The Best Music Distribution Services

The Fourteen Best Services for Digital Music Distribution

So you want to get your music up on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube; and you’re wondering what the best music distribution service is for you to use. Well, in this post we will go over fourteen paid music distribution services that you can sign up for so you can get your music out the the masses!

All of the info contained in this post is conveniently laid out in this video. Feel free to watch it if you’d prefer to listen to me read it to you.

If you’d like to listen to my music on Spotify, you can do so here: https://spoti.fi/2HOAPMY

Otherwise, let’s get into it!

The Details

In this post we will cover:

  • Price
  • UPC
  • Royalties You Keep
  • Number of Stores
  • YouTube Content ID
  • Instagram Music
  • TikTok Delivery
  • Physical Distribution
  • Payment Threshold
  • Approval Time
  • Whether you can make changes after release
  • If there’s Take Down for Stop Payment
  • Spotify For Artist
  • Cover Song Licenses

It’s my hope that this information will give you an overview of each company, and thus allow you to make an informed decision when choosing your own digital music distributor.

This list will be broken up into four categories. PPR (Pay Per Release), SPR (Subscription Per Release), Subscription, & Other.

With that out of the way, here are the best music distribution services.

Pay Per Release Digital Music Distribution Services

Pay Per Release – PPR

CD Baby

Price

Single – $9.99

Album – $29

Royalty

91%

UPC

$5 per Single

$20 per Album

# of Stores

150+

YouTube Content ID

Included in base price

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

Yes – for albums

Payment Threshold

You set

Approval Time

5-10 Days

Make Changes to Release?

Change Featured Artist and Fix Typos

Take Down for Stop Payment?

No

Spotify for Artist

Yes

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://cdbaby.com/

Emu Bands

Price

Single – $42.50

EP – $59.95

Album – $84.95

Royalty

100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

62+

YouTube Content ID

No

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

None

Approval Time

24-72 Hours

Make Changes to Release?

Some changes for a $10 fee.

Take Down for Stop Payment?

No

Spotify for Artist

Yes

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://www.emubands.com/

iGroove

Price

Single – $21

EP – $32

Album – $54

Royalty

92%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

12+

YouTube Content ID

$7.75

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

Not specified

Approval Time

2 Weeks

Make Changes to Release?

Audio, Artwork, & Metadata

Take Down for Stop Payment?

No

Spotify for Artist

Yes

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://www.igroovemusic.com/

iMusician

iMusician has a three tiered payment structure. Subsequently the more you pay for a release, the bigger a royalty you keep.

Price

Single – $5 / $9 / $29

EP – $10 / $19 / $59

Album – $19 / $29 – $89

Royalty

70% / 85% / 100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

250+

YouTube Content ID

$0.80 / $1.20 / Included

Instagram Music

No

TikTok

No

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

No

Approval Time

1-2 Weeks

Make Changes to Release?

$10 per modification.

Take Down for Stop Payment?

No

Spotify for Artist

Yes

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://imusiciandigital.com/

Subscription Per Release Digital Music Distribution Services

Subscription Per Release

TuneCore

Price

Single – $9.99 per year

Album – $29.99 per year

Royalty

100%

UPC

Included in base price.

# of Stores

41+

YouTube Content ID

$12 one time fee + 20% YouTube Revenue

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

Yes – for albums

Payment Threshold

$1 with PayPal

Approval Time

1-5 Days

Make Changes to Release?

Artwork & Audio Files

Take Down for Stop Payment?

Yes

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

$15 – Limited License (less than 500 downloads)

$59 – Standard License (more than 500 downloads)

Link

https://www.tunecore.ca/

Record Union

Price

Single – $15 per year

EP – $20 per year

Album – $25 per year

Royalty

85%

UPC

$10 per release

# of Stores

17+

YouTube Content ID

No

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

Not specified

Approval Time

5-8 Days

Make Changes to Release?

Fix Typos

Take Down for Stop Payment?

Yes

Spotify for Artist

Yes

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://www.recordunion.com/

SpinnUp

Price

Single – $9.99 per year

EP – $19.99 per year

Album – $39.99 per year

Royalty

100%

UPC

Not specified

# of Stores

44+

YouTube Content ID

Not specified

Instagram Music

No

TikTok

No

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

Not specified

Approval Time

24-48 Hours

Make Changes to Release?

Not specified

Take Down for Stop Payment?

Yes

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://spinnup.com/

Yearly Subscription Digital Music Distribution Services

Subscription

DistroKid

Price

$19.99 per year

Royalty

100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

150+

YouTube Content ID

Single – $4.95 per year

Album – $14.95 per year

+ 20% youTube Revenue

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

$0 with PayPal

Approval Time

1-7 Days

Make Changes to Release?

Artwork & Titles

Take Down for Stop Payment?

Yes

There is a Legacy Fee of $29 per Single and $49 per Album.

