Top Digital Distribution Platforms for Indie Artists 2022

Top Digital Distribution Platforms for Indie Artists 2022

Top Digital Distribution Platforms for Indie Artists 2022

 

Distribution is the key to music promotion, it’s essential to reach your potential fans, it increases your visibility, and it also helps you get paid for all the hard work you do to promote your music. This said, choosing the right music distribution company is a pretty important step in your growth as an artist. 

We’ve gathered a list of pros and cons of music distributors that have gained popularity and prestige across these past years. Let’s go through it!

 

 

 

DITTO

With Ditto Music (2005), you can release unlimited music everywhere on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music, Tidal, Pandora, TikTok, Vevo and more global platforms than anywhere else. 

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 3-5 weekdays, while on Spotify is 1-3 weekdays. You also get a daily trending report as for a Spotify pre-save. 

They have 3 packages to choose from, the first one ‘’Artist’’, is 19€/year. With this possibility you can release unlimited music everywhere for 1 artist. It includes access to major label promo tools, 100% of your royalties, insights and analytic reports, the possibility to join a global music network, submit for playlists and protection for music copyrights.  

On the other hand they have the ‘’ Professional’’option, which is 29€/year. The same applies, but for 2 artists.

The third one is ‘’Label’’, which is 69€/year, where you can release unlimited music for 5 artists. 

 

BEST 

  • The artist keeps everything they earn, 100% of their royalties 
  • Distributed to Tik Tok; Amazon Music; Pandora; Vevo etc
  • Distributes to China DSP (demand side platforms) 
  • Lyrics distribution 

 

WORST 

  • Hidden fees 
  • Upfront fees 
  • No producer/ songwriter credits distribution 

 

Some artists who have had their work distributed through Ditto: Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Royal Blood, Chance The Rapper, etc.

 

 

DISTROKID

Distrokid (2013), is the first distributor to offer unlimited distribution for one annual fee.

Distrokid’s price is 20$ per year for unlimited distribution for one artist, 36$ per year for 2 artists, 80$ per year for 5 artists, and 140$ per year for 10 artists, but they have a lot of add-on costs, and hidden fees.  

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 1-7 weekdays, while on Spotify is 2-7 weekdays. They also offer YouTube monetization for $4.95 per single, and $14.95 for each release of  2+ songs, per year.

 

BEST 

  • No commission
  • Open to all
  • Payment splitting 
  • Distributes to China DSP (demand side platforms) is through NetEase
  • Distributes to Tik Tok
  • Lyrics distribution 
  • Credits distribution 

 

WORST 

  • Upfront fees 
  • Hidden fees 
  • Revenue reports are decent 

 

Some artists who had their work distributed through them are Ludacris, Arizona Zervas, Zach Marsh and many more talented artists. 

CDBABY

CD Baby (1998),  covers digital distribution and physical records. They have a commission of 9%. Distribution fee single = $9.95 album = $29.

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 1-2 weekdays, while on Spotify is  1-2 weekdays.

 

BEST 

  • Open to all 
  • Distributes to China DSP 
  • Reports are clear and intelligible 

 

WORST 

  • Takes commission
  • Upfront fees 
  • Hidden fees 
  • No lyrics distribution 

 

Some artists who have had their work distributed through CD Baby are Bon Iver, Jack Johnson, Macklemore, etc.

 

 

TUNECORE

TuneCore (2005), is a music distributor where you can sell your music worldwide and grow your fan base on Spotify, iTunes /Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, TikTok, Tencent etc. The artists keep 100% of their ownership and stay in control of their career. 

This social platform has unlimited releases and opportunities, and no annual fee. It has 0% commission, although they have a high fee per release music distribution service. 

The distribution fee is 9,99$ for a single, 29,99$ for an album, the annual fee for singles is still 9,99$, but for an album is 49,99$. 

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 1-7 weekdays, while on Spotify is 1-7 weekdays. Their trending report is daily and it also includes Spotify pre-save. 

 

BEST 

  • Distributes to China DSP 
  • Open to all
  • Revenue reports are clear and intelligible 
  • Lyrics distribution 
  • Credits distribution 
  • No commission, the artist keeps 100% of their royalties 

 

WORST 

  • In advance fees
  • Hidden fees
  • No payment splitting 

 

 

Some of the artists who have had their work distributed through them are Drake, Nine Inch Nails, Jay-Z, Public Enemy, etc.

 

 

UNITED MASTERS

United Masters (2017), has been focused on hip hop music from the beginning. It allows artists to launch music from iMessage to the main streaming platforms. The monthly payments are made through PayPal. 

With United Masters, artists retain 100% ownership of their music. The artist registers and sees their career growth, streaming numbers and gets transparent earnings reports. The platform helps you make sense of the data so you know what to do next. 

The commission that they have is 0% if you have a subscription or 10% if you don’t. 

The yearly fee is 0$ – 59,99$ .  So either you pay the annual price, unlimited distribution and they don’t take commission, or you don’t pay anything a year and they take 10% commission.

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 1-7 weekdays, while on Spotify is 1-7 weekdays. The trending report is daily and it also includes Spotify pre-save. 

 

 

One of the most relevant details of United Masters is that it offers artists partnerships with the best brands in the world: Twitch, ESPN (first take which is a morning talk show; The Jump, Sports Center, etc).

The NBA is also included in this list, to put their music in front of 1.5 billion NBA fans. 

BOSE (leader in collaborations with new artists) also partners with United Masters to promote their products. E.g. Bose glasses in music videos. 

