Death to the Media Oligarchy!

CD Baby is an awesome site dedicated to profiting from unfortunate stoners helping independant artists distribute their music. They have a surprisingly simple but effective business model:

  • Pay them $40 (US) to encode your CD (artists keep all copyrights, rights to non-digital distribution, and can leave at any time with 30 days notice)
  • They distribute it to Rhapsody, iTunes, and other digital distribution outlets
  • For every dollar made, 9c goes to CDBaby, 91c goes to the artist
  • Profit!

I’m sure there are caveats and catches, but it still sounds a lot better than the traditional model:

  • Get signed by music label
  • They distribute CD, all expenses incurred are culled from any royalties you make
  • Artists don’t actually own their own music, copyrights, or distribution rights – these go to the label
  • Artists get a couple of cents in the dollar, but are left with crippling debts
  • Label goons tie up artists’ grandmothers and slowly break their fingers to blackmail artists back into the studio
  • Artists die alcoholic and alone

My plan for goldsounds.com was always to turn it into a music site, so don’t be surprised if you see a CD-baby-ish business model appear. I like it a lot.