However, it appears that this is only an option if you pass away. DistroKid will not allow you to pay the legacy fee if you want to stop using their service and you will need to move your music to another distribution service.

Spotify for Artist

Yes

Cover Song License

Included in base price

Link

https://distrokid.com/

Ditto

Price

$19.99 per year

Royalty

100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

35+

YouTube Content ID

Included in base price

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

$25

Approval Time

1-7 Days

Make Changes to Release?

No

Take Down for Stop Payment?

Yes and you will no longer be able to collect any of the royalties which Ditto has collected on your behalf.

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

No

Level Music

Price

$20 per year

Royalty

100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

12+

YouTube Content ID

No

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

$10

Approval Time

Up to 48 Hours

Make Changes to Release?

No

Take Down for Stop Payment?

Not specified

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://www.dittomusic.com/

RouteNote

Price

$9.99 per year + the cost of each release

Single – $10

EP – $20

Album – $30

Extended Album – $45

Royalty

100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

28+

YouTube Content ID

Included in base price

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

$50

Approval Time

Up to 72 Hours

Make Changes to Release?

Artwork, Titles, & Metadata

Take Down for Stop Payment?

No, however you will be switched to Level’s “FREE” account for a 15% of your royalties

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://www.routenote.com/

Amuse

Price

$5 per month

Royalty

100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

14+

YouTube Content ID

Included in base price

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

$10

Approval Time

1-5 Days

However, they require your release day to be 14 days in the future.

Make Changes to Release?

Artwork

Take Down for Stop Payment?

They will take down your music from their PRO stores, however you will be switched to their FREE account.

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://www.amuse.io/

Other Digital Music Distribution Services

Other

Horus Music

With Horus you can choose whether you want to pay a yearly Subscription, or do Pay Per Release.

Price

$20 per year

OR

Single – $20

EP – $28

Album $36

Royalty

100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

200+

YouTube Content ID

Not specified

Instagram Music

No

TikTok

No

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

$0 in the UK

$10 Worldwide

Approval Time

24-48 Hours

Make Changes to Release?

No

Take Down for Stop Payment?

Yes if you choose the yearly Subscription

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://www.horusmusic.global/

LANDR

LANDR is set up with a THREE TIER yearly subscription. The more you pay yearly, the less you pay per release, and thus the larger royalty you keep.

Price

Per year – $0 / $20 / $89

Single – $9 / $5 / $0

Album – $29 / $19 / $0

Royalty

85% / 91% / 100%

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

33+

YouTube Content ID

Included in base price

Instagram Music

Included in base price

TikTok

Included in base price

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

$1

Approval Time

5-7 Days

Make Changes to Release?

No

Take Down for Stop Payment?

No

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

$15 per song

Link

https://www.landr.com/

Octiive

Like Horus Music, Octiive allows you to either choose a yearly Subscription, or Pay Per Release.

Price

$27.99 per year

OR

Single – $7.99

Album – $17.99

Royalty

100% with yearly subscription

92% with pay per release

UPC

Included in base price

# of Stores

9+

YouTube Content ID

No

Instagram Music

No

TikTok

No

Physical Distribution

No

Payment Threshold

Not specified

Approval Time

10-12 Days

Make Changes to Release?

No

Take Down for Stop Payment?

Yes if you choose the yearly subscription

Spotify for Artist

No

Cover Song License

No

Link

https://www.octiive.com/

Final Thoughts

So, which is the best service for digital music distribution?

Well, that’s really going to depend on what you’re looking for.

Generally I’m not a fan of having to pay a yearly subscription for anything.

I have a Spotify subscription, but if I want to stop paying for Spotify I can do that.

If you’re working with a music distribution service that runs on a yearly subscription model, you can’t just STOP paying.

They will take your music down.

That’s it.

I know that it isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but personally the idea of being locked into a lifetime payment is very unappealing to me.

It is however, very appealing for the company.

What do I use?

If you’re curious, this service I use for music distribution is CD Baby.

I’ve been releasing music with them for years and have had nothing but a positive experience.

My favourite thing about CD Baby, is that I pay once to get my music up, and it’s up.

Forever.

Then they occasionally pay me and I dance a little in my apartment.

You’re free to make your own choices of course, just make sure it’s an informed choice.

I implore you to do more research before choosing a Digital Distributor.

My vote

My vote is that CD Baby is your best option. The few things they don’t do , cover song license for instance, is absolutely worth not having to pay a lifetime fee.

However, maybe you’re an artist who creates experimental noise music and are able to release a twelve track album a month.

That would get costly with CD Baby, so there is absolutely situations where the subscription model might make sense.

However, there’s always BandCamp for weird experimental music so you’ve got options.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you research the company first.

This list covers a lot of information, but that information can change as the times change.

It may turn out that one of these companies takes a cut you’re uncomfortable with, or has worked with people you’re not fond of for example.

An informed decision is a good decision.

Hopefully you found the information in this article helpful.

Now get out there and release some music.

There’s no time like the present!

Anndy Negative

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