Posted on December 19, 2020 | By MusicPromoToday

Tunecore Vs. CD Baby? How To Choose The Best Digital Distributor For You

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These days, the music industry has encountered countless changes. As a musician or an artist, you must be aware that if you haven’t placed your music on streaming platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music, or Apple Music, you are living in an ivory tower. If that’s the case, you are missing out on a MASSIVE group of listeners. Stop relying on Soundcloud. It’s time to distribute your music and reap the benefits of the digital streaming era. To get your music to these platforms, you need a unique tool called a digital aggregator. Tunecore and CD Baby are one of two most popular tools to place your music on streaming platforms… and we always get the following question from artists and bands. Who is more reliable? CD Baby or Tunecore. Some even ask about United Masters, Distrokid, Awal… the truth is… there are so many of them. 

In this article, MusicPromoToday will compare the features of both Tunecore and CD Baby and list their main differences, to make it easier for you as a musician to choose between these two distributors.

Tunecore and CD Baby:

Tunecore is a simple website that allows musicians, both upcoming and established, to use the platform to distribute their music globally. Tunecore also provides its users with various tools that are necessary when distributing music. Another fact worth mentioning is that you have the opportunity to distribute your music without using a music label.

Tunecore gives access to its users to a longer list of popular music stores, such as iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Amazon and Spotify, which is why it makes this platform one of the best options when it comes to music sales and distribution.

And yet the best part is that Tunecore doesn’t charge artists any commissions when it comes to their earnings which are kept on their personal accounts. Musicians can withdraw their earnings anytime they desire.

Tunecore’s Extra Features.

Tunecore has several other cool features that are meant to boost your music career on a global scale. 

1. Signing up an account on their website means you are the only one who gets the publishing administration rights. It is the only online music distribution company that provides this kind of high-security standard to its clientele.

2. Musicians have access to an analytics and reporting platforms. This is to help you have a better understanding of your release performance. This platform even provides musicians with demographic data, allowing you to learn more about your listeners: where the majority of your listeners come from, what age group they belong to. This tool may help artists plan their future events and concerts.

3.The next feature worth mentioning is sync and master licensing.

The platform is designed to help you get your music played on video games, films and TV commercials which is a direct flow of royalties straight to your account. 

Besides, this is a great way to introduce your content to different groups of audience.

4. Tunecore also has a magic social media tool…giving you an opportunity to update your social media accounts and share information about your music, releases and video premieres.


CD Baby is another way of getting digital music promotion and distribution. This company helps artists sell and distribute their music worldwide. CD Baby has developed a strong partnership with online music stores and streaming services such as Pandora and Apple Music, thus giving artists access to a larger audience.

CD Baby’s Top Features.

1. CD Baby offers you pro-publishing administration and ensures that your music is registered with royalty collection agencies around the world. When all the royalties are collected, they charge a commission of 15% and transfer the remaining amount of funds to your account.

2. On CD Baby, artists are given an added advantage as fans can buy music directly from the store, therefore bypassing the mainstream platforms which means that an artist can generate possible higher ROI.  

3. On CD Baby, musicians are also able to sell physical CDs at whatever price they wish for.

4. Just like Tunecore CD Baby offers various reporting and analytics features that help artists understand their fans behaviours and demographics.

5. Users can earn ad revenue generated from any music and video that’s played on YouTube.

6. CD Baby offers sync licensing which means that your music will be played on video games, TV commercials and YouTube. But every rose has its thorns – CD Baby will demand 40% commission on all income obtained through the distribution of your music.

The Differences

1. Tunecore has a more user-friendly interface than CD Baby.
2. On Tunecore, users don’t pay any commission as opposed to CD Baby.

What Really Matters 💡💡💡💡

More Tunecore clients of ours than CD Baby have been featured on Spotify and Apple Music editorial playlists in 2020. You may have a better chances of being featured on editorials if you go with Tunecore. Both are great platforms and what really matters is the following. 

  1. Pick a distributor that allows you to view your stats including revenues the quickest. The turn around time is important so you don’t have to wait forever.
  2. Make sure you run ‘presave’ campaigns with your distributor. This way you can plug your presave link to a ‘fanlink’. We use Toneden, it’s the best. With a pixel and a smart campaign, you can generate enough hype before even dropping your record. 
  3. Make sure you distribute your song at least 3-4 weeks before the actual release date. This way you can use Spotify for Artists to submit your releases to the editorial team. This also gives you enough time to do emails and blast messages to playlist influencers or put together a strong strategy. Don’t get us wrong… if you can get a strong plan of action executed in a few days.. You can drop a record in 2 weeks… even 7 days. 
  4. What really matters is to have a plan. A post-release plan. Make sure that is well put together and covers how you will get enough impressions, clicks, reach and eyeballs to your release. Your execution plan should definitely include the following: 
  • Media Planning: Getting a premiere. Features. Interviews. Blogrolls.  
  • Social Media: How you will engage your fans, existing and new ones to view, stream and enjoy your new release. How you will create digital word of mouth through them. If you hired an agency to do this, don’t expect them to get everything done for you from A to Z. There are a lot of ways to cooperate and partner up on content with them to maximize the effect and outcome. Read about how you can monetize your social media followings, an informative article on Forbes by MusicPromoToday CEO Raffi Keuhnelian.
  • Advertisement: While an ad is temporary exposure…if it’s well done and repeated consistently it affects viewer behavior and bring results.
  • Influencers: Work with an agency or a list of influencers to accelerate word of mouth. An influencer is anyone with a large follower base that helps you get further visibility and engagements. 

Unfortunately, with the plethora of distributors comes the complexity of choosing the right service for your music. This blog purpose was to help you realize that most digital music distribution companies offer near-identical features and services within a packaged deal. What’s really important after looking at fees, commission and service is your post release plan, music promotion and marketing strategies. 

Believe in yourself. Dream big all the time. MusicPromoToday chief operating officer Anthony Katz (Source: Yahoo! Entertainment News)

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