(The BEST company for indie musicians EVER)
Official Bragging Bio
Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek Sivers created CD Baby in 1998.
CD Baby is an online CD store for independent musicians. Sivers started CD Baby by accident in 1997 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby went on to become the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients.
It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100M in sales for 150,000 musicians.
In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22M, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.
He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with over 5 million views of his talks.
Since 2011 he has published 34 books, including “Anything You Want” which shot to #1 on all of its Amazon categories.
The top advice you would
give Indie artists that have built a foundation/fanbase/career to attain more
I prefer to ignore the music industry. Maybe that’s why you
don’t see me on the cover of Rolling Stone.
One of my only regrets about my
own band was that we toured and got great reviews, toured and got lots of
airplay, toured and booked some great-paying gigs. BUT… nobody was working the
inside of the music business.
Nobody was connecting with the “gatekeepers” to
bring us to the next level. We just kept doing the same gigs.
happy on the outside of the biz. (I know I am.)
But if you want to tour with
major-label artists, be on the cover of national magazines, be in good rotation
on the biggest radio stations in town, or get onto MTV, you’re going to have to
have someone working the inside of the biz.
Someone who loves it. Someone who
is loved by it. Someone persuasive who gets things done 10 times faster than you
ever could. Someone who’s excited enough about it, that they would never be
Like your love of making music. You wouldn’t just “stop” making
music because you didn’t get a record deal would you? Then you need to find
someone who’s equally passionate about the business side of music, and
particularly the business side of YOUR music.
It IS possible. There are lots
of people in this world.
Your opinion on living in a big city vs a small
Move to the big city. Whether that’s New
York, London, Hollywood, Bollywood, San Francisco or Shanghai, go where all of
your heroes are. Not the third-biggest city. The biggest city. The center of
everything. There are so many amazing opportunities that happen when you live
where everything is happening. The people that are drawn there are the most
ambitious in the world. Your role models will live down the road from you, and
are usually more accessible than you realize. Things happen when you’re a local
that don’t happen when you just visit.
So move to the big city, then go meet
everyone, and jump on every opportunity, no matter how small. You’d be
surprised how many small random connections turn into huge opportunities, so say
yes to everything. Keep in touch with people, face-to-face, because most
opportunities happen when you’re at the forefront of someone’s mind. Be
generous, and always focus on how you can help others. Trust that you’ll help
yourself by this method.
Live cheap, share an apartment with many others,
don’t buy drinks at the bar, and invest every dollar back into your career or
savings, not blowing it on perishables.
Doing all this is exhausting,
especially for an introvert, but do it anyway. Turn on your turbo boost for
even a couple hours a day, and the benefits make it all worth it. Later, when
you’ve made it, you can move to a mountaintop or farm, but until then go where
your heroes are, and make their world your
The Top 3 life changing books you have read …
The Top 3 places you
love to travel to in the world
again. I love it that much. 🙂
Derek Sivers of CD Baby