In the good old days, a music distributor would be responsible for putting records in shops in exchange for a cut of sales, in recent years, however, their role has changed.
Streaming is now the main method of consuming music, meaning distributors have had to move their focus online. We’ve picked five of the internet’s best digital distributors that can get your music on all of the big streaming services and download stores without the help of a label.
Landr will get your music on all major streaming services including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, iTunes, Deezer and YouTube Music. Landr is a very competitively priced distributor – for only £1 a month you can have ten tracks distributed, while for as little as £4 monthly you can get an unlimited catalogue of tracks online. When you take out a plan with Landr, you’ll have your YouTube videos monetised and access to instant mastering software. Some of their artists have amassed millions of streams online, could you be next?
Ditto Music is a great budget option that also has a real worldwide reach, with offices in 16 different countries that can get your songs played on over 100 sites, big and small. For only £19/year you can have an unlimited number of tracks distributed, and it’s not just artists that can take advantage of this great deal – labels can sign up too with prices starting at £69/year. Ditto also offers playlist pitching, which can be a key factor in breaking an artist in the playlist based music landscape. An ideal option for new artists or small labels on a budget.
In a very similar price bracket to Ditto Music, DistroKid is a company that will let you upload unlimited music to major streaming platforms for just $20 per year. All distributors claim to be fast, but DistroKid is genuinely one of the fastest services out there. They will also get you a Spotify verification tick and offer the option of splitting your sales income between multiple parties. Much like Ditto Music, DistroKid offers a service for labels too that comes at a very reasonable cost.
If you want your music to have a truly global reach then TuneCore could be the distributor for you. They will make your music available on over 150 sites (including all of the major streaming services) in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide. TuneCore isn’t cheap, starting prices are $29.99/year for an album and $9.99/year for a single, with publishing, YouTube monetization and social media assistance available for extra costs. Other artist services available at TuneCore include vinyl pressing and both instant and custom mastering services. Newer artists might want to look elsewhere to find better value for money.
Signing up to CD Baby won’t just get your songs on the biggest streaming services and download stores, it can also help you shift some physical copies of your music. CD Baby can get your vinyl records in over 15,000 record shops around the world and can also make CDs for you in just a few days. CD Baby is highly regarded, and will, therefore, set you back $49 for standard distribution of an album. If you’re a bit strapped for cash, you can start off with the CD Baby Free programme which allows you to sell your music on the CD Baby store for no upfront cost in exchange for a 15% sales cut. Artists as big as Aloe Blacc are even using their services, so whether you’re an established act, or just starting out, this could be your ideal distributor.