Alliance Entertainment To Distribute All CD Baby Artists To Record Stores

image from www.google.comArtists who sell through CD Baby will now have their CD's available for sale to record stores across the U.S., thanks to a pact announced today with Alliance Entertainment. Alliance is the country's largest wholesale distributor of home entertainment audio, video, and software in the United States.

CD Baby’s catalog will now be available for purchase at all online and brick & mortar retail outlets affiliated with Alliance, including many independent and chain record stores and big box retailers. Some one stops serving smaller record stores already buy from  CD Baby.

In the first phase of the partnership, CD Baby has delivered over 5000 of its top-selling titles to Alliance. In the coming months, Alliance will offer CD Baby’s entire music catalog of more than 260k SKUs at any given time. No detials were offered on pricing, returns or the split with the artists.

"The past 10 years has seen an explosion in music discovery options,” said CD Baby president Brian Felsen in a statement. “It’s more important than ever that an artist’s music be made available through every possible channel -  social sharing, download, streaming, direct fulfillment, and physical retail; you just never know how a new fan will first encounter your music, or how they prefer to purchase music. Distribution to the mega retailers was the last piece in the puzzle for CD Baby to ensure our artists’ music is available everywhere.”

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  1. Hey Bruce,
    Thanks for sharing the news about CD Baby’s new partnership with Alliance. If you couldn’t tell from all the “thrilled” and “excited” in the press release, we’re… um… psyched– since this deal will expand our artists’ distribution reach and help increase their CD sales.
    As always, if any artists have questions about any of CD Baby’s services, please feel free to contact us at cdbaby@cdbaby.com or call 1-800-289-6923 (1-800-BUY-MY-CD).
    Thanks again.
    Chris R. from CD Baby

  2. Cool. Here’s hoping for some reissues of a certain few out of print titles as CDs which by now have become quite rare and expensive at resellers. It should be fairly easy for CD Baby themselves to figure out which are the titles in question. I know it’s probably down to the artists themselves to decide if they want to do a CD reissue to put their album into stores but I guess CD Baby should just ask them. It might be worth it for some.

  3. This is great – is there any news on how CD Baby has expanded their sales force to actually work specific titles?
    Announcing that they’ve delivered 5000 titles to Alliance is one thing, but who is convincing the buyers at retail to actually carry any of them?

  4. Bruce, the messages you’ve been fed by CD Baby have been carefully worded to make artists who read this article think that if they use CD Baby, each of their albums is going to be manufactured and delivered to stores everywhere for stocking on the shelves. It is simply not the case that these stores all just cleared out enough rack space for 260,000 new SKUs from CD Baby artists.
    what it should have said was “All Alliance-fed stores will now have the OPTION to order CD Baby SKUs for stocking on their shelves, IF they proactively decide to do that.” In other words, if nobody is actively selling you stuff through to those stores, this change will likely have zero impact on you as an artist.
    Would be awesome if you could filter out the spin on these things for the benefit of your readers.

  5. The reality is that if you’re not generating sales already, we will not be able to convince retailers to stock your title due to its artistic merit. As a distributor we (CD Baby… or Alliance for that matter) can’t create demand for titles. That’s ultimately up to the artist to do. Our main job is to fulfill the demand that you as an artist create, and to make it easier for your title to be purchased.
    We’ve seen a notable uptick in CD sales already from our Alliance partnership. Our “top 5000” program takes those titles that are top sellers and stores them in Alliance’s warehouse for instant fulfillment. That’s how we help.
    Our artists can set a wholesale price for their album to make it more attractive to a distributor, and to allow it to be sold at a more competitive price online. I encourage you to do that. And keep flogging those discs. Retailers will stock titles they think are going to move…
    Good luck!
    Tony van Veen
    CD Baby

  6. My apologies if I was not clear. I’m afraid that I never imagined anyone would think that this meant 200,000 CD’s would be in every store – only that it was now available for sale to these stores.
    Prior to this, artist had to find a physical distributor to get into stores.
    Nor is realistic to believe that Alliance are much more than order takers. After all, CD Baby is at its core a distributor (digital and D2F). None of these companies create demand – that’s your job and that of the team you’ve put together.
    Because of the interest level I try to get some details from CD Baby and share them.

  7. The independent artist should focus on a MARKETING plan.
    This should include ALL major online sites and the traditional brick and morter marketing plans. Independent artist should set up a release date, set up a regional tour(perhaps 3 states), find college radio in those cities . The indy artist should have a pre-promotion of the 3 state area. Pass out flyers, release a online video to youtube, set-up some in store sessions. Book shows in this 3 state area! Sell merch at your shows. A independent distributor is not a RECORD COMPANY!

