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Technology gives indie artists the tools to have greater control over their content. to keep more revenue and have greater control over their art.

In the music industry it’s pretty easy to get taken advantage of.

That’s saying it lightly.

Let’s say, indie artists pretty much get screwed over.

Many new indie artists trying to make it big try their luck at moving to the big city. In this big city, they may land a record deal or sign with a great label. However what that indie artist is not aware of is the amount of control that they are actually losing from signing that contract. Movies are great examples of these depictions, the latest being Straight Outta Compton. Though we don’t have anything against pursuing your dreams, we’re just telling you to be careful out there. It’s a dog eat dog world. Research your other options as well because there are other ways to get your dream to a reality.

Look out for some of these options below.


Tarun Nayar’s band Delhi 2 Dublin has flirted with record labels, but locking into a complicated contract doesn’t really make sense for the road warriors.

“We make so much off of CDs when we’re travelling,” says the co-founder of the Vancouver band, which fuses both bhangra and Celtic music with pop flavourings. Any label they would attach themselves to would want a piece of their revenue.

When Delhi 2 Dublin started gaining traction a decade ago, the band sought a way to get onto iTunes, which had emerged as digital music’s foremost retail store. It was then that they stumbled on the Portland-based company CD Baby, a day-one partner with Apple’s music service. Soon the band discovered that the company distributed to other digital retailers, and even did physical distribution. Today, Mr. Nayar says, “they’ve turned into a one-stop shop for everything.”

The Internet undoubtedly shattered the recording industry’s traditional income streams by enabling piracy, but it has also opened up a whole new do-it-yourself world for independent artists. Services such as CD Baby and Tunecore have emerged to let artists bypass the traditional music distribution maze and handle it themselves, giving them greater control over their music and revenue while giving them a more global reach. This democratization extends to other artist endeavours, too, including film, as services pop up allowing independent filmmakers to instantly let customers around the world rent or buy their work. In the digital era, artists no longer need the backing of big business: more than ever, they can go their own way and let the art speak for itself.


While record deals, especially through major labels, can seem like career-changing moneymakers, the label often takes a huge cut of album and song income. Even the most generous deals usually net artists less than half their music’s revenue. Since launching in a garage in 1998, CD Baby has become a force in independent distribution, with a mandate to help indie artists collect all the money they can for their music.

On top of physical CD and vinyl distribution, “we’re on pretty much every kind of digital platform you can think of,” says Tracy Maddux, CD Baby’s chief executive.

For slightly more money, artists can sign up for CD Baby Pro, which opens the music up to more royalty collection opportunities, including through publishing royalties. CD Baby also offers synchronization song licensing, such as through YouTube, as another revenue stream.


StreeXB extends special thanks to The Globe And Mail for the article. Click here to read the rest of it.

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