CD Baby has been one of the longest running digital distributors for the last 20 years. Founded by Derek Sivers in 1998 in Woodstock, New York and launched as a website to sell his own music.
CD Baby has endured and evolved into one of the only top preferred partners with Apple Music & Spotify. The digital aggregator now accommodates over 650,000 artists and over 9 millions songs that are distributed across 150+ platforms worldwide.
CD Baby is a traditional distribution company that doesn’t offer any label services or artist development. They do offer an above average support staff that accompanies their services.
Based in Portland, Oregon with offices in New York City and London. CD Baby has thrived within the distribution arena after growing from a local operation with Oasis to becoming a digital distributor and premier partner of iTunes in 2004.
For the better half of the last decade CD Baby has continued to grow as a company and brand.
- Following a 7-year partnership with Disc Makers, the company bought CD Baby and Host Baby for $22 million in 2008.
- CD Baby added YouTube monetization to their digital distribution services in 2012.
- In 2013, CD Baby launched ‘Pro Publishing’ to help artists with global publishing collection and administering their composition rights. The service is currently accessible to independent artists in over 70+ territories and countries.
- As of recently, Downtown Music Holdings purchased CD Baby in for $200 Million.
CD Baby is unique in a sense because they offer a physical distribution program that manages 15,000 record stores and fulfills orders through Amazon. The program covers CDs, Vinyls and DVDs that are available to retailers worldwide.
Along with free signup, CD Baby offers artists two paid tiers to choose from:
- Standard — One-time submission fee, $9.95 for a single & $29 for an album with a 9% commission.
- Pro — One-time submission fee, $29.95 for a single & $69 for an album with a 9% commission (Includes Total Monetization).
CD Baby offers a one-time fee and a 9% commission depending on if you need Total Monetization. This is an attractive offer for artists because it addresses specific needs and gives content creators an idea of what kind of infrastructure is needed to fuel their ecosystem.
In comparison to TuneCore, which charges a yearly fee on top of commissions. CD Baby doesn’t shy away from pointing out how the mounting costs can add up just to keep your catalog online and available for listeners.
Relating to Kobalt Music Group’s AWAL, CD Baby caters more to artists on the commercial route. If your music is considered to be more popular in a certain market or if you want to build a brand within the Asia-Pacific through KKBox, JioSaavn, AWA, KDigital, NetEase Cloud Music, Tencent and Hungama.
CD Baby is a very attractive digital distribution partner with a focus on growth in the global market.
“We’re going to focus on what is making a difference for musicians today — our distribution, monetization, and promotion services.
We’re already recognized as the only distributor to have top-preferred partner status with both Spotify and Apple Music, but we’re also making it easier for you to reach new listeners, earn more money across an increasing array of channels, and opening up new territories for your music too, including the massive markets of India and China.
CD Baby has positioned themselves nicely within the digital distribution market. By offering sync licensing and Pro Publishing Administration, they present artists with the dynamic of beginning their journey with CD Baby or switching over when the time is right.
This is where artist development and infrastructure play a major part. If you feel like your music could be featured on TV, films or video games, CD Baby is a great digital distributor to join forces with.
Lets checkout the services they offer below:
Social Video Monetization — Included in Standard & Pro, this service allows artists to earn money when their music is used on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more.
CD Distribution — CD Baby manages distribution to over 15,000 record stores worldwide and is available through Amazon.
Disc Manufacturing — This feature also includes design services. CD Baby helps make printing physical CDs a simple process.
Vinyl Distribution — CD Baby partners with Disc Makers to help independent artists distribute Vinyls to over 15,000 record stores worldwide.
Pro Publishing Administration — This is CD Baby’s bread & butter. Pro Publishing helps artists claim and collect royalties from the following:
- Every mechanical royalty produced from streaming services.
- Every international mechanical royalty produced from sales in download stores.
- Performance royalties from live performances, radio, TV and streaming services like Spotify.
- Worldwide YouTube publishing royalties for any content that uses your music.
- Songwriting and publishing royalties from hundreds of sources around the world.
Upon signup for Pro Publishing, CD Baby will provide the following additional services:
- Associate you as a songwriter with a Performing Rights Organization (ASCAP or BMI) and Canada (SOCAN). This includes managing your current P.R.O. association.
- Register your music with royalty collection agencies around the world.
- Accumulate every performance royalty worldwide.
- Compile every worldwide mechanical royalties for international downloads and streams.
Sync Licensing — This service is a free add-on for artists who are a part of CD Baby Standard or Pro. The company has also created a portal for creators to search for content that fits their needs. Including the support of a sync-licensing team that pitches your music to top supervisors around the World.
Data Analytics & Reporting — CD Baby offers artists access to crucial geographic & demographic information that aid artists in evaluating content, setting up tours and improving your marketing efforts. Allowing artists to connect with a worldwide audience through Apple & Spotify trending reports.
With more and more opportunity being presented to independent artists and record labels.
CD Baby, is among a great group of digital distribution companies that are providing artists with the tools and resources to reach a worldwide audience. Now is the perfect time to embrace your creativity, build an infrastructure and create an ecosystem with CD Baby.