The best music distribution services allow you to release unlimited songs quickly without taking a single percentage of your music’s income.
The landscape for the modern musician is changing rapidly and it’s never been more important for an artist to be able to release music frequently without breaking the bank in the process.
In addition to being expected to release lots of music to stay relevant, the income we artists generate from streaming services is notoriously low.
This is why the music distributors in the top positions of this list provide unlimited song uploads for a small annual fee and do not take a percentage of your earnings.
So if you’re looking for the absolute best music distribution service to get your music out to the world without feeling ripped off, this guide is perfect for you, my friend. 🙂
What Are The Best Music Distribution Services?
Here is a list of the best music distribution services for artists, musicians, bands, and even record labels for getting music properly released to streaming services and online stores.
1. DistroKid – Best Overall Music Distributor
DistroKid is my personal music distributor of choice, I’ve been using them for over 2 years now and have released over 40 songs with them so far.
The main benefit of using DistroKid is that you get fast and unlimited song uploads for a small annual fee, without DistroKid taking a cut of your revenue.
On top of this, I’ve found that they upload my music to streaming services really fast and their customer support has been helpful the few times I need them.
With that said, you should know that do need to keep paying the small annual fee to guarantee your music stays up and that DistroKid does try to upsell you on different upgrades called “goodies” (all of which I personally ignore every time).
Here are the main benefits of using DistroKid as your music distributor:
- Unlimited song uploads (you don’t have to pay per song or album!)
- Widely available DistroKid discount to save on your first year
- Simple, low-cost annual fee
- You keep 100% of your Spotify royalties, Apple Music royalties, etc
DistroKid is one of the fastest music distributors (and they don’t try to upsell you for that speed – they are just fast)
- They are constantly adding new features and new stores
- DistroKid has built up a great reputation over the years and they have a great relationship with its users
- Their customer support is excellent (especially once you know how to contact DistroKid)
In summary, the main benefits I’d call out are the unlimited song uploads, keeping 100% of your $$$, and the low annual fee.
Here are the main disadvantages of using DistroKid as your music distributor:
- You need to upgrade to the Musician Plus plan to be able to set custom release dates
- Currently, there is no DistroKid app available (that is changing though)
- Have to keep paying the annual fee to keep your music up on the streaming services and stores
- I honestly think that the dashboard and stats area kinda looks like poop
- They pay out randomly ever 2 to 3 months, instead of on a consistent schedule
In summary, the main annoyances I would call out are the need to upgrade to Plus for release dates and the fact that you need to keep paying to guarantee your music stays up.
To learn more about DistroKid, check out my full DistroKid Review. 🙂
2. TuneCore Unlimited – Best Traditional Music Distributor
In the past I couldn’t recommend TuneCore to anyone, however, in June 2022 they updated their pricing to be more in line with modern music distribution companies by offering unlimited song uploads for an annual fee without taking a cut of your revenue.
This means that TuneCore now meets the 2 top requirements I mention in the music distribution buyer’s guide (unlimited uploads and no royalty cuts).
The pricing for their best plan is a great value and TuneCore is a super reputable company that has been in the music distribution space pretty much ever since streaming services became a thing.
With that said, not all of TuneCore’s plans offer the best value, so I would highly recommend TuneCore’s ‘Rising Artist’ plan if you are considering signing up with them.
The TuneCore ‘Rising Artist’ plan allows artists to upload unlimited music to social media platforms as well as streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music for $14.99 per year.
To learn more about TuneCore’s new plans, check out my full article on Tunecore Pricing (particularly since there are several plans that I would recommend avoiding there).
3. Symphonic Distribution – Best Music Distributor For Electronic Artists
Symphonic Distribution is a good distributor because they offer fast unlimited uploads for a fair price without taking a percentage of your earnings.
