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CD Baby: Empowering Independent Musicians Worldwide

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the music industry, independent musicians face numerous challenges when it comes to getting their tracks heard and distributed. Fortunately, websites like CD Baby have emerged to empower authors and provide them with a straightforward approach to reaching a global audience. In this article, we will explore what CD Baby is, how it works, where it is based, who owns it, how authors can utilize the website, its associated costs, and plenty more topics.


What is CD Baby?

It is a pioneering online track distribution provider that was founded in 1998. It began as a modest online store for independent musicians to sell their CDs directly to fans. As the web-based music era began, CD Baby swiftly adapted its services, becoming one of the first websites to offer track sharing over the Internet. Over the years, CD Baby has grown exponentially, providing musicians with a range of tools and resources to distribute, promote, and monetize their music.


Where is CD Baby Based and Located?

CD Baby’s headquarters are located in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. However, being an online-based platform, it operates internationally, serving musicians from all corners of the globe. With a strong presence in the digital domain, CD Baby bridges the gap between artists and enthusiasts around the world.


Who Owns CD Baby?

It was initially founded by musician Derek Sivers, who had a burning desire to help independent talents gain fame and financial independence through their craft. In 2008, Disc Makers, a prominent manufacturer of CDs and DVDs, acquired CD Baby. Under the leadership of Disc Makers, CD Baby continued to thrive and expand its assistance while retaining its original mission of empowering authors.


How to Use CD Baby?

Using CD Baby to distribute music is a user-friendly process that artists of all levels of technical expertise can navigate. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started on CD Baby:

Sign Up: Create an account on the CD Baby website. You’ll need to provide some basic information, including your artist/band name, contact details, and payment preferences.

Upload Your Music: Prepare your music files according to CD Baby’s guidelines for audio quality and formatting. These guidelines ensure that your music will be distributed to various digital platforms without any technical issues.

Choose Distribution Options: CD Baby offers various distribution options such as online distribution to broadcasting websites, as well as physical publishing of CDs and vinyl records. Select the tools that suit your needs and budget.

Set a Release Date: If you’re planning to release new tracks, you can choose a specific date for your tune to go live on streaming websites. This allows you to build anticipation and advertise your tunes effectively.

Fees: It operates on a pay-as-you-go model, meaning you’ll pay a one-time fee per single or album you distribute. The website deducts a small percentage from your sales income to cover its work.

Review and allocation: CD Baby’s team will review your track to ensure it meets the standards. Once approved, your track will be put on the selected websites, and you can start promoting it.

Monitor Sales and Income: CD Baby provides a graphical interface where you can monitor the sales and income across different platforms. This valuable data helps you strategize your promotional campaigns and organize future releases.


How Much Does CD Baby Cost?

The cost of using CD Baby varies depending on the distribution websites you choose. Here’s a breakdown of the typical fees:

Online allocation : For online allocation to streaming websites, they charge a one-time fee per release: it ranged from $9.99 to $49.99 per single or album. These prices might be subject to change, so it’s essential to check the latest rates on CD Baby’s website.

Physical Distribution: If you opt for physical distribution of CDs or vinyl records, there are additional costs for manufacturing and shipping. CD Baby provides competitive rates for CD replication and printing services, helping artists produce high-quality physical copies of their music.

Commission on Sales: They take a commission on sales made via their list of websites. This commission is 9% of your income.


What Platforms Does CD Baby Distribute To?

Their website covers a vast array of the platforms, ensuring that your tracks reach a diverse and expansive listeners. CD Baby is distributed to major networks. Additionally, they cover some niche platforms, thus amplifying your music’s accessibility to a wide range of demographics.


Where Does CD Baby Distribute To?

One of the most significant advantages of using CD Baby is its global distribution network. Artists often face hurdles when trying to expand their visibility on international markets, but they take care of these complexities. They allocate to over 150 websites around the world, ensuring your music reaches audiences in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and beyond. CD Baby’s extensive reach plays a crucial role in helping artists connect with music enthusiasts from different cultural backgrounds, thereby fostering an international fanbase.


How Long Does CD Baby Take to Upload?

Speed is a critical factor in the music industry, where trends change rapidly, and timing is everything. Fortunately, CD Baby streamlines the music upload process for artists. From the control panel, you are able to add tracks, album artwork, and relevant metadata. Once you’ve completed the submission, they usually take around 1 to 3 days to review your materials for allocation readiness. If everything is in order, your tracks will be approved, and the allocation process will commence.


How Fast Does CD Baby Upload?

Once the tracks have been approved for allocation, they move swiftly to ensure your melodies are accessible on various websites. It typically takes around 1 to 2 weeks for your tracks to be available on websites. However, it is essential to note that this timeline may vary depending on factors such as platform policies, ongoing updates, and the volume of submissions CD Baby is handling at the time.


Does CD Baby Promote Your Music?

