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Steve Moore, B.A., J.D. Author Steve has been in the music business for over 30 years! He's worked as a professional musician, producer, and has been involved in almost every aspect of the music business. He's also the author of "The Truth about the Music Business"

CD Baby Gets An A+


CD BABY is probably one of the BETTER SERVICES GOING for artists, bands, duo acts, etc.

I’ll first give my readers a little background anecdotal story.  I was speaking at a Music Conference in Louisville, KY back in 2005 or so shortly after my book was released.   I was actually asked by Stephen McCord of “The Service Station” from Nashville along with Scott Keniley, ESQ, music attorney, from Atlanta who were two of the many nice folks that were hosting this event to speak about my Book – “The Truth about the Music Business” and break it down into a brief talk about setting up your music as a business.  I also was able to back up one of the Artists “Flower Sumida” (Wife of Stephen McCord)

It was kind of funny as I was a featured panelist the first day along with some pretty heavy hitters from the Record Labels, BMI, and others that well – they all worked for “THE MAN”  as it were – and I was the next to last speaker of about 9 or 10 people.  Most of them were just preaching about how great it was to be affiliated with their publishing company, label, or “WHATEVER” – but this was 2005 and the music business was in a massive state of change.  I TOTALLY DISAGREED with 90% of what was said by MOST of them and made it KNOWN – as I didn’t care – I was probably the ONLY PERSON on that panel that had actually played as a professional musician for years, I was also the only one that had been a singer/songwriter as well for 20 some odd years, and I owned my own publishing companies and my own Record Label –
High Cotton Records” and of course, I was a former Entertainment Lawyer, music promoter, etc.  Many of these people stumbled upon their jobs by LUCK of NEPOTISM and few had any of the above experience if at all…but I’m not saying they were not good at their jobs – they just didn’t see things from the ARTIST or SONGWRITER’S Point of View and I did!

Be that as it may, my other Guest Speaker at one of my seminars was Alex Steineger of CD BABY – At the time I think Alex had to have been younger than 30 and already doing extremely well – as was CD BABY.  And WHY people asked Alex has CD BABY done so well?  I’ll never forget his answer and it was “Brilliant”:


What a novel concept – pick ONE THING and do it as good as you can – that’s some GOOD ADVICE for anyone!

Naturally the times have changed and the internet has continued to KILL the majors and changed how we listen to music and there’s a whole lot of new services and other companies offering a host of things – so CD BABY stepped up their game and now offer a PLETHORA of SERVICES – but here’s my Bullet Point List of why I like CD BABY:

  • Digital Distribution for a ONE TIME FEE!  Yes, they keep 10% but that’s cool – you pay for each release or $35 for a FULL CD or $9.95 per single – but that’s a ONE TIME FEE!  Less their 10%
  • They will send your music to almost any music service that you need to listed on for Digital Distribution
  • They offer affordable CD Replication or Old School Vinyl!
  • They offer download cards to give out at your shows – an incentive for people to download your music from CD BABY and CD BABY pays better than iTunes, Amazon, Last FM, etc
  • They offer EMBED CODES for WIDGETS – and these also allow for people to BUY your CD from the WIDGET (this is completely different from Reverb Nation – and I’ll get into them on the next POST!)
  • HTML LINK MAKER! – A simple way to create a “Buy the Album” to put on your website and and many other places – they just don’t have the deal with FACEBOOK has with REVERB NATION – but both FB and REV NATION totally screwed up – again, next post!)
  • Web Analytics that IMHO are a little better than REV Nation.
  • Credit Card Swiper – if you’re not already using the cool device for you iPhone or iPad.
  • UPC BAR CODES – this is KEY so that you can get on Sound Scan and track your sales, etc.

So that’s a lot of services that are offered by Reverb Nation – but IMHO – a better deal than REVERB NATION – plus CD BABY stepped up their game and added some really cool partnerships!

  1. Musical Instruments and Pro Audio Equipment (deals!)
  2. “Cover Song Licensing” – this is KEY – as it’s tough for a band to break out with TOTALLY original music – it’s great to do “COVER SONGS” – and just redo the song in your own style – as long as you’re not creating a derivative work – or using sampling – you can release a cover song – by just acquiring a “compulsory license” from the original publisher or publishers –  so this can be a HUGE HELP if you’re unfamiliar with that process – and I LIKE THIS – and I know a TON about copyrights and compulsory licenses, etc – as I wrote and entire book about the music business!  (Shameless plug – “The Truth about the Music Business”
  3. Guaranteed CD Reviews – don’t mean you’ll get GREAT reviews, but you’ll get reviews which HELP in selling more MUSIC!
  4. Digital Delivery to Radio – yep world wide access to international, national radio (terrestrial or Internet) which is PRETTY COOL but of course, it’s a paid service.  If you’re music is GOOD it will get “spun” and if it’s really good – those who hear may just request to hear more or better still – find you on CD BABY, iTunes, etc – and BUY your songs!
  5. Rock Band Authoring – if you’ve got a good enough song!
  6. Internet Radio Play – get on Jango – you pick the artists whose fans you would like to target (any artist/genre) and Jango places your music into the play lists!
  7. Sonic Bids – so you can TRY to get GIGS!  Which lets’ face it – that’s what most bands need is GIGS!

All in all I would say that for an solo artist, Duo, Band etc – CD baby is one of the BEST services – and they’ve been around for a long time and have a SOLID REPUTATION – so I’d say for sure check them out for at the very least your Digital Distribution needs –  but as stated in my former POST – I’d still go with Band Camp as well – just one more place to find your music and Band Camp is FREE – most of the services on CD BABY are paid – but worth the fees!

Lastly they offer some really cool FREE TIPS and TRICKS that you can download that range from using Social Media, to making great records, etc. It’s FREE INFO so you should be reading it!

Check them out at this LINK:


Hope you find this helpful!

All the best, as always….

Steve Moore, B.A., J.D.

Author of “The Truth about the Music Business”

President and CEO at Music Square One

High Cotton Records

(Click on any link above to visit that site or social network!)


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