Let’s pop the big question—can you personally distribute your music and make a living out of it? Theoretically, you can. However, the cost, time, and effort of doing this are simply not worth it. Music distribution sites can do the heavy lifting for you and distribute your music to numerous streaming platforms across the globe. The professionals understand the submission process, not to mention that they work closely with streaming platforms. This makes it easier for their submitted music to be accepted and played.
Digital music distribution companies are invaluable intermediaries between artists and music streaming platforms. They allow you to focus on creating great music as they work on non-musical procedural work, such as categorizing your songs and submitting them to ideal music platforms. Therefore, serious artists looking to share their work with millions of listeners are better off partnering with leading digital music distribution sites.
- Music Distribution Sites Defined
- Understanding the Power of Streaming Platforms
- Top 10 Music Distribution Sites To Consider
Music Distribution Sites Defined
Music distribution is not what it used to be decades ago. Gone are the days when artists would share their music solely using vinyl records, CDs, and cassette tapes. Music distribution companies partnered with mainstream record labels that only signed record contracts with artists they deemed worthy during that era. Since then, the music industry has drastically transformed. Nowadays, artists of all musical genres, experience levels, and fan bases can today play their music to millions of audiences across the planet without prejudice.
Whether you have several Grammys up your belt or you’re just getting started and recording music from your bedroom, you simply need to reach out to the best digital music sites. This is because such companies accept digital forms of music and share them with the online masses. Because they capitalize on making music available on the power of streaming platforms, they can help you reach a wider audience.
Understanding the Power of Streaming Platforms
The music industry is currently a multibillion-dollar affair. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, in 2018 alone, CD sales only accounted for 7.1% of the industry’s revenue. In addition, digital music sales accounted for the remaining 92.9% of the revenue. As such, it is clear that listener habits have changed, and most people flock to streaming platforms to find the latest and biggest music hits. This trend is likely not to change any time soon.
So, what does this mean for artists? Well, you also have to follow suit if you want to make it in your music career. In addition, it is imperative to ensure that your music is available to the masses of listeners using digital streaming platforms. Although vinyl records are still a thing among hardcore music fans, the easiest way to connect with a broader audience and build a meaningful music career is to leverage the power of streaming platforms. This makes it necessary to work with a digital music distribution site.
Top 10 Music Distribution Sites To Consider
With the growing number and popularity of music streaming platforms, more and more digital music distribution companies are emerging with each passing day. Each company is radically different from its fee structure, music streaming platforms serviced, reputation, experience levels, and added services.
However, digital music distribution sites also share certain similarities. For instance, even the best company will require at least two weeks to ensure various streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, and TIDAL receive, vet, and post your music. Although the submission process typically takes less than 30 minutes, you must give your distributor time to get the job done. You are bound to spectacularly fail if you opt to contact a company several minutes before officially releasing your album.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 music distribution sites and their pros and cons:
If you are just getting started in your musical career, CD baby is one of the best digital distribution companies you can consider. This is so as it is one of the largest digital music distributors globally and is perfect for those whose music is currently not generating massive streams and downloads. Even though the company doesn’t shy away from cutting out a whole 9% of digital revenue from its clients and demanding a $29 one-time sign-up fee per album, it offers credible services.
- A credible company trusted by bigwigs and newbies in the music industry
- A straightforward digital distribution process
- Services numerous streaming platforms with digital music as well as CD and vinyl duplicates
- Offers plenty of added services to sweeten their deal
- Relatively affordable
- A 9% fee from your digital revenue may be too much for an accomplished musician.
- Extra fees for collecting YouTube royalties
Compared to music distribution sites like CD Baby, LANDR is still new to the game. However, this Canadian could-based digital music distributor offers excellent prices for its services. You simply need to pay a low monthly fee of about $4 for mastering services membership to enjoy free unlimited digital music distribution services. In fact, currently, this company has an impressive client base of over 1 million music artists and producers. This shows that people have confidence in the credibility of the company.
- Offers incredible mastering services at an affordable rate
- Free unlimited music distribution to stores that matter, including major platforms such as Pandora, Apple Music, and Deezer
- Allows you to keep 100% of your music royalties
- An excellent option for serious music artists
- Landr’s specialty is in music mastering, not distribution
If you are yet to make it as a musician but ambitious enough, you may want to consider using Amuse music distribution site. Even though this company’s services are a risky affair, it offers absolutely free music distribution services. By “absolutely free,” we mean Amuse will deliver your music to some of the world’s most renowned stores such as Shazam, Deezer, and Spotify. Yet, there are no signup fees, no renewal fees, and not even a royalty-sharing agreement. In return, the company simply needs access to your data.
- 100% free music distribution services to nine of the most prominent digital music platforms
- Straightforward and user-friendly app
- Excellent analytic features and data reports
- Amuse is an experimental business model whose chances of thriving are unknown.
