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      November 23, 2020

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TuneCore vs CD Baby

To help you find the Best Music Publishing, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of TuneCore and CD Baby.

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Publish Your Music With SongCast Today! Where can you find the best music publishing services? You don't have to be famous to have your musical talents shared with the whole world.

There are companies that allow vocalists and other musicians to get their work published for streaming on platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Napster, and other big-name services. This allows individuals to skip the need for a music producer and put themselves out there independently.

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Best Reviews

2020

Music Publishing Reviews

4.5 stars
TuneCore

TUNECORE

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Cost:

$75 one-time fee + the cost to upload albums, singles, and ringtones

In 2006, TuneCore started partnering with digital stores to allow musicians to sell their songs worldwide. Some of these partner platforms include Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, TikTok, YouTube, and others. TuneCore has paid out over $1.8 billion in royalties to the artists who use their platform. Despite having a mediocre Better Business Bureau rating (B-), thousands of musicians have reported success by using what TuneCore has to offer and seem happy with their services.

Music publishing services

There are three main areas of music publishing that TuneCore provides to their clients. The first is fine-tuning and getting the music ready for publishing by offering feedback and licensing help. The next is to prepare artists to sell their music by setting up YouTube monetization, allowing Facebook to use the music, stocking up on physical CD copies, and so on. Lastly, TuneCore helps with music promotion through services like feature.fm, radio airplay, and TuneCore's social page where artists can schedule posts, connect with fans, and analyze engagement stats.

Cost breakdown

Musicians keep 100% of their copyright through all of the streaming platforms where their music is found. In return, they must pay for distribution of each song and album as well as split royalties. Here is a breakdown of costs that you can expect from TuneCore:

  • 15% of royalties go to TuneCore
  • 20% of sync commission goes to TuneCore
  • $75 one-time fee to use their services
  • $10 one-time fee for YouTube publishing
  • $29.99/album the first year, then $49.99/album for following years
  • $9.99 for singles
  • $19.99 for ringtones

Credits can save you money

You can purchase credits through TuneCore, which can be used for new releases. Buying credits in bulk will save money on the album, singles, and ringtone publishing costs. For example, 5 album credits costs $134.95, which saves the customer 10%. Or users can buy 20 single credits for $171.82, which saves them 14%. For musicians hoping to use TuneCore for a long time and release a lot of music, using credits will definitely save them money in the end - because TuneCore is definitely a pricier option for music publishing.

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Commercial films, tv, and video games

Similar to their competitors, TuneCore works to get their client's music placed in commercials, films, TV, and video games. Their highlight reel video shows a series of success stories from musicians who have used their site. Some of the companies that have used TuneCore client's music include Amazon, Rover, Pizza Hut, Legends Rising, Dancing with the Stars, Nordstrom, AT&T, and other recognizable names.

Mixed reviews

TuneCore has a B- rating from the Better Business Bureau due to lots of complaints that TuneCore took the customer's money, but then never published the music and also made it nearly impossible to contact their customer service team. There are musicians who reported that they waited months for their music to go live and saw zero results from TuneCore. On the flip side, other third-party sites have comments from thousands of musicians who say that they have been pleased with TuneCore's services. Some even say that customer service is easy to work with, though others still complain that working with a rep is like pulling teeth.

Worth consideration

The two main reasons we suspect artists might be leery of TuneCore are the expensive publishing costs and the less-than-ideal BBB rating. However, TuneCore has been in the industry long enough to have well-established connections and really knows how to help their musicians find success. Many prefer TuneCore over other music publishing platforms because of how quickly they distribute music and get the ball rolling for musicians to make music. We recommend seriously considering TuneCore for your music publishing needs.

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2.5 stars
CD Baby

CD BABY

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Cost:

From $9 to $29.95 per single

From $29 to $69 per album

CD Baby was founded in Woodstock, New York in 1998. They are home to over 650,000 artists and over 9 million tracks. If you're like us, the name of this publishing company makes you wonder if they are out of the loop, considering most people don't use CDs for music listening anymore. However, it was apparent when exploring their services that they are most definitely on top of their game in the music industry.

Over 100 streaming services

CD Baby works with over 100 streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Deezer, Amazon Music, and more. They have testimonials from accomplished artists who have used their services like Ingrid Michaelson, Paul Cardall, Aloe Blacc, and Two Steps from Hell. This company is the real deal and exists to truly help their artists succeed.

Pricing details

Pricing to use CD Baby is as follows:

  • Standard Distribution per album: $29
  • Standard Distribution per single: $9
  • Standard Distribution + publishing per album: $69
  • Standard Distribution + publishing per single: $29.95

91/9 revenue split

The listed prices are one-time fees per release with no annual fees. CD Baby keeps 9% of digital distribution revenue and artists keep the remaining 91%. CD Baby sets artists up for worldwide monetization, which means that there is potential to earn money beyond just streaming income. Musicians can also get an income from sync licensing fees, video monetization, and global publishing royalties.

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Boost your exposure

There are quite a few tools that CD Baby offers to artists to boost their exposure. One of these tools is Show.co, a platform to build email lists, grow Spotify following, and premiere YouTube videos free for CD Baby clients. Another tool is HearNow, a promo landing page for your next release that includes audio, artwork, and more. Others include Bandzoogle for building a music website, Radio Airplay for 100 free internet radio plays, and Merchly for creating music merch.

Disappointing reviews

Based on CD Baby's website, which helps musicians release music and market themselves with a clear explanation of the process, this service seems like an amazing option for artists. That's why we were a bit confused that the Better Business Bureau gives them a B- rating. In addition, there are a lot of mixed feelings from clients about their services. The biggest complaint usually revolves around their customer service being completely unresponsive and not actually dropping the music that customers paid for. Outside of how CD Baby markets themselves, they receive rather poor reports from customers, which is concerning.

Promising, but proceed with caution

We would recommend using one of the higher-rated music publishing services in order to make sure your music gets where you want it to go. There are many appealing things about CD Baby including their pricing, streaming service partners, professional presentation, and the tools they offer musicians. However, the negative feedback from clients speaks louder than all of this, so we would urge you to proceed with caution should you choose to produce your music here.

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Continued from above

Finding a music publishing service is a great way to start out in the music industry. Even though today you might just be writing and producing music in your basement, publishing companies allow artists to share their vocal talents with millions and potentially get discovered by a big name label.

There are quite a few music publishing services to choose from when exploring your options. A more reputable company will know the ins and outs of getting their musicians the maximum amount of exposure possible. If perhaps your music does get discovered and have millions of streaming listeners, you'll want to use a service that allows you to keep larger portions of sales.

Before choosing the company you want to publish your music, we suggest you keep the following things in mind:

  • Cost. Will you be paying a reasonable price for services whether or not you make much money from your music? What is the cost of publishing a single song versus an entire album? Is there a continued fee for using their services?
  • Services Included. Does the publishing company offer assistance along the way for first-time musicians who don't yet know the ropes? Do they provide templates to give you a professional presence?
  • Distributing. What music networks will the publishing company help you get in with? Are they reputable and well-known in the industry?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best music publishing services available today. We hope this information helps you achieve your musical aspirations!

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