It’s funny how quickly the music industry changes. One day A is good. The next day B is better. Then a week later, C trumps both. After trying both CDBaby and Tunecore, I’ve seen my allegiance shift back and forth. So I thought I’d offer pros and cons of each company and their respective methods.

I decided to stick primarily to money-related points since that’s probably what you’re most concerned with. I hesitated to label which points are PRO or CON because that will actually be determined by you and what you’re looking for. Your additional thoughts are also welcome!  note: while CD Baby offers distribution of physical copies as well, this is merely an analysis of digital distribution

Oh and because we don’t assume anything on this blog here’s the definition of a digital distributor for those who don’t know.

Digital Distributor: a company or “middle man” (if you will) that sends your music to online music stores such as iTunes, AmazonMP3, Napster, Rhapsody…etc.



  • costs $29.99 to submit an album, $9.99 for a single
  • after the the one-time setup fee for submitting your music, they charge an annual maintenance/renewal fee of $49.99 per album, $9.99 per single. They do not take a percentage from downloads.
  • From past experience, Tunecore took 1 week to get my music on various digital download stores, including iTunes. This was faster than I expected.
  • offers free monthly “Sales Reports” letting you know how many downloads each of your songs received
  • if you really want them, they charge for weekly “Trend Reports”. These allow you to see city, state, zip, country of everyone who downloads your stuff off iTunes.
  • puts your money in your Paypal account for free, but charges $2.75 for direct deposit and $3 to mail you a check
  • Sales reports and downloadable spreadsheet information is pretty reader-friendly


  • costs $39 to submit an album, $9.95 for a single
  • there is no annual maintenance fee but instead, CD Baby takes 9% of each download. In other words, if you sell a $10 album on iTunes, and iTunes take roughly 30%, CD Baby takes 9% of the remaining $7. That’s  63 cents per album)
  • I have not used CD Baby in the recent past so I can’t tell you how quickly it actually takes to get your music up on digital stores, but CD Baby claims that it only takes 48 hours for music to appear on iTunes. 
  • has been around much longer than Tunecore and has relationships with the most digital stores
  • allows you access to sales reports “Digital Partner Sales” charts so you can see which stores consumers are buying from.
  • sends you a check in the mail, does direct deposit, or puts your money directly in you bank account – all free of charge

If you’re aware of any other digital distribution companies or have opinions on the above, please stick them in the comments.