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CD Baby vs. Tunecore vs. The Orchard etc...

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by davey17, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. davey17

    davey17 Guest

    I am looking into online digital distribution and I was wondering if anyone could explain the pros, cons, horror stories, etc. to CD Baby, Tunecore, The Orchard or any others that I left out.

  2. Steve@Russo

    Steve@Russo Active Member

    My buddy uses CD Baby and his albums look better than ones I have had put out on labels
  3. fataltone

    fataltone Active Member

    Does your buddy get his CD done through Discmakers??? graphics,etc...
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good topic, we should chat about this in detail and post it so we are current. I'm going to be needing this info soon and I'm sure there are more of us. Doing some research...

    What are the fee's (yearly)?
    How long does it take to get your song set up and on itunes?
    Can you upload files?
    Credit Card Processing?
    Hard Copy Distributor Services?

    Older Post: TuneCore vs. CD Baby for digital distribution | Digital Noise: Music and Tech - CNET News
    More Current: Music Downloads: CD Baby vs Tunecore - bryan landers
  5. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    I use Tunecore. Does CD Baby distribute DIRECTLY to iTunes and AMazon's digital store or are they just a middleman who distributes to Tunecore?

    BTW I love Tunecore over Catapult. I saved $1,050.00 last year by using Tunecore rather than Catapult (Catapult charges sales based fees of 8%, whereas Tunecore just charges a one time yearly $30 per album fee).
  6. kb7

    kb7 Active Member

    From what I've read it really matters how many albums you plan on selling. Dr Willie selling 800 albums in a year would be awesome for me, but I honestly doubt I personally could do that starting out.

    Also consider this, CD Baby AND Tunecore put your music on all the major places (itunes, Amazon MP3, etc.). Now CD Baby takes 9% of what you sell (I don't know the exact amount, but I know that itunes only gives like 60 cents back on a 99 cent song I think, and CD Baby takes 9% of that). Now once selling so many songs/albums it would seem like a no brainer to go through Tunecore.

    BUT, if people buy your music directly through CD Baby, then you get 70 cents back on a 99 cent song. That's more than you'd get back from Tunecore, AND you can sell physical copies through CD Baby (people say don't bother with that, but from what I've read it's still 50% of people's sales nowadays). In the case if you plan on selling over 400 albums in a year, I think Tunecore is the way to go (except if you album sales begin to decrease, that annual fee will get annoying). But if you think you'll have trouble hitting that mark, it seems like CD Baby is definitely the way to go.

    For me personally, I'd like to be optimistic and say I'd do 400+, but starting out I think that might be unlikely.
  7. filmbunny

    filmbunny Active Member

    I am using CD Baby and Tunecore. In last year period I started to use Record Union. Here you are risk free, no up front fees. If you distribute your music with Record Union (iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Spotify, Napster, Rhapsody...any store you can imagine)
    go thrugh this website Sell Your Music Online for Free - Free Digital Music Distribution in 200 Shops Online - Home and you will distribute 2 your albums absolutley free (after this 2 albums you must (if you don't have one) buy a UPC code for 10 USD - that's all...You don't need to give them 60 bucks as you must with CD Baby or with Tunecore (every year cca 49 USD!!??)
  8. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    Is this a non-profit company that distributes your stuff or what? What's the catch? Is it an introductory offer? Maybe once they get enough people signed up they'll start charging more?
  9. filmbunny

    filmbunny Active Member

    No..This is actually respectable swdish record label. Record Union will distribute your music to all major online stores with no upfront costs to artists. They will take only 5 USD anualy and 15% from sales. All you need to have is your own Barcode or you can buy one at record union for 10 USD. This way you are not in the position to lose money. If you make money - record union is making money. If you use this link Sell Your Music Online for Free - Free Digital Music Distribution in 200 Shops Online - Home you will get 2 barcodes FREE (if you don't have one) for 2 albums, so distribution for your music is basicly free to stores as Amazon, iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic etc etc...
  10. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    Tunecore is $50 + no % fees. I do a lot of volume so Tunecore is actually a better deal for me. I suppose I could move just 2 of my albums to them to save $100 a year. I'm a little bit nervous about doing business out of the USA though. If they were to skip out on paying I would be up sh*t creek in international court.
  11. filmbunny