They offers a range of promotional services to help authors enhance their visibility. However, it’s crucial to comprehend that promotion is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and the extent of promotional efforts may depend on the artist’s chosen package or additional services they opt for.

CD Baby offers various promotional add-ons such as email marketing campaigns, social media promotion, and featuring opportunities on their website. They also provide valuable information via the control panel, offering details on streams, sales, and listeners demographics to assist authors make the right decisions.

It’s vital to recognize that while CD Baby can provide tools and opportunities for promotion, proactive self-promotion remains crucial. Famous people often engage in social media marketing, collaborate with influencers, perform live shows, and communicate within the community to gain traction.

By the way, for those who do not yet have their own tracks to promote them online, our ghost production service offers to purchase ready-made tracks and get all the rights to them, including commercial ones. In a few minutes, you will receive your own track and can send it to CD Baby and start promoting it. Take advantage of this opportunity and save money on hiring a separate producer and don’t waste much time.


Does CD Baby Copyright Your Music?

One primary concern for any artist is protecting their intellectual property rights. Fortunately, CD Baby does not claim ownership or intellectual property rights to your tracks. It functions as an allocation and service partner, enabling authors to keep entire ownership of the creations. Authors maintain complete authority of their work and can choose to distribute it through CD Baby’s platform without any infringement on their copyright. By retaining ownership, artists can rest assured that their music remains exclusively theirs, granting them the freedom to explore various options for revenue generation and advertising.


How Does CD Baby Make Money?

It operates on a model that allows creators to allocate and sell the tracks through various online platforms while also providing additional services for a fee. The primary revenue stream for CD Baby is through special fees and commission-based structures. When authors opt to distribute their tracks via this website, they pay a one-time fee, and in return, CD Baby helps make their tracks available on well-known streaming websites. Additionally, they charge a commission on each sale or stream made through these platforms. This commission fee allows CD Baby to sustain its operations and assist authors in getting new listeners.


Does CD Baby Collect Publishing Royalties?

Yes, they also assists authors in collecting royalties, which are earned when the track is publicly performed, broadcasted, or used in various commercial applications. These payments are distinct from the money earned from online sales and broadcasting. CD Baby’s Pro Publishing service helps artists collect publishing royalties by affiliating them with performing rights organizations (PROs) like ASCAP, BMI, SOCAN, PRS, or others, depending on the artist’s location. By joining a PRO, authors can guarantee they receive the money owed to them whenever their tracks are played on radio, television, live performances, or other public platforms.


What Royalties Does CD Baby Collect?

CD Baby’s role in royalty collection extends beyond publishing royalties. As mentioned earlier, they receive a commission from online sales and streams made via their distribution network. This commission is typically a percentage of the earnings received from each sale or stream. The exact percentage may vary depending on the distribution package chosen by the artist. In exchange for this commission, CD Baby handles the complex process of delivering tracks to various websites, providing proper accounting and reporting of sales and streams, and distributing the earned revenue back to the artists.


Does CD Baby Upload to YouTube?

Yes, they provide an option to allocate tracks to YouTube’s Content ID system, which helps authors monetize their tracks on the platform. Content ID is a digital fingerprinting system that scans YouTube videos for copyrighted material. When artists opt to use CD Baby’s Content ID service, YouTube will identify videos that include their music, and the author can choose to monetize those videos by placing ads on them. This way, authors can earn money from user-generated content that features their tracks, further expanding their income broadcasts.


Payment at CD Baby

CD Baby offers a straightforward payment system. Once an author’s song starts generating income from digital sales, broadcasts, and YouTube monetization, CD Baby aggregates these earnings. Typically, payments are processed on a monthly basis. However, artists must reach a minimum payment threshold before they receive their earnings. This threshold ensures that processing fees are kept to a minimum, and authors earn meaningful payments.

We also want to answer some additional and popular questions about payments.

How Does CD Baby Pay You?

CD Baby offers several payment methods to its artists, making it convenient for musicians worldwide. The primary modes of payment include:

Direct Deposit: Artists can set up their accounts to receive payments directly into their bank accounts. This option is often preferred for its convenience and security.

PayPal: Many artists opt for PayPal as it offers a swift and globally accessible means of receiving payments.

Check: CD Baby also offers the option of receiving payments via check, although this method may take longer due to postal delivery times.

How Often Does CD Baby Pay?

The payment frequency at CD Baby depends on the revenue threshold an artist reaches. Historically, CD Baby followed a monthly payment schedule. Artists would receive their payments once a month, provided they had accrued a minimum balance. However, CD Baby has since made significant changes to its payment structure to better suit artists’ needs.

Presently, CD Baby offers two main payment options:

Standard Distribution: This payment option still adheres to the monthly payment schedule, where artists receive payments around the middle of each month for the previous month’s earnings.

