FAQ

  • So what is a CD Baby anyway?

    The Short Answer:
    CD Baby is the largest online music distribution company for independent music. We offer a host of artist services including physical and digital distribution, warehousing and shipping of CDs, DVDs, and vinyl, affordable web-hosting and design, download cards, disc duplication, and more.

    [In•de•pen•dent: (adj.) Not having sold one's life, career, and creative works over to a corporation.]

    The Long Answer:
    From our humble beginnings more than a decade ago as a small, one-man operation in a garage, to our current standing as the world's largest online music distribution company for indie music, CD Baby has always been a company run BY musicians FOR musicians.

    Inside the fortified walls of our warehouse (a virtual Wonka-world of music) in rainy Portland, Oregon, we're constantly on the lookout for the best new independent music to promote through our editors picks, staff picks, music discovery newsletters, music discovery podcasts, and blogs.

    We ship CDs from our warehouse. We sell downloads from our site. We also deliver our artists' music to other digital distribution retailers like iTunes™, Rhapsody, eMusic, and many more.

    Cool thing: in a regular record deal or distribution deal, musicians only make $1-$2 per album, if they're ever lucky enough to get paid by their label at all. When selling through CD Baby, musicians make $6-$12 per album and get paid weekly.

    Current Numbers

    • 360,000 different albums sold by artists at CD Baby
    • Over 3 million tracks in our digital distribution catalog
    • $157 million paid directly to the artists
    What can CD Baby do for me as an independent artist?

    CD Baby offers a number of artist services, including:

    • Worldwide physical distribution for your CDs, DVDs, and Vinyl
    • Digital distribution to our digital distribution partner companies such as iTunes™, Rhapsody, eMusic (and many, many more)
    • Download sales on CDBaby.com
    • Free resources and informational podcasts
    • Affordable web hosting and design through HostBaby.com
    • Short-run disc duplication
    • Download Cards customized with your album artwork
    • Access to over 2500 retailers and etailers through our distribution partnership with Super D One Stop
    How do I sign up?

    Simple. Click here.

    Can anyone sign up?

    You must be at least 13 years old. If you've lived that long and want to sell music, we're here for you.

    How does the money work?

    Here's how it works if you've selected our Standard or CD Baby Pro distribution package:

    You set your selling price at whatever you want for sales on CD Baby.

    • We keep $4 of every CD or vinyl record sold.
    • We keep 9% of all digital music sales, including MP3 sales on cdbaby.com and download and streaming revenue from our digital partners like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc.
    • There is a one-time $59 charge ($89 for Pro) to set up a new CD in our store, $14.95 for a single ($34.95 for Pro), with everything described in the answer below.
    • You select a "pay point," the minimum amount you'd like your owed balance to reach before we pay you. Any time you reach your pay point, we'll pay you the following Monday. Please click here to see how we can pay you.

    Here's how it works for CD Baby Free:

    You set your selling price for downloads on www.cdbaby.com.

    • We keep 15%, paying you 85% of all download sales revenue.
    • You select a "pay point," the minimum amount you'd like your owed balance to reach before we pay you.
    • Any time you reach your pay point, we'll pay you the following Monday. See how we can pay you.
    What exactly is the $59 fee for?

    For EVERY CD that comes in, we...

    • scan the album cover - cropping, balancing, and tweaking the colors to make it look as good as we can
    • resize the album cover into 4 different sizes for different uses on the website
    • convert the audio on the CD into .WAV files - just for the songs and lengths you chose
    • convert the .WAV files into MP3 files, then to lo-res MP3 files
    • upload all the audio files to the server, create linking files to them, and update the database to say which tracks have been successfully uploaded
    • create a web page just for your album PLUS an artist page where you can put your bio and photo. Don't worry, we'll send you an email when your music is live
    • put your music up on our new arrivals gallery and under each of the genre pages you chose
    • file it in our warehouse, ready for shipping

    It's about 40 minutes of work per CD.

    PLUS: we do all kinds of free "members-only" things (notify our artists of musical opportunities, provide informational resources, newsletters, and podcasts, etc)- FOREVER. Even if you never sent us another CD or another dime, we would do these things for you for decades.

    PLUS: we are always available to take your calls and emails. Many artists spend hours on the phone with us, asking all kinds of questions.

    We NEVER accept any money after that $59. NO annual fees. NO advertising. NO "paid-placement." Everyone is given equal treatment.

    We NEVER sell your information to other companies, no matter how much they offer to pay us.

    THAT'S what the $59 is for. We work hard to make it worth it to you.

    What forms of payment do you accept for CD Baby submissions?
    • Credit Card
    • Paypal
    • Check*

    *Note: international money orders take up to 30 days to process.

    Mailing Address:

    CD Baby - New Album
    13909 NE Airpoirt Way
    Portland, OR 97230

    How do I sign up my vinyl record on CD Baby?

    The signup process is very similar to signup up a CD. Click here and tell us about your album. Be sure to select "Vinyl" as the format. Please use the uploader to send us audio and artwork. Please note that if you plan on selling CDs of the same title, you'll have to sign that up as a separate submission and have separate UPC bar codes for each. You CAN, however, have digital distribution of your vinyl album as long as the digital track list is identical to the record.

    Do I need to have separate submissions for my CD/Digital Download and vinyl record?

    If the track list is different for vinyl & digital distribution, then yes, you will need to sign them up as separate submissions. If you would like to digitally distribute the *exact* same track list as your vinyl release, then it may be signed up as the same submission. You will need to send us artwork & audio for the submission through the uploader located in your member account. If you cannot use the uploader, please send us an email (cdbaby@CDBaby.com) for an alternate submission method.

    Please note that you can only sell one PHYSICAL format per submission. So if you'd like to sell CDs and vinyl, you would need to sign up each album separately.

    Can I do digital distribution on my vinyl record and not sell a CD?

    Yes. As long as the track list is *exactly* the same for the vinyl record and digital distribution, then we can send the submission to our digital partners. You will need to send us artwork & audio for the submission through the uploader located in your member account. If you cannot use the uploader, please send us an email (cdbaby@CDBaby.com) for an alternate submission method.

    Is my personal information secure?

    Our site is secure, but only the pages where you would enter any personal information. The secure pages on our site use a full 256-bit secure SSL connection to protect all of your private information from snooping eyes. This is the same kind of online security system used by banks, so your info is totally secure!

    Please know that keeping your personal information secure is a top priority here at CD Baby. We will never give out or sell your personal information.

    What if I need to cancel an album or single?

    To cancel digital distribution, please log into your account and click the “view/edit” button next to the release you want to cancel. On the edit menu, under "Album info" or "Single info" choose “Cancel this album” or “Cancel this single.”

    Fill out the form and submit.

    We will issue take-down notices to our partners and your content will be removed from their sites within 30 days.

    Cancellation is permanent and irreversible. You may not cancel multiple releases at once. You will need to cancel each title individually.

    To cancel physical distribution, please email us at cdbaby@cdbaby.com and let us know that you’d like to cancel and what you’d like us to do with your CDs. We can either recycle them or send them back to you for a fee. If you choose to have them sent back to you, please provide the address where you’d like them sent and we’ll get back to you with a quote for shipping.

    Who should select CD Baby FREE?

    CD Baby FREE gives you a no-cost way to get your music selling online. If you're just looking for a single place to send your fans so they can purchase downloads of your music, CD Baby FREE is right for you! However, it does not include distribution to digital music retailers (such as iTunes, Amazon, etc.) or streaming services (such as Spotify, Beats Music, etc.). If you want to offer your music on the world's most popular stores and platforms, select CD Baby Standard or CD Baby Pro.

  • How many CDs should I send in?

    Only mail 5 copies (including artwork for each copy) of your CD at first.

    • When we email you requesting more, please only send the number of CDs we ask for.
    • If you think we are going to need more, we understand. There are exceptions ("Help! We're going to be on Letterman tomorrow!") - so if you have an extreme situation please call/email us first.
    • Our goal is to have a 2-3 month supply, so you won't have to go to the post office every week. If you're selling CDs like hotcakes, our inventory guru will advise you on how many to send.
    • If you send way too many, like if our guru requested 3 CDs and you mailed us 25, we will have to ship 22 CDs back to you (at your expense) or recycle them and that makes us so sad. We love all of our artists and want to give everyone a fair shake (and space on our shelves).
    How should I mail my CDs to you?

    Don't use expensive express mail unless you're backordered. Save the money. We want you to make a profit.

    If you are going to send payment in the same package as CDs, be sure to put the payment between CD cases, and put a rubber band around the CDs.

    If you are going to send payment in the same package as CDs, be sure to put the payment between CD cases, and put a rubber band around the CDs.

    OUR ADDRESS:
    CD Baby
    13909 NE Airport Way
    Portland, OR
    97230
    USA

    Do you report sales to SoundScan?

    We report all CD sales of albums with a bar code to SoundScan on a weekly basis. You can register directly with SoundScan to make sure that your sales are properly credited to you. Here's their website - http://titlereg.soundscan.com/soundscantitlereg/.

    In addition to physical CD sales, we also report digital album and single-song sales to SoundScan.

    What is the $5 Sales Bin and how does it work?

    If a customer buys 3 or more different titles from our $5 Sales Bin, they get each CD for $5. Otherwise, the albums sell for their normal selling price. You can list your album as part of this sale from within your members account. If it sells at the normal selling price, we keep $4 and you keep the rest. If a customer purchases your album from the $5 Sales Bin, we only keep $2 and you're paid $3. This sale only works for physical CDs, not digital downloads.

    What is a "Pro CD-R"? What is a "Homemade CD-R"?

    A Pro CD-R is a professionally duplicated (burned) disc with clean printing and retail-ready packaging. A Homemade CD-R is one that is NOT burned by a professional manufacturer. We sell all formats to our CDBaby.com customers. Some wholesale distributors are more selective. All distributors accept professionally replicated CDs; many accept Pro CD-Rs; a few accept homemade CD-Rs. Because this decision is up to each wholesale distributor and each individual customer, it is important to clearly and correctly identify the CD format for your album when signing up: CD, Homemade CD-R, or Pro CD-R. This helps make customers happy!

    Are my digital download sales reported to SoundScan?

    Yes. We report all digital album and single-song downloads purchased from cdbaby.com to SoundScan on a weekly basis. You can register directly with SoundScan to make sure that your sales are properly credited to you. Here's their website - http://titlereg.soundscan.com/soundscantitlereg/.

  • What do I need to know about sample audio clips on your site?

    Every album on CDBaby.com has short sound samples for customers to listen to before buying.

    The length of each sample: 29.5 seconds.

    We start the clips at 48 seconds into each song unless you specify otherwise. You can request custom start times for your clips by emailing us cdbaby@cdbaby.com

    When you email your start times make sure to do so in SECONDS. So if you want a sample to start at 2:04 (two minutes and four seconds) you'd tell us 124 seconds.

    What kind of information belongs in my style description and bio?

    There are no rules. Just make sure that whatever you write is captivating (and TRUE!). Grab the reader's attention and leave an impression so that they'll want to click to hear the sample clips. Be sure to use some keywords, though, because your style description will be searchable. You can change the text at any time, so try out a few different approaches and see what works.

    Do you have a link maker? How can I link people to my album page?

    Yes. Check it out at http://www.members.cdbaby.com/link. You enter the album you'd like to link to. We'll create the HTML code for you. Then you just need to paste that code into your website.

  • What is a UPC bar code and why do I need one?

    A UPC bar code is a unique 12-digit serial number that identifies your specific product (in this case, an album) amongst all the other products on the marketplace. You need a UPC if you want to:

    1. take advantage of our digital distribution program
    2. take advantage of our in-store distribution program
    3. have CD Baby report your sales to SoundScan.

    This is because all of these organizations track and report sales based on the UPC code.

    If you already have a UPC code for your album, you can use that one. If not, you can easily purchase one from us.

    We can make you your own permanent UPC bar code for only $20 for an album, $5 for a single song.

    You may have heard that UPC bar codes cost $750. You could go register as a company with the GS1 US organization, and pay them $750 to be a GS1 US member. They would assign you a UPC prefix, and you could release thousands of products under that company registration.

    But most of us independent artists are only going to release a few records - and paying $750 wipes out all the profit you'd make from your first 100 album sales.

    So - CD Baby has paid the $750, and can give you your own unique UPC bar code for only $20 for an album, $5 for a single song. It will be entirely yours, forever. When your bar code on your CD is scanned by a retail store, it will show up on the register as YOUR album, YOUR band, YOUR record company. Not CD Baby.

    If you want to do this, you need to be a CD Baby member. If you sign up now, give us the information about your CD, pay the $20 for an album or $5 for a single song, then we can make your UPC bar code now, and you'll be ready-to-go on CD Baby when your CDs get back from the factory. If you're already a CD Baby member, login to pay for it, and we'll do the rest.

    It takes just a few hours for us to make your bar code, so watch your email after you pay. We give you a BITMAP graphic file, which you can either place into your album art, or print onto stickers. We don't do the printing for you. We just give you the unique UPC bar code graphic and digits.

    Why is it NOT OK for me to change my album's UPC bar code?

    A UPC bar code identifies an individual product in the marketplace. If you want SoundScan to track each sale, then you should purchase a valid unique bar code for your album/single and have all sales tallied and reported according to THAT serial number. It is acceptable to have different bar codes for different formats of the same album: vinyl, download, CD, etc. However, if you assign another album's bar code to a new release, combine two bar code numbers, or make up an invalid bar code number, you may be removed from CD Baby or any of our third party distributors (digital and in-store). Using an incorrect or invalid bar code causes serious confusion for our distribution partners and can potentially limit another artist's ability to have their sales reported accurately.

    Vocês vão atribuir códigos ISRCs para minhas músicas?

    Sim! Nós fornecemos códigos ISRCs sem custo adicional para todas as músicas que você solicitar durante o cadastro.

    Nota: O Escritório Central de Arrecadação e Distribuição (ECAD) do Brasil recomenda que os ISRCs sejam gerados e cadastrados juntamente à associação musical à qual o artista é filiado. Veja o link a seguir para mais informações: http://www.ecad.org.br/pt/eu-faco-musica/registro-isrc/Paginas/default.aspx

  • What is iTunes™ Match (iTunes™ in the Cloud), and how does it work?

    iTunes™ Match allows users to store all their digital music (including songs they've imported from CDs) in the cloud. This way, users can access their entire music library wherever they go; their music won't be tethered to one device or computer.

    iTunes™ will determine which songs in their music collection are available in the iTunes™ Store; those tracks will automatically be added to the iCloud for them to listen to on any device that supports iTunes™.

