Musician revenue in 2020

CD Baby paid musicians more than $126,000,000 in 2020.

Artists and labels using CD Baby for worldwide music distribution, monetization, and promotion were collectively paid $126,782,389 in 2020, a 26% increase over 2019’s payout of $100,953,195.

That’s an encouraging indicator of the health of the independent music sector, especially given that this growth occurred during a year defined by a global pandemic.

If you’re an artist, it’s also a good reminder to professionalize all your music rights and fully monetize your music. This includes publishing administration, YouTube Content ID, sync licensing, and more.

CD Baby offers all those services, we collect numerous forms of music revenue from all over the world, and we pay artists accurately — every single week.

Which platforms drove the most music revenue for CD Baby artists in 2020?

When it comes to “traditional” revenue (sound recording royalties for streams and downloads) it’s fascinating to see which platforms were responsible for the most money earned in 2020.

While Spotify accounted for the largest portion of digital music royalties (40%), activity on Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Pandora generated significant royalties for CD Baby artists.

It’s important to build audiences on multiple platforms.

The infographic below shows that listening is fragmented, fans are spread across numerous platforms, and artists need to account for that fact in their music promotion. That’s why you should be using a simple smartlink such as HearNow whenever you share new music.

Here’s a closer look at our 2020 artist payout…

2020 music revenue increases [infographic]