Digital Distribution: TuneCore vs. CD Baby

If you work in music, you now realize a lot has changed about music distribution and the music industry as a whole.  And, no matter who you are – unsigned, already working as a musician, managing artists or running a small label – you need a distribution channel to get your music into places where it can be easily accessed by your target audience. But, it can be tricky for an independent artist or label to tread the waters of finding which online distributor is the best fit to provide distribution services that will cater to their individual needs.

However difficult finding the right online distributor might be, we have done our best to simplify the process for you. Below, we have included two of the top one-stop shop online distribution companies (CD Baby and TuneCore) that are good fits for artists looking for a way to make their music available to a broad audience.


CD Baby is the largest online music distribution company for independent music. They offer a host of artist services including physical and digital distribution, warehousing and shipping of CDs, DVDs, and vinyl, affordable web-hosting and design, download cards, disc duplication, and more.

Additionally, CD Baby ships CDs from their own warehouse, and sell music downloads from their website. They also deliver their artists’ music to other digital distribution retailers like iTunes™, Rhapsody, eMusic, and many more.

You can submit your music, and for a one-time fee ($49 for an album, $9.95 per single) CD Baby will distribute it across their network (which includes a huge range of offline stores that sell physical CDs).



TuneCore is the world’s largest platform for artists to sell music on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and more. They make it possible for people to release their music without giving up their rights. Currently, over 250,000 artists use TuneCore to get their music heard.

TuneCore, who proudly touts itself as “The new music industry,” has an excellent model in place which allows them to collect and give you 100% of the money from your music sales along with detailed streaming and sales reports.

The general amount of time it takes music to go live in the digital stores TuneCore distributes varies. For iTunes and Spotify, most releases take 24-72 hours to go live. Other stores like Amazon MP3, Deezer and iHeartRadio, take about 3-7 business days. While stores like Amazon On Demand (6-8 weeks), Google Play (about 2 weeks) and Rdio (1-2 weeks), take longer to process.

Overall, CD Baby and TuneCore are exceptional distribution solutions for independent artists. If the services are used as one arm of a total business plan, there’s no limit to the impact these companies can have on boosting an artist’s music career. Visit both websites to see a more detailed list of the services these online distributors provide.