How to Calculate Your Streaming Royalties from CD Baby
Good Splits — a free tool for musicians — makes it easy to calculate CD Baby royalties and split them up to collaborators.
Have you ever tried to calculate your CD Baby song royalties from Spotify (or another DSP) and been extremely overwhelmed by the math? You’re not alone. Royalty calculation (and splitting them among your collaborators) is one of the most complicated and frustrating things musicians encounter every month.
We hide the complicated accounting math inside a simple UI that lets you scan for the most important info and won’t overwhelm you with extra data. Sounds pretty rad, right?
Here’s how to your easily calculate royalties owed using your CD Baby data and Good Splits.
- Download your sales report file from CD Baby.
You can do this by logging into your CD Baby account and clicking the Sales & Reports menu in the navigation bar (purple). On the next screen, make sure to select Sales & Accounting.
Once on the Sales & Accounting page, scroll down to the Monthly Sales Report section (bottom left of side navigation bar). From there, download the Digital Distribution Sales document for the month needing calculation.
Good Tip: It’s always best to wait until the month has ended to download these reports.
2. Upload your Sales Report into Good Splits.
Just click the upload button and drag and drop your file in. You can also rename the file here and add a date range to help you organize your files down the road.
Note: Good Splits currently only displays amounts in US dollars. We advise converting your sales report from any other currencies into US dollars before you upload.
(Don’t have a Good Splits account yet? Sign up for a free account here.)
3. Select “CD Baby Presets” to automatically populate and match CD Baby’s column names that are in your file to Good Splits.
When your file has finished uploading, you’ll be prompted to match our Good Splits categories on the left to your document’s corresponding column name. For CD Baby files, this is easy as pie. (Mmm, pie.)
We created a default setting so you can bypass this little part of the process by simply selecting “CD Baby Presets” at the top of the modal. All the input fields below will automatically populate.
Good tip: You can use the question mark icons to learn more about each required field.
4. Assign songs to albums.
In order to calculate album sales/plays versus song sales/plays you’ll need to identify which songs are on which albums.
Click edit songs on the album row, input the number of songs on the album, and select the songs themselves from the pre-populated list. Then click the Save Album button on that album row. You’ll be able to go back and edit this before you calculate if you need to adjust.
Note: Singles will need to live in an album with one song.
Continue to assign songs to all of the albums that are in your file. Then click “Assign Songs” at the bottom of the modal to continue to the next step.
Don’t have all this info handy? Choosing “Skip & Assign Later” will take you out of the upload process and you won’t be able to calculate your payments until you do. But your work will save and you can come back later to complete it!
Good Tip: No fear! We’ll remind you if your percentages don’t equal 100%. For singles, create an album with 1 song count and then assign the correct song. This will help calculate mechanical royalties owed.
5. Set song splits.
Now it’s time to tell Good Splits the splits for each song. Click “Edit Splits” on the song row, add your collaborator’s name, email, and their percentage splits for both master and publishing. Collaborators added from previous uploads will appear in the dropdown. Emails are required for each collaborator (but they aren’t contacted unless you decide to send them money through Good Splits later).
Add as many collaborators as you need for each song, clicking “Save” on the song row after each song is completed. You must account for 100% between all composers in a song. Once you’ve added all of your Splits, click “Save Splits” to move to the next step.
Just like with albums, you only have to do this the first time a song is uploaded. Split info will save for all future uploads with this song!
Need to copy and paste the same split info across multiple songs? You can use our Bulk Splits option! Select all the songs that have duplicate info and a button will appear that allows you to set splits across multiple songs.
6. Start the calculation engine.
Is all your data in? So much data, in fact, that you’re worried it might take all night to crunch the numbers? Not a problem. We built Good Splits to do the math in under two minutes, no matter how much good there is to split.
Simply confirm all of the information looks correct on the summary screen, then select “Save and Continue”. If you need to edit split or album info for this file, you can go back to do that now. If you need to adjust this later, you will have to recalculate the file.
7. See your earnings.
This is the fun part. You can find earnings in three different places in Good Splits.
The Current Upload tab will display the payments that are owed to the collaborators from the current file that you just uploaded. Here you will see earnings broken down by songwriters and other collaborators. If you assigned shares to a record label, publisher, or other entity — their earnings will also show here.
The Catalog tab contains the songs and albums from all uploads, and shows you earnings broken down by song. You can edit splits and contents of albums here if necessary.
The All Uploads tab displays a history of all of the files that you’ve ever uploaded into Good Splits.
The Payments tab is where you’ll be able to see all of the payments that you owe your collaborators.
See? We promised it would be easy.
Ready to try it for yourself? You can sign up and create a free account here. And let us know how you are using our tool to make your life easier at firstname.lastname@example.org.