as the first choice partner for music distribution and publishing. The vision for CD Baby is to be the most trusted and useful service for independent artists in the world. Their mission is to give artists and songwriters the power to get their music everywhere! In an exclusive interview with Loudest, Tracy sheds some light on how Independent Artists from India can benefit from CD Baby services, and take themselves to a global stage.

CD Baby is solving the universal problem of “Educating” the artists in the business of music via their DIY Blog. Their daily blogs and podcasts are a key to helping an artist gain an entrepreneurial knack as much as they help in steering their global reach.

Role of a digital Distributor | No matter where fans find you, on popular streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify, in download stores like iTunes and Amazon, on your own website, or even in record stores, a digital distributor helps you place your music everywhere that matters. CD Baby does that for you!

In the digital age, it’s important for an artist to understand his multiple revenue streams. You need your music to work for you in multiple ways. CD Baby gets artists paid from more revenue sources than anyone else: streaming, downloads, worldwide CD + vinyl sales, YouTube monetization, sync licensing, publishing royalty collection, direct-to-fan sales, and promotional tools, and more. Plus, CD Baby is constantly working to open new revenue opportunities for independent musicians. This is a missing puzzle for Indian Independent Musicians! 

But here’s  the thing, sometimes it might make sense for an artist to choose a local digital distributor than going for CD Baby. Our conversation with Tracy will help you understand how this incredible portal can help you scale as an independent artist.

How does CD Baby engage artists regularly and assist with Artist Positioning on a global scale?

It all starts with “educating” the artists. When artists are releasing their albums at first, they have limited understanding of music from a legal & copyright standpoint. So, helping artists understand the difference between a composition and a song recording, and how they make music. That’s what we’re doing with the DIY Blog and other educational materials. So we feel like an educational artist base, by giving away this educational material, which aligns with our missionn for being the most valuable, trusted player in the Independent Music Market.

Moving away from this, we provide tools for artists to promote themselves. We recently acquired & relaunched, to enable artists to attarct fans. The way Maroon 5, for instance used was to increase subscriber base for their youtube channel. So they gave away something of value, and achieve their target of increased fan base via this tool. This is a small examle of  how we assist artist via more than one ways.” Said Tracy Maddux, CEO, CD Baby in an exclusive interview with

CD Baby VS A Local Distributor 

A Local Distributor might understand what’s best for your local sound, local market needs and position you accordingly. While for CD Baby, we’ll help you answer the “WHY” choose them, it’s pretty simple actually. Here’s what Tracy said,

Three factors to look at, and honestly CD Baby might not always be the best choice. If we cant add incredible value to the artist, then I think the artist should choose the local distributor. We go by three key principles: 

  1. Getting your music everywhere globally, in a global format. Physical or Streaming
  2. Transparency,  you see a lot services outthere in the fine print, enticing the artist in the contract, that are not necearily transparent. We’re the leader in transparicy
  3. Portability of Rights, We live by it! At any given point they’re free to switch if unsatisfied with our services. We’re a value added service provider, if we’re not adding value, the artist is free to take back the rights and transfer it elsewhere, at any given point! 

Thats really our Philosophy. 

Here’s what Tracy had to say about why or when you must choose a local distributor/promoter.

” It’s not always the best choice. I mean, there are labels that provide incredible services. Managing tours, bookings, promotion. Promotion is an art, it takes time and resources for that and those would be great reasons for an artist to choose a label or local distributor. But what one thing that is missing is transparency, asking, what is my stake in this music? That would be a BIG flashing sign, should help you in making the right choice, said Tracy.”

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