With social media and music streaming platforms like SoundCloud shaping the way people find music, music distribution is one of the key elements to becoming a successful artist. Finding the top music distributors can make a world of difference for self-releasing artists who are looking for that extra push.
As a musician, you should enjoy the freedom of focusing your time and energy on your creativity. You should be able to do what you do best—make music.
So, what does a music distributor do?
A music distributor is a service that essentially puts your music in the hands of listeners. There are many different avenues in which this can be done, so it’s crucial to find the best one to suit your personal goals and needs. A good distributor can access top networks like Spotify, Google Play, Beatport, iTunes, and more. The ideal music distributor will also allow artists to keep 100% of the royalties.
Think of a music distributor like the middle man. Sure, artists can upload their tracks to direct artist platforms like Bandcamp or SoundCloud, but this still leaves dozens of streaming platforms out of the picture. The quickest and most efficient way to give your music the recognition it deserves is to go through a distributor that can fill those gaps and give you maximum exposure.
What are the top digital music distributors?
Octiive is an indie artist-focused music distributor that provides pre-release promotional tools, UPC and IRSC codes, chart recognition, in addition to many other exciting features to foster global recognition. For Octiive to become an all-encompassing platform, its goal is to boost exposure and monetize content beyond distribution.
Octiive offers flexible distribution packages. One single or EP costs $9 with no annual payment, and they take 8% of royalties. Designed for labels, their unlimited uploads plan costs $190 and doesn’t take royalties. Finally, their pay-as-you-go album plan costs $19 per release, and again, Octiive takes 8% of royalties.
TuneCore is a top pick by artists due to its user-friendly interface. It’s perfect for those seeking convenience above all during the release process but may be less than ideal for established artists. Currently, TuneCore has not added barcodes and ISRC’s to its capabilities. However, clients can expect relatively fast turnaround times when using this platform.
TuneCore charges annually and per release. The fee for a single song is $9.99 and $29.99 for an album. The annual fee is $29.99 for an album and $9.99 for a single.
DistroKid can be an extremely valuable asset to up-and-coming artists, especially due to its direct access to TikTok, which has undoubtedly altered the way music is shared and popularized. Another perk of this platform is how simple they make it for artists to get the proper licensing to release cover tracks commercially. The only potential downside is its large user base which makes the distribution process less intimate.
DistroKid has multiple tiers of annual plans, consisting of unlimited releases for either $19.99, $35.99, or $79.99 per year.
AWAL, whose roster includes the likes of deadmau5, Yung Lean, Madison Beer, and more, operates a little bit differently. The world-renowned music distributor is quite exclusive and typically requires a referral if they don’t directly approach an artist themselves. AWAL offers many functions of a distributor as well as a label services company. Clients can expect distribution to DSPs, global marketing, advanced royalty calculation, DSP playlist campaigns, and more.
Rather than charging per release or an annual fee, AWAL takes a 15% cut of the revenue, leaving %85 for the artist.
1. Artist Republik
Artist Republik is a unique music distributor in the way it makes music distribution easy, affordable, and highly effective all at the same time. Our service offers dozens of marketing tools, a social platform, and access to ticket and show management. Built by artists, Artist Republik recognizes what each client needs to become successful and works with them on an individual level. Sure, we may be biased, but the testimonials on our homepage speak for themselves!
Artist Republik offers full-service distribution starting at just $5 and an annual subscription for $9.99 per year. We also promise no hidden fees or contracts.
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