Are you looking for the best digital music distribution companies? We have taken a look at them and collected the most important information for you. We’ve also compared them and summarized the pros and cons in detail in this article.
Best Digital Music Distribution Companies in 2024
The digital transformation in the music industry allows independent artists to share their creations globally. In this context, digital music distribution companies play a crucial role by enabling artists to publish their music on digital platforms, generate revenue, and reach a broader audience.
It’s not just social media; digital music distribution services are also important if you want to get your songs on the radio. For radios, you should take a look at our article, “The Best Ways to Get Your Songs on the Radio.”
Let us take a look at the best digital music distribution companies:
Founded in 2005, TuneCore has been a pioneer in the digital music distribution scene. It is a leading digital music distribution company that allows independent artists to publish their music on digital platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and other major music platforms. Over the years, TuneCore has been associated with a myriad of successful artists, including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Keith Richards, and Jay Z.
TuneCore starts supporting artists at the beginning of their careers. The company works with many world-renowned labels to support artists in the production, sales, and promotion of their albums and covers.
One of the most important features of TuneCore in terms of price is that if you are a new artist and have not yet launched, with TuneCore you can publish free and unlimited releases to all social media platforms.
What services does TuneCore offer?
- Digital Music Distribution: TuneCore allows artists to distribute their music to a wide range of digital platforms, including major streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more. This ensures that the artist’s music reaches a global audience.
- Music Publishing Administration: TuneCore assists artists in collecting and distributing their publishing royalties. This includes revenue generated from the use of music on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and other digital services.
- Sync Licensing: TuneCore offers sync licensing opportunities, enabling artists to have their music considered for use in films, TV shows, commercials, and other media projects. This can provide additional exposure and revenue streams for musicians.
- YouTube Money: TuneCore helps artists monetize their music on YouTube by ensuring that they earn revenue from ads displayed on videos containing their music. This includes revenue from both user-generated content and the artist’s official channel.
- Social Media Monetization: TuneCore provides tools for artists to monetize their music on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This includes earning revenue from music used in user-generated content on these platforms.
- Shazam and Instagram for Artists: TuneCore facilitates the submission of artists’ music to platforms like Shazam, making it discoverable for users trying to identify songs. Additionally, TuneCore integrates with Instagram, allowing artists to share their music easily on this popular social media platform.
- Detailed Sales and Streaming Reports: TuneCore offers artists comprehensive analytics and reporting tools. This allows them to track their sales, streaming data, and revenue generated across various platforms, providing valuable insights into the performance of their music.
- Music Publishing: TuneCore assists artists in collecting mechanical royalties from the sales and streams of their music. This includes handling the licensing and royalty collection processes for the musical composition.
- Pre-Release and Post-Release Services: TuneCore provides tools for artists to set up pre-orders for their upcoming releases and offers post-release promotional services to help maintain momentum after the music is live on digital platforms.
Overall, TuneCore acts as a one-stop-shop for independent artists, offering a range of services to help them navigate the complex landscape of the modern music industry and maximize their opportunities for success.
DistroKid is a digital music platform that allows artists to easily and cost-effectively distribute their music. One standout feature of the company is the ability for artists to distribute unlimited albums and singles. Additionally, DistroKid’s “Leave a Legacy” feature allows music to remain on platforms throughout copyright.
Launched in 2013, DistroKid quickly gained prominence for its user-friendly approach to digital music distribution. Artists such as 21 Savage, Ludacris, and Yung Lean have worked with DistroKid. The platform’s innovative features, like quick distribution and unique pricing models, have contributed to its popularity among independent musicians.
How much does DistroKid cost? One of the reasons why DistroKid is preferred is that the annual subscription fee is only $22.99. You can download as many albums and songs as you want for one year for just this price. With DistroKid, you keep 100% of your earnings.
Also, according to DistroKid’s page, when you work with DistroKid, you can get your releases into stores 20 times faster than other distributors.
In a tweet, Jeff Price, the founder of TuneCore and Audiam, wrote: “DistroKid is simply the best distributor in the market.”
These are the services DistroKid offers.
- Unlimited Distribution: DistroKid allows artists to upload and distribute an unlimited number of songs and albums for a flat annual fee. This pricing model is advantageous for prolific musicians who release music frequently.
- Quick Distribution: DistroKid is known for its rapid distribution process. Once an artist uploads their music, it can be available on major streaming platforms within as little as one to two business days.
- Leave a Legacy: DistroKid’s unique “Leave a Legacy” feature allows artists to keep their music on digital platforms indefinitely, even if they choose not to renew their subscription. This ensures that their music remains accessible to listeners over the long term.
- YouTube Content ID: DistroKid offers YouTube Content ID, a service that helps artists monetize their music on YouTube. This feature enables them to earn revenue from ads displayed on videos that use their music.
- Spotify for Artists Verification: DistroKid facilitates the process of getting artists verified on Spotify for Artists. This verification provides artists with access to additional features and insights on the Spotify platform.
