CD Baby ends Vinyl & CD distribution, gives artists 60 days to pay to get their products back

The CD has officially been separated from the Baby. Yesterday d.i.y. music distributor CD Bany announced that it will stop all physical goods distribution on June 22nd.

The move appears to be part of cost-cutting ordered by its owner Downtown Music, which has already included two major rounds of layoffs. At least one long-time senior CD Baby executive is rumored to be headed for the door, as well.

Digital music distribution will continue.

Derek Sivers founded CD Baby as an online CD store and fulfillment service in 1998. As owning music shifted to streaming, CD Baby cut back on its support of physical products, first separating from manufacturer DiscMakers and, more recently, ending direct-to-fan sales and shipping.

30 Days notice and a Payment Demand

CD Baby’s current physical distribution program warehoused and shipped CDs, Vinyl, and DVDs to music distributors and retailers, including Super D, Amazon, and Alliance.

Now at a time when vinyl sales are proving a consistent and important source of income for independent artists, CD Baby is abruptly getting out of the business entirely and without offering artists an alternative.

Artists have been given 30 days’ notice and two choices: pay within 60 days to have their product shipped back to them or have it “recycled.”

One longtime CD Baby distributed artist posted a portion of the email to artists on Twitter.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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