Independent success doesn’t mean you do it all yourself.

Maybe this year you want to improve your songwriting, make better recordings from home, reach more fans on Instagram, sell more merch, or grow your Spotify audience.

Maybe you want to be more productive, quit your day-job, win a Grammy, or drop your first NFT.

No matter how you define success in music, it usually involves some kind of growth and sustainability. You want each success to build towards the next, right?

To gain momentum in your music career, you should:

  1. Plan every release in advance, and
  2. Build a quality team around your music

In your local scene your team might consist of collaborators or bandmates, friends that help with videography or design, it might be a music lawyer, a booking agent, or even a manager.

But as your team grows to include online services, it’s important to know that your music distributor should do more than simply get your songs on Spotify or TikTok. They should be a long-term partner in your music success.

Choose a music partner that helps you succeed on YOUR terms.

Distribution is about MUCH MORE than pushing files.

Back when Spotify removed its direct upload tool, there was a lot of talk in the industry about music distribution: What it is, why it’s hard, and how to get it right.

I wrote an article for Berklee called “The 5 Most Important Things to Know about Music Distribution in the Streaming Era” outlining some best-practices for artists releasing new music.

I also touched upon the difference between the RIGHT distributor and the one that promises everything will be quick, cheap, and easy:

In some ways, moving digital music files from points A to Z is the easy part. It’s everything ELSE that makes the difference.

Your music distributor should handle:

  • Robust metadata collection during the signup process
  • Efficient rights management
  • Manual inspection of every release
  • Complete music monetization at low or no extra cost
  • Accurate, detailed, and swift accounting
  • Customer service and artist support
  • Label services for emerging artists
  • Proven music marketing and ad tools

They should also do all these things without you having to give up ownership or control over your music.

With all these “extras” you know your music will be properly delivered, that you’re safeguarded from platform guideline violations or rights disputes, that you’ll get paid on time, and that you’re set up to collect royalties from the most sources possible — including:

  1. social videos (on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.)
  2. sync licensing
  3. global music publishing revenues
  4. and more

With more ways than ever to generate money from your recordings and compositions, and with more DSPs requiring 100% accurate metadata in order to keep music available on their platforms, it’s not enough to just “get your music out there” anymore.

Your success is our success.

Unlike other distributors, CD Baby is incentivized to help you make the most of your entire catalog long-term. In other words, our incentives are aligned.

If a new platform pops up, or a new territory enters the global music marketplace, we want your music to be there. No extra fees.

If a sync or playlist opportunity arises, we want your music to be there. Not just for your newest songs. For ALL your songs.

Label services to unlock playlist pitching and other promotion opportunities

As your career advances, we have free label services to help you take your music to the next level.

With CD Baby Stages — our transparent roadmap for unlocking expedited delivery, promotion, and editorial pitching  — we’ve created the ONLY truly independent distribution system that can provide everything an artist needs, at any level, from their first single to their tenth Grammy.

To see how it works, check out Stages.

Every artist deserves fast and accurate payments.

CD Baby has also paid artists every week for 25 years, we provide complete music monetization and publishing administration (in addition to distribution), AND — because of our efforts in metadata and rights management — we’re the only digital music aggregator to have top-preferred status with both Apple Music and Spotify.

There’s more to distribution than speed.

Don’t rush.

Plan every single or album so your music reaches the most listeners possible.

When you plan ahead and choose the best team, you’ll have what you need to earn the most money from your music over the coarse of your whole career.