We’ve heard the hype, we know everyone’s applauding DistroKid for the annual fee, we’ve peeped that most unknown labels and semi-professionals use them for their cheap prices, etc. DistroKid did one thing right: marketing themselves against their pre-existing competitors. But there are HUGE differences between the benefits they provide and CD Baby, who we think, was, is, and will be the much better choice for musicians who take themselves seriously. Here are 8 reasons why CD Baby beats DistroKid on all levels.
8. CD Baby offers valuable marketing tools.
You can get all services imaginable from CD Baby without having to employ third parties for excellent results. From heavily discounted mixing and mastering services, merch, creating a website, a landing page, a promo page, campaigns, online radio plays, and many other services (some for FREE), you have all you need with CD Baby.
7. CD Baby has better SEO.
In almost a year of activity, we at Blue Rhymez Entertainment noticed a jarring disparity between the search results for musicians using CD Baby and musicians using DistroKid. Those using CD Baby have their song title, release date, links to streaming websites pop up right away when searching for it on Google. Whereas artists using DistroKid have subpar search results. Especially if there is a similar song title released before your own, you are almost invisible. We have to do a deep search on Spotify for example for us to find the artists using DistroKid.
6. CD Baby has considerably more partner stores.
We took the time to count the digital services DistroKid delivers your songs to and we found them to be 24 and in their own words, “many more”. Since when is many more a legit term for good business? Ehm… We’ll let you judge. CD Baby, on the other hand, has a public list of 34 partners and a general count of over 150 digital stores (we’re assuming the large number is achieved by adding the country divisions of each major store plus other lesser-known platforms). Put it as you wish, but the thing is DistroKid is not transparent at all about the exact number of digital partners they’re going to distribute your music to.
5. CD Baby offers physical distribution.
As cool as streaming your music is, it is much cooler to be able to sell your records in physical copies. CD Baby offers to sell your music on CD, Vinyl, or DVD in retail stores for an additional fee. The fact that you can have your Vinyl custom-ready, is absolutely phenomenal. According to statista.com Vinyl has had an incredible comeback: “vinyl album sales in the United States have grown for the 14th consecutive year. In 2019, 18.8 million LPs were sold in the United States, up 14 percent compared to 2018 and more than 20-fold compared to 2006 when the vinyl comeback began.” And we’ve noticed how passionate fans are to take selfies and photos with their favorite artists’ vinyls for social media purposes. We’re not sure we’d recommend this option as a reliable source of income, but we’d surely recommend it for a major credibility boost. Oh yeah, DistroKid left the chat.
4. CD Baby will forever keep your music online at no additional cost.
If so happens that you fall behind the annual fee with DistroKid, your music is gone. Unless you pay the $29 one-time fee for a single and $49 for an album. Oh, yeah, our bad! That only takes effect IF YOU DIE. A user named Whooleey on Reddit went into great detail explaining how he and his friend were duped into thinking that with the one-time payment their music would be safe when in reality it is not. The user shared: “The “Leave A Legacy” feature does not apply when you freely choose to end your subscription. It only takes effect in case you are “not able” to continue your subscription, for example in the event of death.” So you pay an absurd amount, way more than the one-time fee with CD Baby, to get your music forever available online but only after you die? Remind us why ANYONE is choosing DistroKid over CD Baby?
3. CD Baby offers PRO Distribution.
For a one-time fee of $29.95 for a single and $69 for an album, CD Baby will, in simple words, collect all royalties from all over the world for every single time your music has been used. They will collect royalties that even BMI and ASCAP are missing out on. As for DistroKid… Crickets!
2. CD Baby WILL get your music on Instagram/Facebook.
We’ve been shocked to discover that having your music distributed with DistroKid does not guarantee it will pop up in the music search tab on Instagram. Whereas every single artist that uses CD Baby is guaranteed to find his/her music when searching for it. We’ve never been failed yet by CD Baby. And no, they’re not paying us for this article. We’re just tired of seeing artists think they’re being smart with their budgeting when in reality they’re bleeding money “thanks” to DistroKid.
1. CD Baby offers YouTube Content ID FOR FREE
This is THE dealbreaker for us. With CD Baby, even with the basic distribution plan, your song gets uploaded to YouTube, it gets officially registered in their database, and every single time your music is used, you get your royalties. And a gentle reminder to all upcoming artists, most of you are, as a matter of fact, focused on growing ONLINE more than anything. Thus having your cut from YouTube should be a priority. As for Distrokid, you’ll have to pay $4.95 for every single song to enable YouTube monetization every single year, in addition to your yearly plan.
In simple math, if you want ONE song to forever stay up online on DistroKid, you have the $20 annual fee, plus the $4.95 YouTube monetization annual fee, plus the one-time $29 fee to keep your music up in case you die, and you get a hefty total of $53.95. Whereas you can pay CD Baby $9.95 one-time single fee, plus the $5 UPC one-time fee, and you get $14.95 to have the exact same benefits that you’d have to pay $53.95 to DistroKid for the FIRST YEAR of your song’s life (another yearly $4.95 for YT money and the yearly $20 fee to keep having your music available). As a matter of fact, you can get the CD Baby PRO distribution deal ($29.95 for a single) at LESS than the cost to get a single song up and running on DistroKid. Mathematically, logically, musically, morally, promotionally, CD Baby is THE WINNER.
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