UNITEDMASTERS VS. CD BABY

UnitedMasters provides premium music distribution services and facilitates unique partnerships between musicians and the world’s biggest brands.

Find out why independent artists are switching from CD Baby to UnitedMasters.

WHY UNITEDMASTERS IS BETTER THAN CD BABY

In a time with more options than ever to get your music out there, you need a trusted distribution platform to help you maximize your creative and economic potential. More than 1.5 million artists use UnitedMasters to release their music globally- here are six reasons why they choose us over CD Baby.

DISTRO FROM MOBILE

COLLAB WITH BRANDS

GET SYNC DEALS

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Sync your music on TV shows, movies, video games, and commercials.

The UnitedMasters app lets you release music and keep track of your earnings, all from your iPhone or Android.

Up your game, reach new fans, and get paid doing it. Land partnerships with brands like ESPN and the NBA. 

BUY & SELL BEATS

GET PLAYLISTED

TRACK YOUR STREAMS

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Buy and sell studio-ready beats directly in the app. Find a collaborator for your next hit record.

Get your tracks featured in editorial collections like Music Mondays and BASE:LINE to maximize exposure.

Track your streaming data & payment reports at all times in the UnitedMasters app.

JOIN A COMMUNITY OF 1.5+ MILLION ARTISTS MASTERING THEIR INDEPENDENCE.

UnitedMasters or CD Baby: Which is better?

Features

UnitedMasters

CD Baby

Access Brand Partnerships & Sync Deals

Mobile App Distribution

Playlist Opportunities

Access to Artist Advances

No Hidden Fees

100% Ownership

See Subscription Plans for more details

Get Your Music Into Global Brand Campaigns

Reach new fans through UnitedMasters partnerships with ESPN, Apple Music, the NBA, and more.

Premium music distribution for artists at every stage

More than 1.5 million artists use UnitedMasters to release their music globally-- see why they choose us over other independent music distributors.

A community of creators to help you level up

UnitedMasters is a creative collective. When you join as a SELECT artist, you can get invited to special events where you’ll meet collaborators, learn from prominent industry voices, and even perform with music legends.

FEBRUARY 2024

DECEMBER 2023

OCTOBER 2023

UnitedMasters’ groundbreaking creator conference is back. Gather for a day of panels, workshops, and performances with leading independent artists, innovators, and trailblazers from around the world.

Earn Your Leisure and UnitedMasters took it to Art Basel in Miami for a full day of educational panels, networking and live performances.

UnitedMasters is taking over GRAMMYs® weekend to show the world that independence is not just the future of music, it has arrived and its global.

OUR PLATFORM

A record label in your pocket

Tap into all the tools you need on any device. Sign up now to release songs, apply for Exclusive brand & sync deals, manage payouts, and more.

CD BABY VS. UNITEDMASTERS

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING CD BABY?

Unlike UnitedMasters, CD Baby does not offer unlimited releases. Instead, users must pay a fee every time they want to release a song or album. CDBaby also takes 9% of your streaming and download revenue as a commission along with 30% of your YouTube, Facebook & Instagram collection and a $4 cut on all physical sales.

WHICH PLATFORM PROVIDES DEDICATED ARTIST SERVICES AND SUPPORT?

When it comes to artist services and support, UnitedMasters PARTNER provides everything you'd expect from a label, plus ownership of your masters. Our curated group of PARTNER artists receive hands-on support from our in-house artist relations team, personalized artist marketing campaigns, white glove distribution, playlist pitching, hand-picked brand collabs, and more.

Currently, UnitedMasters PARTNER is by invite only. Our in-house artist relations team identifies emerging talent to upstream to PARTNER. UnitedMasters SELECT artists are eligible to be invited, and among the first to be considered.

WHICH DISTRIBUTOR MAKES IT EASIER TO TRACK MY STREAMS?

Unlike CD Baby, UnitedMasters allows you to track your streaming data on-the-go, directly in the mobile app.

WHICH DISTRIBUTOR ALLOWS ARTISTS TO KEEP 100% OF THEIR ROYALTIES?

Not only does CD Baby charge a 9% commission of streaming and download revenue, it also charges 30% of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram collection and a $4 cut off all physical sales you make. With UnitedMasters SELECT, you keep 100% of your streaming royalties.

WHICH PLATFORM IS EASIER TO USE?

UnitedMasters changed the game with the launch of the first ever music distribution app for iOS and Android. Now it's easier than ever to upload music, access streaming analytics, submit for sync deals/playlisting, buy/sell beats and more.

WHICH DISTRIBUTOR IS MORE AFFORDABLE?

CD Baby charges a fee ranging from $4.99 to $24.99 every time you release a new song or album. With UnitedMasters SELECT, you get unlimited distribution and more for just $4.99/month.

WHICH DISTRIBUTOR CAN HELP ME GET PLAYLISTED?

UnitedMasters will help you get your songs on playlists like Apple Music's BASE:LINE, Music Mondays, and more.

DOES CD BABY TAKE A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR ROYALTIES AS A COMMISSON?

With UnitedMasters SELECT, you always keep 100% of your royalties.

That isn't the case with other music distributors like CD Baby, which takes 9% of all download & streaming revenue, 30% of Youtube, Facebook & Instagram collection and a $4 cut of every physical sale you make. They even charge a 15% commision on any publishing royalties collected.

WHICH DISTRIBUTOR IS BEST FOR PROMOTING MY MUSIC?

UnitedMasters offers many promotional tools to help artists master their independence. Partner with the world's hottest brands, submit for exclusive sync licensing opportunities and get playlisted where it matters. Artists can promote their releases with MasterLinks, a central link directing your fans to their preferred music service, on their preferred device, in their preferred app.

CAN I SPLIT ROYALTY PAYMENTS WITH MY COLLABORATORS?

UnitedMasters SELECT makes it easy to share royalty payments directly in the app with SplitPay.

With CD Baby, you can only split royalties with fellow songwriters when you sign up for CD Baby Pro Publishing, which costs an additional 15% of your publishing royalties.

HOW DO I SWITCH FROM CD BABY TO UNITEDMASTERS?

To transfer your music from CD Baby to UnitedMasters, you'll want to follow these easy steps:

1. The first step is understanding whether or not you’re under any agreements that prevent you from moving your catalog to UnitedMasters. This is something that you should be able to reference in the distribution agreement you have in place, or you can just reach out to CDBaby to find out.

2. There is no way to transfer accounting, rights ownership or the actual assets in back-end systems. So you will need to prepare your catalog to manually upload it to your UnitedMasters account as a second step.

3. Assuming that you are not under a current agreement, and are free to move your catalog to UnitedMasters, our third recommended step would be to set up your releases as "drafts" into our system.

When transferring your catalog, you want to minimize any lapse in your digital presence. As such, timing your distribution through UnitedMasters in tandem with CDBaby's takedowns is important.

Once you understand the timing, you are ready to distribute your music. Be sure to follow the instructions here to transfer stream counts, set release dates for your drafts, submit your release(s) for approval, and request CDBaby to issue takedowns.

DO I OWN MY MUSIC WITH UNITEDMASTERS?

With UnitedMasters SELECT, you maintain 100% of your royalties and full ownership over your creations.

CAN UNITEDMASTERS GET ME AN ARTIST ADVANCE?

Yes, UnitedMasters gives qualified artists the option to apply for advances through BeatBread. BeatBread is a music platform that provides advances and royalties to independent artists. It's designed to help artists monetize their music and build their careers by giving them access to funding and other industry resources.