Indie distributor and publisher CD Baby announced this week that its member artists had earned “well over” $100 million dollars in 2018. “That’s a ton of money,” said CD Baby’s Chris Robley, “but we’re expecting to pay out even more for the coming year as we open up new opportunities and expand existing ways of ‘monetizing’ music.”
The nine-figure milestone represents a 25 percent increase over 2017, when CD Baby paid out $80.1 million — itself a 33 percent bump from 2016. According to the company’s statistics, it distributes 750,000 artists and more than 9 million tracks and publishes 170,000 songwriters and over 1 million individual songs, representing artists in more than 200 territories across the globe.
When touting its numbers back in March 2018, CD Baby pegged its total number of artists at 650,000, along with 140,000 songwriters and 875,000 individual songs.
CD Baby’s record year for distributions to artists came as one of its chief digital partners, Spotify, decided to allow users to upload music directly to the streaming service. By doing so, artists would still have to work with a CD Baby or DistroKid to get their music on other ISPs, however.
In October, CD Baby’s marketing service platform Show.co announced that it enabled “pre-save” Spotify campaigns, allowing artists’ fans to save upcoming releases to their Spotify library ahead of release day. Then in November Apple Music named CD Baby as one of its preferred distribution partners.