    How much will I make from iTunes™ Match for the use of my content?

    iTunes™ will issue payment for every play that takes place through iTunes™ Match. The per-play rate varies based on subscription revenue, exchange rates, and total number of plays. Pay rates should look similar to streaming services such as Spotify.

    What about cover songs in iTunes™ Match? What are my responsibilities as the artist?

    If you receive payment for a cover song, you are obligated to remit payment to the publisher(s), in the amount of 12% of the wholesale amount paid for iTunes™ Match US transactions. To calculate this, divide your total iTunes™ Match US payments by 91%, and multiply that amount by 12%.

    Can I opt out of participating in iTunes™ Match?

    No. You would have to end your distribution to iTunes™ in full.

    When will I see iTunes™ Match payments in my account?

    iTunes™ Match payments will be reported at the same time as your regular monthly iTunes™ sales, but under a separate partner name (iTunes™ Match – Country)

    Why can't I use more than one digital distribution company for my album?

    Just like in the physical world, there can't be more than one music distributor bringing the same album to the same store. Otherwise, when the album sells, how would the store know which distributor to pay?

    We will never prevent you from doing anything you want with your music.

    For YOUR sake, though, please note: If you sign two digital distribution deals with two companies that will both be sending the same album to iTunes™, Rhapsody, etc - this will hurt you, because the retailer will usually remove the album completely until you decide which distributor has the exclusive right to be selling that album through them.

    What digital distribution retailers is CD Baby currently partnered with?

    Click here to see our current list of distribution partners.

    How long does it take for you to start sending my music to the digital distribution partners?

    Once you and our inspector team have both approved your album or single for release, we'll begin delivering your music immediately. After that, it will only take a few hours to get on iTunes. We are one of the few distributers considered an iTunes preferred partner with "instant live" status. For our other digital distribution partners, times vary according to their processing speeds. Most of our partners post new content for sale on their sites 1-4 weeks after delivery. Please keep this in mind if you are planning a release date.

    How long does it take to show up on the music services once you deliver it?

    Each company is different. iTunes™ usually takes 2 business days. It can take several weeks to several months for some of our other partners to post your music for sale on their site. Once we send it to them, it's out of our hands and they do what they can to get it imported and active in their service. We push them to get it added as soon as possible, and they always do it as soon as they can.

    Will you tell me when my music is up on their site?

    We wish we could. Almost none of these companies let us know when your music is active! We're surprised and disappointed at this, and hope it will change some day. But for now, we don't know when your music is active on their site.

    How much will I be paid for digital sales?

    Every one of our digital music partners pays differently, but the average we pay out is 60 cents per song downloaded, $6.50 per full-album download, and fractions or whole cents per stream (when people listen to your song as if on a radio station, but don't download or buy it). Remember we pay you 91% of the total income from digital distribution, keeping only a 9% cut.

    My friend downloaded my song yesterday - when do I see that in my report - and get paid?

    Most companies only report to us every 1 - 3 months. Apple, for example, sends us the monthly report about 4-6 weeks after the month is finished. Meaning: you won't see your January sales until the first week of March. Some companies report a full 3 months after the quarter is done. But we ALWAYS show you everything we get as soon as we get it, add the money to your account immediately and pay you the next Monday.

    I spelled one of my track titles wrong, can this be fixed with digital distribution partners?

    We are able to make a few very small corrections with most of our partners. If you notice something wrong with one of your albums on a partner site, please file a ticket through the "report a problem" section in your member dashboard. Please note that we can make some corrections to the text on the partner page, we cannot not make any changes to the album. For example: if your track title is misspelled, our partners will let us fix that. If you want to change your artist name or artwork to something new, you would need to submit a new album.

    But don't worry! Before we send your album off to our partners, not only do we inspect it closely to be sure that all the info is correct (publishers, composers, bar code), we give you a final chance to approve all your album info. Once you've approved your digital distribution summary, the info is locked for our partners.

    Can I release just a single into digital distribution?

    Yes! For a low signup fee of $14.95 you can sell a single through our digital distribution program. Sign up here.

    How much will my double album sell for?

    In your members account you will mark the "volume designation" for each album you submit. If you have a double disc, it'd be a 2-volume set. 3 discs? 3-volume. Etc. We will send your album to our digital distribution partners with that info and they will charge according to their own pricing structures. However, most of our digital distribution partners do NOT charge higher prices for a multi-volume set. So chances are that a multi-volume album will sell for the same price as a standard album.

    My album has songs over 10 minutes long, will they be available for $.99?

    Most digital retailers do not take into consideration track length when pricing songs in their store. For example, if you submit an album with one track that is one hour in length, it will download for the same price as a 2-3 minute song. Some services can make an exception, and will offer such songs as "Album Only" (meaning that the song can only be purchased with the rest of the album as a whole), and iTunes™ even does it automatically for all songs over 10 minutes long.

    It's very important that you when you're signing up your album if you have any special needs for songs of extended length. You can do this on the "Extended Track Pricing" page in the sign up section. We can then set up your album so that it is delivered only to sites that allow for "Album Only" classification. Unfortunately, if arrangements aren't made before the album is delivered, all songs over 10 minutes long will download at a standard price everywhere but iTunes™.

    Can I customize my digital distribution and choose which retailers I want to carry my music?

    Absolutely. We have two ways of doing that from within your member account. The more general way of customizing your digital distribution you can select a distribution level. Your options are:

    • CD Baby only - No digital distribution, but your album will be available for download on CDBaby.com
    • Downloads Only (iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and more) - Downloads (with and without cloud-access features) only, including iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play and more. No subscription services that provide users with access to tracks they haven't bought or previously owned.
    • Downloads + Streaming services (Includes all download partners, plus services like Spotify, Rdio, and more) - Includes sites that pay less than traditional models for streaming and downloads, as well as all download and streaming sites plus companies like Spotify, Last.fm, eMusic and more.
    • Do it all. Even unpaid - Includes places that offer free downloads and streaming.

    Need even more control? You can easily set "restrictions" when you're signing the album up to notify us that you would not like your music to be delivered to specific digital retailers or specific regions of the world.

    What formats and bit rates are my songs being converted to?

    Many! It is different for every digital distribution partner. But rest assured that we send each of our partners the highest quality files possible.

    How do I sign up a multi-disc/volume album?

    Is your album two or more discs long? When you are signing it up with us, there will be an option to select how many discs or volumes it is.

    Most of our digital partners will price your album as their standard retail price for a full album times the number of discs/volumes.

    Why shouldn't I upload MP3s?

    It's like this: every file is encoded and any quality reduction is locked in. We encode many different formats for our various digital partners. If you upload MP3 files (which are not full quality) the files we send to our partners will not only have the inherent quality loss of the format we encode to, but will also have the quality loss of the format you sent us.

    So uploading MP3s is kind of like taking a picture of a picture with a digital camera and emailing it to us. Then when we encode it to send it to partners, it's like we print out the picture of a picture, take a picture of it with a digital camera, and email it to them. It makes much more sense if you send us the original picture, i.e. FLAC or WAV files.

    I have a CD that blends each track together (i.e., DJ mix). Will it stay like that on your digital partner sites?

    No. When an album is sent to us on CD, or uploaded through your member account, we will deliver it to our partner companies using whatever track markers you have assigned. We cannot deliver the tracks so that they seamlessly blend together like they do when the CD being played. Your fans will have the option to download just one song or the entire album from our digital partners & there may be a small space that separates each track during playback.

    If you'd like to sell a continuous mix on CD but have us digitally deliver a version with tracks that don't blend together, please email us at cdbaby@CDBaby.com for further instructions.

    What kind of audio should I upload?

    Upload a high quality file in either WAV or FLAC file format. File must be stereo, 44.1 kHz sample rate, and 16bit.

    You can also upload an MP3 that meets the same specifications, but it isn't recommended because the sound quality will be diminished.

    File names can only include letters & numbers, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). Any other special characters ( !,@,#,$,%,^,&,*,?,+,=,~,/,<,>,\ ) may cause problems.

    Can CD Baby deliver my ringtone album to iTunes™?

    No, we cannot deliver ringtone albums to iTunes™. While iTunes™ does have a dedicated storefront for pre-cut ringtones, we do not currently deliver this type of album to their service. If you sign up a ringtone album (full of snippets or 30-sec tracks), we cannot deliver it to the iTunes™ store.

    Who do you consider the "composer" and where do I enter that information in my account?

    A "composer" is someone who contributed to the writing of the music and/or lyrics of a composition/song. If you're distributing a version of a song you did not write, to ensure quick distribution and legal compliance, it is important that you list the names of the original composers. To list the composer names:

    1. Log into your CD Baby member account HERE.
    2. Click "view/edit" next to the appropriate album/single
    3. Under the section called "More album/single track info…," click "Composer"
    4. Under the section called "More album/single track info…," click "Composer"
    What is "Public Domain" and how do I know if a particular composition falls within it?

    If a song's music & lyrics were published before January 1, 1923, then the song is considered in the Public Domain in the US. Please visit pdinfo.comto learn more about Public Domain works and see a list of songs that qualify. It's important to know that if a work falls within the Public Domain, only that exact version is not protected under US copyright law. Other people may have created arrangements of that work that ARE under copyright. Do your research!

    What kinds of things are not allowed in my artwork, according to your digital retail partners' guidelines?

    Our digital partners' artwork guidelines do not allow the attributes listed below. We will need a replacement file if artwork displays any of the following:

    • Website URL
    • Social network symbols or information (i.e., Facebook links, Twitter handles, etc).
    • Contact information (i.e., email addresses, phone number)
    • Pornographic images
    • Pricing information
    • Copyrighted images
    • Scan of a CD (it must be retail-ready artwork)
    • UPC barcodes
    • Tribute albums where the original artist name is as large as or larger than the performing artist
    • The cover art refers to physical or digital versions of the album (i.e., CD, Disc, Digital Exclusive, Digital Version, etc)
    • The cover image is blurry, pixilated or has other quality issues
    • The cover art promises content that the album doesn't contain (i.e., "includes DVD", "includes free stickers", etc)
    • The cover art up-sells to another product (i.e., merch, other albums by same artist, etc)
    • The cover art claims to be an exclusive of one of our digital partners without their permission (i.e., iTunes™ Exclusive, Only on Amazon MP3, etc)
    Why does the information I provided in my account need to match my artwork?

    It's important that the information you've provided for your album is supported by your cover art, and vice versa. If your group name is entered in your member account as "Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights," the same group name should appear on your cover art (not just "Chris Robley"). Such discrepancies can cause confusion, and our digital partners have requested we double-check this before delivering your album to their stores.

    Why can't I use my record label or a description of my music as my artist name?

    An artist name should reflect the actual performing artist or group, and not be a description of the music itself (i.e., Music for Relaxation, Comedy Music, Generic Record Label Presents, etc). A description of the music is more appropriately entered in the album name, or as the genre. This will help brand yourself as an artist, as well as avoid confusion for your fans when searching for your albums on digital retail sites.

    Why should I avoid generic track titles?

    Track titles can't be overly generic. They must have a unique name. For example, don't name your tracks Beat 1, Instrumental 2, Track 3, etc. This doesn't help your fans identify your track in their music library, and can be confusing. It's important that each track be called something that helps your fans know the music is yours!

    How do I differentiate two different versions of the same song on an album?

    Each track on an album should have its own unique title, or language that distinguishes it as a unique version of another song on the same album. The information that identifies a track as a unique version should appear after the track title in parenthesis (i.e., Track Title (Live)). Examples of differentiating titles can include, but are not limited to:

    • Live
    • Remastered
    • Bonus Track Version
    • Deluxe Version
    • Soundtrack from the Motion Picture
    • Soundtrack from the TV Series
    • Music from the TV Series
    • Score Radio Edit Remix
    • Acoustic Version
    • Demo
    • Instrumental Version
    • Re-Recorded Version
    • Karaoke Version
    How do I list my artist names if there are multiple performing artists?

    If your album has 4 or more performing artists listed on the tracks (i.e., a compilation), then it must include "Various Artists" as the album's artist name. The artist name for the tracks should then list out every performing artist on each track. This is a requirement of some our digital partner sites.

    What are the artwork guidelines for tribute and karaoke albums?
    • Tribute: The guidelines for how to properly format a tribute album's artwork & basic album info are as follows:
      1. A tribute album's cover art must list the performing artist name as large as, or larger than, the original artist name.
      2. The word "tribute" must appear larger than the original artist name.
      3. The performing artist name cannot include the original artist name (i.e., The Beatles Tribute Band, etc).
      4. The album title should not start with the original artist name (i.e., The Beatles: A Metal Tribute, etc). The original artist name can appear later on in the album title, however (i.e., Help: A Metal Tribute to the Beatles, etc).
      5. The track titles cannot include references such as: "As Made Famous By…," "Originally Performed By…," "In the Style of…," etc.
    • Karaoke: The guidelines for how to properly format a karaoke album's artwork & basic album info are as follows:
      1. The word "karaoke" must appear as large as, or larger than, the original artist name.
      2. The word "karaoke" must not be used as the artist name on its own, but can be incorporated into an artist name (i.e., The Karaoke Superstars, etc.)
      3. The title of karaoke tracks must indicate that there are no leading vocals on the track. For example, "Karaoke Version," "Instrumental Version" - this should appear after the track title in parenthesis. For example, "Track Title (Karaoke Version)."
    Why is it important to list explicit content correctly?

    Many of our digital partners have parental controls available that will prevent explicit content from being displayed to children who visit their store. It is a requirement that explicit tracks are correctly labeled when an album is signed-up with us for distribution. Failure to correctly identify explicit content may result in your album being removed from one or more of our partner stores after it has been delivered.

    How do I list additional artists that are featured on particular tracks?

     

    • Compound Artist: Only one performing artist name should be listed per artist name field. Having two or more performing artists listed in the same artist name field impairs an album's ability to appear correctly in search results as well as how it will display within our digital partners' stores. When signing-up your album, use the "additional artist" icon to add more artist fields to correctly enter each performing artist separately as a primary artist. This does not apply to a group, which can be entered in its entirety in the same artist field (i.e., Brooks & Dunn, Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights, etc). Group names do not have to be separated into their own artist field.
    • Featuring Artists: If there are featuring artists on your album, they must be properly identified when you enter your album information during sign-up. To add featuring artists to a track, use the "additional artist" icon to add more artist fields and enter the featured artist name separately. When we deliver the album to our digital partners, the featuring artist name will correctly appear in the track title. For example, "Track Title (feat. This Artist)." If there is more than one featured artist on a track, you can keep adding new artist fields using the "additional artist" icon. Multiple featured artists will be correctly listed in the track title when delivered to our digital partners. For example, "Track Title (feat. This Artist, That Artist & One Last Artist)."
    How do I properly format the information if my album contains "Meets, Presents, or Versus" as it relates to the performing artists?

     

    • Meets or Versus: When signing-up a submission with "Meets" or "Versus" it is important to list each artist in the track title, as well as in the artist field as a primary artist. When being entered in the track name, the artists should appear in parentheses. For example:
      1. Track Title (Artist 1 vs. Artist 2)
      2. Track Title (Artist 1 Meets Artist 2)
    • Presents: An album with a non-performing presenting artist should include the presenting artist name only in parentheses in the album/track name. If the presenting artist also performs on the album/track, then the artist name must also be entered in the artist field as a primary artist. In both cases, the presenting artist must be entered in the artist/track name. For example, Track Title (Artist 1 Presents Artist 2), Album Title (Artist 1 Presents Artist 2), etc.
    How should I format my track title for a medley?

    Each song listed in the track title for a medley must be spaced and separated by a forward slash. If you'd like to use the word "medley" in the track title, it must be placed either at the beginning of the track title and followed by a colon, or placed at the end of the track title in parentheses.
    For example:
    Song 1 / Song 2 / Song 3
    Song 1 / Song 2 / Song 3 (Medley)
    Medley: Song 1 / Song 2 / Song 3
    Medley Title: Song 1 / Song 2 / Song 3

    How should I format the artist name of a Classical album?

    On a Classical album, the full artist name must be entered. (No abbreviations or commas can be used.) For example:
    "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart" is correct.
    "Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus" is not correct.

    How should I format the album title of a Classical album?

    The album title for a Classical album should include the last name of the composer, followed by the work title. (It is also acceptable to use the first initial of the composer followed by the last name, followed by the work title.) For example:
    Mozart: "Toy" Symphony in G Major
    J. Bach: Trio sonata in C Minor
    If there are two composers and the work is in the same genre and/or style of pieces, then both composers can be listed before the work title.
    For example:
    Mozart & Haydn: String Quartets
    If the pieces are different from each other, then they must be separated by a hyphen.
    For example:
    Allegri: Miserere – Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli
    If there are different works by many composers on an album, then all composers should be listed in the work title.
    For example:
    Composer 1: Piece – Composer 2: Piece – Composer 3: Piece

    How should I format an Opera title?

    The title of an opera must be included in each track title from that opera.
    For example:
    Title of Opera: "Title of Track"

    Why can't I just list what is on my sheet music?

    The formatting that our digital partners require might not always be exactly the same as the descriptions that your sheet music provides. We need you to format the information for your classical tracks to our digital partners' standard classical format.

    How do I correctly enter composers for a Classical album?

    If you are signing-up a classical album, it is required that the full composer name is entered in the ALBUM TRACK INFO section of your members account. For example, "Johann Sebastian Bach" or "Ludwig van Beethoven" are correct and "JS Bach" or "Beethoven" are not. You can also reference a list of full composer names by using Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians or Cambridge Who's Who.

    How do I format song titles for Classical albums?

    Song titles for Classical albums must follow a standard format, which is:
    Name of Work, Key, Catalogue Number: Movement Number. Movement Title
    For example:
    Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K 331: II. Menuetto

    Who should I list in the artist field on a Classical album?

    For classical albums, it is required that all performing artists or key contributors to a work be listed in the artist field. This can include such roles as Symphonies, Orchestras, Choirs, Conductors, Ensemble (e.g., String Quartet), and Featured Soloists.

    What is Shazam?

    Shazam is a music recognition service that has an app available on every major mobile platform. The Shazam app uses a fingerprinting technology to identify pre-recorded music from a variety of sources, including radio, TV, film, and more.

    What type of music does Shazam recognize?

    Shazam will only recognize pre-recorded music that has been delivered to their service (like when you sign-up for CD Baby!). It will not recognize live performances, humming a tune, etc.

    How much do I get paid through Shazam?

    Shazam is strictly a music recognition service & does not have a retail experience. They do, however, provide links back to the iTunes store when available to create a purchase opportunity for artists.

    How do I make sure my music is delivered to Shazam?

    Sign-up for digital distribution with CD Baby! You’ll be able to select Shazam during the sign-up process & will be delivered as quickly as possible upon completion.

    How should I enter my band name?

    Only enter your band name in the artist name field during sign-up. Do not list both your band name and then all individual band member names when you’re signing-up your album or single.

    Correct Incorrect
    Kiss (Primary) Kiss (Primary)
    Paul Stanley (Primary)
    Gene Simmons (Primary)
    Eric Singer (Primary)
    Tommy Thayer (Primary)
    Correct Incorrect
    The Beatles (Primary) John Lennon (Primary)
    Paul McCartney (Primary)
    George Harrison (Primary)
    Ringo Starr (Primary)
  • Do I need to own all the rights to the music I'm selling?

    YOU NEED FULL PERMISSION TO DO THIS!

    • You must own the copyright for the sound recordings or have the authority or permission from the owner(s).
    • If you didn't write the song/composition, that's OK, but you must find out who the copyright owners are, and pay the publisher their mechanical royalties the same way you would for CDs sold, but based on your download/sales activity.
    • If you have samples in your music, they must all be legally cleared and paid-for. No "mix tapes" of other people's music, even if you are mixing in your own music.
    • It's VERY important you have all rights and permission! Files distributed on the internet are watched very carefully by lawyers. You can't just "get away with it". Do everything thoroughly and legit.
    • If you have cover songs (artist performing someone else's songs) on your CD, please make sure you read the answer to the next few questions, too.
    How can I sell an album that has cover songs?

    You have two options. Handle it yourself, or have an agency like RightsFlow or Harry Fox help you acquire the proper mechanical licenses. Should you choose to go it alone rather than working with our recommended company RIghtsFlow, here is an example of how to go about it:

    Please note that the below is not official legal advice, it is ONLY for the U.S.A., we are not your lawyers, and you should always contact your attorney before entering into any contract such as a license.

    If you have recorded a cover version of someone else's song, and you plan to make that recording available over the Internet, the following information applies to you.

    You must follow these steps BEFORE you make your recording available for distribution to the public!

    If you record a cover version of a song, (meaning your performance of a song that has been released in the U.S. with consent of the copyright owner), you are entitled by law to release your recording commercially, and the owner of the copyright to the song cannot prevent you from doing so.

    The Copyright Act provides for what is called a "Compulsory License" for downloads and CD sales, which means that if you follow the steps set forth by statute, you can distribute your recording of that song on a CD or over the internet. This Compulsory License is only available for sales in the United States. Other uses of masters, such as streaming, conditional downloads, and the like, are not subject to a Compulsory License. A separate license from the publisher is needed in those cases.

    The following details the procedure for individuals to obtain a compulsory license to digitally distribute cover songs over the Internet to end users in the United States:

    Identify the Copyright Owner - the publisher
    The first step is to identify the owner(s) of the copyright to the song. The publisher. The easiest way to do this is to search the song writer/publisher databases, here:

    Keep in mind that the owner of these rights is typically a publisher, and that the owner of the rights in the song is not the same as the owner of the rights to any particular recording of the song. In other words, Record Labels are almost never the owners of the copyright to the musical composition - they typically own only sound recordings. You should be looking for the name of a publisher (or in some cases an individual).

    Be careful to identify the exact song you want, as there are many songs with the same names. If you cannot find the owner through these websites, search the records of the Copyright Office online.

    If you cannot find the copyright holder(s) after a thorough search, you can send the letter to the Copyright Office, along with a small filing fee, currently $12.00. See the Copyright Office website for the proper address and current filing fees if you are going to be sending the letter of intent to them.

    Instructions on how to do that are on "Circular 73" from the U.S. Copyright Office, in a PDF file, here. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND DOWNLOADING AND READING THIS FILE, because it carries the essence of this entire article.

    Send a Letter of Intent - EXACTLY like this:
    You must send one letter for each song for which you seek a compulsory license 30 days before you begin distribution of your downloads. The letter must be sent by registered or certified mail and contain the following:

    1. a clear subject line/title that says "Notice of Intention to Obtain a Compulsory License for Making and Distributing Phonorecords"
    2. your full legal name
    3. all fictitious/assumed names (stage name, band name) used
    4. the names of each individual owning a 25% interest or more in the distribution of the song (band members, if you split your sales income)
    5. your fiscal year (usually January 1st - December 31st)
    6. your full physical address - P.O. boxes are unacceptable, unless that is the only option for addresses in your geographic region
    7. the title of the song
    8. name(s) of the author(s) of that song
    9. the type of configuration expecting to be made (a music file distributed over the Internet is called a "Digital Phonorecord Delivery" (DPD))
    10. the expected first date of distribution
    11. the name of the performer/band doing the cover
    12. your signature.

    If there is more than one publisher listed, sending a letter to one of them is sufficient for the compulsory mechanical license; however, if one or more of the copyright holders is not from the United States, it is best to send the notice to all copyright holders.

    Send Royalty Statements and Pay Royalties
    Once you begin distributing the song over the Internet, you must send monthly statements of royalties on or before the 20th of each month, and pay the royalties.

    The monthly statement must be sent by registered or certified mail and include:

    1. a clear title that says "Monthly Statement of Account Under Compulsory License for Making and Distributing Phonorecords"
    2. the period (month and year) covered by the statement
    3. your full legal name
    4. all fictitious/assumed names (stage name, band name) used
    5. the names of each individual owning a 25% interest or more in the distribution of the song (band members, if you split your sales income)
    6. your full physical address - P.O. boxes are unacceptable, unless that is the only option for addresses in your geographic region
    7. the title of the song
    8. name(s) of the author(s) of that song
    9. the name of the performer/band doing the cover
    10. the playing time (length) of your recording of the song (minutes:seconds)
    11. the number of DPDs made, i.e. how many times your recording was downloaded
    12. the number of DPDs that were never delivered due to a failed transmission
    13. the number of DPDs that were retransmitted in order to complete/replace an incomplete/failed delivery
    14. the total royalty payable (number of total DPDs, not counting ones never delivered multiplied by the statutory royalty rate (see below))
    15. the following statement: "I certify that I have examined this Monthly Statement of Account and that all statements of fact contained herein are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief, and are made in good faith"
    16. your signature

    You must also send an Annual Statement of Account at the end of each calendar year, which is virtually identical in content to the Monthly Statements, but must be certified by a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

    Statutory Royalty Rates
    The current (2006) statutory rate for royalties is 9.1¢ for every copy sold if the playing time for the song is under five minutes.

    If the playing time for the song is longer than five minutes, the rate is 1.75¢ per minute, rounding up to the next minute.

    • Less than or equal to 5:00 = 9.1 cents per copy
    • 5:01 to 6:00 = $0.105 (6 X $.0175)
    • 6:01 to 7:00 = $0.1225 (7 X $.0175)
    • 7:01 to 8:00 = $0.14 (8 X $.0175)

    The Copyright Office always keeps the most up-to-date information concerning statutory royalty rates here.

    IMPORTANT Notes:
    The publisher may tell you that they don't deal with compulsories, and that you should contact the Harry Fox Agency. Though the Harry Fox Agency can handle mechanical licenses for DPDs for most publishers, you still have right to obtain a compulsory license by following the directions, above.

    Remember the law is on your side. You are entitled to a compulsory license by law. You have permission - (a compulsory license) - as soon as you send the notice, described above, to the proper publisher.

    As long as your notice complies with Copyright Section 115, (described above), the publisher need do nothing other than receive the royalty payments. You don't even need to wait for their reply.

    Other Notes:
    You may be able to negotiate a better deal for yourself, either with lower royalty rates or less frequent statements of account. If terms are negotiated which deviate from the standard Section 115 then a mechanical license will be issued by the publisher or HFA.

    If you wish to distribute physical copies (e.g., CDs) of a cover song, you must obtain a similar compulsory license, available for most songs through RightsFlow or Harry Fox.

    For more information on compulsory licenses for all forms of distribution, please refer to the Copyright Office's web site, at copyright.gov, and contact your attorney.

    Helpful publications available through the Copyright Office include Circular 73 (Compulsory License for Making and Distributing Phonographs), Circular 75 (The Licensing Division of the Copyright Office), and M-200 (Checklists under Section 115 of Title 17).

    If you have been distributing a cover song without a compulsory license or an agreement with the copyright owner, you are ineligible to obtain a compulsory license for that recording (!), and you may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties for copyright infringement.

    Be careful to follow the steps exactly as described above, in order to be legal.

    Download and print/save these files:

    • How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work
    • Compulsory License For Making and Distributing Phonorecords
    • Notice of intention to obtain a compulsory license
    • Royalties and statements of account under compulsory license
    • Checklists of Required Information
    • Mechanical Copyright Royalty Rates

    These and more available at the U.S. Copyright Office website: copyright.gov.

    Experts that can help you:
    Since this part of music is business and law, (not art), nobody listed below can help you for free, but all have offered their expert services at musician-friendly rates to help you with this topic.

    • C. Christopher Clark, Esq.
      Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
      128 S. Tryon Street, Suite 1800
      Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
      (704) 945-2152
      cclark@slk-law.com
    • Richard D. Rose - Attorney
      9 Music Square South, 3700
      Nashville, TN 37203
      615-330-7673
      richard@copyrightcafe.com
    • Joyce Dollinger
      Dollinger, Gonski & Grossman
      One Old Country Road, Suite 102
      P.O. Box 9010
      Carle Place, New York 11514-9010
      (516)747-1010
      jsydnee@aol.com
    What IS a cover song?

    A cover song is your recording of a song that you didn't write
    ... assuming that song had previously been released in the USA
    ... with consent of the copyright owner (the songwriter/publisher)

    Examples: You recording your version of a Bob Dylan or Cole Porter song, or a song you have to pay the publisher (copyright owner) to create copies of.

    What is NOT a cover song?
    • A song you wrote
    • A song you co-wrote with someone
    • A song someone gave you permission to record and release, but has never been recorded and released before.
    • An old song that is now in public domain (like classical music or songs before 1923)
    • An old traditional song (like Ave Maria or Amazing Grace)
    • A song you don't have to pay to create copies of.
    What do you mean by "PUBLISHER"?

