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DistroKid Pricing Explained: Plans, Discounts & ‘Hidden’ Fees

By Matthew Vultaggio

February 27, 2023

Having personally used DistroKid for over 2 years to release over 50 songs on Spotify as Best Friends Club, I have a pretty good idea of how much it costs to use DistroKid that goes beyond what you’d find on their pricing page.

DistroKid has plans ranging from $19.99 USD to $1,199.99 USD per year in addition to a growing number of optional paid “Album Extras” that range from $0.99 per song to $26.99 per song. However, the best value is the Musician Plus plan with no Album Extras added ($35.99 per year).

Here’s a full breakdown of DistroKid’s pricing, including a comparison of each of their plans, any discounts that are available, and the cost of any hidden fees or extra features.

In total, DistroKid has 3 main plans that are available to you. These plans are the Musician, Musician Plus, and Ultimate (previously called ‘Label’) plans.

Musician$19.99 USD1
Musician Plus$35.99 USD2
Ultimate 5$79.99 USD5
Ultimate 10$139.99 USD10
Ultimate 20$239.99 USD20
Ultimate 50$599.99 USD50
Ultimate 100$1,199.99 USD100
A chart breaking down DistroKid’s plans for artists and labels.

P.S. To get your plan for even cheaper, learn about the DistroKid discount. 🙂

Each DistroKid plan includes the following features:

  • Unlimited song and album uploads
  • Upload to over 100 stores (including Spotify, Apple Music & iTunes)
  • Keep 100% of your earnings
  • Instantly verified (blue checkmark) Spotify artist profile
  • Access to Spotify For Artists

DistroKid also offers 5 optional paid features that you can apply per release (more on these and why I don’t even bother with them in the article below).

To learn about how each plan compares, which plan is right for you, and if there are any hidden fees you should be aware of, simply read on, my friend. 🙂

P.S. Instead, if you would like a more detailed look into what DistroKid has to offer, you can check out my big fat DistroKid review.

DistroKid Pricing Plans Comparison

DistroKid Musician plan costs $19.99 per year, Musicians Plus costs $35.99 per year, and DistroKid’s Ultimate plans cost between $79.99 to $1,199.99 per year.

…so what’s the main difference between these plans?

DistroKid Plans Comparison

The main difference between DistroKid plans is that the Musician plan has unlimited song uploads for 1 artist, the Musicians Plus plan gives you unlimited uploads for 2 artists, and the Ultimate plans give you unlimited uploads for 5 – 100 artists.

However, another key difference is that the Plus and Ultimate plans allow you to customize your release, such as by setting a specific release date, while the basic Musician plan does not.

Here are some extra things to note when comparing DistroKid’s prices and plans:

  • All plans are priced in USD
  • Each plan needs to be paid annually for the subscription to stay active
  • If you don’t continue to pay the annual subscription, your music is not guaranteed to stay online

…so how can you know which plan is the right one for you?

Read on, my friend. 🙂

DistroKid Musician vs Musicians Plus

The main difference between the two plans is that the Musician plan has unlimited song uploads for 1 artist, while the Musician Plus gives you unlimited uploads for 2 artists and the ability to set a release date.

In my opinion, these are the only plans that you will want to consider as an individual artist, band, or musician – the Ultimate plan is really just overkill for individual artists/bands.

And between these 2 plans, I would honestly recommend the Musician plus plan more because I think the ability to set a specific release date and time is critically important to a successful music release strategy.

In fact, DistroKid’s unlimited song uploads in hand with that ability to set release dates is one of the reasons I was able to land a song on over 7 Spotify editorial playlists and rack up over 300,000 streams.

P.S. I filmed myself doing a playlist pitch that ended up getting on an editorial playlist! Check it out by visiting my article on Spotify editorial playlist submissions. 🙂

Here is a more complete list of extra features that you get with the Plus and Ultimate plans, that you do not get with the basic Musician plan:

  • Customize your label name
  • Customize your release date
  • Customize your preorder date
  • Customize iTunes pricing

Most of these extra features are (in my opinion) useless, other than the release date feature, but, at least now you know. 🙂

For a full comparison of these two plans, check out my article, DistroKid Musician vs Musicians Plus, to help you choose the right plan.

