HITS Daily Double
"It’s pretty easy to encode and upload tracks to MP3.com, but not everyone can get their shit together enough to manufacture 1000 copies of a full-length CD, and mail a box off to CD Baby."
——CD Baby CEO Derek Sivers


Popular Online Retailer Will Provide Fulfillment, Adorable Gurgling Sounds to Giant Netco
MP3.com has partnered with Portland, Ore.-based e-tailer CD Baby, which will provide fulfillment and other sales-related duties for artists who want to sell their pre-pressed CDs from their MP3.com page.

At the start of the affiliation, some 1,500 MP3.com artists already have product for sale at CD Baby. The Portland dot-com will handle all transactions, shipping and customer service for the discs, and a link from the artists’ MP3.com pages will send them directly to the CD Baby site.

The online record store—founded with $500 by CEO Derek Sivers in 1997—has become of the most highly regarded sources for independent music on the Net, thanks to its strong emphasis on customer service and its effective tools for recommending new music to its patrons.

After the dot-com meltdown, many artists who’d hoped to jump-start their careers via the Internet were bitterly disappointed. But some have found that it’s possible to sell some records if the right channels can be found, and a site that steers users based on their tastes and buying habits can be extremely helpful.

CD Baby claims to pay out more than $20k per week—and to have disbursed almost $1 million since its launch—to indie artists.

"This is a great opportunity for us to bring our services to an ever-increasing pool of independent artists and fans," Sivers noted. "It's nice for the musicians that websites focused on free downloads are linking to their CD sales. Garageband.com and IUMA.com have made the same arrangement with us. We pay $1 per CD sold to anyone who links to our site."

"We’re excited about our new partnership with CD Baby," exclaimed MP3.com VP of Product Development Mike Matey, who really doesn’t enjoy being greeted with "Ahoy there, Matey" or variations thereof. "It’s always ideal when we can provide our artists with a service they want and that also supports our business objectives."

MP3.com artists had been asking for the chance to vend their own product—as opposed to just letting MP3.com press "DAM CDs" as users ordered them—on the netco’s message boards for some time. CD Baby’s reputation among independent musicians made it the most requested company to fulfill this request.

"It’s pretty easy to encode and upload tracks to MP3.com," relates Sivers, "but not everyone can get their shit together enough to manufacture 1000 copies of a full-length CD, and mail a box off to CD Baby. That’s why I believe that the artists most committed to building their own careers will be working with us, and we’ll continue to be instrumental in helping them connect with music fans."