In this article, we will compare different distribution services. We will talk about their advantages, disadvantages, and particularities to make your choice easier. We will examine paid as well as free distributors.
Distrokid is one of the most famous distributors out there that costs $19.99 a year.
Its significant advantages are quick distribution (it only takes somewhere between five days and two weeks), an unlimited number of uploads, the ability to keep your rights, as well as royalties, use special tools like promo-art generation. However, if you would like to customize the release date, it will cost you $35 a year instead of $19.99. And if you would like to protect your content with Youtube content ID, be ready to spend five more dollars per track and to pay a 20% commission.
Unlike Distrokid LANDR allows you to use content ID for free. You don’t need to pay extra. It allows you to instantly claim Spotify for Artists and has great tools like Spotify pre-save. It also offers great tools to monitor statistics and trends. But its significant disadvantage is the cost. Unless you buy an annual subscription that costs $89 a year, you have to pay $9 for every release ($29/album) plus a 15% commission. So it can get pricy quickly.
Anti-Joy provides the most cost-effective solution. Its cost is significantly lower compared to the majority of music distribution services. However, it provides the same value. For $7.99 a year you can upload an unlimited number of tracks, set your release dates, submit your music to YouTube content ID without commission (if you have Plus Plan), keep all the rights to your music, upload to more than 150 streaming services and have access to unique features such as artist pages and merch. Anti-Joy is one of the fastest distributors as well (72 hours).
It also offers such tools as Spotify pre-save and the ability to create your own email newsletter.
However, like all the distribution services represented here, Anti-Joy comes with minor disadvantages.
To use some of the Anti-Joy features, you need a Plus Plan subscription.
Unlike LANDR and Distrokid, Anti-Joy doesn’t allow you to claim Spotify for Artists instantly. And if you don’t want to pay commission for YouTube content ID, you will have to buy the Plus Plan.
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Ditto is in the same price range as Distrokid and costs $20 a year. The number of uploads is unlimited, and all the rights and royalties are yours to keep. It also offers analytics reports and trial period. But it is expensive when it comes to multiple artist distribution.
Tunecore is one of the priciest distributors available on the market. One single costs $9.99 per year, and one album costs $29 per year. You keep all the rights and royalties. Tunecore also offers good publishing administration services. However, it is expensive, and submitting your music to Youtube content ID will cost you an extra $10 + 20% commission.
If you are looking for a long-term solution, CD-Baby is a wonderful choice. You simply have to pay once, and your single or album will be available forever. The cost is $9.95 for a single and $29 for an album. However, you must pay an additional fee ($29.95 for a single and $69 for an album) to keep all of your income. So it is a decent option if you plan for the long term, but it can get quite expensive if you plan on posting often. CD-Baby also has great features that allow you to sell merch, but you will have to deal with UPC barcodes yourself.
Now let's talk about free distributors
RouteNote is a service based on the system of royalty splitting. So it is free, but you will keep only 85% of your royalties. If you want to keep all the royalties, you will have to pay extra fees ($10). It also has a minimum withdrawal threshold. You can only withdraw when you have more than $50 on your account.
OneRPM is very similar to RouteNote. It also works on the principle of splitting the royalties and retains 15% of your royalties. But it has many interesting tools to try out, like lyrics distribution and promo art generator. By signing up with OneRPM, you get unlimited uploads to multiple artists, tools to create your promo art, and excellent publishing administration services.
Unlike the first two, this service takes only 10% of your royalties. It makes sense to sign up with SongTradr if you want your music to be used in TV shows and movies, as this service allows you to do exactly that. With Songtradr you get unlimited uploads and publishing administration. You will have access to statistics reports and to playlist pitching.
Of SongTradr cons I'd name the following: you have to pay a 40% commission for publishing administration, and UPC/ISRC codes are only included in paid plans.
Amuse has one big advantage - it allows you to keep all your royalties without paying anything, but you can only upload once a month. And it lacks many essential features. You cannot promote your music or set release dates. Uploading to such platforms as Instagram is not available if you have a free plan.
So to sum it up, among paid services we recommend that you try Anti-Joy as it gives the best value for money. Distrokid is very similar to Anti-Joy, but it is a little bit pricier. If you think long-term and want to pay once and forget about it, then CD-Baby is your ideal option. If your budget is limited, try out some of the free options. We think that OneRPM is a good choice as it has many interesting features, such as promo art generation, and it retains only 15% of your royalties. Or, if keeping most of your royalties is important to you, you can opt for SongTradr and pay only 10% of your royalties. Anyway, your choice is not set in stone. If you don’t like your distributor, you can always try another one. But the only way to know for sure is to try.