CD Baby or TuneCore 2013

Choose the best music distributor for your needs.

Being independent means you need to make some tough decisions about your music career. Choosing the best music distributer for your music, is one of those decisions.
If you're deciding between CD Baby, TuneCore, and ReverbNation for your distribution needs, the chart below should give you a good sense of the features and prices of each.

CD Baby vs. TuneCore vs. ReverbNation
  CD Baby TuneCore ReverbNation
Sign up fee (Album) $49. No Yearly Fee. $29.99 first year $49.99 every year after that. $34.95 (every year)
$59.95 Pro (every year)
Commission on Digital Sales 9% 0% 0%
Number of digital retail partners (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) 60+ 27 34
40 Pro
Full-service CD Sales Yes No Yes
Commission on Physical Sales $4 N/A $5.49
CD & Vinyl Distribution Yes
(to over 15,000 retail stores)
No No
Royalty Collection For Songwriters Yes Yes No
Sell Music on Facebook Yes
Including CDs and Vinyl
No Yes
Basically, ReverbNation and Tunecore don't take a cut of your sales but they do charge annual fees.
CD Baby takes 9% cut of digital sales, and has no annual fees.

How Much do I Need to Sell to Break Even?

With CD Baby you must sell $77.22 total (78 downloads) to cover your one-time submission fee.

With TuneCore, you have to sell at least $70.29 every year (71 downloads) to cover your fees.

With ReverbNation you have to sell $85.14 every year (86 downloads) to cover your fees.

(Numbers are calculated based on 70 cent iTunes payout per single song download.
In the case of TuneCore, the amount is calculated based on their annual fee and not their introductory fee, which is lower than their yearly charge. CD Baby keeps 9% which makes their payout 64 cents per download)