Portland-based CD distributor CD Baby was purchased by the company behind Disc Makers. A source at the company says that Disc Makers president Tony van Veen addressed employees Monday, and assured workers that his parent company, Audio & Video labs, indended to keep the CD Baby staff intact and keep the company in Portland. An email sent out to inquiring artists gives the same impression, reading: "For us here at CD Baby, it is business as usual. As always, everyone is completely committed to supporting Independent Musicians," adding that nothing would change with users' "account, payments, or anything else. All of the people who have been making CD Baby such a great company are still here!"
An additional email just sent out to artists from CD Baby founder Derek Sivers reads:
There's a beautiful quote from Abraham Maslow: "Life is an ongoing process of choosing between safety (out of fear and need for defense) and risk (for the sake of progress and growth). Make the growth choice a dozen times a day." (http://sivers.org/maslow)
You might have seen in CD Baby's 10th birthday announcement last March (http://sivers.org/bilbo) that I haven't worked at CD Baby since last year. In fact I've hardly been there since 2002. I designed all the internal systems to run without me, so that I could be free to go learn and invent new things.
But now my new projects are exciting me so much that I decided to hand over CD Baby to someone that's going to make it better than ever for you. I chose Disc Makers as the new owner because their president Tony Van Veen has been one of my favorite people for years, and I always felt they'd do a better job of running CD Baby than I could.
The CD Baby staff, location, name, and everything else will stay the same, but I think you'll start to notice more attention given to improvements that help you sell more music.
So, this isn't big news. Just letting you know that CD Baby is in better hands now, and I'm off to new things.
CD Baby has thrived through a national trend of slumping CD sales, and van Veen told employees that he thought the company could do even better by utilizing a little self-promotion and setting goals in each department. Changes to employees' health care packages were also discussed--WW's source says the new plan requires employees to pay a premium, but added that it is also a better plan. "Most of us are actually pretty excited about the whole thing," the source said.
As for Sivers, he says he'll be working on new ventures:
I thought about doing a charitable foundation, but instead decided to just create little businesses that can help you with promotion, assistants, networking, education, and the music itself. Even if they never charge you a thing or operate at a loss, I don't care. It's not about that, now. As long as you're learning and growing, I'm happy.
Here's the original email sent to inquiring artists:
Thanks for your email!
CD Baby was recently purchased by Audio & Video Labs, the parent company of Disc Makers.
For us here at CD Baby, it is business as usual. As always, everyone is completely committed to supporting Independent Musicians!
Nothing has changed with your account, payments, or anything else. All of the people who have been making CD Baby such a great company are still here! We are excited about our future and hope you will be too.
If there is anything I can do to help, just let me know!
More when we get it!