- HyperFollow: DistroKid’s HyperFollow service creates a landing page for an upcoming release. Artists can share this page to gather pre-release saves and follow on Spotify, Apple Music, and other platforms.
- Shazam and Instagram Integration: DistroKid allows artists to submit their music to Shazam, making it discoverable for users trying to identify songs. Additionally, DistroKid integrates with Instagram, making it easy for artists to share their music on this popular social media platform.
- Team Accounts: DistroKid’s Team Accounts feature enables artists to share access with collaborators, producers, or managers, allowing them to contribute to the release process.
- Detailed Sales and Streaming Reports: DistroKid provides artists with detailed analytics and reporting tools, allowing them to track their sales, streaming data, and revenue across various platforms.
- Mailing List: DistroKid offers artists the ability to collect email addresses from fans interested in their music. This feature helps in building a direct communication channel with the audience.
- Collaboration Tools: DistroKid allows artists to split earnings among collaborators automatically, simplifying the process of sharing revenue with band members or featured artists.
3. CD Baby
Established in 1998, CD Baby is one of the earliest pioneers of the best digital music distribution companies. It provides artists with the opportunity to publish their music on various digital platforms worldwide.
CD Baby has played a crucial role in supporting independent artists. Notable musicians like Ingrid Michaelson, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, have been associated with the company.
4. Ditto Music
Ditto Music, founded in 2005, has been a disruptor in the music distribution industry. Ditto Music’s focus on artist independence and its agile distribution model have attracted many successful musicians to its platform.
Ditto Music gives artists the advantage of receiving their revenues instantly and in full. The company also supports artists with social media management and promotion.
The company has catered to a wide range of artists, including Ed Sheeran, Chance the Rapper, and Stormzy.
AWAL (Artists Without a Label) was established in 1997 to provide independent artists with fair and transparent services. It is a digital music distribution and service company that supports independent artists.
AWAL has gained prominence in recent years and has been associated with successful artists such as Lauv, Rex Orange County, and Kim Petras.
TuneCore vs. DistroKid: Is TuneCore better than DistroKid?
In the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry, independent artists seek reliable and efficient platforms to distribute their music globally. Two prominent players in this space are TuneCore and DistroKid, each offering a set of services tailored to meet the needs of musicians. Let’s take a look at the detailed comparison of TuneCore and DistroKid and check the pros and cons of each platform.
- Established Reputation: TuneCore, founded in 2005, boasts a long-standing reputation as one of the pioneers in digital music distribution. Its years of experience have garnered trust among artists and industry professionals.
- Pricing: TuneCore is free for new artists.
- Robust Analytics: TuneCore provides detailed analytics and reporting tools, offering artists valuable insights into their sales, streaming data, and revenue across various platforms. This transparency empowers artists to make informed decisions about their music careers.
- Sync Licensing Opportunities: TuneCore offers sync licensing, allowing artists to have their music considered for use in films, TV shows, commercials, and other media projects. This additional revenue stream can be a significant advantage.
- Global Reach: With TuneCore, artists can distribute their music to a wide range of digital platforms, ensuring global reach and exposure.
- Price Structure: TuneCore operates on a pay-per-release model, which means artists pay a fee for each album or single they distribute. For prolific artists with frequent releases, this pricing structure may become less cost-effective compared to other platforms.
- Annual Renewal Fee: TuneCore charges an annual fee to keep music on digital platforms. This ongoing cost can be a consideration for artists on a tight budget.
- Affordability: DistroKid is known for its straightforward and affordable pricing model. With a flat annual fee, artists can release an unlimited number of tracks, making it an attractive option for prolific musicians.
- Leave a Legacy Feature: DistroKid’s “Leave a Legacy” feature allows artists to keep their music on platforms indefinitely, even if they choose not to renew their subscription. This feature is unique and advantageous for long-term visibility.
- Quick Distribution: DistroKid is recognized for its rapid distribution process. Artists can see their music on platforms in as little as a day after submission, providing quick access to their audience.
- YouTube Content ID: DistroKid offers YouTube Content ID, enabling artists to monetize their music on YouTube by earning revenue from ads displayed on videos containing their music.
- Limited Extras: While DistroKid covers essential distribution needs, it may lack some of the extra services provided by TuneCore, such as detailed sync licensing opportunities.
- Less Industry Experience: Founded in 2013, DistroKid, while rapidly gaining popularity, may not have the same industry tenure as TuneCore.
Choosing between TuneCore and DistroKid ultimately depends on your specific needs and priorities. TuneCore, with its extensive experience, robust analytics, and sync licensing opportunities, is well-suited for those seeking a comprehensive platform. On the other hand, DistroKid’s affordability, quick distribution, and unique features like “Leave a Legacy” make it a compelling choice, especially for independent artists with frequent releases.
You should carefully weigh the pros and cons of each platform to find the one that aligns best with your goals and budget. Whether it’s TuneCore or DistroKid, both platforms play vital roles in empowering artists to share their music with the world.