I’ve used DistroKid for 5 years to help 10+ different artists distribute over 100 songs to Spotify and other streaming services like Apple Music. I’ve also spent my own time & money on every one of their different plans as my musical projects have grown from humble hobby projects to having 6.5+ million streams.
The best value is DistroKid’s Musician Plus plan priced at $39.99 USD per year. Distrokid has plans priced from $22.99 USD up to $1,349.99 USD per year with a variety of optional paid services available as add-ons.
DistroKid allows you to easily get your music onto streaming services and online stores, take care of royalties and payments, and review basic analytics about how your music is performing and selling.
How Much Does DistroKid Cost Per Year?
DistroKid offers a range of core pricing plans suitable for different artists, labels, and music managers in need of a fast and reliable service for distributing music:
|Plan||Price (USD per year)||Artist Slots||Recommended For:|
|Musician||$22.99||1||New artists on a budget|
|Musician Plus||$39.99||2||Serious artists|
|Ultimate 5||$89.99||5||Small labels and artists with collaborators|
|Ultimate 10||$139.99||10||Small record labels|
|Ultimate 20||$239.99||20||Medium-sized record labels|
|Ultimate 50||$674.99||50||Large record labels|
|Ultimate 100||$1,349.99||100||Large record labels|
If you’d like to get the absolute lowest cost for your plan: click here to learn about the DistroKid discount.
How Much Is DistroKid Monthly?
DistroKid only offers annual payment options, despite listing prices in a “monthly” format on their plans page. All plans are billed annually, starting at $22.99.
I would recommend most artists go for the Musician Plan priced at $39.99 because it allows you to set specific release dates in the future. I’m personally on DistroKid’s Ultimate Plan priced at $89.99 because I release music with a wide range of collaborators.
How To Make The Right Choice: DistroKid Pricing Guide & Plan Comparison
DistroKid has 3 different types of unlimited music distribution plans available: Musician, Musician Plus, and Ultimate.
The main difference between DistroKid plans is that the Musician plan has unlimited song uploads for 1 artist, the Musicians Plus plan gives unlimited uploads for 2 artists, and the Ultimate Plan(s) has unlimited uploads for 5 – 100 artists.
It’s also important to note that their cheapest “Musician” plan does not allow you to pick a specific release date, view daily stats, customize your record label name, or upload lyrics.
Regardless of which you choose to use, every DistroKid plan includes the following services:
- 100% Earnings: You get to keep all your earnings.
- Unlimited Uploads: You can upload as many songs and albums as you want.
- Wide Distribution: Your music will be distributed to over 100 platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes.
- Spotify For Artists Access: You gain access to Spotify for Artists.
- Instant Spotify Verification: You can quickly get a verified (blue checkmark) Spotify artist profile.
Due to the limitations of the Musician plan, I always recommend that new artists choose the Musician Plus plan.
I’ve found being able to choose a specific release date makes promotion a lot easier and gives artists enough time to pitch to Spotify editorial playlists.
Choose the DistroKid Musician plan if:
DistroKid’s Musician plan costs $22.99 USD per year and is their entry-level offering that is specifically tailored towards newer artists or artists who are on a budget.
When considering this plan, remember that:
- You’re limited to releasing music under one artist or band name
- You can’t set a specific release date (making it impossible to pitch to the Spotift editors and hard to promote your song)
- You can’t customize your label name, preorder date, or iTunes pricing
My biggest concern with DistroKid’s Musician plan is that your music will release as soon as it is accepted by streaming services or stores which gives you very limited ability to properly promote your song and get the word out.
I originally started out with this plan but quickly upgraded when I realized that I could not set up custom release dates for my songs – properly planning is an important part of any music release checklist.
Choose the DistroKid Musician Plus plan if:
DistroKid’s Musician Plus plan costs $39.99 USD per year and is the most popular plan that DistroKid has available for music distribution.