    filmbunny Active Member

    I am using Tunecore too for some of my albums and ringtones and I am using Record Union for my other albums which are not selling in big numbers. I was nervous too at begining but than when my royalties started to roll in I realise that this really is not bad decision that I made. They are really profesional, resolve all my ishues and most importand I am getting my money. At the bigining it take about 3 months to start geting money from stores, after this 3 months you are payed at the start (usually 1-5 day in month) every month. I really am happy with them, especially coz for some albums I don't need to pay anual fee to renew (some of them make me 50, 40...100 USD per year so this way I would pay much more with Tunecore than with RU).
  12. philter1

    philter1 Active Member

    The standard of English on that site is abysmal, I'd be very wary people...............
  13. filmbunny

    filmbunny Active Member

    well...I am making cca 3000 USD per month with Record Union, I am getting my royalties every month so I will take this previous reply as inrrelevant.
  14. This is always an interesting debate. In full disclosure, I do work for CD Baby, but with that being said, I think that our pricing structure works out better for most independent artists. Especially as you consider the long tail of music. Tunecore just raised their annual fee to $50 per album, so at some point, you'll have to decide if it's still worth it to keep selling older albums that don't sell enough to make the $50 fee worth it. If you have an average catalog of about 5 releases, that's $250 a year just to keep your music live. At CD Baby, there is no annual fee, so that won't happen. You only pay 9% if it's selling. If it doesn't sell, we won't force you to take it down. We created a page that shows a price comparison of CD Baby vs TuneCore that you can find here. We tried to be as fair and accurate as possible as there is plenty of bad info floating around there. If you're interested in moving your catalog over to CD Baby, this link will get you 50% the submission fee - Switch From Tunecore or Reverb Nation to CD Baby and Get 50% Off Your Submission - No yearly fees! | CD Baby

    On another note, CD Baby will allow you to sell CDs worldwide and sell music directly from your own website with our new Music Store Widget, so at the end of the day, we think we're the best all-around service for the independent musician.

    For more specific info about using CD Baby to sell on iTunes click HERE.

    Kevin at CD Baby
    Sell on iTunes, Amazon and Facebook - Sell Music Worldwide with CD Baby
  15. ChrisBolton

    ChrisBolton Active Member

    Comparing CD Baby to Tunecore

    There's a pretty good CD Baby VS Tunecore comparison here:

    Tunecore charges 59 dollars per album, per year.

    CD Baby charges a one-time 39 dollar fee (Plus 20 dollar barcode if you don't have one)

    CD Baby also offers a way to sell music on Facebook which is free for CD Baby members and they offer a free widget to sell music on your website.

  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Kevin and Chris are the same people or sharing the same computer. Please do not use the forum to spam or troll here.
  17. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    I have been using Tunecore for years for digital distribution. Very happy. Currently it's $50 a year per digital album and you get to keep ALL of your royalties! If you sell a lot of units then Tunecore can REALLY save you a lot of $$. I exited Catapult because they pocket 10% of sales.

    I don't work for any of these companies.
  18. ChrisBolton

    ChrisBolton Active Member

    We're not the same person, but . . .

    Sorry, I didn't realize Kevin already posted. I am a real person who works for CD Baby. I was just adding some additional resources, because I happened upon the forum. Feel free to delete if you are the moderator. No harm meant.

    Chris B
  19. SoccerFan

    SoccerFan Active Member

    It seems that everyone here is exposing great options, but forgetting the whole core, or the reason of these services:
    If the music is not good (good songwriting, compositions, production, lyrics, etc...), it doesn't matter in which website is at. It just won't sell.
    Now, taking that into consideration, I'm arriving to the conclusion that the best musical distribution website is the one that's more convenient to the buyers, and not the artist.
    iTunes sucks, they are crooks. - No wonder Prince will not put his last album there - But, it's practical. People wanna buy your record right away, they can just click a button in their iPhones and boom...it's there.
    Then on other services, that might be the case, not because the service is good or bad, just because people (buyers) are not into it.
    Someone gave a 'dropcard' the other day. I thought it looked cool, checked out the page, but didn't feel like downloading their music...
    So my question is: Do you guys think that maybe it could be worth to only use iTunes and dropcard?

    SoccerFan smoke
  20. Dr_Willie_OBGYN

    Dr_Willie_OBGYN Active Member

    Designers of most virtual synths don't sell their products at all of the usual retails sites. I would hope that one day music is that way too. It would help bring down prices.

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