Following a round of layoffs in October and a restructuring inside its Downtown parent in April, CD Baby is giving up on physical distribution.
CD Baby, a distributor based in Portland, has recently announced a significant shift in its operations. In a help-section post on their website, the company revealed that they will be extending their services beyond digital music to include vinyl and CDs. Although CD Baby has not made a formal announcement yet, some social media users claim to have received an email with further details.
According to the information shared in the help section, CD Baby’s warehouse will be closed, and their physical distribution service will be discontinued. Artists who have their products stored in the warehouse can choose to either recycle their inventory or have it shipped back to them for a fee. The shipping costs will depend on the chosen method, and users can find more information by logging into their CD Baby account and accessing the “Inventory” section.
Regarding the email mentioned earlier, a screenshot reveals that CD Baby’s physical distribution program will come to an end on June 22nd. Artists with stored products will have 60 days to decide whether they want to recycle the inventory or have it shipped to them. The brief message also hints at upcoming features and offers to assist musicians in managing their music careers.
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Notwithstanding the continued global growth of streaming, CD Baby’s decision to bail on physical arrives as vinyl is riding high on an over decade-long sales resurgence.
Reports indicate that in 2022, vinyl outsold CDs in both the UK and the US for the first time since 1987. The popularity of vinyl extends to markets like Japan, and recent sales data suggests that the format is still gaining momentum. This surge in vinyl revenue has attracted the interest of artists and the emergence of all-in-one production and distribution services such as Qrates.
Highlighting the significance of vinyl’s resurgence, Metallica acquired a 70,000-square-foot pressing plant in March, while Taylor Swift recently released an exclusive vinyl edition of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) available only at Target, priced at $48.99. Warner Music’s Rhino Records also started a limited-edition vinyl series featuring Hi-Fi reissues of albums by The Cars and John Coltrane.
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