Yesterday, Derek Sivers released a new book. It got me thinking about the number of things that have changed for independent musicians since he started CD Baby in 1998.
So I went back to the archive.
In 1998, I had a mailing list for indie musicians called IndieBiz. On May 6, Rik Wright of HipSync Records asked this question...
Does anyone know of a company that JUST processes and ships orders from Web commerce? What I want to do is have my Record Company's site have a consistent look and feel, yet, when a viewer wants to purchase - have our "shopping cart" reside on someone else's server (with our look and feel or a non-proprietary one) and have them process and ship the product. My thought is that the arrangement would be similar to a distribution deal where we pay them a percentage per sale. Does anyone know of a company that might do something like this?
Later that day, Derek Sivers responded...
Hey Rik -
I think I can help you with this:
I setup my online record store, "CD Baby", to be able to do that for you. Your customers don't need to come in my "front door" and search for your record. You can put a "Buy CD" or "Buy Tape" button on your site and it will jump right to YOUR OWN ordering page on CD Baby. (nobody else's records there. no ads. no distractions. just collecting your customer's info so we can charge their card & send your CD to them within 48 hours.)
As far as the LOOK, I usually add bands to CD Baby for NO setup charge and it's good look. (check out a sample page at: http://www.cdbaby.com/buy/arlen.htm)
But if you want to stay consistent with the look of your website, I can grab your HTML and imitate it for a $20 setup fee. That way your customers won't really notice they've left your website.
Lemme know whatcha think.
And here is something from the same mailing list on June 12, 1998, where Derek responded to a thread about a contest people were entering just to get their music on the web...
Okay - I guess I would be a fool if I didn't toss in one little plug for CD Baby here.
Since some people seem to like the idea of Billboard Talent Net just to "be on the web" - I should let you know that my record store called CD Baby will not only set you up for FREE including digitizing two of your sound files in RealAudio, but we sell & ship your CDs for you, too. We just take a $4 cut per CD on the back-end. Nothing up front.
Obviously, you don't need your CDs in a store unless people are buying them, but if they ARE...
* no charge to put your CDs in our store
* we make you your own unique web page with all the links, reviews & bio info you want.
* you can link your fans directly to YOUR record, so they don't have to come through our front door & search for you.
* we don't categorize music into stupid "pop, r&b, alternative" categories - you are free to describe your music as you like
* we digitize & host two songs in RealAudio for FREE. We'd be glad to do as many as you'd like for only $10/song more.
* no advertisements(!) = no distractions for your fan who's about to buy.
* your fans can buy securely with Visa/Mastercard or AmEx, OR call our 1-800-# to order if they'd rather.
* we ship your CDs from here (New York) within 48 hours. great postage rates.
* and lastly: when you send us your records to be sold in CD Baby, we send you the famous "CD Baby carepak" with 100 full color postcards telling your fans where they can buy your CD, free music biz newsletters, coupons, and more...
ALL the info and details are on our site: http://www.cdbaby.com/home.htm
Email me with any questions or call me at 1-800-448-6369.
- Derek Sivers, president
- CD Baby & Hit Media Inc.
Glad things have changed! :)