CD Baby Pro Publishing and Working with Other Libraries

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  • #37516 Reply

    Hey all.

    This is really a 2 part question about publishing when working with non exclusive distributors.

    First, when putting music that’s being distributed by a company like CD Baby on other non exclusive sites, how do you properly list the publisher? This has been a confusing one for me because I know that CD Baby is non exclusive but they’re listed as the publisher on ASCAP for the works that I distribute through them. If I’m working another deal on my own, it seems odd to me to list them as the publisher considering they seem to emphasize the “it’s your music, do what you want” concept.

    Second, does anyone know if it’s possible to collect everything on your own that distributors like this offer or are they a necessary middleman? I’m fine with taking the time and effort to do whatever needs to be done in order to keep as much of my earnings as possible but I have no idea where to start or if it’s even possible. I know that there’s a way to administer your own publishing with PROs, but what else is there in the big picture?

    I’ve used CD Baby for several years now and have had a mostly good experience but now that I’m getting deeper into the library world, I feel like I’m leaving money on the table and want to do everything I can to make this endeavor work.

    #37517 Reply
    Art Munson

    Well, that’s a terrible deal for distribution. There are other distributors out there that do not take any publishing.

    I use Level Music. It was free but now they charge $20 a year. I would look for other options than CD Baby.

    #37518 Reply

    That’s what I’m confused about. I’m not exactly sure what they’re doing exactly. Their help center has a topic “Is CD Baby my publisher is I am listed at the Pro level?” and the answer reads to me like “no, but also yes.” They say:

    “CD Baby is not like a traditional publisher; we’re closer to what folks in the biz call an ‘administrator.’ In our role as a publishing administrator, we register songs with Performing Rights Organizations and collect publishing royalties on your behalf. This is different from a traditional publisher that may also provide a full suite of creative and legal services (e.g. sync licensing, copyright).

    In order for CD Baby to collect royalties on your behalf, you will need to select “No” when asked if you have a publisher for all tracks; our system will automatically list “CD Baby Publishing” as the publisher.”

    So if I’m understanding that correctly, technically they do take publishing for those tracks and It looks like they take a 15% commission for publishing.

    Thanks for the lead on Level Music, I’ll give them a look.
    When I was starting out, CD Baby seemed like a great option in order to get my stuff out there with the least amount of hassle but now that I know more, it’s not sounding so great.

    #37627 Reply

    I have been using for many years. I think they are the best. Take a look at their offers.

    #37671 Reply

    Thanks tobytune, I’ll give them a look.

    #37672 Reply

    CD Baby Pro and their publishing admin option involves YouTube Content ID, which can be a problem for libraries, especially some of the Royalty Free libraries.

    #37673 Reply

    That’s something I was wondering about. Good to know. Thanks MichaelL!

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