Until recently, music distribution was handled exclusively by music label companies. You had to have the right connections, play the performance of your life, and hope that the guy in a suit liked you enough to recommend you to his company or record labels.
Given that we live in the age of advanced technology and omnipresent communication, a new mode of music distribution came to be. Numerous companies were founded to help artists and bands spread their music to streaming services and social media platforms, and today, I’m going to dive deep into the 7 best music distribution services.
7 Best Music Distribution Services
Here is my list of the top music distribution companies in 2022.
Distrokid is a remarkably affordable music distribution service that has been featured in Forbes and is endorsed by a variety of reputable music magazines and companies.
The platform offers a streamlined music video generator app, automatic lyric sync on posts uploaded to social media platforms and distributes CDs, vinyl, as well as digital music.
What separates Distrokid from contemporary music distribution services is the fact that you can upload as many tracks, EPs, and albums for a single price. Additionally, this platform also supports Twitch music distribution and offers preset pages on Spotify for prolific artists.
- Distributes nearly all types of audio-based media
- Supports the distribution of cover songs
- Automated setup of Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, and other social media
- Streamlined MV generator software
- Distributes to digital platforms like Spotify, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Tidal, TikTok, Instagram, and other streaming services
DistroKid offers different pricing plans depending on how many bands and/or artists are included in the deal. The basic Musician plan costs $19.99 per year; Musician Plus costs $35.99 per year; Label 5 costs $79.99 per year; Label 10 costs $139.99 per year; Label 20 costs $239.99 per year; Label 50 costs $599.99 per year while Label 100 costs $1,199.99 per year.
What I Like / Dislike About Distrokid
On paper, DistroKid is probably one of the best music distribution companies out there. The pricing is fair and approachable; the transactions are cleared quickly, and the fact that all of its features are available at a flat fee speaks volumes about its quality.
The basic plan offers basic analytics. You’ll have to do the heavy lifting in terms of checking how each track performs and gathering feedback on your own unless you subscribe to any of the Label subscriptions.
Who Is This For?
DistroKid is an excellent choice for artists on all budgets. The platform offers several subscription plans that can cater to everyone in the music industry including individuals, large labels, and everyone in between.
Landr is a versatile digital music distribution company for musicians, offering unique music creation, collaboration, mixing, and distribution tools as separate packages.
The latter aspect of the Landr platform is outstanding; the company offers rapid delivery, a team of vetted professionals handling the analytics, integrations with streaming services with preset editors and playlists, and flexible subscription plans.
One of the best things about Landr is that the company distributes to over 150 physical and online stores, streaming services, and music platforms, including Deezer, Boomplay, YouTube music, TikTok, Shazam, Spotify, Apple Music, Beatport, iHeartRadio, and numerous others.
- Distribution typically requires no more than two days
- Connected with over 150 physical distribution and virtual music marketplaces, stores, and streaming platforms
- Advanced analytics tracking
- Saveable music campaigns and Shopify pages
- Musixmatch adds lyrics to music videos and posts
Landr’s pricing models are flexible. There are two annual subscription packages, including Complete, which starts at $20 per year, and Unlimited at $89 per year. The ‘Pay As You Go’ option is also available.
What I Like / Dislike About Landr
All of the features I’ve just listed will be available to you, regardless of which plan you decide to go with. Furthermore, the commission fees are fairly small considering the benefits Landr has to offer.
The only thing I didn’t really like about Landr’s digital music distribution is the number of supported artists across all pricing plans. One account can be linked to 7 artists at most.
Who Is This For?
I would recommend Landr to both emerging and established, prolific music artists. The advanced features this platform brings are more suited for pros, in my opinion, especially musicians that regularly need to distribute music.
3. CD Baby
CD Baby is a dedicated digital music distribution company, offering both physical and digital distribution of albums, versatile monetization options, label-based marketing tools, and song registration.
It’s different from many of the other best music distribution companies in that it offers a comprehensive suite of features oriented around intellectual property. Namely, the company promises to provide its artists with both mechanical and performance-based royalties, as well as register each song released through its channels.
- Distribution of music in both physical and digital formats
- Streamlined license synchronization
- Easy setup of YouTube Official Artist channel and monetization
- Distributes to over 150 stores and social media platforms
- Royalty collection
- Apple, Spotify, and YouTube verification
CD Baby utilizes the ‘pay-as-you-go’ paying concept. The distribution of each single or album is a separate contract; releasing a standard single costs $9.95; releasing a Pro single costs $29.95; releasing a standard album costs $29 while releasing a Pro album costs $69.