They are even on Spotify’s preferred partner list and they include many features that other distributors charge you extra for.
|Unlimited releases for a low annual fee||An overwhelming number of options, solutions, and services are available to artists (some self-serve and some are through a deeper partnership)|
|Artists get to keep 100% of their royalties & rights||Some features/services appear to be simple links to other services without any deeper integration (or at least discount)|
|Get your music on Spotify in 1 – 2 days||Symphonic is a new player in the “self-service music distribution” space|
|Free royalty splits with other artists or collaborators|
|Release dates are built into the price (not an upsell)|
|Proper distribution to Beatport (no upsell & choose your own label name)|
|Has worked with lots of reputable artists|
|Lots of other non-distribution services available for when your music career grows to need it|
To learn more about the pros and cons of using Symphonic, how their pricing works, and how they compare to the most popular distributor, check out my full Symphonic Distribution review.
What makes Amuse a great music distributor is due to the fact that they are one of the few distributors that offer a free plan without taking away a single percentage of your streaming royalties.
If you’re just getting started with releasing music and what to start slow to test out the waters, Amuse easily has the best free offer on the market today.
However, the time it takes to get your music on streaming services is quite slow so you will need to have a proper music release strategy and be really on top of your release schedule and timelines to make the most out of Amuse.
With that said, Amuse ultimately set itself apart by offering a truly free music distribution system and providing a powerful mobile app that users can use to upload music and check their stats.
Here are the main advantages of using Amuse as your music distributor:
- Keep 100% of the revenue your music generates (even on the free plan!)
- The awesome Amuse mobile app
- Easily the best free music distribution offer on the market today
In summary, the main benefits are definitely the free plan and the mobile app.
Here are the main disadvantages of using Amuse as your music distributor:
- Super super super slow: 3 to 4 weeks on free plan and 2 weeks on the pro plan… both are unacceptable
- Distribution to social media platforms is locked behind the pro plan
- You are charged a fee if you want to split royalties on the free plan
- The high price tag of the pro plan
- You can only upload 1 release at a time on the free plan
- You can’t set a specific release date on the free plan
In summary, I would say the main disadvantages are the delivery speed and price of Amuse Pro as well as all the little “gotcha” restrictions of the free plan.
To learn more about Amuse, check out my article where I compare DistroKid vs Amuse. 🙂
When directly comparing the features that Ditto offers against what DistroKid offers, I think Ditto absolutely smashes it out of the park here.
A lot of the features like custom release dates, Shazam, and YouTube Content ID are built into the base price of their cheapest plan where DistroKid makes you upgrade and upsell these exact same features.
These are some insanely massive benefits in my eyes, however, in my research, I’ve found out that they seem to have a bad reputation in the music industry as well as less than stellar customer service.
To learn more about Ditto and what I learned about them, check out this article where I compare DistroKid vs Ditto. 🙂
Here are the main benefits of using Ditto:
- You can set custom release dates with the basic Ditto plan
- There is no upfront or percentage-based fee for Ditto to use YouTube’s ContentID to track down and monetize any video using your music on YouTube
- Ditto has a relationship with YouTube that allows you to get your music video on VeVo
- Your music is automatically added to new streaming services and stores as they become available (ie: you don’t need to pay for this feature or manually add them to new stores like with DK)
- Shazam support is included at no extra cost to you
- They have a free 30-day trial available
In summary, the main benefit I’d call out is that Ditto does not seem at all focused on trying to get you to upgrade to a higher tier or to upsell you for extra features.
Here are the main disadvantages of using Ditto:
- They have an “Express Release” service to get your music live fast instead of just naturally getting your music up fast
- The elephant in the room: they have a bad reputation in the eyes of their customers and peers
- Ditto users have accused them of completely removing paying users that may have committed copyright infringement or engaged in fraudulent streams
- Ditto users have accused them of withholding royalties
- They have been accused of having really poor customer service and not treating their users with respect
In summary, there seems to be nothing wrong at all with Ditto Music’s features and business model (quite the opposite actually, that looks amazing), but the main concern is with their reputation and customer service.
Landr is an online music software that allows you to get your music mastered online. In addition to this service, they also offer rent-to-own audio plugins, sample packs, collaboration tools, and digital music distribution.
If you are already a Landr customer then doing your music distribution is a no-brainer since you can save money with their “All Access Pass” ($149.99 per year) and not have to jump around between services to do your music work.
