CD Baby shares impressive stats, improves artist payments with Trolley partnership

CD Baby is improving how it pays artists via a new partnership with Canadian FinTech startup Trolley that includes more detailed invoices and better tax compliance.

Along with the Trolley, CDBaby announcement were two impressive stats: CD Baby now distributes 10 million tracks for 1.2 million artists. That’s up from 1 million artists and 9 million tracks just a few months ago, with overall growth continuing to accelerate.

“The music industry is very different today than even five years ago. Independent music makes up almost half of all releases today. We’re seeing more and more artists looking to us to help them monetize their passion,” says Christine Barnum, CD Baby’s Chief Revenue Officer.

Better Invoices, Fewer Transaction Fees

With CD Baby’s new Trolley Invoices, there are “line items” of individual earnings, each with its own income type categorization. These are bundled together in an invoice to make a single payment with a single transaction fee which means more cost-effective payouts while retaining all the necessary information for accurate end-of-year 1099 & 1042-S tax reporting.

Those combined transaactions reduce total payout transaction costs by about 40%, acording to Troelly. How much of that savings will be passed on to artists is unclear.

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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  1. This is all well and good but CD Baby needs to focus on artist support response time. It is absolutely atrocious (and the lack of support staff knowledge is staggering). I’ve been waiting a month for an answer to a ticket I submitted on why not all of my albums (2016 to 2021) on Apple Music are not labeled “lossless” (they were all submitted at that quality).

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