    The publisher is the owner of the copyright to a song (The song, not the recording. Just the words and music. Melody, harmony, lyrics.).

    If you or a songwriter you know has never signed away their publishing rights to a publishing deal, then the songwriter IS the publisher.

    Don't get this word confused with a sheet music publisher or CD manufacturer. It has nothing to do with that. In this case "publisher" just means "copyright owner of the song itself".

    Why do you say ASCAP, BMI, or Harry Fox are not the Publisher?

    ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Harry Fox, SOCAN - are NOT publishers!

    ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are three companies in America that collect the broadcast ("performing rights") money for songwriters, so they can get paid for their music being used on radio and TV broadcasts. We don't need to know if a song is ASCAP or BMI. They don't matter here.

    How do I find the publisher?

    It's usually listed in the album credits in the original (or cover) version of a song.

    Example: go to ascap.com and type "Purple Rain" (with NO quotes!) in the search box, change the check box to say "Titles", and click [search]. In this case, the song "Purple Rain" has two co-publishers: Controversy Music c/o Universal Music Publishing Group - and W B Music Corp c/o Warner Bros Inc

    NOTE: We're forcing you to find these for your own good! We didn't NEED to be so strict about this.

    • The contract you signed said you had taken care of all of this already AND gotten permission from the publisher!
    • ... but we realized a lot of people didn't actually get permission first, so we're trying to help keep you out of trouble.
    • The copyright police might not break down your door and stop you from burning a CD of you singing "Purple Rain", but they will find you much easier and even sue you if you released your version of "Purple Rain" without sending notice to Controversy Music c/o Universal Music Publishing Group - and W B Music Corp c/o Warner Bros Inc - and paying your 9.1 cents per copy sold.
    How do I clear samples?

    Talk to a lawyer about sample clearance, but do NOT sign up for digital distribution until you've paid the copyright owner for permission, or else some mean nasty lawyers will sue you.

    Isn't all this publishing and copyright business an awful lot of work?

    If you haven't already secured the mechanical licenses for the songs it might be a little bit of work (but no more than writing your liner notes) — but that the work of securing those mechanical licenses is absolutely necessary.

    Do you report sales to SoundExchange?

    No. You might be thinking of SoundScan (and we DO report sales to SoundScan). SoundExchange, on the other hand, collects digital performance royalties for sound recordings from satellite and internet radio stations, as well as cable TV music channels, and pays labels and artists when their music is played.

  • Can I sell full-album AND single-song downloads on CDBaby.com?

    Yes. You customize it how you like. You can sell music both ways, as an album-only download, or opt to NOT sell downloads at all. It is all up to you.

    Can I set my own price?

    Yes. You choose how much you'd like to sell your downloads for. You can also have a different selling price for each individual track.

    Can I do a "digital-only" release if I don't have CDs to sell?

    Yes. But, you should know that although digital music sales increase every year, there are still a huge percentage of music buyers who prefer the tangible, physical product. We're absolutely thrilled to help you sell your music however you think best. But please ask yourself whether you're really at a point in your career where you're ready to shut out a big portion of your potential audience by refusing to make CDs. If you'd like to do a short-run of CDs, we can help you with that...click here.

    If you'd just like to proceed with the digital-only release, then continue reading.

    For CD Baby purposes, the following info applies whether you wish to distribute a single song or a full-length album.

    Here’s exactly how to do a "digital only" release:

    1. Sign it up at CD Baby like any other album.
    2. Pay the setup cost, and if you don't have your own unique bar code for this new release, have us make you one for $20.
    3. Use the uploader in your member account to send us the music and artwork, OR burn one finished, mastered copy of your music onto a regular audio CD-R. (NO mp3, aiff, or wav. Just regular audio CD.) If you burn a disc, mail that one CD to us with a note explaining that it is for digital distribution only. IMPORTANT NOTE: please do NOT send us one of the master copies of your CD (that you’d get back from your mastering engineer), as we do not send the CDs back, except upon request, and it will likely be recycled after 6 months.
    4. We will create a page on CD Baby with a 'Buy MP3" button for your fans to purchase and download your album.
    5. We digitize it and distribute it to all of the usual digital distribution outlets.
    6. Voila! There's your digital-only release.

    If you would like to customize your digital distribution options, ("Hey, I only want to be available at iTunes™", "I want to be available at every download retailer you work with except ones in Japan", etc.) we'd be happy to accommodate your needs. In the process of signing up your album for digital distribution, you'll be able to set restrictions and tell us not to send your album to specific territories or even specific companies.

    Also, if you want to sell downloads only on CDBaby.com (and NOT on iTunes™, Rhapsody, etc.), you can set your distribution percentage to CD Baby Only. Then we'll post those MP3s for sale on our website, but nowhere else.

    If you decide to send us physical stock later, we will automatically start selling those as well. Just be sure the art and songs on the physical CD match what we are already selling for download.

    Do I need to own the rights to the music I'm selling?

    Yes. You must either own the rights or be properly authorized to sell the music on behalf of the copyright holder. For answers to more specific questions about rights, licenses, samples, and cover songs, please check the FAQ for digital distribution above.

    Will my MP3s on CDBaby.com be high quality?

    Yes. We encode your MP3s using the default setting of the LAME encoder. This creates roughly 200kbps VBR files.

    How much will I be paid for downloads on www.cdbaby.com?

    If you chose the Standard or CD Baby Pro distribution package, you will be paid 91% of all download sales on cdbaby.com — the highest payout rate of any digital retailer. If you opted for 'CD Baby Free,' you will earn 85% of every download sale.

  • Your system won't take my bar code! What's up with that?

    First: make sure you're entering exactly 12 or 13 numbers. If it's telling you the bar code you're entering is already taken, make sure you have not used that same bar code yourself on another album. If not, let us know the code and we'll try to help.

    I entered "none" or "unknown" for the composer or publisher, but you still won't take it! Why?

    If it's an old traditional song (say, over 100 years old), then you can put "traditional" as the composer, and "public domain" as the publisher. If it's NOT an old traditional song, but you just don't know who wrote it, you need to do more research! You're not supposed to be recording and releasing someone else's song without paying the copyright owner of that song anyway, so if you don't know who it is, you're probably breaking the copyright law and we can't be putting that out into the lawyer-infested waters of digital distribution, until you do things correctly.

    What if I have cover songs on my album?

    It's easier than you think. You have permission, by law! You just need to NOTIFY the publisher, as described above.

    I already got permission for my cover song when I pressed my CD. Am I covered for downloads, too?

    You need two different permissions for CD sales and digital sales. You can go to RightsFlow to get the DPDs (the mechanical licenses for digital sales). For more information, check out the info listed under "How can I sell an album that has cover songs?" above.

    I want to make some updates to my CD - add new songs, give it a new album cover, use my new name. Is that possible?

    From our computer's point of view, that's a new album. New songs = new album = new submission needed. If you've really changed your existing album so much, then sign up the new one as a new album, and once it's up and selling, pull down the old one.

    Can I sign up some, but not every song from my CD?

    Nope. Sorry. For now we can only do your entire CD. If you were only considering this because you didn't want to include a cover-song, then please reconsider: cover songs are usually the top-selling songs on an album! Remember in this song-based search, people are searching for song titles they know, and cover songs are a great way to introduce them to the rest of your music.

    If you really feel strongly about making some, but not every, song on your album available digitally, you'll have to sign up a new album for digital distribution. Sign up the second album the same way you did the first, asa new album with a new title.

    What about the bonus tracks on my CD? If they're not listed on my CD artwork, do they go to digital distribution?

    If you want a song to go out to digital distribution, you must give us all of its info like the name of the song, the composer, the publisher, etc. For obvious legal reasons, we can't sell a "secret" song. If you really want a song to remain a secret bonus track on your CD, you will need to upload your audio files and leave the song off of your track list. If we rip your music from a CD you've sent in, we will deliver that track to our digital partners.

    Where are the ISRC codes you assigned to my songs?

    Log in to your account, and click "view/edit" for the album or single you'd like to view. From the album/single edit menu, you'll see a section called "Digital Distribution." The link to view your ISRC codes is right under the "Digital Distribution" section header. The codes will be available to view once you've paid for your submission.

  • What is a trending report?

    A trending report is a downloadable file that will give you a glimpse into your unofficial sales activity for all iTunes™ territories where your music is being sold. All sales in these reports are subject to change and are not a safe prediction of what your final monthly sales will be.

    How do I download a trending report?

    Log into your CD Baby members account, click the "Accounting Overview" button and then click “Weekly Trending Reports” in the left navigation. Select the week you'd like to download a report for and then click the "Download" button. Downloads are .txt files that can be opened in any spreadsheet program.

    How accurate is a trending report?

    A trending report is exactly what it claims to be, a measure of trends. While you can view some detailed transaction information (tracks/albums downloaded, customer info, etc.), the trending reports will differ from official sales reports for several reasons, including:

    • iTunes™ customers may take advantage of the “complete my album” program at a later time
    • iTunes customers may return a purchase
    • Months are not divided evenly into weeks and iTunes accounting months do not match calendar months
    Does the trending report cover all territories?

    Yes. The trending reports cover all iTunes™ territories where your music is available for sale.

    What do the two-letter country codes in my report correspond to?

    The two-letter country codes are ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 codes. A complete list of these codes and the countries they correspond to can be found here: http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/country_codes.htm

    Do you have trending reports for other partners?

    Currently, we only have trending reports available for iTunes™.

    How can I be sure this is legit?

    Well, as we mentioned above, a trending report should not be used as an indicator of official sales, but these reports come directly from iTunes™ and are provided as a helpful tool for all of their content providers. We just download the files and transmit them directly for you.

    How is this different from a sales report?

    A trending report is exactly what it claims to be, a measure of trends. While you can view some detailed transaction information (tracks/albums downloaded, customer info, etc.), the trending reports will differ from official sales reports for several reasons, including:

    • iTunes™ customers may take advantage of the “complete my album” program at a later time
    • iTunes™ customers may return a purchase
    • Months are not divided evenly into weeks and iTunes™ accounting months do not match calendar months
  • What is your physical distribution program?

    Through CD Baby's partnerships with international distributors and retailers, including Super D, Amazon, and Alliance, we can make your CD or DVD available to retail stores and on-line retailers worldwide.

    I already have in-store distribution! Won't this cause me problems?

    No. Don't worry. If partners receive info about your album from CD Baby, and it is already in their database from another distributor, they will typically ignore the info we send them, and give the other distributor preference.

    I have an exclusive deal with someone else. Do I have to quit CD Baby?

    No. Don't worry. This is totally optional. We don't have to send your info to partners if you don't want us to. Just opt out of our physical distribution program when you're signing up your album.

    Why set a partner distribution discount?

    Setting a partner distribution discount allows us to:

    1. Price your CD/DVD competitively
    2. Encourage retailer participation in our program

    CD Baby recommends setting a partner distribution discount. Discounts encourage wholesaler/retailer participation and help those partners price your content competitively. The payment to you for physical product sales will be calculated by subtracting from the CD Baby List Price (I) any partner/wholesale discount; (II) additional fees if required (e.g., sales tax), and (III) the $4 CD Baby minimum.

    How should I set my partner discount?

    We strongly recommend setting a minimum partner distribution discount of 20%. This allows you to maximize the number of retail channels where we can competitively offer your CD/DVD. This allows us to compete with dynamic retail pricing, particularly in the on-line universe.

    Can I set my retail list price?

    Your list price at retail and on-line stores will be set based on the discount you offer, and it may be different than the CD Baby list price. Generally, the higher the discount you set, the lower the retail list price can be.

    If I set a partner distribution discount, how much do I get paid?

    The payment to you for physical product sales will be calculated by subtracting from the CD Baby List Price (I) any partner/wholesale discount; (II) additional fees if required (e.g., sales tax), and (III) the $4 CD Baby minimum.

    When do I get paid for retail distribution sales?

    Payment from partners may be received either at the point we ship them your titles or at the point they ship your title to their customers, depending on our sales terms. In either case, we will continue to pay you weekly for sales on receipt of payment from our partners.

    My CD doesn't have a bar code printed on the back of the artwork. Is that a problem for CD Baby’s partners?

    Your CD only needs to have a valid bar code in our database. It doesn't need to be printed on the CD itself. If you don't have a bar code, we can make you one for $20.

    My CD is not shrinkwrapped. Is that a problem for CD Baby’s partners?

    If your CD is not shrinkwrapped, we will shrinkwrap it here before shipping to partners as required.

    Do you still report my sales to SoundScan when I sell a CD through a CD Baby partner?

    The retailer will report the sale to SoundScan, not us.

    Will CD Baby Partners be distributing it to other big online stores?

    Yes, our partners distribute to several other companies including CD Connection, CD Universe, and others worldwide.

    How do I fix my cover art and/or album information on Amazon or other retail websites?

    All Music Guide and Muze are among the main companies that provide album cover art and album information to on-line and brick and mortar retailers. We update them with new releases monthly but cannot control when that information is uploaded by individual websites and retailers.

    To best ensure that your album is placed in the All Music Guide and Muze systems, and possibly have it reviewed by them, send them a copy.

    What if my favorite local store doesn't work CD Baby distribution partners?

    Please have them contact us at cdbaby@cdbaby.com. We’re always happy to meet new retailers and see how best we can work together.

    What is a one-stop distributor?

    A "one-stop" is a wholesaler that gets products from many different distributors, consolidating them into one central ordering system for retail stores.

    A one-stop CD distributor offers retail stores everything from the Beatles to Miles Davis and now… you!

  • What kind of files should I upload?

    Upload high quality files in either WAV or FLAC file formats. Files must be stereo, 44.1 kHz sample rate, and 16bit. You can also upload MP3 files that meet these specifications, though we don't recommend it Be sure to click the 'upload album tracks' button after selecting your tracks!

    Please note that your tracks must meet all of our and our partner's standards before we begin processing your album submission. If there are any problems, we will email you immediately so you can upload new tracks.

    Why don't you recommend I upload MP3s?

    It's like this: every file is encoded and any quality reduction is locked in. We encode many different formats for our various digital partners. If you upload MP3 files (which are not full quality) the files we send to our partners will not only have the inherent quality loss of the format we encode to, but will also have the quality loss of the format you sent us.

    So uploading MP3s is kind of like taking a picture of a picture with a digital camera and emailing it to us. Then when we encode it to send it to partners, it's like we print out the picture of a picture, take a picture of it with a digital camera, and email it to them. It makes much more sense if you send us the original picture, i.e. FLAC or WAV files.

    What kind of image file should I upload?

