The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will honor independent distributor CD Baby with the 2020 Independent Spirit Award during its forthcoming Music Biz 2020 Annual Conference, the organization announced Thursday (Feb. 6). The award will be presented during the annual Music Biz awards dinner at the conference, which is slated to take place May 11-14 at the JW Marriott hotel in Nashville.
Founded in 1998, CD Baby was designed to more easily sell independent music on the internet, providing an alternative to the traditional label system. The company went on to expand its slate of services to include digital distribution, sync licensing, marketing and publishing. CD Baby now represents over 750,000 artists worldwide and a catalog of more than nine million tracks, making it the largest distributor of independent music globally.
“Coming from the indie sector myself, I’ve always admired that CD Baby were early to the DIY party, spending the last 22 years putting flesh on the spirit of independent music,” said Music Biz president Portia Sabin in a statement. “Through the years, CD Baby has helped more and more indie artists realize their dream of releasing their own music, truly embodying the independent spirit through their service to the indie musician community in the digital age.”
CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux added, “Over many years, we’ve learned that what independent artists often need most is a partner that listens. That’s why we’ve expanded our artist services in groundbreaking ways that unlock more opportunities, from royalty administration to sync placements, and why we provide the best customer support, not only in the US but now internationally. We’re proud to enable powerful connections between artists with a distinct vision, and major tech platforms and music services, while always remembering that the artist comes first.”
Music Biz’s Independent Spirit Award is handed out each year to those who “embody the spirit of new thinking, entrepreneurship, and success in their business models, [and] those who help grow and enhance the business of independent music for retailers and content providers.” Previous winners include Richard Storms and Alayna Alderman of Record Archive; the Radakovitz family and Dimple Records; Terry Currier of Music Millennium; Glenn Dicker and Tor Hansen of Redeye USA; John Kunz of Waterloo Records & Video; Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop Records; the organizers of Record Store Day; and Brett Gurewitz of Epitaph Records.
A preliminary program schedule for the Music Biz 2020 conference is available here.