Downtown Music’s CD Baby and Soundrop distribution services have laid off “a number” of team members “due to the current economic conditions.”
Downtown employees reached out to Digital Music News with word of the layoffs over the weekend, including with their message a copy of the internally circulated email that execs sent to reveal the unfortunate news.
Dated October 5th and written by Downtown chief people officer Love Whelchel (who started in the position last month), the company’s announcement about the staff cuts attributes the decision to “these uncertain times,” besides the initially mentioned economic conditions.
“Yesterday, a difficult decision was made and CD Baby and Soundrop underwent a reduction in their workforces,” the email reads. “While this was a difficult decision, it was necessary due to the current economic conditions and this will allow us to set CD Baby and Soundrop up for long-term growth and success in these uncertain times.
“This is certainly a challenging moment. And, we understand that people may be sad and concerned. We get it. But, rest assured that this decision was not made lightly; but, done with the utmost respect, dignity and care for all those impacted. If there are questions or concerns, please let me hear from you,” the text concludes.
It’s unclear how many individuals went ahead and expressed their questions and concerns to Whelchel, but the Downtown employees who forwarded the email to DMN pushed back against the purported reasons behind the staff reduction.
“Downtown Management just announced by email that around 30 employees from CDBaby and Soundrop are going to be laid off,” the ticked-off team members told us. “They explained it was ‘because of the economic conditions’.”
“It is not the truth. The truth is that they are going to stop several services provided by CDBaby and Soundrop and employees are now becoming an adjustment variable for businesses,” they continued.
Time will tell whether CD Baby and Soundrop are in fact poised to “stop several services,” but CD Baby (which axed its online music store in Q1 2020 and tapped Trolley in 2022 to streamline its payments) confirmed the layoffs themselves to DMN.
“Last week CD Baby and Soundrop parted ways with a number of employees at the companies,” CD Baby told us. “This was a difficult decision but one needed to better align CD Baby and Soundrop with the current economic environment and set the companies up for long-term growth and success. These decisions were made with a great deal of care and empathy for those affected and with an eye toward the future success of CD Baby and Soundrop.”
Earlier this year, Downtown unveiled “a major expansion of its operations in Spanish speaking Latin America,” and April saw its FUGA subsidiary open an office in Berlin.