    Your cover art must be:

    • 1400 x 1400 pixels
    • JPG file type
    • 72 - 300dpi (300dpi is the best)
    • Less than 25mb
    • RGB color scheme (not CMYK)
    How long will it take for my cover art to display in my member account?

    Be sure to click the "confirm uploaded album art" button after selecting your cover art! Once you've confirmed your uploaded album art, it will take between 24 and 48 hours to appear in your member account.

    What happens if my cover art image is not perfectly square?

    If you upload an image that isn't perfectly square, we will fill in the remaining space with black bars (kind of like when you watch a wide screen movie on a standard TV). These 'black bars' will appear anywhere your cover art is displayed, including our digital partner sites!

    What kinds of things are not allowed on my cover art?

    You may NOT upload artwork that displays the following:

    • Website URL
    • Social network symbols or information (i.e., Facebook links, Twitter handles, etc).
    • Contact information (i.e., email addresses, phone number)
    • Pornographic images
    • Pricing information
    • Copyrighted images
    • Scan of a CD (it must be retail-ready artwork)
    • UPC barcodes
    • Tribute albums where the original artist name is as large as or larger than the performing artist
    • The cover art refers to physical or digital versions of the album (i.e., CD, Disc, Digital Exclusive, Digital Version, etc)
    • The cover image is blurry, pixilated or has other quality issues
    • The cover art promises content that the album doesn't contain (i.e., "includes DVD", "includes free stickers", etc)
    • The cover art up-sells to another product (i.e., merch, other albums by same artist, etc)
    • The cover art claims to be an exclusive of one of our digital partners without their permission (i.e., iTunes™ Exclusive, Only on Amazon MP3, etc)
    Can CD Baby pull my music from SoundCloud?

    For single-song submissions—yes. During the signup process, you’ll be asked to either upload your track directly or have CD Baby pull the audio from your SoundCloud account.

    If you opt for us to pull the audio from SoundCloud, you’ll then be asked to authenticate your SoundCloud account and choose the track you’d like us to import.

    We accept WAV, FLAC, and MP3 file formats (minimum of 128kbps). The track must be in stereo (NO mono) and at a 44.1kHz sample rate.

    Why can’t CD Baby pull my whole album from SoundCloud?

    SoundCloud does not organize music in terms of albums, only single songs and playlists. For this reason, we can’t import a full album from SoundCloud. If you’re signing up an album for CD Baby distribution, please upload the tracks directly from your hard drive.

    What kind of tracks can CD Baby import from my SoundCloud account?

    We accept WAV, FLAC, and MP3 file formats (minimum of 128kbps). The track must be in stereo (NO mono) and at a 44.1kHz sample rate.

    I’m getting an error message when CD Baby attempts to pull audio from my SoundCloud account. What do I do?

    That depends on the error message, of course. Here are a few options:

    1. If your SoundCloud account has no audio, you’ll see a warning that says, “No Audio - Oops! It looks like you do not have any audio in your SoundCloud account.” In this event, feel free to upload your track directly from your hard drive by clicking the "Upload" option at the top of the page.
    2. If your track does not meet our requirements (minimum of 128kbps stereo file at 44.1kHz sample rate), you will see the applicable warning and be asked to select a different track from your SoundCloud account or to upload the correct track directly to CD Baby.
    What do I do after CD Baby has pulled the audio for my single from my SoundCloud account?

    Once we’ve confirmed the audio has been successfully pulled from SoundCloud, you will be asked to confirm that the chosen track is the correct audio by clicking the “confirm track and continue” button. From that point, you can finish the CD Baby submission process for your single.

  • Do I have to be selling music on CD Baby to create a Music Player?

    Yes, the Music Player pulls all information about your music from your CD Baby artist profile.

    Is there a fee to create and use a Music Player?

    No. The Music Player is a FREE promotional tool that we hope will help spread your music across the web.

    How do I create a Music Player?

    Click the “create a music player” link from the dashboard inside your CD Baby Member account, or go to http://members.cdbaby.com/widgets/playerstore/manager.aspx. Once you customize the player to your liking, just copy and paste the HTML code into any website that allows HTML.

    Where can I use the Music Player?

    You can embed the player on any site that allows you to paste in HTML code. This would include your own website, blogs, etc.

    Is there a limit to the number of Music Players I can create?

    Nope. No limit. Feel free to create as many as you like. Embed them on your website and other web profiles, and make sure your fans and the press know they can copy the embed code to share your music all over the web.

    Is the Music Player also a music store?

    The Music Player provides links to purchase music from www.CDBaby.com.

    What formats can I sell through the Music Player?

    The Music Player provides links to purchase your music from www.cdbaby.com. Any formats you currently have available for sale through CD Baby will be available for purchase. This can include CD, digital download, DVD, and Vinyl.

    How do I edit my Music Players?

    Easy. Just log into your account and make changes at any time. Those edits will be reflected in your active Music Player immediately.

    What sizes are the Music Players?

    We offer a number of player types to suit your needs: mini, square, an album art player that automatically scales between 350 and 600 pixels wide, and the large retail store.

    Player type Min. width Max width
    Mini 200px 700px
    Album art 160px 600px
    Album + tracks 350px 600px
    Retail player 650px 1024px
    What percentage cut does CD Baby take for sales through the Music Player?

    The percentage cut is exactly the same as sales through CDBaby.com. You can see those rates in detail on our pricing page.

    Do I get paid for these plays?

    No. These are purely promotional per the terms of your Member Agreement.

    Why can’t I play my cover songs in full?

    As a general rule, CD Baby leaves unpaid previews of cover songs as 0:30 snippets to protect the artist from having to pay publishing royalties on each preview.

    Will this Music Player work in WordPress?

    Depends on how you're using WordPress. Here is how to address both use cases:

    1) If you’re using WordPress on a host that allows embedded iframes, simply follow the installation instructions. If your WordPress host does not allow iframes, you can still embed a CD Baby player if your host installs the CD Baby Embed plugin which they can get here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/cd-baby-player-emded/. Once installed, you will need to manually create the shortcode using your player id (examples are shown in the link above).

    2) If you’re using WordPress.com, we need your help! WordPress.com blocks iframes for security reasons, but with enough support from the CD Baby community, we can be approved as a "safe plugin." Simply request the CD Baby Music Player plugin via the WordPress.com Ideas Forum and make your voice heard:

    English – http://en.forums.wordpress.com/forum/ideas
    Spanish – http://es.forums.wordpress.com/
    Portuguese – http://pt.forums.wordpress.com/

    What browsers will support my Music Player?

    Chrome (latest)
    Firefox (latest)
    IE - 11
    IE - 10
    IE - 9
    Android Browser - 4.0+
    Safari - 7 (iOS and OS X)
    Opera (latest)
    IE Mobile – 10+

  • What is CD Baby's MusicStore on Facebook?

    CD Baby's Music Store on Facebook allows you to sell, share, and stream your music from a Facebook Page in a quick and elegant way. Our MusicStore on Facebook is customizable, easy to use, and free for existing CD Baby artists. Get started here.

    How much does it cost to use CD Baby's MusicStore on Facebook?

    If you're an existing CD Baby artist, it's one of the many free promotional tools we offer. If you're not already working with CD Baby for all your physical and digital distribution needs, get started here.

    What does CD Baby's MusicStore on Facebook do?

    Our MusicStore on Facebook allows you to quickly create a store on your Facebook Page where you can give your fans one simple place to get all the goods, including:

    • A music store to sell your downloads, CDs, and vinyl
    • Your own playlist of your favorite tracks, streaming full songs or sample clips (your choice)
    • A banner area to add a your artist photo
    • A section to add a music video
    • Descriptions of your albums/singles

    Because your tracks, album art, and information are already stored in your CD Baby account, you can customize your MusicStore on Facebook in minutes.

    How can I customize my MusicStore on Facebook?

    First, you can choose from a number of color themes for the app. You can also:

    • Upload a band photo, banner, or logo
    • Embed a YouTube video
    • Create a streaming playlist from any of the albums or singles in your CD Baby account
    • Name the store
    • Choose which products you want to sell
    Can I use CD Baby's MusicStore with my personal profile on Facebook, or do I need to have a Facebook Page?

    This app will only work with a Facebook Page. It will not work with a Facebook profile. But if you're not already using a Facebook Page to promote your music, you should consider it. They offer a number of advantages over a personal profile when it comes to spreading the word about your music. Find out how to create a Facebook Page here, or find out why using a Page is better than a profile for music promotion.

    How do I create a Facebook Page?

    Find out how to create a Facebook Page here, or find out why using a Page is better than a profile for music promotion.

    How do I begin using CD Baby's MusicStore on Facebook?

    Simple. Just log into your CD Baby member's account. Once you're logged in you'll see an "Add products/services" box in the center of your dashboard. Click the "create a Facebook Music Store app" link.

    Or…

    If you're already signed in, begin here.

    Once you're on the Facebook app page, click the checkbox to agree to the terms of use and press "Authenticate." From there, you can customize your MusicStore.

    Can I use CD Baby's Music Store on Facebook with multiple Facebook Pages?

    No. In accordance with Facebook's Terms of Service, and to protect your account security, you will only be able to create one MusicStore on Facebook App per CD Baby account. That MusicStore can only be linked with one Facebook Page. However, you will be able to make changes to your MusicStore on Facebook at any time.

    If I am the administrator of multiple Facebook Pages, how will I select which one I want to post the MusicStore on?

    We will display a list of all the Facebook Pages for which you are the administrator. You can select the appropriate Facebook Page from that list.

    Why do I have to log into my Facebook account during the setup process?

    In order to properly integrate our MusicStore with Facebook, you will need to log into your Facebook account. This integration is what allows us to easily display your CD Baby information (albums, singles, reviews, tracks, etc.) on your Facebook Page.

    Will I be able to see what the Music Store will look like before actually posting it to my Facebook Page?

    Absolutely. During the setup process, you will see a preview version to the right-hand side of the page. Every time you make a change, just hit "preview" and you'll see that change reflected there.

    What should I title my MusicStore on Facebook?

    The title will appear at the very top of your MusicStore on Facebook. Generally, band or artist name works well, but feel free to title it whatever you like.

    How do I upload a header image?

    The header image will appear beneath the app title in your Music Store. It's a great place to feature a press shot, live-band photo, banner, logo, or anything else you think will capture the attention of visitors. During the setup process, you will be able to upload a PNG or JPG file. Recommended image size is 808px by 315px.

    What will the music player feature of the MusicStore allow me to do?

    The music player allows you to create a streaming playlist of any original songs (sorry, NO cover songs) in your CD Baby account. Let your Facebook fans listen to and share your music within Facebook. You can choose to stream preview clips (30 seconds) or full clips for each song.

    Once you've selected which songs you want to add to the playlist, you can then choose the order they play in.

    What music can I make available through the MusicStore on Facebook?

    You can offer any of the music you currently distribute through CD Baby. We'll handle all the boring stuff like transaction processing, shipping, and customer service.

    How do I add a video to the MusicStore on Facebook?

    You can add any YouTube video to your MusicStore. Simply go to the YouTube page for your video, click "share," then copy the "Link to this video" URL. You can enter that URL during the setup process (or after).

    What does the "Export to Facebook" button do?

    Once you've saved all your changes, click the "Export to Facebook" button and the app will become active on your Facebook Page.

    How do I see the MusicStore on my actual Facebook Page?

    On the main profile page for your Facebook Page you should see CD Baby's MusicStore on Facebook listed as one of the tabs on the left-hand side. (You may have to click "more" to see a complete list of your tabs).

    How do I get paid for sales from the MusicStore on Facebook?

    The MusicStore uses the same pricing model as music sold through CDBaby.com.

    How do I remove the MusicStore from my Facebook page?

    In order to remove the MusicStore from Facebook, simply click the "unlink from Facebook" link at the bottom of the MusicStore Builder page in your account. Once you've unlinked, you can still reactivate anytime.

  • When will I get paid?

    Our partners' payment schedules range from monthly to quarterly. iTunes™, for instance, reports to us roughly 6 weeks after the end of any given month. So if you sold a download in the middle of the month, it could be up to 2 months before that sale is reported in your CD Baby account.

    CD Baby pays out every Monday.

    How will you get the money to me?

    You tell us how you want to get paid (check, ACH deposit to bank account, PayPal). Then you select a "pay point," the minimum amount you'd like your owed balance to reach before we pay you. Any time you reach your pay point, we'll pay you the following Monday. Please keep in mind that CD Baby charges $1.50 USD processing fee per paper check payment within the US, and international ACH direct deposits have a $2.50 USD processing fee. Please click here to see a complete list of processing fees and payment options.

    How do sales and payments work?

    You'll see a few different types of sales in your account.

    Downloads: A download is a purchase of your music where the actual audio file is transferred to the customer's computer or mobile device. Every time someone downloads your music, you'll get paid.

    Most of your download partners pay a standard rate for each song sold. However, some of our subscription-based download partners' payout rates change month to month based on their revenue for that period.

    Streams: A stream is basically the same thing as a "listen." The customer is able to listen to your song on their computer, in their car, on their mobile device, but they are not purchasing the song to own. No file is downloaded. Payments for streams vary from fractions of a penny to a few cents per play.

    Streams fall into two categories:
    1. Tethered steams, where your device/computer must be online in order to hear the music.
    2. Non-tethered streams, where your player can stream songs while NOT connected to the internet, as long as the streaming service has verified the customer has paid their subscription fee for the month. No pay - no play.

    What is the minimum "pay point" I can select?

    Your "pay point" is the minimum amount you'd like your owed balance to reach before we pay you. Any time you reach your pay point, we'll pay you the following Monday. The minimum allowable "pay point" is $10.

    Which countries support direct bank (ACH) payments?

    We can make ACH payments to bank accounts in the following countries and currencies:

    North America

    • Canada (CAD or USD)
    • Mexico (MXN)
    • United States (USD)

    Australia / Asia

    • Australia (AUD)
    • Hong Kong (HKD)
    • India (INR)
    • New Zealand (NZD)
    • Singapore (SGD)

    Europe - All payments are sent in Euros (EUR) except where indicated

    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Bulgaria
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Gibraltar
    • Greece
    • Guadeloupe
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Liechtenstein
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Martinique
    • Mayotte
    • Monaco
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Reunion
    • Romania
    • Portugal
    • Saint Pierre et Miquelon
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland (CHF or EUR)
    • United Kingdom - England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland (GBP)

    If the Euro is not your national currency, and your national currency is not listed next to your country, please contact your bank to confirm you can receive deposits in EUR.

