Selling Music Indie Style

When guitarist J. Andrew Dickenson, a native of Christiansburg, Virginia, and wife, soprano June Suh, founders of Midnight Moon Ensemble, completed production of their new CD, Angel in the Mist, they wanted to make their music available in the two most popular online stores for downloads and CD purchases: iTunes and Amazon. Rather than learn how to work with each individual e-tailer, they turned to CD Baby, known as the largest online distributor of independent (indie) music to reach their audience.

Midnight Moon Ensemble “CD Baby is incredibly easy to use,” said Dickenson. “Everything can be done comprehensively online, from setting the price of your album to choosing what digital distribution options you desire. If you do need human contact, however, the staff replies promptly and is friendly and professional.”

Located in Portland, Oregon, CD Baby lists more than 270,000 CD titles and has sold over 5 million CDs online. Music sold as downloads is channeled through top-named download retailers including AmazoniTunes, Rhapsody, and eMusic. In addition to making it easy for the musician to sell music through these popular online channels, other benefits to working with CD Baby are cost and payout. The company pays musicians between $6 and $12 per album sold and pays them weekly.

In addition to selling their music through CD Baby, Dickenson and Suh have created an online presence through their web site where all of their online retail outlets come together, including mobile entertainment company Thumbplay, which makes "Angel in the Mist" ringtones available for download, and CafePress,  which sells Dickenson's book series on Guitar Fundamentals

Dickenson gives CD Baby a thumbs-up. “Making an album always takes longer than you anticipate. There are numerous delays because of scheduling, budgets, or simply being a perfectionist. Working with CD Baby was the easiest – and quickest – part of the process.”


Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0.

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  1. Hi Kelly and everyone at Handshake 2.0 –

    Thanks again for interviewing me for the article. I enjoyed it and I hope other indie musicians benefit from it.

    I also wanted to let you know that since we talked we now have an app for the iPhone available as well:

    If others are interested, we had this made through and it wasn’t TOO terribly expensive 😉

    Thanks again and keep in touch!

    Andrew & June

  2. Andrew,
    I’m very impressed by how you have harnessed the hottest publishing tools for Indie artists to promote your fine music. You have not missed a beat! I hope other indie artists/musicians who want to put out a CD will follow your lead!


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