With that said, Landr’s music distribution offering seems to be more of a “value add” than a “core feature” as it seems to be a way to upsell its current customer to make more money or to be seen as a “one-stop-shop” for newer customers.
In addition to this, a big disadvantage of using Landr is that they can take anywhere between 9% to 15% of your income and make you pay a setup fee per song or album depending on which plan you choose with them.
Here are the main benefits of using Landr as your music distributor:
- After paying once, your music stays live on streaming services and stores forever
- Landr has some additional services that you can pay for including mastering and a sample library
In summary, the main benefits of using Landr are the fact that your music stays up forever after paying and that they have some other features you can pay for.
Here are the main disadvantages of using Landr as your music distributor:
- Landr can take between 9% – 15% of any income your music generates depending on which plan you choose
- You have to pay a setup fee per song or album on the “free” and most affordable Landr plans that are available
- Music distribution is not this company’s core business so they may not be focused on providing quality distribution and instead may be focused on pushing you to buy their other services and tools
In summary, the biggest disadvantage of using Landr when compared to DistroKid is that they take a cut and charge you per song/album depending on which plan you are on and that they are not a company that focuses on music distribution.
To learn even more about them, check out my article where I compare DistroKid Vs Landr. 🙂
CD Baby is a music distributor that uploads your music, album art, and metadata to streaming services and stores like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora Radio, and 150+ other streaming services.
I’m not too crazy about CD Baby since they are still pushing a “pay-per-release” music distribution model which is out of date and isn’t useful for most musicians, artists, and record labels in 2022.
With that said, they may be one of the oldest music distribution companies around so you know that they are reputable, trustworthy, and provide great service – many people swear by them and continue to use them to this day.
Hopefully, they will update their pricing model and plans like TuneCore recently did, but until then, they are going to end up quite low on this list.
Here are the main benefits of using CD Baby as your music distributor:
- After paying once, your music stays live on streaming services and stores forever
- There is no annual fee that you need to pay
- CD Baby is able to take care of music publishing for you (for an additional fee, but still)
In summary, the main benefits of using CD Baby are the fact that your music stays up forever after paying and that they offer music publishing.
Here are the main disadvantages of using CD Baby as your music distributor:
- CD Baby takes 9% of any income your music generates
- You have to pay a setup fee per song or album
In summary, the biggest disadvantage of using CD Baby when compared to DistroKid is that they take a cut of your money and that they end up being very costly if you plan on releasing a lot of music.
To learn even more about them, check out this article where I compare DistroKid vs CD Baby. 🙂
ONErpm is a music company that offers music distribution in addition to music publishing, sync licensing, video management, and several small marketing tools like links and analytics.
Although ONErpm can offer customized and “full service” marketing support, their standard “self-service” features are free to use but take a cut of earnings through commissions.
ONErpm does not seem to be well known or talked about by artists, but apparently has a strong network in Latin America and seems to really focus on providing for artists that are in or releasing music for the Latin American market.
When it comes to music distribution, ONErpm offers unlimited song uploads to most streaming services for free but will take a 15% cut of any earnings your music makes.
Although ONErpm apparently has a reputation for rejecting songs, it is most likely due to standard issues when submitting songs (like incorrect titles, artwork, files, etc) which can happen no matter what distributor you use.
Here are the main benefits of using ONErpm as your music distributor:
- No annual fee
- Can also provide music publishing, sync licensing, video management, and several small marketing tools like links and analytics
- Can choose which regions you want to distribute your music to
In summary, the main benefits of using ONErpm are the lack of an annual fee and the potential for them to be a “one-stop-shop” for more than distribution.
In addition to this, if you are an artist in or releasing music for the Latin American market, you may find ONErpm particularly appealing.
Here are the main disadvantages of using ONErpm as your music distributor:
- They take a massive 15% cut of your earnings
- Not well known or talked about by artists
- They take an absolutely massive 15% cut of your earnings
In summary, the biggest disadvantage of using ONErpm when compared to DistroKid is that they aren’t very well known and that they take a big cut of your potential earnings away from you.