    Will my payments be deposited in US Dollars?

    We remit payment in US Dollars. For US bank accounts the funds will be deposited in US Dollars. For non-US bank accounts, the funds will be converted to your local currency. Based on currency fluctuations, your local deposit may vary from week to week even if the US Dollar payment remains the same. Your local bank may charge a separate fee to receive these payments; please contact them for confirmation. It may take a few business days for the funds to reach your account.

    Are there any fees associated with receiving CD Baby payments?

    Yes, some payment methods have fees depending on where you live. See the chart below. Fees listed are in U.S. Dollars. NOTE: Some banks outside of the U.S. may charge a fee to cash a U.S. check. Contact your bank to see if any additional fees apply.

    Payment fees - location ACH Check PayPal
    US -- $1.50 $1.50
    Outside US $2.50 -- $1.50
    Return fees - location ACH Check PayPal
    US -- -- --
    Euro Zone $40 -- --
    Other Countries $20 -- --
    I live in Europe and want to use direct deposit. What banking details do you need?

    If you live in Europe inside the SEPA (Single European Payment Area) zone, you will need to provide us with your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and SWIFT BIC (the Bank Identifier Code), and the name of your bank. To see a full list of countries we offer direct deposit for, please click here.

    How do I find out my IBAN or SWIFT BIC?

    Please contact your bank to obtain your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and the SWIFT BIC for your bank’s branch office.

    I live in Canada. What account information do I need to provide?

    Your account number will be up to 12-digits long and should not include leading 0’s.

    The EFT routing number is 9-digits long and will always begin with a 0. It is made up of a 4-digit institution ID number, followed by a 5-digit branch transit number. This information can be found on your check or by contacting your bank.

    Canadian check
    What if my bank is located in a different country than where I live?

    No problem! On the Payment Details page, enter your bank's address under "Payment Information." Next, enter your banking information under "How should we pay you."

  • What is a download card?

    CD Baby offers download cards / stickers which may be printed in a variety of styles and then distributed directly to fans. Your fans use the unique code on the back of the download card to download your release from CD Baby. They're the perfect merch item for fans who prefer digital music; and they’re great for promotion. You can use them like a business card or slip them in your vinyl record sleeves to offer a download with the record purchase.

    How do they work for my fans?

    The download card redemption link can be found on the home page of CDBaby.com. Customers who redeem a download card will be instructed to create a CD Baby account. All downloads will be stored in their CD Baby account and may be accessed at any time. If a customer chooses to share information, you will be able to see their name and email address in the CD Baby download sales information in your Accounting Overview section.

    These sales will be listed as $0.00 CD Baby downloads, as any transaction would occur between you and the fan. You may sell the cards for whatever price you like or give them away as a free promotion. How you distribute the cards is totally up to you.

    These cards never expire.

    How quickly can I get my download cards?

    We will begin making your download cards as soon as MP3s of your music are activated for sale on CDBaby.com. Once processing begins, it will take 2-4 business days to manufacture the cards before they ship. So if you need to have the cards in time for a show or release date, you must set your album's CD Baby release date at least 10 days before the event or street date to be sure there is time to print and ship the cards.  Your album must be for sale on CD Baby as a download before the print process begins for download cards.

    May I choose one or two songs from an album to print cards for?

    The cards are only available for the full release, so you can't choose to print cards for just one song on your album. The cards are good for one full album download. If you want to have a download card for just one song, you would need to set that song up on CD Baby as a stand-alone single with it's own barcode and it's own single album cover.

    Where can I see the different styles of download cards and stickers to order?

    You can view the 4 types of download cards and the pricing menu here - http://members.cdbaby.com/music-download-cards.aspx

  • What is Sync Licensing?

    Sync licensing, or “Synchronization,” refers to the use of music in films, TV shows, commercials, video games, presentations, YouTube videos, or anything else where a song is “synced” to moving images.

    When a song is licensed for sync, a fee is paid to the songwriter/publisher for the usage of the underlying composition, AND to the copyrighter owner of the master recording for the use of the track.

    If you wrote the song and haven’t sold the rights, you are the publisher. If you own the recording you are the copyright holder. In this case you would get paid both royalties

    What is CD Baby’s sync licensing program?

    CD Baby has partnered with Rumblefish, an independently owned music licensing company based in Portland, Oregon. Rumblefish has been doing sync licensing for independent artists and labels for over a decade.

    Through this partnership, CD Baby artists can generate new revenue by licensing their music for movies, TV shows, ads, video games and — in particular — YouTube.

    Why Should I opt in?

    Sync licensing has not only become one of the major revenue streams for today’s independent artist, but it’s also one of the most effective ways of finding new fans.

    In addition to sync opportunities in film, TV, advertisements, and video games, CD Baby Sync Licensing Program also helps you make money from the usage of your music on YouTube.

    We’ve paid over a million dollars in YouTube ad revenue to CD Baby artists, and that figure is growing rapidly — since YouTube has become both the #1 music discovery tool online AND the #1 preferred platform for listening to music among music fans younger than 18.

    How much does it cost?

    There is no fee for existing CD Baby members to opt in for Sync Licensing, It is included with your regular submission fee.

    Will opting-in for sync licensing affect other licensing arrangements I have in place with other companies?

    It depends on the arrangements you have made with other sync licensing companies. If you have an exclusive deal with another company, yes, it will interfere. If you have a non-exclusive deal with another sync company there shouldn’t be any problems.

    However, the YouTube Monetization portion of our Sync Licensing program IS exclusive, so you need to make sure that you haven’t granted those particular rights to anyone else.

    Can I terminate my licensing deal, and how does that work?

    Yes. You may opt out at any time, on the Cancellation Form. Within seven days of your opting out we will notify Rumblefish that they must remove your music from their licensing services. You may also opt back in if you so choose. Keep in mind that opting out of our Sync Distribution program will not invalidate any licenses that were purchased during the time that your album was opted in.

    How long does it take for my tracks to be available for licensing after signing up?

    2-4 weeks from delivery.

    Am I giving up any important rights by signing this agreement?

    No. With our Sync Licensing Program you retain ownership of all of your copyrights. However, you ARE granting nonexclusive rights for synchronization so that your music can be used for sync without your direct approval. A song that has been pre-approved is always more desirable in the eyes of music supervisors and production teams who are looking to license your music.

    You are also granting an exclusive license for CD Baby (via Rumblefish) to monetize yoru music on YouTube and other user-generated-content networks.

    Can I specify which territories my music will be available for license in?

    No. You are granting us worldwide rights to licenses music.

    What different types of licenses will be offered?

    When you opt in for CD Baby’s Sync Licensing program, you can choose between:

    o All Media: This grants Rumblefish the right to license your music for film, television, video games, YouTube, presentations, and anything else that pays. (Including all MicroSync opportunities).
    o YouTube + MicroSync: This includes any type of project or production that makes use of multimedia or new media platforms. Examples include website-music, online video sharing (e.g., videos on YouTube), presentations, and apps (including app-games). This also includes a limited right for users to make physical copies (but not more than 100) of their production or project.

    What is Friendly Music?

    Friendly Music is a marketplace of licensable music. Video creators can shop for music at friendlymusic.com and purchase licenses to use certain tracks in their videos. You will get paid anytime your music is licensed through Friendly Music. To be included in the Friendly Music catalog, all you have to do is opt-in for CD Baby Sync Licensing.

    What is the difference between a consumer license and a business license of my song through Friendly Music?

    A consumer synchronization license is only available for consumers to use in their social media videos, slideshows, etc. It cannot be used to advertise a business, service or product and only individuals, not business entities, can purchase them. A commercial license is a license that is used by a business entity or corporation including ad agencies, small businesses, indie films and any other type of company that you can think of that uses music in its projects or productions.

    Will I be notified when my music has been licensed?

    You will not be notified immediately when your music is licensed. You will be made aware of all licenses in your members accounting section as payments are received and processed.

    Will I be able to choose/approve license requests?

    No. By opting into the Sync Licensing Program you are “pre-authorizing” sync uses of your music. The sync world often moves very, very quickly, and this “pre-authorization” will help give Rumblefish the most flexibility in terms of opportunities for licensing your music.

    How will people find my music?

    Our partner company Rumblefish, broadly promotes music to thousands of music supervisions and licensing professionals worldwide. Your music will also be made available on Rumblefish’ website www.FriendlyMusic.com (if you opt in to All Media) as well as made available through numerous products that are powered by the Rumblefish Automated Programming Interface (API).

    Who might want to license my music?

    Rumblefish has deals with every major TV network, as well as major and independent film production companies, game studios, and internet companies such as YouTube.

    How much do I get paid?

    The short answer is: it depends completely on the type of usage of your music. For placements in movies, commercials, and TV, the payments for sync licensing will typically be larger, but they are different for every project. For Micro Sync licenses through Friendly Music, the video creator pays $1.99 or more for the license depending on the type of usage (for which you'll earn half). When your music is added to videos on YouTube, you'll make money from the ad revenue generated on those videos. Ad revenue payments will also vary for videos where YouTube has identified your music in the content ID process.

    Like everything in the business, there are few accurate ways to gauge success in advance. But remember, it costs nothing to opt in. Sync licensing is a great way to get your music working for you, so it’s added revenue that you probably weren’t seeing before.

    How quickly can I expect my music to be licensed?

    Patience, grasshopper. Matching the right music to the right project takes time. We WILL start monetizing YouTube videos that use your music, though, within a couple weeks.

    Do I get to control sync rates?

    No. Small sync deals like YouTube have a standard rate, and Rumblefish will negotiate on your behalf for larger deals. Remember, they’re incentivized to get as much as possible, because that’s how they get paid.

    How will music directors looking for music be able to find my music?

    Rumblefish has a very search-friendly database that music supervisors and other people looking to place music in a project can use to find the songs that best fit their needs.

    How often will I be paid?

    Quarterly. Payments will be visible in the accounting section of your CD Baby Member account.

    I represent (and have to pay) several artists. Will I have detailed royalty reports? What information will the reports contain?

    You will be treated as the sole music provider in your royalty statements. If you have side agreements with other band members or writers, you are responsible for negotiating payouts with your colleagues.

    Can I sign up my cover songs for sync licensing?

    No. Cover songs will be excluded from CD Baby's Sync Licensing Program (because it'd require getting permissions from and paying fees to the publishers/songwriters).

    What is a PRO?

    A PRO is a Performing Rights Organization (like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SOCAN, etc.). Artists can affiliate with one of these groups to collect performance royalties on their behalf. When you have a song placed on a TV show or commercial, not only will you earn money from the licensing fee, but you will be owed royalties for the "public performance" of that song on TV, radio, etc. Registering with a PRO will help ensure you are properly paid those royalties. For help with PRO registration, check out CD Baby Pro

    What is required to be eligible for CD Baby Sync Licensing?

    You must be opted in for MP3 distribution though CD Baby. CD only titles are not eligible.. You can opt-in your new titles during the submissions process, or for existing titles, you can opt-in at this link

    Can I opt in for traditional sync opportunities but NOT for MicroSync?

    No. At this time, both our sync licensing options include MicroSync.

    What percentage do I earn from sync placements?

    CD Baby keeps only 40%. You earn 60% of any revenue generated from sync placements. That's a better cut than most licensing deals for independent artists.

    What percentage do I keep from the usage of my music on YouTube?

    You earn 70% of the total revenue generated from the usage of your music on YouTube. CD Baby keeps only 30%.

  • How do I make money from YouTube?

    There are two ways you can earn ad revenue from YouTube.

    1. Monetizing your songs: With CD Baby’s YouTube Monetization Program, we’ll make sure YouTube identifies ANY video that uses your music — and we’ll make sure you get paid a share of the ad revenue.

    2. Monetizing your YouTube channel: When you monetize your channel, you are able to make money off the videos you upload directly to your channel (whether or not they have your music). This does NOT monetize your songs across YouTube, meaning that when you monetize your channel, you are NOT making money from videos uploaded by your fans or other YouTube users.

    Why should I have CD Baby help me monetize my music on YouTube?

    • We make it easy, and there’s no charge to get started (besides your initial CD Baby signup fee).
    • No need to set up another account: you’re already distributing your music through CD Baby!
    • You keep 100% of the ownership rights to your music. We just help you collect ad revenue for the usage of your music — ANYWHERE on YouTube.
    • You earn money when other people use your music in their videos, something you cannot do on your own.
    • CD Baby can also help you license your songs for film, TV, commercials, games, and more.

    How do my songs and videos generate revenue on YouTube?

    All the money is generated by ads on the videos. You’ll earn money from an ad on your video if someone:

    • clicks the text or banner ad
    • watches the entire commercial, or at least 30 seconds of the commercial (if it’s longer than 30 seconds).
    Do I still own all my rights?

    Absolutely. You always keep 100% of your rights. We just help you get paid.

    How do I know if I qualify for YouTube monetization?

    Do you own the rights to the master recording and the composition (lyrics and melody)? If so, you qualify. In other words, you can’t monetize cover songs. But otherwise, you’re all set!

    I’m already collecting ad revenue on my own YouTube channel. Will you now take a commission on that?

    If you are already making money from monetizing your YouTube channel, CD Baby will still collect revenue for the videos that contain your songs that are a part of our YouTube monetization program. You can do one of the following things:

    • Keep things simple and let us take over the management of ad revenues for your YouTube channel. There are no payout thresholds to meet when you go through CD Baby.
    • Have CD Baby “whitelist” your channel. This will allow you to continue collect revenues directly from your channel while giving CD Baby the ability to collect ad revenue whenever your music appears in someone else’s video.
    • Opt-out of CD Baby’s YouTube monetization program. However, this will remove your music from YouTube’s Content ID system that enables you to make money off of other videos on YouTube that are using your music.
    When will I see results?

    Well, YouTube has billions of videos — so it can take up to a few weeks for them to identify all the videos that use your music and index them accordingly with their Content ID system. Once they are indexed, YouTube will start running ads on those videos.

    What if my music appears in a YouTube video that is embedded on someone’s website or social media profile?

    YouTube will still place ads on the video and you will still get paid a share of any ad revenue generated by that video..

    Do I get paid every time someone watches a YouTube video with my music in it?

    You get paid when someone clicks on the ad, so technically, no. You don’t get paid for the views of the video. You get paid if someone clicks an ad or watches a commercial before the video. That being said, the more views a video gets, the more ad revenue it will generate.

    How much money will I make?