Leading Music Distribution Sites; Record Union
For serious artists eager to land on exclusive spots and deals on big platforms like Spotify and TIDAL, Record Union is undoubtedly the best music distribution site to consider. This is so as it offers some of the fastest services and can have your albums and singles playing on streaming platforms in 3—7 days. Also, the company provides multi-tier services at varying fees, and for as little as $25 per year, you can enjoy all the perks Record Union has to offer.
- Super-fast digital music distribution services
- Outstanding analytical features and data reports
- Offers exclusive music distribution deals
- Record Union is a top advocate for music artist’s mental health
- A complex fee structure that involves the company taking a huge piece of the revenue pie for top tier services
AWAL is like traditional record labels but with a modern twist. It’s one of the few music distribution sites with plenty of goodies to offer, including marketing assets, show opportunities, funding, and playlist services. This company is mainly ideal for artists already enjoying excellent momentum in the sales and distribution of their singles and albums. To get the most from a service package, the A&R team considers metrics such as the number of streams. Additionally, it assesses your quality of work and social media engagements. Therefore, it’s worth considering this platform if you already boast of ranks up the play charts and a substantial number of views and follows.
- Excellent playlist plugging and analytical reports
- Loads of added service compared to what traditional record labels offer
- Integrated radio campaigns & physical distribution service deals
- Artists must agree to a 15% revenue-sharing agreement
If you think your music can rank high with loads of streams, views, and downloads, working with a reputable digital music distributor like Tunecore is worth it. While the company has somewhat high upfront fees and yearly subscription renewal fees, it offers artists the perk of not having to share their hard-earned revenues. Therefore, this Brooklyn-based distributor checks out all the right boxes if you are looking for a company that offers reliable and straightforward mastering, direct advances, promotions, and digital music distribution services.
- User-friendly digital music distribution services
- Fool-proof free structure with no hidden costs
- Distributes music to all major stores
- Highly reputable and credible
- High upfront fees ( 29.99) and yearly subscription renewal fees (49.99)
Distrokid is also one of the best digital music distribution sites, and it’s pretty similar to Tunecore. However, the main difference is that it has a more affordable fee structure. This makes it your go-to digital music distributor if you want to keep more of your streaming revenues. With Distrokid, you can save 100% of your streaming revenue for a low annual fee of $19.99. This caters to uploading and distribution of your music to over 150 streaming services and stores. However, on the downside, the fee structure has hidden fees and Distrokid’s analytic reports are wanting.
- Affordable and reliable digital music Distribution Company
- Brags as one of the most reputable distributors in the industry
- Allows artists to keep 100% of their streaming revenues
- With just one annual fee, you can have all your songs and albums distributed throughout the year
- Hidden charges in the fee structure
- Complicated analytic reports
Best Music Distribution Sites; Emubands
Another music distribution site with years of experience up its belt is Emubands. This company has been around for about 15 years and offers a non-exclusive distribution deal for a one-time signup fee of $ 84.95 for albums and $42.50 for singles. The best part is that you can keep all your royalty revenues. Also, you will enjoy extras such as instant Spotify verification, preorders, digital booklet creation, chart registration, and mastering with the package. One thing that gives Embands some serious bragging points is that its main gig is digital music distribution.
- One-time fees for different service package
- The company specializes in digital music distribution
- Over 15 years experience in the industry
- Relatively high upfront fees
Symphonic has been in the digital music distribution space for over 13 years. It boasts of more than 50,000 musicians, record labels, publishers, and independent artists. In addition to the $95 distribution services, this company offers royalty collection offerings, label services, and promotional assets through a multitier service structure. Also, artists have to part with 15% of their earnings, making this platform mainly ideal for upcoming artists.
- Symphonic offers a range of career-enhancing perks such as digital music monetization and marketing services
- Well-reputed and with over 13 years of experience
- Vets artists through the application processes, ensuring accepted clients receive top-notch services
- 15% royalty splitting deal
There is always something good about working with music distribution sites that have an international reach. Even though Horus Music is a far cry from influential digital music distribution companies, this company is a global player. It shares its artists’ music with over 200 stores situated in over 100 countries. Therefore, you can choose between splitting your royalty with the company and settling an annual fee of only $24.99. This seems like a pretty decent deal for unlimited digital distribution and playlist pitching services.
- Multiple pricing options
- Plenty of added perks such as playlist pitching
- Reputable and experienced
- Shares music with over 200 online streaming platforms
- Strict quality control (not all music is accepted)
Best Music Distribution Sites; The Bottom Line
Digital music distribution sites take music from your computer and share it with the world. It’s as simple as ensuring the music is available on big music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Indeed, you’re now wondering when your music will show up on these platforms after working with the best digital music distributors. Well, it could take anything between 48 hours and a whole month. We recommend giving your company of choice as much time as they need to send and promote your music in the best way they know.