Choose the basic DistroKid Musician plan if…

The basic Musician plan may be the right fit for you if you:

  • Don’t need to set release dates for your releases
  • Want to test the waters by releasing music as cheap as possible first
  • You just want to save a bit of cash

This plan still allows for unlimited song uploads to all the most popular streaming services, so it really is great. 🙂

Just 2 things to remember:

  1. You can save even more by using the DistroKid discount
  2. You can always upgrade your plan at a later time, so there is no pressure

Choose the DistroKid Musicians Plus plan if…

The upgraded Musicians Plus plan may be the right fit for you if:

  • You would like to set specific release dates
  • You’d like to release music for 2 artists (or under 2 artist names)
  • Customizing your release’s label name, preorder date, and iTunes pricing is important to you

DistroKid Musicians Plus is the plan that I actually use and would recommend (mostly due to the release date feature). 🙂

DistroKid Ultimate (Previously ‘Label’) Plans

Whether you are an actual record label, want to release music under multiple artist names, or just want to be prepared for the future, one of DistroKid’s Ultimate plans may be a better fit for you.

The only difference between the Ultimate plan and the Musicians Plus plan is the number of artists you can release music for.

You may want to consider the Ultimate plan if:

  • You are a label
  • You have multiple artist names, projects, or bands
  • You want to be able to help out other artists or friends by releasing music for them

If any of those resonate with you, then one of the higher tier DistroKid plans will be perfect for you.

Under the “Ultimate” plan, there are 5 tiers available. The only difference between these is the number of artists that you can release music with.

The number of artists range from 5 all the way up to 100:

Plan NamePrice# of Artists
Ultimate 5$79.99 USD5
Ultimate 10$139.99 USD10
Ultimate 20$239.99 USD20
Ultimate 50$599.99 USD50
Ultimate 100$1,199.99 USD100
A chart breaking down DistroKid’s plans for labels.

Choose a DistroKid Ultimate plan if:

Any of the DistroKid Label plans may be right for you if you:

  • Are a label (duh hehe)
  • Release music under a lot of different artist names
  • Need to release music for other artists

Basically, if you need those extra artist slots for any reason, a Ultimate plan might be for you. 🙂

DistroKid Discount: How To Get DistroKid For The Lowest Price

To get DistroKid for the lowest possible price, you are going to want to know about the DistroKid discount.

Click the link above to learn more (including a full walkthrough), but here is a spoiler for you:

The best discount that DistroKid offers is 7% off your first year with DistroKid: to save 7% off with DistroKid click here.

DistroKid uses “VIP Links”, like the one above, to automatically apply the discount for you. Other than these special links, DistroKid doesn’t have any discount codes, coupon codes, or sales available.

Is There A DistroKid Free Trial?

DistroKid does not offer a free trial. The best way to get a DistroKid for as close to free as possible is by clicking here to save 7% on your first annual plan with DistroKid.

However, you may find it interesting to know that DistroKid did offer a free trial in the past and why they no longer offer this today.

A tweet uncovered from June 2014, shows that DistroKid apparently used to offer a free trial but stopped when people used the free trial for evil:

It is definitely unfortunate when some bad apples ruin it for everyone else.

So, at the time of writing this, the best discount that DistroKid offers is 7% off your first year with DistroKid: to save 7% off with DistroKid click here.

Are There Any Hidden Fees With DistroKid?

DistroKid does not have any hidden fees and does not charge you extra to distribute your music.

However, you should be aware of two things when distributing your music with DistroKid:

  1. There may be standard bank fees, taxes, and/or PayPal transfer fees that you may need to pay when you withdraw your money from DistroKid.
  2. Any stores that take a cut of any sales (like iTunes), will still take their cut.

It is important to note that in both of these situations, DistroKid is not the one charging you for anything.

With that said, DistroKid does have some optional features that you are free to pay for or ignore. Some people online may call these “hidden fees” but they are unessential and easy to completely ignore (I do, that is for sure).

What are DistroKid’s extra features?

DistroKid does offer you the opportunity to pay for some completely optional features or add-ons on a per-release basis.

They are adding new features to this last constantly and they are almost always worth skipping, so if you are looking to get the most value I’d really just recommend sticking to one of the plans.