What I Like / Dislike About CD Baby
CD Baby doesn’t force you into annual commitments, which is a huge plus for emerging artists and musicians in the music industry. You’ll get full access to nearly all features, regardless of which package you choose. One of the things I liked the most was the additional IP protection, as CD Baby is well-connected with SCAP, SESAC, SOCAN, and BMI.
On the downside, CD Baby isn’t the cheapest music distribution service. The ‘standard’ single and album distribution packages are a bit pricier than average while their ‘Pro’ counterparts are pretty expensive.
Who Is This For?
I would mainly recommend CD Baby to musicians that want to get the most out of a single release, whether it be a single track, an EP, or an album.
Amuse is an independent, as well as one of the most affordable digital music distribution companies on the current market. It’s a platform that allows artists to start releasing music free of charge but limits the number of yearly releases.
Amuse Premium plans are in the same league as some of the top digital music distribution service providers, offering YouTube monetization and account setup, full royalties to the artists, as well as distribution across hundreds of reputable streaming services.
One of the best features of Amuse is the ability to receive royalties in advance. All plans, including the free Start package, have this feature, enabling artists to reinforce their budgets and reinvest in music production, performing, or more expansive distribution ventures.
- Distributes to dozens of music streaming services, including Pandora, Boomplay, Tencent, iHeartRadio, Twitch, YouTube, Shazam, Amazon, Tidal, and more
- Offers royalties in advance
- The ability to schedule release dates
- Pre-saves on all supported streaming platforms
Amuse offers two premium packages, including Boost which costs $24.99 per year, and Pro which costs $59.99 per year. The Free package offers limited features, including the longest release times and the limit of 12 releases per year.
What I Like / Dislike About Amuse
Artists and musicians on a low budget can do wonders with Amuse’s Free package. I also love the fact that premium plans are highly affordable. Moreover, the Royalty Advances feature is a game-changer.
The commission fee is only present in the Free package, and it’s only 15%, so it’s still pro-artist in my opinion.
As far as I’m concerned, the main drawback of Amuse is the lack of support for multiple artist profiles, which is only available in the Pro package. Furthermore, if you subscribe to the Boost package, you’ll still have to pay 15% of YouTube Content ID fees.
Who Is This For?
If you’ve just set your feet in the music business and still don’t have a label deal or a budget that could give you adequate exposure, I believe Amuse may be one of the best music distributors for you.
There are several reasons why thousands of artists and musicians claim TuneCore is one of the best music distribution services available on the market. First and foremost, it’s a music aggregator company that offers an array of advanced pre-production, publishing, and music marketing tools.
Secondly, the distribution aspect of TuneCore encompasses unlimited song registration across all four corners of the globe, full YouTube monetization, license synchronization, and most importantly, the artists do not need to forfeit copyright rights.
Distributing music to hundreds of established streaming services, social platforms, and stores worldwide, TuneCore supports Spotify Artist Verification, YouTube Content ID, as well as Twitch streaming opportunities.
- Unlimited song releasing and registration
- Distributes to over 150 of the music industry’s most reputable streaming services across more than 100 countries worldwide
- Free YouTube Content ID for each release; verification for Shopify Artists
- Daily analytics notifications
- Unlimited releases across social media platforms
TuneCore’s services cost $9.99 per year for single releases and $29.99 per year for album releases. The price for album releases via TuneCore during the first year is reduced to $29.99. Unlimited music distribution across social platforms is free for all artists that subscribe to the company’s services.
What I Like / Dislike About TuneCore
TuneCore offers unlimited releases on all social platforms, and each of your releases will be uploaded to relevant music libraries. The company’s reach is also impressive, as its partnerships enable them to fulfill digital distribution orders within days.
Affordability-wise, it’s not the cheapest distribution service out there due to the 20% commission fee. The annual subscriptions are decently approachable, though.
Who Is This For?
Musicians and artists that want their music quickly uploaded to prominent streaming and social media platforms may want to consider TuneCore’s services.
ReverbNation is arguably one of the most popular music distribution platforms, mainly because it offers the most intuitive, streamlined discovery segment. The chances are that you’ll get more exposure and earn more fans by simply being featured on the ReverbNation music distribution platform.