    YouTube ads are similar to Google ads. It’s essentially an ad-placement auction. The amount you earn for each clicked ad, while small, will vary according to a number of factors, so it’s difficult to make predictions. The bottom line is this: the more people who watch videos that use your music, the higher the probability of clicked ads. The more ads clicked, the more you earn.

    What percentage does CD Baby keep?

    CD Baby keeps only 30%. You earn 70% of the total revenue generated from the usage of your music on YouTube.

    When will I get paid?

    YouTube reports ad revenue quarterly. If you’ve earned money, we’ll pay it to you the following Monday.

    Why did I get a message saying that CD Baby is claiming my song on YouTube?

    The warning you may be seeing in your YouTube channel is appearing because YouTube knows that CD Baby is authorized to collect ad revenue for any videos that use your music. You own 100% of the rights to your songs; you’ve just granted us the license to help you monetize your songs on YouTube.

    Why did I get a notice from YouTube telling me I don’t control the rights to my own videos?

    YouTube’s content ID system finds every video on YouTube that uses your music, including videos in your own channel.

    That’s why you’ve received a notice like this:
    Your Video may include music that is owned by a third party.
    Your video is available and playable.
    Here are the details:
    “YOUR SONG”, sound recording administered by: CD Baby

    If you’d like CD Baby to collect ad revenue for those videos, just click the "acknowledge" link next to the video.

    Can a content creator who put my song in their video block the ads on that video?

    Nope. It’s your music — and you deserve to be able to monetize your songs on YouTube. If they don’t like ads on their videos, they’ll have to remove them from YouTube.

    I’ve found videos on YouTube that use my music. Should I have them taken down?

    No. With CD Baby’s YouTube Monetization Program, you make money for the usage of your music on ANY YouTube video. In fact, you should encourage more of your fans to use your music in their videos on YouTube.

    Doesn’t ASCAP or BMI already collect this money for me?

    No.

    Performing Rights Organizations like ASCAP and BMI collect performance royalties (paid to songwriters and publishers).

    They do NOT collect ad revenue for the usage of songs on YouTube. That’s where CD Baby’s YouTube Monetization Program comes in.

    But if you’d like to make sure you’re earning all the publishing royalties you’re owed worldwide, check out CD Baby Pro.

    How long am I locked into your YouTube Monetization Program for?

    You can cancel at any time.

    How do I opt out of your YouTube Monetization Program?

    To cancel an album or single from our YouTube monetization partner Rumblefish, you will first need to login to your members account.

    Then click the VIEW/EDIT button for the album or single.

    Under the first list of links "BASIC * INFO", click CANCEL THIS ALBUM and follow the steps to tell us how you want to remove this listing.

    Choose "Cancel From Specific Partners" and only pick Rumblefish from the list. Be sure to not accidentally cancel other digital partners. Only check the services you wish to have removed.

  • What is SoundCloud and why should I use it?

    SoundCloud is the leading social sound platform on the web, enabling you to record, upload, promote, and share your originally-created audio across the internet in a simple, accessible, and feature-rich way.

    • Free Account - SoundCloud gives you up to 3 hours of storage space for free. You start and manage the account the way you want; CD Baby simply helps you deliver the audio.
    • No extra uploading - CD Baby's SoundCloud integration saves you time; we'll send your music to SoundCloud so you don't have to.
    • Easy sharing - SoundCloud players are intuitive to use, popular with listeners, and can be quickly embedded or shared online.

    Get started.

    How do I get CD Baby to upload my music to SoundCloud for me?

    It's easy. Log into your Account Dashboard and click on "send tracks to SoundCloud." You'll be asked to authenticate with SoundCloud and then click beside each song or album you'd like uploaded to that SoundCloud account.

    How much does it cost to put my music on SoundCloud?

    SoundCloud offers free accounts (providing 3 hours of audio storage space) and premium accounts (with advanced features like statistics, custom branding, and additional storage space).

    If you're a CD Baby member, there is no extra charge for us to upload your music to your SoundCloud account for you.

    How long does it take for CD Baby to upload my music to SoundCloud?

    Your audio will be live on SoundCloud within 24 hours. Actual delivery time will vary depending on the volume of content being processed.

    Can CD Baby connect the music in my CD Baby account with multiple SoundCloud accounts?

    Yes. You can authenticate one SoundCloud account and select the songs or albums you'd like uploaded to that SoundCloud account. Once those selections are made and the tracks have been sent, simply end the authentication for that account and repeat the steps for another SoundCloud account. You can do this as many times as you like.

    How much audio can be uploaded to SoundCloud?

    With free accounts, SoundCloud provides users with up to 3 hours of audio storage space. Please note that if you have CD Baby deliver more than 3 hours of audio to SoundCloud, the extra audio will be hidden in your SoundCloud Account.

    You can upgrade to a premium SoundCloud account to unhide the additional audio or delete some of your existing audio to free up space to display the hidden audio.

    Why is some of my audio hidden or missing on SoundCloud?

    Please see the above question.

    If I send audio to SoundCloud that exceeds my account limit, which tracks will be hidden?

    Unfortunately we do not have any way to predict specifically which tracks will be hidden. The order in which we deliver your tracks to SoundCloud and then the order in which SoundCloud ingests them will determine which tracks are hidden.

    You can upgrade to a premium SoundCloud account to unhide the additional audio or delete some of your existing audio to free up space to display the hidden audio.

    What is a SoundCloud "set?"

    A set is basically the same thing as a playlist. All SoundCloud account holders can create an unlimited number of sets.

    What track information will appear when someone plays my song from a SoundCloud player?

    For single tracks, the track description will say: "This track is available for purchase on CD Baby here: [link to your single on CDBaby.com]

    For tracks from an album, the track description will say: "This track is from the album [your album title here] and is available for purchase on CD Baby here: [link to your album on CDBaby.com]

    If you want, you can change the track descriptions from within your SoundCloud account.

    How long will it take for my CD Baby account to recognize that I deleted a track from my SoundCloud account?

    If you send a track from your CD Baby account to SoundCloud and later delete that track from SoundCloud, it could take up to 30 minutes for that change to be reflected on the SoundCloud page in your members account.

  • Why do you need to return or recycle my albums?

    Our warehouse space must accommodate almost half a million artists, so we cannot store greater quantities than that projected 6-month supply. If we have an excess of any of your titles, we’ll notify you by email. At that point, you can go to your CD Baby members account and tell us whether you’d prefer to have your excess stock recycled or mailed back to you at your expense.

    How do you determine what is “excess inventory”?

    We always make sure to have at least one copy of each title no matter what. After the first year of sales, anything above the projected supply (based on previous sales) will be considered excess inventory eligible for return or recycling.

    Can I request to have you ship more or less items back than you originally flagged as excess stock?

    Yes and no. You CANNOT use the Inventory Management system in your members account to change the return quantity. But you CAN contact us at cdbaby@cdbaby.com if you want additional units returned or recycled. Make sure to include your name, artist name, album title, and the additional quantity you’d like returned/recycled in that email.

    What if my album starts selling more copies before you return them?

    We will not return over the amount you authorized on the Inventory Management page of your members account, which means we should still have enough stock to supply orders.

    If you’ve requested that we return your stock but have new sales come in before we’ve shipped your package, we'll subtract those purchased items from the quantity we'd planned to return and mail you the remainder. You will only be charged shipping costs for the ACTUAL quantity we ship back to you.

    CD Baby has had my CDs forever! Why are you asking to return them now?

    Our warehouse is big, but it’s not infinite—which means with almost half a million artists selling music through us, we can’t keep more than a 6-month supply of CDs on-hand.

    We’ll always keep at least one copy of every album, and we’ll also continue to make your music available digitally on our partners’ sites (iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc.) forever.

    Who pays for excess stock that is returned?

    The artist can choose to have us recycle stock (at no cost) or have us mail the excess quantity back to them at their own expense (at the same shipping rates for CD Baby customers).

    What is recycling?

    When recycle is chosen, we work with a company to pick up “recycled” CDs and break them back down into their raw materials. The recycling company can then resell the raw materials, keep CDs out of landfills, and prevent CDs from showing up at retail stores as used or discount merchandise.

    Who pays if I want my CDs recycled?

    Recycling is offered free of charge.

  • What does CD Baby Pro do?

    CD Baby Pro makes music publishing easy for independent songwriters. Gone are the headaches of trying to figure this out for yourself. CD Baby Pro gives you a convenient way to collect publishing royalties from all over the world.

    • We affiliate the songwriter(s) with ASCAP, BMI, or SOCAN
    • We register your songs with collection agencies worldwide
    • We collect all available publishing royalties on your behalf and pay them directly to you
    What is music publishing?

    Publishers make sure songwriters get paid when their music is used commercially.

    Some things to keep in mind with our definition:

    • ‘songwriters’ are those who have contributed to a song’s underlying composition.
    • ‘getting paid’ refers to royalties (performance and mechanical).
    • ‘commercially’ refers to any time your music is used / sold by another business or artist.
    Why do I need CD Baby Pro?

    CD Baby Pro gives independent songwriters the ability to collect worldwide publishing royalties — helping you make the most money from your music.

    For unpublished/independent songwriters, the collection of publishing royalties is daunting, expensive, and time-consuming. With CD Baby’s global network of collection agencies, we've done all the hard work for you. We’ll affiliate you as a songwriter with a performing rights organization (ASCAP, BMI, or SOCAN); we’ll register your songs with hundreds of collection agencies around the world; and we’ll pay you the publishing royalties you’re owed.

    Even if you're already affiliated with a performing rights organization, and/or have your own publishing company, we can help you make more money from your music.

    How does CD Baby Pro work?

    CD Baby Pro provides professional royalty collection services to independent songwriters. We act as publishing administrator for our artists, meaning we can register songs and collect publishing royalties on their behalf. Revenue from royalties relating to the sound recording are NOT a part of CD Baby Pro's collection services — only publishing royalties.

    For any songwriter, the process of efficiently collecting publishing royalties can be daunting, if not impossible. There are multiple societies and collection agencies with which to contend, endless paperwork, and confusing jargon. CD Baby Pro makes this process easy for the first time with a one-stop publishing administration service.

    With CD Baby Pro, your works will be registered with a Performing Rights Organization (ASCAP, BMI, or SOCAN) as well as mechanical licensing agents around the world.

    How long is my publishing deal with CD Baby Pro?

    Your publishing agreement with CD Baby is for 1 year. At the end of that year, your agreement is automatically extended quarterly with no additional charge. When you register a song with us during the term of the publishing agreement, there is a minimum 12 month Exploitation Period, so in some cases the rights granted may extend past your cancellation date. This means that if you register a song on January 1st, but cancel your term on February 1st, the Exploitation Period for that song extends until December 31st. You may opt out of your publishing agreement at the end of the first year or any of the following quarterly periods.

    How do payments work after cancellation?

    Because societies are behind in their royalty payments, our agreement includes a post-term collection period. This means that we have the right to collect royalties that were earned during the Exploitation Period for a song we administer for you for 1 year after the end of the Exploitation Period for that song.

    Is CD Baby Pro like a Performing Rights Organization?

    CD Baby Pro is not a Performing Rights Organization. We act as a publishing administrator to collect publishing royalties on behalf of songwriters. These royalties include performance royalties paid by Performing Rights Organizations (e.g. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC), as well as international mechanical royalties from the sale of your music on sites like iTunes.

    If you're not yet affiliated with a Performing Rights Organization, we make it easy for you. And if you're already set up with a P.R.O., we will simply start collecting royalties on your behalf.

    Is CD Baby now my publisher?

    CD Baby is not like a traditional publisher; we’re closer to what folks in the biz call an ‘administrator.’ In our role of a publishing administrator, we register songs with Performing Rights Organizations and collect publishing royalties on your behalf. This is different from a traditional publisher that would provide a full suite of creative and legal services (e.g. sync licensing, copyright).

    How much commission do you take of royalties?

    We take a 15% commission. CD Baby Pro pays songwriters 85% of any publishing royalties collected on their behalf.

    Does CD Baby claim any ownership of my music?

    CD Baby clients always keep 100% of their copyrights. This is unlike many traditional publishing agreements, in which songwriters can be asked to give up some of their copyrights. By keeping 100% of your copyrights, you remain in full control of your songs.

    Can I register a public domain work for CD Baby Pro?

    No, we are not currently accepting public domain tracks for CD Baby Pro. Only original compositions are eligible.

    Who is eligible for CD Baby Pro?

    Anyone who has a US Social Security Number can affiliate with a Performing Rights Organization through CD Baby, since this is what BMI and ASCAP require to become an affiliated songwriter.

  • Can I join CD Baby Pro if I'm already with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or SOCAN?

    Yes. CD Baby Pro acts only as your publishing administrator, meaning we are complimentary to your existing affiliation with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or SOCAN.

    Once you're with CD Baby Pro, the publisher's share of any performance royalties will be sent to CD Baby by your Performing Rights Organization. We then combine this with any other royalties (e.g. mechanicals, international) and distribute to you in one payment.

    Note: the writer's share of public performance royalties will always be sent to you directly by your PRO.

    Can I join if I'm not affiliated with ASCAP, BMI, SOCAN, or SESAC?

    Yes. In fact, CD Baby Pro makes it easy for you to affiliate with a performing rights organization.

    Upon sign-up with CD Baby Pro, you will be asked to designate the Performing Rights Organization of your choice (ASCAP, BMI, etc.). Tell us a little bit about your songs and the songwriters involved, and we’ll handle the rest. Even better, any affiliation fees are included.

    Once you're with CD Baby Pro, the publisher's share of any performance royalties will be sent to CD Baby by your PRO. We then combine this with any other royalties (e.g. mechanicals, international) and distribute to you in one payment.

    Note: the writer's share of public performance royalties will always be sent to you directly by your PRO.

    Can I join if I have my own publishing company?

    Yes indeed! CD Baby will act as the publishing administrator of your publishing company, meaning we can register songs and collect royalties on your company's behalf.

    Upon sign up, you will be asked to sign a Letter of Direction that allows us register songs and collect royalties on your behalf of your publishing company.

    Once you're with CD Baby Pro, the publisher's share of any performance royalties from your publishing company will be first sent to CD Baby by your Performing Rights Organization. We then combine this with any other royalties (e.g. mechanicals, international) and distribute to you in one payment.

    Note: the writer's share of public performance royalties will always be sent to songwriters directly by your PRO.

    Can I join if I already have a publishing deal?

    When you join CD Baby Pro, you're entering into an exclusive publishing administration agreement. If you have an existing publishing administration deal, you will need to check very carefully to see if the terms of that agreement would prohibit joining CD Baby Pro. In most instances, it will not be possible to join.

