*This article may contain links to affiliate products & services. We have reviewed these services to try and ensure the highest quality recommendations*
Written by Omari
Current music listening habits have shifted from CDs and compact discs to streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. For independent musicians, today, having their music available for streaming is no longer a luxury.
But, unlike posting a video to YouTube, uploading music to these sites requires more work. Digital music distribution companies are needed so that music can be submitted to streaming services on behalf of the artist. While it's great that so many digital music distribution services are available, it can be challenging to determine which one is best for your particular needs.
They all amount to the same thing, but there is a wide range in quality and cost. For your convenience, we have created a list of the top cheap digital music distribution firms.
IndieMassive is by artists, for artists. They created IndieMassive to give artists a transparent distribution service. During the years, they used many distributors and found that most either take a % from royalties away from artists, or they have crazy hidden fees.
With IndieMassive, that’s not an issue anymore. They pride themselves as the transparent distribution option. For just 39.99 USD per year, you can release unlimited music as an artist with no hidden fees or upsells.
Regarding music distribution in 2022, DistroKid is among the most trusted names in the industry. It's a subscription service, so the only cost is $19.99 (USD) per year.
After that, as long as you're a subscriber, you can upload as much music as you like. As an additional perk, you get to keep all of the net royalties you earn from these services. DistroKid is unique among music distribution services because it allows for automated royalty distribution.
The main drawback to the subscription model is that if you stop paying the annual fee, you lose access to all your previously purchased music.
TuneCore has been around longer than just about any other digital music distribution service, so they come with a solid reputation. With TuneCore, creators can keep all of their money. Their pricing is different from the others we've discussed. Each song or album costs you an annual fee. Thus, the greater your music collection, the higher your yearly costs will be.
Artists with a high number of streams in the past year can apply for a payment advance from TuneCore. Similar to how a record company may assist finance an artist's future album releases, this might help you do the same as an independent musician. They also provide a service called Songwriter Services, designed to help songwriters get paid for their work.
LANDR is a relative newcomer to music distribution compared to the other organizations on this roster. They have been around for quite some time as an automated mastering service in the digital sphere.
One of the best things about LANDR is that their distribution service is free with any paid mastering membership. In other words, if you already pay LANDR'S monthly fee for their other services, you won't have to pay anything extra to have your music distributed.
If you're a new musician looking to expand your fan base and sell your music in more places, RouteNote could be the ideal platform for you to do so. When deciding if a service is a good fit for your needs, you can sign up and check it out to see if it offers what you need.
To compensate for its services, RouteNote takes only 15% of artists' earnings. Still, it also provides a premium plan that involves an upfront payment and allows artists to keep 100% of their royalties. Regarding digital distribution, RouteNote says they have it covered for more than 90%. There is a free base rate, then a 15% royalty cut, and a 20% royalty cut for each additional year.
CD Baby is a leading digital music distributor despite charging a one-time fee, in contrast to the subscription model used by DistroKid. Currently, the price for an album is $29, and a single song is $9.95. After that, your music will be uploaded permanently to all primary streaming services.
CD Baby has the added benefit of physically handling music, which many online music distributors do not offer. The catch is that they deduct a 9% fee from all transactions processed through their platform.
ReverbNation stands apart from the other digital music distributors on this list because it provides various resources for independent musicians.
A premium membership grants access to two music distribution packages and various other resources for creatives. A custom domain, electronic press kit (EPK), email list service, tools for discovering gigs and other opportunities in the industry, and much more are all examples.
They are not the most affordable option, with a monthly fee of USD 19.95. A centralized platform like this is ideal for budding artists who have yet to establish a web presence.
Unlike its rivals, Amuse offers something extraordinary. Many good arguments favor using them to distribute your music digitally because of their unique features. They are the only major label that will distribute your music for free and let you keep all the money. A price like that is challenging to beat.
Like Amuse, AWAL is affiliated with a record label and offers free distribution services. Their cut of your earnings is 15%, which may be substantial for some performers.
AWAL is also notable in that they are selective about the people they collaborate with. Distributing with AWAL and gaining access to their services requires artists to submit their work for approval before distribution can begin.
Compared to significant labels and online music services, AWAL represents a middle ground. The size and popularity of an artist determine the scope of services provided.
Record Union's pricing structure is unique among the other companies on this list because of its focus on the artist rather than on making a profit. Annual fees are assessed and can change based on a few variables. Second, you can choose from various pricing options that allow you to distribute your music to anywhere from one to six or even all streaming platforms. This will enable you to fine-tune your distribution package for maximum compatibility with each new release.
This music distribution platform is incredible because all royalties are paid out in full. You can submit your music to playlists, use social media to promote your work and release your music on all platforms.
Ditto Music is the no-frills king of music distribution services. The company handles distribution and provides pre-release and advertising techniques, streaming, and revenue statistics, including reports, free ISRC and UPCs, and ranking registration.
A significant drawback is the lack of a legacy option once the annual fee is no longer paid. If you decide to stop using Ditto Music, you'll have to find another music distributor because you can't just stop using it altogether.
To our knowledge, many digital music distribution companies exist today in the year 2022. There are unique qualities about each item on this list. Evaluating your requirements as a musician before deciding on a music distribution company is essential. Following this article, you should have a solid understanding of the differences between the various platforms and the advantages and disadvantages of each potential distributor.
When your song is ready to go, it's time to start promoting it to potential fans! Omari has the best organic promotion services money can buy. With packages for Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, we will get your music the traffic and attention it deserves! Click below for more information.
Join the No-Nonsense Music Marketing Newsletter to get the most valuable weekly case studies and strategies to grow your music business!
© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.