Derek Sivers

Happy 10th Birthday to CD Baby — and an announcement


I started CD Baby 10 years ago this week — in March 1998.

I’m just a musician-geek, not a business-man. Never meant to start a company. I was just selling my own CD, then helped some friends do it, then it accidentally turned into CD Baby. (Ooops!)

Now CD Baby has paid over $70 million dollars directly to musicians. And despite the moaning you hear from the major labels, independent artists are selling better than ever. Even physical CD sales are up 30% over last year!


For the past 10 years I’ve spent most waking hours, 7 days a week, doing nothing but CD Baby. Last year I just slept on the couch at the office for 6 months, usually working from 7am to midnight.

So today seems like a good day to tell you that I don’t work at CD Baby anymore, and haven’t in months.

I’m still the owner, but haven’t been to the office since May. The crew there is running things better than I ever could. They know more than I do, and do a better job.

I’ve made that transition from self-employed to business-owner. (You know you’re a true business-owner when you can leave your business for a year, and come back to find it’s doing much better than when you left.)

Why am I telling you this?

Because the reason I freed my time is to find more ways to help you.

Helping you develop, create, promote, and sell your music makes me happier than anything. It’s still why I bounce out of bed in the morning.

I love it even more than making my own music. By helping you get your music out to the world, and helping you make a living doing it, I feel that in a way I’m making more music than ever.

There are many ways I can help you, but I’ll email you about those next week.

Today was just a CD Baby birthday announcement. Still, I wanted to let you know there are exciting things to come.