AT&T (multinational mobile, data plans, prepaid etc) works with  iHeart internet radio to help certain radio stations celebrate x artists, who receive financial and promotional support on air.  

 

BEST 

  • No hidden fees
  • Distributes to China DSP 
  • Distributes to Tik Tok
  • Revenue reports are clear and intelligible 

 

WORST

  • In advances fees 
  • Takes commission 
  • No payment splitting 
  • No lyrics distribution 

 

Some artists that use this distribution company are Lil XXEL, Lil Tecca, Tobe Nwigwe and many more. 

 

 

SYMPHONIC

Symphonic (2006),  is positioned as one of the strongest indie music distribution services, they negotiate every deal separately, not as the majority. 

They take 15% commission and offer extra services like PR, playlist plugging etc. 

Symphonic has created a niche in the Latin music market and has positioned itself as the best music distribution service for urban, electronic and Latin artists. Many of their clients produce beats, and Beatport is Symphonic’s main partner. 

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 3+ weekdays, while on Spotify is 3+ weekdays. The trending report is daily.  It has Spotify pre-save. 

Symphonic has YouTube monetisation, via approval, just on selected artists, it also has Pandora radio submission. 

 

BEST 

  • No hidden fees
  • Distributes to China DSP 
  • Distributes to Tik Tok
  • Lyrics distribution
  • Payment splitting 

 

WORST 

  • Take commission 
  • It must be accepted to use 
  • Revenue reports are decent but not so good 
  • Upfront fees 

 

Some artists who have had their work distributed through them are Ozuna, Alok NE-YO, Daddy Yankee, The Zombies, etc.

 

 

STEAM MUSIC

 

Steam Music (2005), they have a very high success rate of playlist insertion and have a dedicated project manager for each client. They’re very exclusive, not everyone can just sign up, you have to be invited, accepted into their platform. 

The best payment splitting infrastructure is built into Steam’s report. They split the payment from the start, while everyone else in the field is catching up. Steam is invitation-only (submission-based), allowing teams to follow their clients individually.

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 5 weekdays, while on Spotify it is 5 weekdays. The trending report is daily.

 

BEST 

  • No hidden fees 
  • Distributes to China DSP 
  • Distributes to Tik Tok
  • Lyrics distribution 
  • Payment splitting 
  • Revenue reports are clear and intelligible 

 

WORST

  • Take commission 
  • It must be accepted to use 
  • Upfront fees 

 

Some artists who had their work distributed through them are Ozuna, Alok NE-YO, Daddy Yankee, The Zombies and many more talented artists. 

 

 

SPINNUP

Spinnup (2014), is specialized in the European market, and Latin market. They don’t distribute directly, they have a partner: FUGA.

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 2-7 weekdays, while on Spotify is 2-4 weekdays

They don’t take a commission, but they charge you per single or album. The price of their services are 9,99$/ single ; 19,99$/ EP; 39,99$/ album.

 

BEST 

  • No hidden fees 
  • Distributes to China DSP 
  • Distributes toTik Tok
  • Lyrics distribution 
  • Revenue reports are clear and intelligible 
  • Open to all
  • No commission, the artist keeps 100% of their royalties 

 

WORST

  • No payment splitting 
  • No credits distribution 
  • Upfront fees 

 

Some artists who have had their work distributed through them are LOVA, Vigiland, Albin, etc.

 

SOUNDROP

Soundrop (2016), is a distributor specialized with cover artists. 

They don’t distribute directly, they also have a partner like Spinnup: Downtown. Their commission is 15% on royalties. It costs 9,99$ to distribute a cover, the cheapest on the market. 

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 3-5 weekdays, while on Spotify is 2-4 weekdays

 

BEST 

  • No hidden fees 
  • Distributes to China DSP 
  • Distributes toTik Tok
  • Open to all 
  • No upfront fees 
  • Credits distribution 

 

WORST

  • Take commission 
  • Revenue reports are decent 

 

 

AMUSE

AMUSE (2017), has now a pro version for $60 per year with more features, and now a desktop version of the service is also available. The artist retains 100% of the royalties.

They also offer upfront payments based on previous streaming royalties.  A commission is charged when an advance payment is provided.

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is 4 weeks such as on Spotify, very bad speed, very slow when you compare it to the other platforms. 

The following best/worst comparison is based on their “Pro” version, not the free version.

 

BEST 

  • Open to all
  • Distributes to Tik Tok 
  • Credits distribution 
  • No commission
  • Payment splitting 
  • Distributes to China DSP 

 

WORST 

  • Upfront fees
  • Hidden fees
  • No lyrics distribution 

 

 

 

ONERPM

ONErpm (2010), is a distribution company that has 15% commission. With ONErpm you have the possibility to distribute unlimited songs. This platform operates as a DIY artist distributor and owns a record label. 

This means that, like other “open to all” music distributors, any artist can release their music using ONErpm, but they also have established labels. 

The speed with which they transfer music to Apple Music is under 24 hours, while on Spotify it is within 24 hours. 

 

BEST

  • Open to all
  • No upfront fees
  • No hidden fees
  • Payment splitting
  • Distributes to China DSP 
  • Distributes to  TikTok
  • Lyrics distribution
  • Credits distribution
  • Revenue reports are clear and intelligible

 

WORST

  • Takes commission

 

Some artists who had their work distributed through them are Ozomotli, Tame Impala, Erasmo Carlos, Leoni and many more talented artists. 

 

It’s important to say that none of these distributors are better or worse than any other, each artist has to choose the one that best suits his needs. We hope that now you have a bigger scope of all the options that are out there for independent artists.

 

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