    Can I join if I write music with others?

    Absolutely! When you register songs via CD Baby Pro, you need to provide us with the names and songwriting splits of any co-writers. We then register the song on your behalf and collect only your share.

    Will you collect royalties for my co-writers?

    If you choose, you can pay an additional $10 per songwriter and we will collect royalties on their behalf as well.

    Can I join as a minor?

    If you're already affiliated with a Performing Rights Organization as a minor, then we will require only a Letter of Direction to begin collecting royalties on your behalf.

    A minor affiliating with a Performing Rights Organization for the first time is required to submit a paper application along with any applicable fees. CD Baby Pro can not do this for you

  • What types of royalties do you collect?

    CD Baby Pro collects the publisher’s share of performance and mechanical royalties for compositions on behalf of songwriters. We collect these from the US and abroad via Performing Rights Organizations and other collection agencies. We also collect the label portion of any unclaimed* non-interactive digital performance royalties for sound recordings from SoundExchange.

    Performance royalty sources (included but not limited to):

    • Radio stations (terrestrial, satellite)
    • TV stations (network, cable)
    • Live venues (stadiums, bars, restaurants)
    • Online streaming services (Spotify, Rhapsody)

    Mechanical royalty sources (included but not limited to):

    • Interactive streaming services (Spotify, Rhapsody)
    • Sales of music outside the US (iTunes, Amazon)

    Any royalties relating to the recorded performance of a song (e.g. SoundExchange) is not part of revenue generated by CD Baby Pro.

    * We only collect unclaimed digital performance royalties for sound recordings. If you're already registered with SoundExchange, you will continue to be paid by them directly.

    What are performance royalties?

    Performance royalties are paid by Performing Rights Organizations to songwriters and publishers for the public broadcast of music. These royalties come from blanket license fees paid to Performing Rights Organizations by businesses who broadcast music (e.g. radio / TV stations, live venues, restaurants).

    There is no set rate for performance royalties – they vary quarter-by-quarter depending on variable factors, such as the total amount of license fees collected by the Performing Rights Organization.

    What are mechanical royalties?

    Mechanical royalties must be paid by a third-party (normally a record label) for the recording, manufacture and distribution of copyright-protected music.

    The current statutory mechanical royalty rate for physical recordings (such as CDs) and permanent digital downloads is 9.1¢ for recordings of a song 5 minutes or less, and 1.75¢ per minute or fraction thereof for those over 5 minutes. These rates only apply to compulsory licenses as outlined in Section 115 of the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act.

    You are also able to directly negotiate regarding the terms of mechanical licenses you issue – whether to your record label or other artists/labels seeking to cover your songs. CDB Pro does not offer any advice with regards to these sorts of agreements. We will also not be collecting mechanicals from releases that an artist puts out through their own label.

    From which countries do you collect?

    CD Baby Pro collects performance and mechanical royalties from most major international markets. These include: US, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands.

    When should I expect my first royalty payments?

    If you're affiliating with a Performance Rights Organization for the first time, the earliest you could possibly see royalties is 6 - 9 months after affiliation. Those already affiliated with a Performing Rights Organization at the time of joining CD Baby Pro should not see any interruption to their existing royalty collection.

    How often do you pay my royalties?

    CD Baby distributes royalties quarterly. We pay as quickly as possible after receiving distributions from all collection societies. Generally, US societies are 2 quarters behind (e.g. 4th quarter 2013 payments will include uses from the 2nd quarter of 2013). Societies outside the US vary from 2 - 4 quarters behind.

    These royalty payments are dependent on the use of your song in a particular quarter. There are no guarantees that by joining CD Baby Pro, you will receive publishing royalties.

    From CD Baby, you receive payment of the publisher’s share of your royalties. The songwriter’s share will be sent directly to you from your Performing Rights Organization.

    How much can I expect to earn from royalties?

    The amount of royalties you make will depend on a multitude of factors. It's not currently possible for CD Baby Pro to estimate royalty amounts before the fact.

    Royalty amounts depend on factors such as:

    • use of your music in broadcast (e.g. radio, TV)
    • use of your music from streaming (e.g. Spotify)
    • sales of your music overseas (e.g. iTunes)
    • the territories in which your music is used
    Do you collect my co-writers’ royalties too?

    We can only collect royalties for CD Baby Pro songwriters. You can add royalty collection for additional songwriters for a one time $10 fee per writer. If you co-write with non-CD Baby Pro songwriters, we collect no royalties on their behalf.

    If two CD Baby Pro songwriters write together on a song – and one has their own publishing company, but the other does not – one will appear with their own publishing company as an original publisher and CD Baby Publishing will appear as their administrator. For the other writer, CD Baby will appear as their original publisher. We will collect on behalf of both songwriters.

    Can you collect royalties from my songs already registered with a Performing Rights Organization?

    Absolutely. We will simply need a Letter of Direction to let your Performing Rights Organization know that we’re able to collect on your behalf.

    What is a CAE/IPI number?

    An IPI/CAE number is a nine-digit international identification number assigned to songwriters and publishers to uniquely identify rights holders. Your IPI/CAE number is available in the repertories of all Performing Rights Organizations and can be found by searching for your name in their respective databases.

    How do I collect royalties when my song is covered by another artist or released by a third party?

    If your song is manufactured and sold by a third-party, you are entitled to a mechanical royalty. This will be paid to you by the third-party releasing the album for sale. This third-party could be a label releasing your songs, or a label / artist covering your songs.

    All CD Baby Pro clients will have their songs registered with Harry Fox Agency for easy mechanical licensing via Songfile. We will also collect mechanicals from compulsory licenses via Limelight.

    How soon after my song is broadcast (e.g. on radio) will I get paid?

    With all Performing Rights Organizations, there is a lag period between the date of the use and the royalty payment. The lag in the US is normally between 6 - 9 months.

    How far back can you collect?

    CD Baby Pro collects royalties going forward from the time of joining. In certain instances, a songwriter may have retroactive royalties to collect. These almost never go back further than one year – and we make no guarantees about our ability to collect retroactively.

    Why do you need my W-9 information?

    A signed W-9 form is required by the IRS for anyone receiving money from royalty payments. Without this, we cannot pay you.

  • With whom do you register my songs?

    CD Baby Pro registers your songs with Performing Rights Organizations and collection societies in the US and abroad for the collection of publishing royalties. For example:

    USA

    • Performance: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC
    • Mechanical: Harry Fox, Music Reports

    Canada

    • Performance: SOCAN
    • Mechanical: CMRRA

    UK

    • Performance: PRS for Music
    • Mechanical: MCPS

    France

    • Performance / mechanical: SACEM

    Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg

    • Performance / mechanical: BUMA / STEMRA

    ...and more!

    Do you register my songs with the US Copyright Office?

    We do not register your songs with the US Copyright Office. We recommend that all clients copyright their works via copyright.gov.

    Can I register a cover song?

    It is not possible to register cover songs for the collection of publishing royalties. These royalties are only paid to the writers of an original song.

    Can I register a remix, mash-up or song with samples?

    Unless you have permission from all concerned parties, it is not possible to register songs with uncleared samples.

    What information is needed to register a song?

    In order to register a song, we require: song title, songwriter details (full names), and song splits.

    What are song splits?

    Song splits determine the percentage of royalties paid to songwriters from each song. These splits can be divvied up as per an agreement between each songwriter – often based on the percentage of input a songwriter provided to a song. Splits are always based on overall contribution out of 100%. Splits should be agreed upon before registering songs and total 100% per track.

    Why do you ask about “lyrics” and “music”?

    When registering songs, you are required to denote whether a songwriter contributed to lyrics (author), music (composer) or both. You denote this in absolute terms i.e. did they contribute anything to the lyrics / music? You do not need to break down lyrics and music by percent.

    Can I collect royalties for songs written by others?

    If you have not contributed to the writing of a song, we cannot register the song or collect royalties for it.

    How many songwriters can I list on my song?

    You must list all songwriters who contributed to the composition of your song. You should determine song splits – the percentage that each writer contributed – in advance of song registration.

    Can I register songs with writers who are not CD Baby Pro clients?

    Absolutely! In fact, you must list all the songwriters for each song your register. We will only collect your share of royalties; the non-CD Baby Pro songwriters are responsible for their own royalty collection.

    Can I register an arrangement of a public domain song?

    No, we are not currently accepting public domain tracks for CD Baby Pro. Only original compositions are eligible.

    Can I register an arrangement of a copyrighted song I did not write?

    This can only be registered if there is permission from the copyright owner(s) of the published song. If a copyright owner has given permission to a composer/author to arrange their work, they must agree on splits for the arrangement.

    Can I register a spoken word song?

    Spoken word songs can only be registered if they are accompanied with an original musical background that is not based on public domain work, and also a substantial part of the recording contains background music.

    Can I register instrumental versions of my songs?

    Yes. These should be registered as new songs.

    How long will it take for my songs to be registered?

    Up to two months.

  • How long does it take to get affiliated with SOCAN?

    Affiliation to SOCAN typically takes about one to two months. Once they receive your registration information from CD Baby, they will contact you directly with additional steps.

    Once my CD Baby Pro signup is complete, how long does it take to hear back from SOCAN?

    You should hear back within 25-30 days.

    Why do I need to provide my Social Insurance Number to SOCAN?

    CD Baby is a US company and we need to report any royalty payments for tax reasons to the US government. In order to do this we require a ‘foreign tax identification number’, which in Canada is the Social Insurance Number(SIN).

    Why do I need to provide my bank account information to SOCAN?

    In order for SOCAN to pay you the songwriter’s share of your publishing royalties, you need to provide them with your bank account information.

    Do I need to register my songs with SOCAN?

    No. We will register all the songs/albums you’ve signed up for CD Baby Pro to SOCAN on your behalf.

    What do I do if I need to change some song registrations on SOCAN?

    Contact us with any song updates/changes/registration questions. We will handle the changes with SOCAN and all other royalty collection societies.

    What types of royalties does SOCAN collect?

    SOCAN collects performance royalties earned in Canada. CD Baby Pro will help you collect these as well as all other royalty types in Canada and internationally.

    I still need to affiliate with CMRRA?

    No. CD Baby Pro has a direct relationship with CMRRA and will register your songs and collect your royalties from them the same way we do with SOCAN and several other international societies.

    My songs are still not appearing on SOCAN’s repertoire search. Why?

    SOCAN’s public repertoire search only shows works that have earned royalties in Canada. If your song is not appearing, it has not yet generated publishing royalties. If you log into your private SOCAN account, you should see the song registration there.

  • What is Ads by CD Baby?

    Ads by CD Baby allows you to promote your album to music fans all over the internet that are interested in your style of music. Your music will be see by fans when they visit top sites like Pandora, MTV, YouTube and hundreds more. It’s like major label promotion but on an indie budget.

    Who will see my ads?

    Your ads will be targeted to people who like your style of music, based on the the type of artists they listen to on CD Baby. For example, if you are a hip hop artist, your ads will be seen by fans who listen to other hip hop artists.

    Where will my ads show?

    Your ads will be shown on all over the internet, wherever music fans interested in your music might go. This includes top music sites like MTV, YouTube, Pandora and other top sites like NY Times, Yahoo, and hundreds more.

    What happens when someone clicks on my ad?

    Your fan will be taken to your CD Baby album page where they can listen to your music and buy your album.

    How many ad views will I get?

    For $35 a week, your band will be seen by 12,000 music fans when they visit top music sites. Each and every week that you promote, you will be seen by another 12,000 music fans. When someone views your ad, they can click on it to learn more about your music, listen to your songs and buy your album. (These ad view numbers are estimates. Actual ad views will vary from campaign to campaign.)

    When will my ad go live?

    Your ad should go live in 1 to 2 business days after your purchase. You will be notified by email when your ad goes live.

    How do I cancel?

    Click the View Promotion button on the Ads by CD Baby dashboard. From the Campaign Summary page, simply click the toggle button on your ad preview to cancel. If you cancel prior to the end of your campaign, you will receive an ad credit that can be applied to your next campaign. This ad credit can only be used for Ads by CD Baby campaigns and cannot be applied to other CD Baby products.

    I made a mistake on my ad, how do I change it?

    You can cancel your current campaign, make the required change and then restart the campaign. When you cancel, you will receive an ad credit that can be applied to the new campaign.

    Can I customize my ad?

    Yes, before you purchase your campaign, go to the Edit Your Ad page will allow you to change/crop your main photo, change the ad text and the ad colors.

    How much does it cost?

    Campaigns can be purchased with a weekly budget from $35 to $350. Your ad will automatically renew each week at the budget price you set unless you cancel. You will receive an email reminder two days prior to the campaign renewing.

    How long will my campaign run?

    Each campaign is run over a one week period, renewing weekly unless you cancel.

    What’s the difference between a $35 campaign and $350 campaign?

    The bigger your budget, the more times your ads will be seen by music fans. A $35 weekly budget will result in 12,000 fans seeing your ads, whereas a $350 budget will get 185,000 fans to see your ads. More ad views generally mean more people will click on the ads and go to your CD Baby store where they can listen to your music and buy your album.

    Will I be able to see my ads?

    Many of the sites that feature your ads have millions of visitors each day. You may get lucky and see your ad once or twice, but most often your ads are shown to other people who we think would like your music.

    How do I know that my ads were really show?

    We stand behind the results of your campaign 100%. Any time we tell you that your ad was featured on a given site, rest assured that it most certainly was. If you have a specific concern about the featured sites, please contact cdbaby@cdbaby.com.

    How can I view my ad results?

    Your ad views and clicks can be viewed by clicking View Details on the campaign summary page.

    Can I dictate where my ads appear or avoid my ad showing up on certain sites?

    No. Because your ads are targeted to music fans wherever they go on the Web, we do not know beforehand where the ads will display. But, since we are targeting music fans, most of your ads will display on music sites, such as Pandora, MTV, YouTube and more.

    How big will my ad be?

    The ad is a standard ad size of 300 pixels wide by 250 pixels high.

    Can I track sales on CD Baby that are results of this ad campaign?

    No, not at this time. You will be able to see stats on the number of ad views and clicks for each of your ads.

    What kinds of things are not allowed in my ad's artwork?

    Sexually explicit content and profanity are prohibited. The band/musician on the ad image must match the landing page. We have final ruling on content of the ad.

Sorry, there are no FAQ matches for your keyword(s).

Please try again with another keyword or clear your search and use the categories.