Can I do a "digital-only" release if I don't have CDs to sell?

Yes. But, you should know that although digital music sales increase every year, there are still a huge percentage of music buyers who prefer the tangible, physical product. We're absolutely thrilled to help you sell your music however you think best. But please ask yourself whether you're really at a point in your career where you're ready to shut out a big portion of your potential audience by refusing to make CDs. If you'd like to do a short-run of CDs, we can help you with here for more information.

If you'd like to proceed with the digital-only release, then continue reading.
For CD Baby purposes, the following info applies whether you wish to distribute a single song or a full-length album.

Here’s exactly how to do a "digital only" release:

  • Sign it up at CD Baby like any other album.
  • Pay the setup cost including the barcode fee if you don't already have one.
  • Use the uploader in your member account to send us the music and artwork, OR burn one finished, mastered copy of your music onto a regular audio CD-R. (NO mp3, aiff, or wav. Just regular audio CD.) If you burn a disc, mail that one CD to us with a note explaining that it is for digital distribution only. IMPORTANT NOTE: please do NOT send us one of the master copies of your CD (that you’d get back from your mastering engineer), as we do not send the CDs back, except upon request, and it will likely be recycled after 6 months.
  • We will create a page on CD Baby with a 'Buy MP3" button for your fans to purchase and download your album.
  • We digitize it and distribute it to all of the usual digital distribution outlets.
  • Voila! There's your digital-only release.

If you would like to customize your digital distribution options, ("Hey, I only want to be available at iTunes™", "I want to be available at every download retailer you work with except ones in Japan", etc.) we'd be happy to accommodate your needs. In the process of signing up your album for digital distribution, you'll be able to set restrictions and tell us not to send your album to specific territories or even specific companies.

Also, if you want to sell downloads only on (and NOT on iTunes™, Amazon, etc.), you can set your distribution percentage to CD Baby Only. Then we'll post those MP3s for sale on our website, but nowhere else.
If you decide to send us physical stock later, we will automatically start selling those as well. Just be sure the art and songs on the physical CD match what we are already selling for download.

Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk