If you want to learn how you can use DistroKid Splits to automatically split your release’s earnings whether or not your collaborators are on DistroKid or not, I’ve researched this topic and put my findings here for you.
DistroKid Splits (previously called Splits) allows artists to automatically split earnings from their releases to other DistroKid users. Royalty splits can be a flat fee and/or a percentage.
You are able to change split amounts or remove collaborators at any time and DistroKid will keep a history log of all of the royalty splits that have occurred for a song so that you can keep track of things.
A few things you should know before learning more and getting started…
This DistroKid “Teams” feature was renamed to “Splits” because it is for splitting royalties – it is not a team member or user permissions feature for DistroKid accounts.
For non-DistroKid users, 50% off DistroKid invite codes are sent directly to the email address you enter when creating the royalty split – if you want to save on DistroKid yourself, you’ll want to learn about the DistroKid discount code instead.
With that said, if you are ready to learn everything you need to know about DistroKid royalty splits, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂
DistroKid Royalty Splits Explained
…so what are DistroKid royalty splits and how do they work?
DistroKid allows artists to automatically split earnings from their releases to other DistroKid users with a feature they call Splits. Royalty splits can be a flat fee and/or a percentage and are sent out by entering your collaborator’s email address.
When setting up the revenue share for a song you get to choose between setting up a flat fee that is paid out first and then is followed by a percentage of earnings between 0% and 100% or you can simply set a percentage.
This ability to set a flat fee is what DistroKid calls “recoupment” and allows you to prioritize which of your collaborators get their share first as a way to reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses before royalties based on percentages.
Before diving into how you can actually get started with DistroKid splits and what the experience is like for non-DistroKid users, here are some things you should know:
- Only team managers (the person who originally uploaded the song) can see the overall splits – team members will only see the percentage they get
- Money that your song has already made will not be retroactively split
- You can change split amounts or fully remove collaborators at any time
- You can add unlimited collaborators to a release
- Bank access is permanent so if your collaborator doesn’t renew their DistroKid membership they will still be able to earning royalties and withdraw it
With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at what it looks like to actually use DistroKid Splits as the song owner.
How To Use DistroKid Splits
Whoever originally uploaded the song to DistroKid is the team manager and gets to set up how the royalty payments are to be divided up and sent out.
It’s important to note that only team managers can see the overall splits and that the individual team members will only see the specific percentage or recoupment that has been set for them.
Here are the steps for setting up DistroKid Splits:
- You can access this feature by clicking on the “Splits” tab in the DistroKid dashboard or by visiting distrokid.com/teams:
- Select the release you want to set up royalty splits for and then click ‘NEXT…’
- By default, you will be the only collaborator and have 100% of the revenue share. Click on ‘Add collaborator’ to set up a royalty split:
- You can choose from previous collaborators or select ‘Add someone new…’ to be able to enter the email address of a new collaborator:
- From here you can set up different percentages for different collaborators, allow for flat fee payments by clicking ‘Add recoupments’ and then finish by clicking ‘REVIEW CHANGES’:
From there, your collaborators will either receive an email about the release they’ve been added to with the split details or will be sent an invite code if they are not yet a DistroKid user.
Although this is a “free” and easy way to set up automatic royalty splits for anyone already using DistroKid, it can definitely be a bit more annoying for anyone who is a non-DistroKid user.
So – in the next sections we’ll take a closer look at how this works for non-DistroKid users and team members getting added to songs.
DistroKid Invite Codes Explained
DistroKid Invite Codes are 50% off discounts that are automatically sent out when someone is added as a collaborator on a DistroKid release but is not currently a DistroKid user. This allows non-DistroKid users a cheaper way to access their cut of any earnings.
DistroKid invite codes are only sent directly to the email address that is entered when creating the royalty split – so if you want to save on DistroKid yourself, you’ll want to learn about the DistroKid discount code instead.
DistroKid will hold their money until they create an account and withdraw the money and you are able to resend the invite code at any time.
In addition to this, bank access is permanent so your collaborator doesn’t have to renew their DistroKid membership after initially signing up as they will still be able to earn and withdraw their royalties.
Although DistroKid mentioned that they are working on an “owner pays’ feature in the past, they have not as of yet – this would allow the original song uploader to pay for a collaborator’s membership themselves or out of their own earnings so that the collaborator doesn’t have to.
What To Do As An Alternative To DistroKid Invite Codes
Although the DistroKid Splits feature can make it easy for you to automatically split your royalty payments, it can be a bummer that non-DistroKid users need to pay for a membership in order to access their earnings.
With the automatic DistroKid Invite Code that is sent out, non-DistroKid users will need to pay $10 and then do not have to renew their DistroKid membership since bank access is permanent.
If the $10 amount it costs to split the royalties is too much: this may mean you simply aren’t generating enough royalties for that song and might consider splitting up your royalties manually through PayPal, Venmo, or e-transfer.
In addition to this, your collaborators can hold off on using the invite code until the royalties are worth withdrawing since DistroKid will keep holding their share until they do create an account.
Once they accept and create an account, the earnings that DistroKid was holding will be available in their own Bank within 24 hours.
What To Do If DistroKid Splits/Teams Is Not Working
When using DistroKid Splits (formerly called Teams) you may run into a problem where none of the collaborators you included in the royalty split were able to accept the invitation or received the invitation in the first place.
If your collaborators have not received their DistroKid invite code, double-check that you inputted your email address correctly in the DistroKid dashboard and have them check their Spam or Junk email folders.
If your collaborators are not able to accept their DistroKid invite code, it is likely that this user has been flagged, had their songs removed, or because their own music has not been accepted by stores.
Artists that have frequent sample or copyright issues or have been flagged for generating artificial streams by paying for streams will likely have a hard time using DistroKid Splits.
To learn more about the dangers of this, read my article called Help! My Spotify Streams Went Down.
Music Distributor Alternatives
Although my top suggestion for a music distributor is definitely DistroKid, I’ve gone ahead and compared DK to other popular services in case you are in the market for a new digital distributor or are simply just curious.
Popular alternatives to a music distribution service like DistroKid include TuneCore, Ditto, and Amuse.
If you would like to see how DistroKid compares to these services, more closely check out these articles:
- DistroKid vs TuneCore
- DistroKid vs UnitedMasters
- DistroKid vs Ditto
- DistroKid vs Amuse
- DistroKid vs SoundCloud
Or, if you would like a more detailed look into what DistroKid has to offer, you can check out my big fat DistroKid review. 🙂
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: