It’s strange to see that CDBaby (cdbaby.com) is no longer operating an on-line store as of March 2020. CDBaby has long been a major provider of indie music, by selling physical and digital copies directly to consumers. It’s also strange to me that so many people consume digital media only, instead of owning physical products. Personally, I prefer to have a hardcopy that I know won’t disappear with a hard-drive failure, by dropping a phone, or with an internet outage. That being said, I haven’t bought a CD in a several years, though that’s for a different reason – mainly that I don’t want the CD’s that I’d enjoy listening to, to unconsciously make their way into my songs. Music that I wouldn’t actually prefer to listen to for pleasure, but more for ideas, I listen to on-line via any number of sites/services, which is different from most consumer mindsets.
Another strange phenomenon is this era of electronic music, produced in some cases without any real physical instrument playing. Some may argue that a MIDI keyboard is a physical instrument, but it only produces a data stream, interpreted by a computer, and is easily manipulated (or changed entirely) with a mouse and keyboard. Producing digital music often requires little to none of the immediate physicality such as dexterity, flexibility, timing, fluidity, and outright skill developed over many years of practice with a physical instrument. Physical instrument musicianship is something I value highly and enjoy listening to and watching.
In fact, I think the songs perpetuated by the big players in the music industry, such as the typical songs being thrust upon an unwary public, are getting worse with each passing year. By worse, I’m referring to the lack of substance, whether skilled musicianship or lyrics. This is an opportunity for indie musicians. Technology has made it so songs can be produced (recorded, mixed, and mastered) with minimal equipment, when compared to a standard music studio, and distributed with little cost.
It’s a good time to be an independent musician.