Music Business Association Announces CD Baby as Recipient of 2020 Music Biz Independent Spirit Award

February 6, 2020The Music Business Association (Music Biz) today announces that independent music distributor CD Baby will receive the organization’s 2020 Independent Spirit Award during the Music Biz 2020 Annual Conference, taking place May 11-14 at the JW Marriott Nashville. The award will be presented during the annual Music Biz Awards Dinner.

CD Baby was founded in 1998 as a way to easily sell independent music on the internet, circumventing distribution deals of the time that made this difficult. Quickly, more and more artists learned of the platform and asked for their music to be included, leading to the introduction of the CD Baby storefront. Over time, the company expanded the slate of services it offered, from digital distribution to sync licensing to marketing and, most recently, publishing. Representing more than 750,000 artists from around the globe and a catalog of more than 9 million tracks, CD Baby is now the largest distributor of independent music in the world.

“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,” commented Music Biz President Portia Sabin. “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.

“Over many years, we’ve learned that what independent artists often need most is a partner that listens,” offered CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux. “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 honors those who embody the spirit of new thinking, entrepreneurship, and success in their business models, those who help grow and enhance the business of independent music for retailers and content providers. Previous Independent Spirit Award 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.


About Music Biz 2020

Music Biz 2020 will return to Nashville May 11-14 at the JW Marriott in the heart of downtown Nashville. The music industry’s premier business-focused event, the Music Biz Conference offers a platform for the commerce, content, and creative sectors of the industry to network, get on the cutting edge of the latest trends, and meet with trading partners. Preliminary program schedule details can be found at For the most up-to-date conference information, including program and awards announcements to be made in the coming weeks, go to You can register for Music Biz 2020 here.


About The Music Business Association

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is a not-for-profit membership organization that advances, promotes and invests in the future of the music business by providing a trusted forum where ideas and cooperation flourish. Through events, education and engagement, the Association brings together the full breadth of the industry for unparalleled access to networking, resources and thought leadership. 


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