Connections with hundreds of streaming services, simplified music administration, and a variety of on-page tools are just some of the many features this platform offers. The Site Builder is its most exquisite feature, allowing artists to create a dedicated page for their content in a few simple clicks.
- Distributes to all major streaming platforms, including Amazon, Spotify, Apple iTunes, YouTube, and more
- Unlimited song distribution, music selling, gig finder, embedded players, and dedicated Facebook apps across all pricing plans
- Unique website builder feature
ReverbNation offers two subscription plans, including Basic at $12.95 per month, and Premium at $19.95 per month. This music distribution company also allows you to use some of its features for free.
What I Like / Dislike About ReverbNation
You can use a variety of interesting ReverbNation features for free; the embedded player feature can help an artist rise to fame by passively building up a fan base.
There’s only one thing I don’t like about ReverbNation, and that’s advertisements on the artist’s profile. Ads only plague Free profiles, though; upgrading to Basic or Premium will see them gone in a hurry.
Who Is This For?
If you’re an experienced performer, you can reliably find venues to play in with the built-in Gig Finder and pay the Premium subscription with ease. The free plan is perfect for musicians and artists searching for extra exposure.
Thorough analytics, global reach, and access to advanced music marketing tools are just some of the benefits Ditto Music Distribution has to offer to artists.
One of the most exquisite features of this service is the Ditto Smart Link; whenever you release a track, an EP, or an album, you will get a link that allows you to seamlessly share it on all supported platforms, which include Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, YouTube, and more.
- Unlimited music releases across all pricing plans
- Automated royalty splits
- Detailed analytic reports
- IP and copyright protection on all releases
- Big data regarding listener demographics
Ditto offers three subscription plans, including Artist at €19 per year; Professional at €29 per year, and Label at €69 per year.
What I Like / Dislike About Ditto
Up to 40 artists can use one Ditto account, which is absolutely perfect for big bands and artists that frequently collaborate with other musicians. Aside from singles, EPs, and albums, you can also release compilations with Ditto.
The only thing I didn’t like as much is that you have to pay for YouTube Content ID and 20% Content ID fees. Although it’s cheaper than some of the platforms I’ve reviewed on paper, the numbers can rack up as your revenue starts to grow.
Who Is This For?
Given that it’s decently affordable and remarkably well-connected, Ditto is absolutely perfect for new acts and performers who don’t have any connections with record labels but are looking for a trustworthy digital distributor. Its premium plans are better suited for experienced and professional artists, although there are quite a few platforms that can offer similar benefits at a cheaper price.
Music Distribution Services FAQ
What is the best music distribution service?
Distrokid is my top choice because it offers flexible pricing plans where all features are included. It’s easy to use, transactions are cleared quickly, and they distribute to some of the most popular online streaming platforms.
How much does it cost to distribute a song?
This changes based on the service you use. For example, some music distribution companies like Amuse charge a 15% commission fee on their free plan while other companies like Distrokid charge a flat fee.
Do I need a music distributor?
No, you don’t need a music distributor. You can sell your music through online music stores and streaming services. You can also give your music away for free.
If you want to sell your music through physical stores, you will need to work with a distributor. A distributor will help you get your music into stores and will take a cut of the sales.
If you’re not sure whether you need a distributor, you can always ask for advice from other musicians or from music industry professionals.
How do you distribute music without a distributor?
There are a few ways to distribute music without a distributor. You can release your music independently, through a small label, or through a digital aggregator. Independent artists can release their music on their own websites or through online stores like iTunes and Amazon. They can also use services like Bandcamp, which allows musicians to sell their music and merchandise directly to fans. Small labels can also release music without a distributor, but they may not have the same reach or resources as larger labels.
The best music distribution service is a company that can follow your tempo. If you’re a prolific creator that plans on releasing tracks and EPs every couple of months, I recommend Landr. If you’re on a low budget and want some extra exposure, Amuse is the way to go.
DistroKid is objectively one of the best music distribution services in my opinion, whether you’re a household name, an established band, or an emerging artist that’s yet to publish their first single.
Excellent rundown on the various music distribution services. I don’t have music for distribution but I sometimes embed reverberation songs into posts so I find it one of the best for sharing music as I don’t need to be logged in to listen.