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DistroKid vs Amuse: Which Is The Music Distributor For You?

By Matthew Vultaggio

February 9, 2021

Deciding between Amuse and DistroKid can be tough. Amuse has a decent free plan but quickly becomes more expensive than DistroKid if you need to upgrade for the extra features. So, I’ve researched the differences for you. 🙂

DistroKid is the better music distributor when compared to Amuse, because it costs less and has more features than Amuse Pro, and does not have the “gotcha” elements of the Amuse Free plan.

Some of the “gotcha” elements that the Amuse Free plan include are:

  • You can only upload 1 release at a time
  • It takes 3 – 4 weeks for the song to be released
  • You can’t set a specific release time and date

Ultimately, these restrictions will limit the growth of your music career and are why I use and would recommend big D.

In particular, releasing music frequently using a DistroKid plan is how I ended up getting my music on over 7 Spotify editorial playlists and racked up over 300,000 streams for that song alone.

With that said, how do these two music distribution platforms compare?

DistroKid vs Amuse: The Bottom Line

Let me start by getting this out of the way…

One truly, truly great thing about Amuse’s free offering is that they are (probably) the only music distributor that offers a free version without taking away a percentage of your sweet, sweet streaming and Spotify royalties.

I do truly believe that Amuse has the best free offer out there. At the very least, they have an absolutely better free option when compared to UnitedMasters.

P.S. Check out my article on DistroKid vs. UnitedMasters to learn more. 🙂

Unfortunately, just like UnitedMasters, Amuse uses this ‘freemium’ sales model to draw you into their platform and keep you there. There are quite a few shortcomings of the free version and the paid-for Pro version is instantly more expensive than plans with DistroKid.

So, if you’ve come here for a quick answer, this the bottom line:

What you need to know

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, if you want to release music often and really grow your music career, DistroKid is the better option, especially when you factor in the DistroKid discount.

Bottom line = DistroKid > Amuse

If all you want is a quick answer to the question, there you have it. But, what about a deeper breakdown fo the two services, including the pros and cons of using each?

I got you, my friend. 🙂

Let’s dive deeper and get a more complete breakdown of Amuse vs DistroKid, and how you can choose the right music distributor for you.

DistroKid: Pros & Cons

DistroKid is a digital music distributor that uploads your music, album art, and metadata to streaming services and stores like Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Tidal, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and more.

Let’s start by taking a look at the pros and cons of using DistroKid to get a good idea of what they offer.

I’m not going to include where they distribute to as a pro or con, because literally, every music distributor gets your music on the only streaming services that matter (Spotify and Apple Music lol).

P.S. If you do want to learn about every single place DistroKid can get your music, check out my article: Where Does DistroKid Distribute To? 🙂

Pros

Here are the main benefits of using DistroKid as your music distributor:

  • Widely available DistroKid discount to save on your first year
  • Unlimited song uploads (you don’t have to pay per song or album!)
  • You keep 100% of your Spotify royalties, Apple Music royalties, etc
  • Music gets uploaded to streaming services and stores very fast
  • Get a Spotify verified checkmark and access to the Spotify For Artists dashboard
  • Upgrade your normal YouTube channel to a YouTube Official Artist Channel
  • Set a custom release date for your singles and albums
  • Their customer support is pretty good 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 custom release date feature.

Cons

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
  • No “free” plan available
  • Currently, there is no DistroKid app available (that is changing though)
  • I think the dashboard and stats area kinda looks like poop 💩

In summary, the main annoyances I would call out are the need to upgrade to Plus and that fugly dashboard.

Amuse: Pros & Cons

Amuse is a new player in the music distribution space that sets itself apart by offering a truly free music distribution system and a focus on a powerful mobile app that users can use to upload music and check their stats.

Once again, I will not list the number of stores as a pro or con, because, even with Amuse Free, you can get your music placed in all the important streaming services and stores.

However, you will notice the Free version has a con when it comes to getting your music in as many places as possible.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Is Amuse Reliable?

Amuse is a reliable company because of its track record of artist success and the fact that they have a noteworthy co-founder in will.i.am. Although it is a great free option for artists, those serious about their music career will find its distribution speed and limitations restricting.

I would recommend Amuse if you:

  • Simply want to test releasing music for as little of an investment as possible
  • Can’t afford a premium music distribution plan at this time
  • Plan on releasing very little music and infrequently

Again, the bottom line here is that Amuse seems to be the absolute best option when it comes to all the free music distributors out there in the market today.

However, I would not recommend Amuse if you:

  • Plan on upgrading to a premium music distribution plan in the future
  • Want to release lots of music, fast and often
  • Need to set custom release dates for your music
  • Want to pay the least amount possible for a premium music distribution plan

Why is DistroKid the best?

DistroKid is the best music distribution service because you get unlimited song uploads, fast distribution speeds, and endless customization options for a single low price.

Quite simply, I would recommend DistroKid if you are serious about growing your music career and getting that coveted Spotify success that is so important to every artist these days.

However, if you absolutely need to be able to upload music from your phone or tablet, that is really the main thing that DistroKid does not offer at this time (but it is definitely coming soon).

Of course, DistroKid does not offer a free version, but when comparing the paid-for Amuse Pro plan to any of DistroKid’s plans, DistroKid has Amuse beat on everything from price to features.

If you’d like to learn more about all of DistroKids different plans, check out my in-depth article on DistroKid pricing.

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. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

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.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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