When we reported earlier this week that Dart Music, our excellent Nashville-based distributors, had entered into a partnership deal with CD Baby, it appears we may have slightly misunderstood the nature of this relationship. It actually turns out that Dart are moving out of digital music distribution altogether and all their open projects, including Demerara Records‘ releases, will be taken over permanently by CD Baby.
Obviously we wish Chris McMurtry and the guys from Dart well in their new venture as they move into other areas of distribution from which they will hopefully be able to build a more robust long term business model. We will miss the personal touch they have brought to the relationship and the quick responses to queries and issues raised.
CD Baby are of course a reputable and successful organisation who have been in the business of selling albums for more than a decade. Clearly they have now moved into digital distribution which makes sense. So we hope the transition will be a smooth one and we will continue to receive a high standard of customer service.
We must point out however that the primary reason why Demerara Records switched from distribution via Tunecore (who distributed Neil March’s Urban Art Music, the first release by the label in 2014) was because, although Tunecore were highly efficient and provided some useful additional services, we wanted a distributor we could have a direct relationship with rather than one that simply meant submitting requests via an automated function. Dart Music, as the world’s first classical meta-data specialists who had recognised the need for listing composers as well as performers in store data, gave us that and we have been happy with them over this past year which, by the end of this month, will see us having released seven albums (including a triple compilation) in eleven months.
There is another issue to consider too. Album sales, in this age of streaming and people being reluctant to pay for permanent ownership of products, have been very difficult to achieve in significant numbers and we are considering moving towards a focus on releasing individual download tracks more so than full albums.
So we will enter into the new relationship with CD Baby with a positive attitude and we will see whether there is tangibly more proper contact than with Tunecore, who are certainly very good when it comes to providing regular and accurate sales data. And then we will decide how Demerara Records wants to proceed and with which distributor thereafter.