How to Sell More Physical Albums through CD Baby

2015 27

How can you be successful selling physical albums through CD Baby? 

Follow these 3 simple steps:

1. Send us your CDs –  This first step is kinda obvious. Sign up for physical sales and send us your CDs.  If you haven’t pressed CDs in a while, CD Baby offers a number of affordable disc duplication and replication packages.

2. Opt in to our physical distribution program –  This is a great way to extend your sales reach to a worldwide audience.  We’ve expanded our distribution network to include Alliance Entertainment, the largest wholesale CD distributor in the world, making your CDs available to over 15,000 music stores and major on-line retailers.  We continue to work with, Super D, and other distributors and resellers, too, adding new ones every week.

Are you part of CD Baby’s physical distribution network (including Amazon, Alliance, Super D, and more)? Opt in now.

3. Keep your album priced right and in-stock — Offering a 20% physical distribution discount and restocking promptly when we email asking for more CDs are two great ways to maximize your sales.

Our warehouse gurus crunched some numbers after the latest sales figures came in, and they figured out that the artists who sell the most (through our partners like Alliance, Amazon, and Super D) have set a 20% physical distribution discount to improve pricing and sales volume.

Not sure if you have a physical distribution discount set up?  Login HERE to set or change your percentage discount today. 


Your physical albums now have a greater reach than ever before, and CD Baby’s increased year-to-date sales figures prove that a greater reach leads to greater sales. We want to encourage you to participate in all of our physical and digital sales channels. Fans have countless options when it comes to buying your music, so make sure your music is everywhere!


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  • The only thing that sucks is when you send a restock request for small quantities. I just paid $25 to send 5 cds to you when I can send 20 for about $40.

    • Well, we usually try to have 8 weeks of stock on hand. But if you feel like we've not requested enough (if you're going on tour, or have an ad campaign coming up, TV appearance, or something like that), give us a call and we can talk about adjusting the inventory request.


    Hello My lovely People in Cdbaby. I am proud to be a Cdbaby ARTIST under their umbrella i became the voting member of the Grammy USA and also the most recorded and published Artist in North East of USA , fellow ARTISTS yes I use the name Artists on all of you because you are all creative Artists. Now Music is known to revive a coma hospital patient . In many hospitals now your creative Art music is used to revive a comatose patient that included the Congress woman who was shot . Your Music was used in reviving her . The reason I am saying this is CDBABY and their staff have been saying it many different formats to US ARTISTS but we ignore it . Our creativity, our songs, our talents are needed. They have provided us with multiple tools music platforms, videos , facebook you name it BUT just like a water hole in a desert you have to drink it or sit beside the pond . I want 10, 000 Artist after reading this to go into their rooms dust up that music or song or Album you thought is good or bad or you may not like it TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT IT. DO A PROFESSIONAL JOB TO PUT IT TOGATHER SEND IT TO CD BABY. I don’t believe that you will put a really non effort song in the market ,but some of us have been so much of being the creator and the SELFJUDGE that we can not have any item in the market. There are people/fans out there looking to listen to you and pay you. YOU CAN NOT BE THE CREATOR AND YOUR JUDGE TO THE POINT YOU DONT HAVE ITEMS IN THE MARKET . Do your best to put it together , but above all bring it to Cdbaby. You need to drink from that pond my friends. Even for Elvis Presly =the king there were some songs he thought were no good but turned out to be major big HITS. I am asking 10,000 Cdbaby Artists to check your basement, check your music rooms all those songs and albums you wanted to throw out or did not complete PLEASE COMPLETE IT IN 30 DAYS SEND IT TO CDBABY.
    Every day that music or video is sitting in dark dust in your basement , you are losing fame, losing money above all losing the controversy of your fans over that song. Some may say excellent work , some spit on it , some kiss you. I LOVE THAT CONTROVERSY BECAUSE EITHER WAY THEY ARE TALKING ( LEARN FROM LAGY GAGA) . Even for Elvis many loved him but there were the critics so bring your song or Album to cdbaby to distribute it . MUSIC NOW IS A BUSINESS, VERY BIG BUSINESS . The staff of cdbaby have told us in many format bring that song or album to them. I am chief Kooffreh USA MUSIC ARTIST your fellow Artist, proud to be a Cdbaby Artist, the most published 95 Albums 1900 tracks 250 videos . I am asking you with love in my heart to go into your basement or under your tables , drawers or music room get those uncompleted songs and albums done bring it to cdbaby, I need 10,000 Cdbaby Artists to achieve that YOU CAN NOT ALLOW THAT WORK TO LIE THERE IN YOUR ROOM UNPUBLISHED SUM UP COURAGE BRING IT TO CDBABY.God bless you and bless CdbabyCHIEF KOOFFREHUSA MUSIC ARTIST

    • frankjg

      Right on! Thanks for the encouragement! Frank of Aoeria & Jamaica Ashe

  • Tony van Veen

    Big up, Chief! You're a legend at CD Baby…

  • Ben Makinen

    Cool Chris – like your ideas;-)

  • Gary

    Thanks Chris – regarding physical CD sales – would love to hear some data of physical versus digital sales…Are there certain demographics purchasing more physical than digital & vice versa? etc. etc. Keep up the great work!

