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CD Baby paid out $80 million last year, more than half from streaming

CD Baby paid out $80 million to independent artists in 2017. That performance brings its total payouts to more than $600 million in the distributor and publisher’s 20 years of operation. Over that time, the source of CD Baby’s payouts has shifted dramatically in response to changes in music consumption trends. Only $575,000, just 1.7% of its total payouts, came from streaming in 2009. By 2017, streaming was 58% of its payouts, reaching $46.7 million.

“Just six years ago, iTunes downloads were the main source of sales revenue for our artists,” CD Baby VP of Marketing Kevin Breuner said. “With this shift [towards streaming], we’ve seen revenue increase dramatically. The overall pie is growing and indie musicians are getting their slices.”

“We’re excited to see average artists’ earnings grow for a third consecutive year due to millions more consumers engaging in music discovery on streaming services,” said CEO Tracy Maddux. “We’re very optimistic about the trend as we continue to lobby for higher per stream rates.”