Again, I don’t bother with literally any of these (and recommend you don’t either), but here is a beautiful table that shows off all the extra stuff that DistroKid offers:

Discovery PackMakes it easy to find your song using Shazam and Siri$0.99
Store MaximizerAutomatically add your music to new stores$7.95
YouTube MoneyCollect ad money from YouTube videos using your music$4.95 + 20%
Leave a LegacyYour music stays up if you don’t pay the DistroKid subscription$29
Cover Song LicensingSafely and legally upload a cover song$12
Tidal MasterHave a ‘Master’ badge that displays on Tidal$8.99 – $17.99
Social PhoneA text/sms service add-on$12.99
Dolby AtmosAllow for Dolby Atmos on supported devices/services$26.999
Loudness NormalizationVolume adjustment to match Spotify’s recommendations$2.99
A table showing DistroKid’s optional paid extras as of February 2023

Things to know about DistroKid’s Album Extras:

  • Several of these are monthly payments (so beware when choosing them!) as opposed to per track payments
  • Some of these need to be paid annually to keep the feature active
  • All prices are in USD
  • These features can be added after your release by clicking on your song or album in DistroKid and scrolling down to “Add Features”

Again, I personally don’t bother with any of them when I am releasing my own music and don’t think you need to either.

With that said, at least you now know all of the extra tools and services that DistroKid makes available to you.

DistroKid Shazam & Siri Explained

DistroKid Shazam & iPhone Siri is an optional feature that DistroKid offers when you are submitting your music to streaming services and stores. It allows people to easily identify your music if they hear it anywhere by using the Shazam or Siri apps.

Shazam & iPhone Siri costs $0.99 per song per year.

This option becomes available at the bottom of the upload page in DistroKid but is not listed under the stores for distribution because Shazam doesn’t actually sell or stream any music.

The benefit of using this feature is that people may discover your music more easily in public.

DistroKid Store Maximizer Explained

DistroKid Store Maximizer is an optional feature that DistroKid offers when you are submitting your music to streaming services and stores. It automatically adds your music to new streaming services and online stores as they are added to DistroKid.

Store Maximizer costs $7.95 USD per album per year.

The benefit of using this feature is that you will not need to re-submit your music manually to new streaming services and stores.

DistroKid YouTube Money: Explained

YouTube Money is an optional feature that DistroKid offers when you are submitting your music to streaming services and stores. It searches YouTube for videos using your music and collects ad revenue from these videos for you.

YouTube Money costs $4.95 per single per year or $14.95 per album per year, AND 20% of any YouTube ad revenue that is collected.

By using this optional feature, DistroKid will only take 20% of the revenue from the YouTube videos they find that are using your music. DistroKid still does not take a percentage of any of your earnings from Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, etc, etc.

For a deeper look into DistroKid’s YouTube Money feature and how you can use DistroKid to upload your music to YouTube, check out my article: Does DistroKid Upload To YouTube? for more. 🙂

DistroKid Leave a Legacy Explained

Leave A Legacy is an optional feature that DistroKid offers when you are submitting your music to streaming services and stores. It allows your music to stay up on streaming services and stores even if you stop paying the subscription or cancel your account.

Leave a Legacy is a one-time fee that costs $29 per single or $49.00 per album

This feature must be added on a per-release basis and is not a replacement for the annual DistroKid subscription fee. If you leave DistroKid, only the releases with this extra applied will stay up on stores and streaming services.

DistroKid Cover Song Licensing Explained

Cover Song Licensing is an optional feature that DistroKid offers when you are submitting your music to streaming services and stores. It allows you to legally release cover songs by obtaining the license(s), paying the original songwriter(s), and keeping current on music copyright law.

DistroKid Cover Song Licensing costs $12 per cover song per year.

For more on this feature, read the details in their FAQ article.

Will DistroKid Take A Percentage Of My Earnings?

DistroKid does not take a percentage of the money you generate from your music’s streams and sales.

DistroKid makes its money from the annual membership/subscription and from any optional features you would like to use.

That’s it.

In my opinion, the fact that DistroKid does not take a percentage and allows you to upload unlimited songs and albums is a huge part of the reason why I think they are the best music distributor.

For a full breakdown of this, including more detail into how DistroKid makes money, check out my article: Does DistroKid Take A Percentage?

DistroKid Alternatives

If you would like to do some shopping around before selecting DistroKid as your music distributor, I’d highly recommend that.

It’s always good to be informed!

Although I think DistroKid is awesome and definitely recommend it, I also did a bunch of research before selecting them (that is how I’m able to write all these articles hehe).

Below are some alternatives to DistroKid that I have researched and written about. I do my best to make it an unbiased shootout of what each company offers on their websites (but sometimes my DistroKid fanboy shows quite a bit).

P.S. If you also want to learn about music publishing and make sure that you are not leaving any money on the table with your music distribution setup, I’d recommend checking out these 2 articles:

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Click here to see a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 5,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist (called Best Friends Club).

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission. 🤗

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

"Copy/Paste" Your Music Promotion with The FREE Checklist I Used To Get 3,000,000+ Spotify Streams

Get your 7-step checklist for FREE: