It’s a mutual
back-scratching session, but with CDs!
By Fred Mills
In a significant bit of music industry news, word arrives today
that Alliance Entertainment, the Kentucky-based music wholesaler (the second
largest one in the US
as well as the largest US-based one-stop for CDs, DVDs and video games), has
inked a deal with CD Baby to distribute the music cataloger’s wares.
Billboard.biz reports that CD Baby “has delivered more than 5000 of its
top-selling titles to Alliance [and] over the coming months, Alliance will
eventually offer CD Baby’s entire eligible in-stock music catalog.” This
includes both CD Baby’s physical and online retail accounts serviced from its Portland, Ore.,
warehouse; the company no doubt hopes for a more efficient and streamlined
distribution scenario that will help it grow beyond its relatively limited
“It’s more important than ever that an artist’s music
be made available through every possible channel- social sharing, download,
streaming, direct fulfillment, and physical retail; you just never know how a
new fan will first encounter your music, or how they prefer to purchase
music,” CD Baby president Brian Felsen was quoted as saying in the
article. “Distribution to the mega retailers was the last piece in the
puzzle for CD Baby to ensure our artists’ music is available everywhere.” Alliance
president Mike Davis added, “CD Baby’s excellent services and customer support
have helped them build a huge amount of trust with the artist community;
Alliance strives to forge online and brick & mortar retail partnerships
with companies that exhibit this level of service and trust.”
Just a few short years ago, of course, Alliance
was having its own distribution troubles that led to it going through Chapter 11 and being taken over by Citigroup, the major
debt holder, with private equity firms Platinum Equity and the Gores Group
eventually stepping in to purchase Alliance.
Since then it has steadily increased its efficiency and market share, so no
doubt it also plans to continue its growth via the CD Baby network.