To learn even more about them, check out this article where I compared DistroKid vs ONErpm. 🙂
RouteNote.com allows you to upload music to Spotify for free but takes a 15% cut of any song royalties that you may receive.
On top of this, RouteNote does have paid plan versions that are weird and complicated. You pay $30 per year in the first few years and then need to start paying $10 per single and $50 per album.
I’m not too crazy about RouteNote’s offering but they are actually the first music distributor that I used years and years back to put out my first bad songs as Best Friends Club and also some music for my friend Andrew (Tetra).
Solid option if you want to get music up for free and don’t expect get many streams.
BoostCollective is a music distributor and promotion company that allows artists to distribute their music for free, keep 100% of their earnings, and promote their music with video creators, cover art creators, playlist promotion, and more.
It’s possible to distribute and promote your music free using BoostCollective since you can earn credits for anything they offer by releasing more and more music.
Alternatively, you can pay for any of the promotion services and tools they offer if you’d like to get quicker (or more) access.
Their platform is definitely newer and still working through some minor improvements, but they are definitely worth checking out since you can get so much for so little.
UnitedMasters is not really a music distributor I can recommend since they cost more than the higher-ranked distributors on this list without really justifying that cost.
Although they do have a “free” option, they take 10% of your streaming money and give you very limited features if you go this route.
In particular, they actually have a weird limit on song uploads if you use their free plan (which is particularly awful because releasing music frequently is how I landed my music on 7+ Spotify editorial playlists and got over 300,000 streams).
With that said, they do have a cool-looking “brand” to them and I’ve noticed that the people that do use them seem to be pretty happy with them so it can definitely be worth checking out.
To learn more about them, check out my article where I compare DistroKid Vs. UnitedMasters.
12. TuneCore Classic
To put it simply:
TuneCore’s classic pricing and plans are far too expensive at $9.99 per single or $29.99 per album, every year.
The “pay-per-release” pricing model is dated and is awful for artists trying to make it in 2022 since it encourages you to release music due to how expensive it is to release music this way.
Thankfully, you can now choose to use TuneCore’s new unlimited pricing (which I would highly recommend over their traditional pricing).
TuneCore Classic Pros
Here are the main benefits of using TuneCore Classic as your music distributor:
- They have one of the best reputations around in the music distribution space
- A lot of additional features or extras that other music distributors offer are built right in with TuneCore
- TuneCore is able to take care of music publishing for you (for an additional fee, but still)
- TuneCore is able to potentially get sync placements for you (for an additional fee, but still)
In summary, the main benefits of using TuneCore are the fact that additional features are built right into the main price and that you could use TuneCore as a “one-stop-shop” in terms of music distribution, music publishing, and handling sync placements.
TuneCore Classic Cons
Here are the main disadvantages of using TuneCore:
- You have to pay a fee per song or album, not once but every single year
- They are very expensive to use. So so so expensive.
To learn more about Tunecore’s classic pricing model and plans, check out my full article called DistroKid vs Tunecore.
13. Repost By SoundCloud
From all my research on music distributors, I think my least favorite is likely to be Repost by SoundCloud.
With that said, they still do make this list since they can be a great value choice for any artist that uses SoundCloud heavily and is already paying for any of the other SoundCloud subscriptions.
Repost by Soundcloud offers 3 main features:
- The ability to distribute music to music services like Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, and Instagram
- The ability to monetize your music on Soundcloud (similar to YouTube monetization)
- The ability to promote your music by submitting your music for playlist consideration and building pre-save pages
From researching this topic, I found people in forums literally laughing at what Soundcloud is offering…
One person essentially called Repost by Soundcloud “DistroKid but worse and more expensive”.
It all comes down to 3 main reasons:
- It’s more expensive per year than DistroKid
- They take a 20% cut of your Spotify royalties whereas DistroKid takes 0%
- Soundcloud music distribution quality is new and untested
At the end of the day, the only artists I would recommend Repost by Soundcloud to are those that are already on the SoundCloud Pro Unlimited, since they get the $30 per year fee waived.
To learn more about them, check out this article called Can Distrokid Distribute To SoundCloud?