Instant Payment: CD Baby introduced the “Instant Payment” feature to address artists’ cash flow needs. With Instant Payment, artists can receive their earnings much faster, typically within minutes of a sale or stream. This option is accessible for a small fee.

How Long Does CD Baby Take to Pay?

The period it takes for them to process and transfer payments to artists varies based on the chosen payment method:

Direct Deposit: Typically, the processing time takes a few business days, depending on the artist’s location and bank processing times.

PayPal: PayPal payments are generally processed swiftly, and artists can expect to receive their earnings within a few business days.

Check: If an author chooses to get money by check, the processing time will be longer due to postal delivery times. International artists may experience extended wait periods for check payments.

How Much Does CD Baby Take?

CD Baby operates on a revenue-sharing model, meaning they take a percentage of the artist’s earnings as an allocation fee. However, the exact percentage they take varies depending on the type of allocation:

Online allocation: For this type, they charge a setup fee for the release, which covers the cost of distributing the music to various online platforms. The setup fee is $9.99 or $49.99 for a single or album.

Physical Distribution: If an artist opts for physical distribution of their music, CD Baby takes a cut from each unit sold. The exact percentage may vary, so artists should refer to CD Baby’s website for the most up-to-date information.

How Much Does CD Baby Pay Per Stream?

They pay creators for their broadcasts through various websites. The payment per stream can fluctuate and is subject to the specific agreements CD Baby has with these platforms.

The payment per stream depends on the revenue generated from the website and the number of streams an author’s track receives. Generally, the rates per stream are relatively modest, but they can add up significantly if an artist’s music gains popularity and attracts a substantial number of streams.

When Does CD Baby Pay?

As mentioned earlier, they pay authors according to the chosen payment option:

Standard Allocation: authors on the standard payment option receive payments around the middle of each month for the previous month’s earnings. For example, earnings from January will be paid around the middle of February.

Instant Payment: With the Instant Payment feature, artists can receive their earnings much faster. Instant Payment allows artists to access their earnings within minutes of a sale or stream.


Can fix the audio once it's already posted on CD Baby?

Unfortunately, once audio is posted on CD Baby, it cannot be directly fixed. If you need to make changes, you’ll have to upload a corrected version as a separate release.

Can I change the artwork on CD Baby?

Yes, you can change artwork on CD Baby before the release is distributed. However, after distribution, artwork changes are not possible.

CD Baby, how long to get on Spotify?

It usually takes a few days to a few weeks to get the track on this website and other ones, depending on the processing times and the complexity of your release.

Does CD Baby make CDs?

They provide online allocation services; they do not manufacture physical CDs.

Does CD Baby sell CDs?

While they used to sell CDs in the past, they currently focus on online work and do not sell physical CDs.

Does CD Baby still exist?

CD Baby existed as a digital music distribution platform. However, for the most current status, please verify independently.

How to cancel a CD Baby subscription?

To cancel your CD Baby subscription, log in to your account, go to “Account Info,” and follow the instructions to cancel your subscription.

How to change your name on CD Baby?

To change your name on CD Baby, contact their support team, provide the necessary details, and request the name change.

How to contact CD Baby support?

To contact CD Baby support, you can visit their website and find their support contact information or submit a support ticket.

How to delete CD Baby account?

To delete your CD Baby account, contact their support team and follow their instructions for account deletion.

How to email CD Baby?

To email CD Baby, you can use their contact form on their website or check for their support email address.

How to split royalties on CD Baby?

They allow you to split royalties among collaborators. While uploading the file, you can specify the percentage each collaborator should get.

Is CD Baby any good?

It is generally considered a reliable and reputable website for independent track allocation.

Is CD Baby closing?

There were no indications of CD Baby closing down. Always check for the latest official information.

Is CD Baby going out of business?

There were no reports of CD Baby going out of business.

Is CD Baby legit?

CD Baby is a legitimate online track allocation website that has been operating since 1998.

Is CD Baby Pro worth it?

It is an additional service which assists composers receive earnings globally.

Is CD Baby safe?

It is considered safe to utilize for online track allocation.

Is CD Baby the best?

While it is a well-known platform, the “best” allocation website depends on the specific needs and goals as an artist.

Is CD Baby worth it?

It can be worth it for authors seeking an easy-to-use online allocation tool with various options and resources.

Is CD Baby a publisher?

It is not a traditional track publisher; it primarily offers online allocation and related tools for authors.

What does CD Baby do?

It is an online track allocation platform which assists creators get the tracks on various websites where listeners can find these tracks.

What happened to CD Baby?

They continues to evolve and adapt to the music industry’s changes, offering allocation and advertising tools to authors.

What is CD Baby Pro publishing?

It is a service that assists composers with track releasing management, guaranteeing they are making money from the compositions.

Who does CD Baby distribute to?

They put tracks on various websites, including streaming sites, download sites, and social media websites.

What is CD Baby's customer service number?

The customer service number for CD Baby can be found on their official website’s support or contact page.