  8. This alliance is yet again another indication that entertainment goods need to have both digital & physical distribution. IMHO once we get this notion of clicks to bricks distro real choices by artists, bands and labels can be made about which distributor best suites the needs at hand.
    I disagree about the distributor being part of the sell process and know that being one of many vs one of few can only mean more emphasis in the latter. #Justsayin

  9. and my answer to you Tony, is that if an artist already has demand for their hard copy products, (like our label does), then why should they pay CD Baby
    a. $50.00 to carry their album title?
    b. give up $4.00 profit from every CD they sell to CD baby?
    It seems the only one making money here, is CD Baby. If CD Baby cannot persuade the” Brick and Mortar” Retail Outlets to carry a CD baby suscribed artists CD or Vinyl Product, what incentive (other than serving as a mere aggregate to online digital retailers-many of whom can and will do it far cheaper than CD Baby) does an indie artist have to want to spend/(throw away) $50 per album title plus $4 per each sale of their CD/Vinyl to CD Baby? Where is the value for money here?
    If it is incumbent upon the Artist to create the demand and get the retail customer base, then why not just sell it themselves? ..most consumers want to support the artist anyway, NOT CD Baby, Super D, Alliance or any other entity taking a chunch of the artists pie while returing very little VFM (Value for Money).
    With our label, we simply created demand for for our music via blogs/internet radio/etc…..yes its a lot of work, and why should we throw money away to CD Baby when it was WE who did all the work and created the demand? So CD Baby can sit back, collect mega bucks thorugh duplication of thousands of artist and act like they are doing US a favor? Please. We were NOT born yesterday.
    If it is incumbent upon the Artist to create the demand and get the retail customer base,then Artists can simply SKIP CD Baby and sell direct to their customer base via Discogs or other online vinyl/CD sites for a mere fee of $1.20 (plus Paypal fee -which our label passes on to the buyer)
    You do the math. I mean, Why pay CD baby all that money when they do nothing to get your music into stores? That answer Tony gives is the WRONG answer , Jack.
    CD baby touting that it partners with Super D or Alliance means absolutely nothing to an artist who in the end,will never see their product in stores unless THEY THEMSELVES be the ones to have to spend the hours upon hours necessary to elicit costly PR/Radio/Promo/Publicity campaigins (to which most artists just are not financially prepared to do, let alone financially capable of).
    For CD Baby to survive, they are going to have to pick up the pace and offer more to artists, or simply lose customers. END OF STORY.
    I know that our indie electronic record label used CD Baby for one CD release and couldn’t even get CD Baby personnel to respond to several of our email attempts concerning getting our one CD title “into Brick and Mortor Stores”, as CD Baby promises/touts. In the end, we just gave up, and chose to sell our vinyl titles via our own website and Discogs, since CD Baby was of ZERO help and never responded to our inquiries.
    Bottom line, just because CD Baby zings a press release telling potential Artist/Customers (I use that term in a strict sense, since CD baby makes the majority of its money off the very artists they supposedly are supposed to be helping to promote and distribute) that they are distributing with the largest of distributors to Brick and Mortor stores, DOES NOT MEAN THAT CD BABY WILL WORK TO GET THAT ARTISTS TITLES INTO SAID RETAIL OUTLETS.
    NOT good for CD baby, I assure you. They aren’t winning our repeat business, that is for sure.
    Jonathan Palmer
    World|Service Collective Recordings

  10. Prior to this,
    Artists had to shop to record labels
    Record labels signed artist
    Record labels worked to find Distributors.
    CD Baby give the option of a company that is circumnavigating the traditional methods in favor of the artist, but this is simply not true. CD Baby has merely circumnavigated the Record Label and has allowed an artist to ‘self release’ yet unlike a traditional record label, does ZERO work at getting an artists CD/Vinyl into stores because they have no incentive to do so. Why? They have already been paid by the artist, that’s why.
    As far as I see it, CD Baby is just another middle man taking money from Artists.

  11. The independent artist should focus on Making Music and getting signed to a quality, decent independent record label.
    The Record Label should focus on a MARKETING plan.
    Having the Artist DIY is way too much for most single entities to bite off and chew on.
    I think artists should just do it the traditional way- and find a good, honest, reputable record company with a good track record for treating artists well…
    and shop their music to them…an Artist should focus on writing and production while the record company does what it was traditionally has been meant to do…focus on the Marketing/ promotional/business/distribution aspects.
    CD baby is really selling Artists on their dreams and unfortunately, there is alot more hard work to making those dreams become reality than a mere 50 sign up fee and 4 dollar take per CD….and don’t delude yourself that CD Baby’s gonna work their butts off to make those dreams come true for the artist..They already got their money.

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