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CD Baby Artists Earned More than $100 Million Last Year

CD Baby artists earned more than $100 million in 2018, likely due to its exclusive deals with Spotify and Apple Music.

Several months ago, Spotify revealed its list of preferred artist distributors.

Listing Distrokid in bold, the list also includes CD Baby, EmuBands, The Orchard, and FUBA.

These five companies will help independent artists and labels quickly get their music onto the service. Spotify’s deal with each distributor also allows them to distribute music onto rival streaming music platforms.

Then, just a few weeks later, Apple Music quietly unveiled its own preferred artist distributors. Dubbed the ‘Apple Preferred Distribution Program,’ the company named just three music distributors as its ‘Preferred Plus’ partners – CD Baby, The Orchard, and Kontor New Media.

Now, one digital distributor has reaped the benefits.
In 2018, artists on CD Baby earned well over $100 million.

The 20-year-old company claims it’s consistently paid artists “every single week without fail, no matter what.”

The figure has come from the following sources:

Streaming and download revenue.
CD and vinyl sales.
Social video monetization on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Sync licensing.
Publishing administration (for both performance and mechanical royalties).
The “label” share of licensed, non-interactive streaming royalties.
Other sources.
Speaking about the figure, CD Baby’s Chris Robley added,

“ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS! That’s a ton of money, but we’re expecting to pay out even more for the coming year as we open up new opportunities and expand existing ways of “monetizing” music.”

This figure represents a 25% increase over 2017. CD Baby had paid out $80.1 million, up 33% from 2016.

The company distributes 750,000 artists and over 9 million tracks. CD Baby also publishes 170,000 songwriters and more than 1 million songs. The company represents artists in over 200 territories worldwide.

Early last year, CD Baby claimed it distributed 650,000 artists, 140,000 songwriters, and 875,000 songs.

The huge bump most likely came from its exclusive distribution deals with Spotify and Apple Music.