I recently blogged comparing digital distribution companies CD Baby and Zimbalam. CD Baby came out on top for me, mainly because they don’t charge annual fee and also because they can help distribute physical copies of your music.
I recently received an e-mail from CD Baby informing me that the price of submitting an album is increasing from $39 to $49. It’s a relatively small increase but I do have some reservations about it.
A few months ago my band released a 2 track single prior to the release of our album. When you release a single through CD Baby you can only release it as a single track. Therefore to release our 2 track single, we had to pay the price of a full album submission. By increasing their prices, they are making the prospect of releasing a multi-track single less appealing. Zimbalam let you release a 2 track single without paying extra for it, so why can’t CD Baby?
In return for this price increase, CD Baby is launch the chance to view analytics and statistics from iTunes. This will be a useful tool, but again they are playing catchup to Zimbalam.
What CD Baby need to do at this point is really focus on improving what they offer to their artists currently. This is what they should do to:
- Allow two track singles to be sold instead of the current one
- Create iOS/Android app to allow users to check their account
- Increase speed of delivery to Spotify
- More digital delivery partners allowing stores such as HMV and Tesco to sell digital music
- Improve artist profile pages to allow embedded videos
- Give artists more opportunities to have their music promoted on the CD Baby homepage
- Allow digital booklets to be made available on iTunes
- Send album descriptions and information to retailers
- Allow artists to give away music via digital retailers (e.g. iTunes Single of the Week)
- Allow artists to control the pricing of their album on digital retailers