CDBaby Review: 4 things you need to know before distributing

CDBaby Review: 4 things you need to know before distributing

There are thousands of services for music distribution out there for Independent artists to choose to release their music. In this article, we will take you through a review of CDBaby and hopefully answer your question about whether CDBaby will be a good investment for your distribution plan.

You can also check our article Top 4 Music Distribution Services 2023 to discover more options from this industry.

Price of CDBaby services and what does it include.

Since Spinnup has shut down, CDBaby is now one of the very few trustworthy pay-per-release services for independent artists. CDBaby provides a range of pricing options and different plans you can choose from. They have two different packages which are standard and pro. 

The difference between those two is that the pro option will cover your releases with registration for the worldwide publishing and global royalty collection societies. And for the album, you can also choose to distribute them in physical forms.

Here are the features that they have for each option:

*Currently, CDBaby has a special discount for 2023, making the price of both standard versions down to $4.99, and pro versions $24.99.









Digital distribution to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and 150+ more 

Worldwide CD or vinyl distribution 

Make money from Youtube content ID

Get your music on Facebook and IG Stories

Sync licensing for TV, films, and games 

FREE pre-saves and other major label music marketing tools with 

Worldwide publishing royalty collection

Direct song registration with global royalty collection societies 

Instant verification for artists with Spotify and Apple Music

Access to our artist’s Support team 

CDBaby Commission

  • $4 cut of physical sales
  • 9% of Download & Streaming Revenues
  • 30% of YouTube, Facebook & IG collection
  • $4 cut of physical sales
  • 9% of Download & Streaming Revenues
  • 30% of YouTube, Facebook & IG collection
  • 15% cut of publishing royalties

One big benefit you can get from the PRO option is that CDBaby will register your music with the Royalty collection. In that way, you as an artist will be able to make money from people using your music for different platforms and purposes. If you are not familiar with Publishing Royalty and how licensed your song work, check out our article A Guide To Music Licensing For Independent artists. 

Besides registering your music with Worldwide publishing royalty and Global royalty collection societies, you can also have the option to release your music via CD or Vinyl globally, which is something that not many reliable music distributors are offering yet!

If your intention is just to distribute your music and boost its recognition among the audience for now, then the Standard package will cover enough features for you to do that.

But if you are aiming to make money from your music, then the Pro option will be the right choice since your songs will be licensed and then you can actually start earning money from it. 

Pros and Cons of CDBaby.


  • No annual fee is guaranteed

With their no annual fees policy, you simply need to pay just once to maintain the distribution of your song. CD Baby guarantees bands, singers and musicians that they won’t have to worry about having a growing bill every year to maintain their song’s availability on Spotify or Apple Music.  

This is a crucial thing for independent artists to consider because it will help them to be more certain in their decision of choosing the music distribution if they are having a low budget. 

  • Diversify your income stream

Independent artists have always struggled with obtaining music licenses.  Understanding this, CDBaby assists artists in obtaining licenses and lets you  monetize your song on platforms other than the well-known ones like Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, such as in movies, TV shows and video games! 

  • Pre-save and other major music marketing tools

Pre-save is going to be efficient for artists not only to announce their upcoming project but also to give out a notification when the song is released so that you can engage more your audience. More than that, you can create a FREE marketing plan for your music career with and this applied to both their Standard and Pro options.

  • Song registration with global royalty collection societies

As an artist, you should sign up for your song with the global royalty collection societies. The reason for this is that your song will be tracked and identified so that you get paid what you deserve. Compared to other competitors, CDBaby is the only music distribution company that does this service without any extra cost!

  • Free UPC barcode

CDBaby offer to provide you UPC for free. It is important to have this code to track the number of sales from your music not only physically but also online (like Amazon Music, Itunes,..). 

  • Worldwide CD or Vinyl distribution 

For independent artists that want to distribute their albums in physical forms, CDBaby is now the only company that offers this service. This is a very unique feature that you can not find in almost any other competitors.


  • Various commission fees 

Compared to competitors like Tunecore which takes zero percentage on distribution, CDBaby takes approx. 9% commission on everything you make. Here are some fees that CB Baby can cost you after your release: 

  • 30% on Youtube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram revenues. 

For the Pro version: 

  • 15% of publishing royalties 
  • 40% on sync placements
  • $4 on physical sales for your CD and Vinyl

This is a displeasure thing to some of the artists if they don’t want their income from music to be cut down, not mentioning that CdBaby’s commission is actually quite high. So as an artist, you definitely should look more carefully into CDBaby’s commission fees policy before distributing with them.


  • Insufficient customer service

Many artists have been dissatisfied with CDBaby support staff's lack of responsiveness. Numerous reports have been made of slow operations, delayed responses, and unanswered phone calls. As a result, if you're choosing CDBaby, you should be aware of this problem.


For example: One of the users left a review like this about CDBaby:

They completely botched my album release. They claimed they would distribute my album to Spotify. (I was ensured twice that this would happen). YEARS later it still hadn't happened, and I was told that it was too late and that I would have to rerelease the album.

They offered me an official Youtube page, expended the bare minimum amount of effort, and then never gave me access. I was later told that there was a 3 release minimum before they'd give me access.

They were unresponsive to support tickets (took 2 months to get a response from them).”


Having multiple feedback like this, artists should question themselves before purchasing whether will this service can support them if they encounter any problem related to the distribution…

What makes CDBaby stand out from the music distribution sector?

As we just mentioned above, we must look at CDBaby’s selling point: The variety of their features in distributing music. They offer a lot of services that you can not find in other companies in this industry and really extend the methods of making money for independent musicians up to the maximum. With that strong foundation, they are now one of the Top 3 Music Distribution that is used among independent artists


In conclusion, CDBaby is a strong choice, but there are still plenty of bad reviews from previous users who complained about how slowly they responded to requests and how they didn't help those artists with their issues.


Therefore, CDBaby might be a good platform for you if you're a new independent artist who solely wants to gradually present your music to the public and start to promote it now. 

But if you want to use your music to earn income and actually depend on that source, perhaps you should take into consideration some other music distribution since CDBaby will take a quite high commission on your revenue. 


Understanding how competitive the music industry is that independent artists are dealing with, and how difficult it is to not just distribute your music but also to promote them to the target market, Base For Music is here to help you with that process. Base for Music is a trusted complementary service to promote after your distribution.

By directing your ads strategically, we can help increase the visibility of your releases. In addition, we can boost your interaction to make you stand out on platforms. Through a streamlined interface, we create your ads campaigns across well-known advertising networks like Spotify, Facebook, TikTok and Youtube…


We are going to have an upcoming article about a comparison between CDBaby and Tunecore, so make sure you subscribe to our blog to keep up with that!


Sign up for your free account with Base For Music now!


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