    • Well the rule of thumb is younger people download songs more often than older. But the trend is toward digital downloads as the primary medium for music purchasing across the board.

      Soundscan did release some interesting sales data this year:

  • CeVon Musique

    You can send them media mail, if there's no rush… With nothing but CDs inside the package, it's usually under $5 to mail 5 or 20!

    • What about international artists? Shipping is way more expensive. Any advice for shipping from Europe and selling more cds? International artists cant really afford to sell cds at $9.99, etc.

      • Many music buyers (especially ones outside the US) are perfectly willing to pick up a CD for $15 or $16 if they know the artist.

  • One quick thing I noticed: When the CD is selling through Amazon or other third party distributors, they may have HIGHER prices than what is offered on CDBaby despite volume discounts. I figured the distributor discount would help my CD be more competitive in terms of price. I guess that isn't really the case and the distributor may get a much bigger cut from the sale. Just something to look out for. I recognize we don't have any control over distribution program pricing.

    • Yeah, there's not much you can do, but remember that people won't buy overpriced CDs for the most part. When you can get a download for 9.99, 25.00 bucks for a CD seems like highway robbery. So resellers that overcharge are mostly just hurting themselves.

      • Teddy

        Just curious, it is easy to regulate how many physical CDs we sell. How can we be sure we are being compensated properly for downloads since we really have no way of knowing how many cuts have been downloaded?

      • bishely

        Actually, aren’t they mostly just hurting us (the artists)? If we put that investment of time and money into making physical CDs, and then don’t sell many because the biggest, most well-known and convenient reseller has hoiked the prices up to “highway robbery” levels, we’re losing out, not Amazon. Sure, we may make some money back from the reseller, but we lose all the value of having greater reach, since potential fans are put off and possibly disaffected because they assume we’re the ones being unreasonable.

  • tommywright

    I was waiting on more tips.The opt-in service needs improvement at CD Baby. I’m Tommy Wright & I had a record deal. And I’ve sold thousands. But with Cd Baby & Super D my stuff just sits there until Amazon wants one. Something’s missing. And nobody’s telling us how to get the stores aware of the fact that Super D has the physical product. I know resellers personally and they had no idea my album was out. Most distributors use a tool called a one sheet. Then orders pour in! Maybe the relationship with Super D is flawed. Im just tryin to help and would like to sell thousands with Cd baby and actually wake up to see our albums in stores just like the other distributors .

  • Joseph Kimbrell

    Chris, do you have any advice for international artists sending you their cds? To send 5 CDs (standard first-time order I think), its around $25 from here in Norway, and a flat-rate box is $100 (this could hold anywhere from 1 to 200 CDs). Its also a battle of CD price, then. Is there a way to just put a note by the CD for sale that its an import to warrant a higher price? Or would it even sell?

  • Plenty of our "international" artists charge higher prices for their physical CDs and I think the customer is pretty understanding, especially if you mention in the album notes or style description section that they're imports. If they want the physical disc, they'll buy that for the higher price. If not, they can purchase your MP3s for a lower price.

  • We're obligated to report all digital sales to you, as stated in our terms of service. Our digital partners are contractually obligated to get us sales data within a reasonable amount of time and we report it to you as soon as we get it. Your accounting overview will show all sales reports, for both physical and digital sales.

  • And I should add to that, we're all artists here ourselves. We would never do anything to jeopardize the trust CD Baby has built up over the past… 14 years? Wow—almost driving age!

  • Hey Tommy, we don't handle marketing for our artists (that is still up to the artists/labels/etc.). With 500k musicians in our catalog, it'd be impossible to offer effective, personalized marketing services for each artist. That's a big reason why we offer free informational resources on the blog and PDF guides—so artists will at least have an awareness of how to get the marketing piece in place on their own. We did recently start a new distribution partnership with Alliance Entertainment that should help generate more sales for our artists, but in the end it's up to the artist to create demand.

  • Tommywright, is right… There must be a better link to sell from CD baby.. Thanks Tommy

  • so how do I find out if I'm part of CD Baby's physical distribution network.I've logged in and simply can't see what tells me. Obviously I sell physically through CD baby and also get a steady trickle of digital payments. I'm fully opted in for digital but where is that 'physical' info on the CD baby site.? Or am i automatically fully opted in for physical Cd sales because i sell CDs through cd Baby?. ?

  • Dave LaMorte

    There is one thing that I don’t understand or that I’m missing.
    Where should we send our phisical CDs, and how many do you keep in your warehouse?

    • To start with, send us 5 CDs. From there we’ll keep you posted with inventory request emails that will state a specific quantity of discs to send in for restock. Also, send to: CD Baby, 13909 NE Airport Way, Portland, Oregon, 97230.