08 July 2014

And the winners are: BMI and CDBaby


After weeks of web research, E-books and phone calls, the choices for digital distribution and performance rights organizations are finalized. After much careful and thoughtful consideration, the “winners” are CDBaby and BMI.

CDBaby will be distributing the singles for my debut album to online stores worldwide.

Choosing between the many distribution companies was not easy. I looked at every organization and read all their literature. Thank God for FAQs.  Ultimately the best resource was musician and music biz blogger, Ari Herstand. In a recent post on his website “Ari’s Take,” he described the pros and cons of all the major digital distributors based on his own interviews with heads of the companies. It became clear to me that each company provides a unique business model designed to attract different kinds musicians and bands.

TuneCore Vs. Ditto Vs. CDBaby Vs. DistroKid
VS. MondoTunes Vs. ReverbNation?

There is no wrong answer. Each company has at lest one unique selling point that might make them a good choice. But that choice comes at a cost. One might have low fees or no fees, but charge a recurring fee each year. One might charge a higher commission, but provide unique services. Ultimately it’s going to me cost more cash upfront to distribute though CDBaby, and they will take one of the highest commissions at 9%. “Ouch!” you might say. If it was just a question of money I might have chosen one of the others, but I went with CDBaby because I believe they will make my life easier.  I could probably make a bit more revenue, or give up less commission with one of the competitors, but I believe I would have to do more work and there just isn’t going to be enough time for that. Also, I did not find recent complaints online from unhappy clients complaining of scam or fraud.

Hey Mom, My songs are about be available for purchase on iTunes.

Dang, that’s fun to say. Right now is that great moment in life when the sky is the limit.  Platinum record and Billboard chart fantasies fill the imagination. But only for a moment.  You see, everything that I have learned, tells me that the likely result of placing one’s most cherished songs in the big online stores is the sound of crickets.  I hate crickets.  So now I have to become and expert in music marketing?  Apparently a DIY musician must write, perform, record, distribute, monetize and market their songs. How hard could it be?

 I am officially a BMI artist.

That sounds pretty cool to say.  I am joining the likes of Lady Gaga, Carlos Santana, John Williams, and more great composers than I can name.  Of course, like most of the music business, it is only cool if your songs get played on the radio and heard by a lot of people.  That’s gonna be tough with the crickets and all.   If you are wondering why I chose BMI I won’t bore you with a list of the pros and cons of ASCAP Vs. BMI.  Instead, I’ll share this truth. Many of people that I most trust are associated with BMI.  They feel strongly about their affiliation and their recommendations helped make the decision easier.  So with with all that behind me, All I need to do now is get the songs played on the radio.

Again, how hard could it be? The adventure continues.




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