CD Baby gets a new mom and dad—Downtown Music Holdings

CD Baby is getting a new mom and dad. Downtown Music Holdings is acquiring the group that owns the 21 year old music publisher and online seller. How will this affect indie artists who rely on CD Baby for distribution?

That’s a question that can’t be answered right now.

Music Row was one of many media announcing the acquisition:

“Downtown Music Holdings, parent company of Downtown Music Publishing and Songtrust, has acquired AVL Digital Group and its portfolio of businesses which include CD Baby, AdRev, DashGo and Soundrop. The deal is expected to close in early April. AVL Digital and its companies will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary of Downtown Music Holdings, and will be led by CD Baby’s CEO Tracy Maddux.”

The fact Maddux will head up AVL may be reassuring.

According to Nylon Connect, Maddux has been with CD Baby since 2010, becoming CEO in 2012. Maddux has been part of the success story with CD Baby. The company has paid more than $350 million to indie artists since 1998.

Downtown Music Holdings announced the acquisition of AVL March 27. Music LinkUp reported:

“AVL’s digital businesses include AdRev, CD Baby, DashGo and Soundrop, which collectively distribute and monetize more than 10 million tracks on behalf of over 900,000 artists, labels and other rights holders. That amounts to the largest independent sound recording catalog in the music industry, according to the company.”

Will there be a silver lining for indie artists? Time will tell. Let us know how you feel about CD Baby if you distribute your music there, and we’ll do a future column.

(Kay B. Day/March 29, 2019)


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