Another classical distributor winds down

Another classical distributor winds down


norman lebrecht

July 10, 2016

Message received:


Dear Dart Music Customers,

We have made some business decisions that will impact you in the coming days. We will be winding down our music distribution business.

Long story, short… If you choose, your music will be transferred to CDBaby at no additional cost to you. More details below…

A bit of history:

Dart Music was founded to solve one very specific problem:  eliminating the complex metadata issues that made it nearly impossible for classical composers and musicians to get their music distributed and then to be compensated appropriately.

We met this goal and our unique metadata solution is working really well.

In fact, Dart’s approach is so effective, it quickly opened the door to partnerships with the biggest players in the industry – Apple, Google, Amazon and Spotify, to name a few. Classical artists worldwide were finally getting recognized and paid for their work. Big win!

Where we’re going:

As it turns out, classical music wasn’t the only place where metadata could make a huge difference. The companies we partner with began talking about other uses for perfect metadata for all musical genres as well as different industries – books, film, movies.

It seems that by solving one problem, we have created a way to solve many others. The game-changing potential of this work is simply too important to ignore. So moving forward, Dart will begin to shift focus to our core mission: Perfect Metadata.

As of August 15, 2016 we will no longer be in the music distribution business. 

What this mean to you – our customer:

We have a plan for a smooth transition. After looking at all available options, CD Baby stands out as the clear choice for taking over our distribution catalog. So, we’ve created a special arrangement with CD Baby to make sure you don’t miss a beat – or royalty payments. In fact, we will be able to transfer all accounts without losing ratings or reviews.

If you choose to make the transfer to CD Baby, you don’t have to do a thing, we will take care of the details. Once you are transferred, charges from CD Baby will begin each time you make a sale.


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  • Ken J. says:

    This story doesn’t seem to have anything to do with declines in classical music sales or CD sales.

    Billboard’s coverage of the Dart company’s launch, from September 2015, indicates that Dart’s business was in distributing digital music files to digital retailers. And the article goes on at length about Dart’s approach to the metadata issues.

    So, Dart’s change in business plans have nothing to do with the decline in CD sales, because Dart seems never to have handled CDs, and Dart isn’t a venerable company shutting down. It’s an interesting startup which is re-positioning itself.