Most artists should choose the DistroKid Musician Plus plan because being able to set your own release date allows you to be more tactical and strategic with the way you release your music and it gives you more ability to promote your music.
These are the specific promotional strategies I personally use because I can schedule my release date using Musician Plus:
- Run a pre-release campaign via email and (sometimes) Instagram in the week leading up to the release date so there is a large number of streams on release day
- Schedule Instagram posts to go live on the day of release and for two weeks after so I don’t have to worry about posting
- Schedule Facebook and Instagram ads to start running on release day so I’m getting additional streams as soon as possible
- Pitch my song to Spotify to be included in Release Radar and possibly be added to editorial playlists
For 90% of artists, your best bet is to choose DistroKid’s Musician Plus plan because, for a slightly higher price, you gain the ability to set custom release dates for music.
I personally used this plan for about 2 years before needing to upgrade to unlock additional artist slots for my projects.
Choose a DistroKid Ultimate plan if:
Whether you are an actual record label, want to release music under multiple artist names, or want to be prepared for the future, one of DistroKid’s Ultimate plans that start at $89.99 USD per year will be a better fit for you.
The only difference between DistroKid’s Ultimate plan(s) 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 have:
- A record label
- Multiple artist names, projects, or bands
- Want to do several collaborations with other artists (each “featured artist” on your release takes up 1 Artist slot)
- To be able to help out other artists or friends by releasing music for them
Although I still recommend that most artists choose the Musician Plus, I‘m personally on DistroKid’s Ultimate Plan because I release music with a wide range of collaborators and so need the additional artist slots.
DistroKid Discounts: How To Get The Lowest Subscription Cost
To get DistroKid for the lowest possible price, you will want to know about the DistroKid discount.
Click the link above to learn more (including a complete 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?
Although DistroKid doesn’t currently offer a free trial, new users can save 7% on their first annual plan by using VIP links available on this website.
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.
Previous free trials were discontinued due to misuse, as reflected in this 2014 tweet:
It is unfortunate when some bad apples ruin it for everyone else.
Extra DistroKid Services: Hidden Fees Exposed?
DistroKid has no hidden fees and does not charge you extra to distribute your music.
However, you should be aware of 3 things when distributing your music with DistroKid:
- There may be standard bank fees, taxes, and PayPal transfer fees that you may need to pay when you withdraw your money from DistroKid.
- You need to be on the “Musician Plus” plan to be able to set a release date for your music.
- DistroKid has several extra paid add-ons that they will push on you when you are submitting your music for distribution.
Personally, I never pay for any of DistroKid’s extra services and highly recommend that every single artist avoids paying extra for these as well.
The list of upsells that DistroKid is adding to the bottom of their music distribution form grows every few months and currently looks like this:
For a frame of reference, when I first started distributing my music with DistroKid, there were only 3 or 4 upsells listed.
Is DistroKid Worth It For YOUR Music Distribution Needs?
DistroKid is worth it for any artist who wants to get their music on Spotify and other streaming services because, for a low annual fee, you get unlimited song uploads that are fast and reliable.
It’s estimated by DistroKid that they distribute 30-40% of all new music in the world and that their platform is used by more than 2 million artists (yours truly included!).
My Recommended DistroKid Package
I recommend that most artists choose DistroKid’s Musician Plus plan because, for a slightly higher price than the budget Musician plan, you gain the ability to set custom release dates for music which is invaluable for promoting your music properly.
However, I also recommend that artists avoid adding on any of DistroKid’s paid “extra” services when submitting their songs to make sure they are distributing their music for the best value possible.
Which DistroKid Plan I’m Currently Using
Although I started on the Musician plan and then quickly upgraded to Musician Plus for more than 2 years, I’m currently on DistroKid’s Ultimate Plan because I release music with a wide range of collaborators and so need the additional artist slots.
To get started with DistroKid for the lowest possible price, click here to save 7%.