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

By Matthew Vultaggio

February 11, 2021

When researching a music distributor for your release, DistroKid and Ditto seem to have quite a bit in common, so it can be hard to choose which is right for you. So, I researched this topic for you and wrote about it here.

Ditto is a better music distributor on paper but is hard to recommend due to Ditto’s poor reputation in the music community. Both have a small annual fee to upload unlimited songs and take no commission, however, DistroKid is better due to their reputation.

When straight-up comparing the features that Ditto list on their website to what DistroKid offers, it becomes very clear that Ditto has DistroKid beat in almost every way.

So, how is it that Ditto can be so hard to recommend over DistroKid, then?

Read on to learn more about Ditto’s reputation, as well as a deeper comparison between the 2 music distribution services, my friend. 🙂

Ditto vs DistroKid

DistroKid is a better music distributor when compared to Ditto Music, due to DistroKid’s reputation, track-record, and customer service.

They both offer the same basic thing, which is allowing you to upload an unlimited amount of your music on the main streaming services and stores without taking away any of your sweet streaming or Spotify royalties.

But the truth is, Ditto actually offers this for cheaper (considering you need to upgrade to DistroKid’s Musician Plus plan and pay extra for some of DistroKid’s “Extras” to get the exact same feature set) and Ditto even has a free 30-day trial available.

So why the heck is it so hard to recommend Ditto then?

The more I researched Ditto beyond what they say on their website, I started to see more and more complaints from Ditto users. Particularly, these complaints were about customer service.

But… let’s be honest: in most cases, you may never even have to deal with a company’s customer service department. So, who really cares, right?

I found it pretty easy to look past this customer service issue until I found an absolutely scathing review of Ditto by Ari Herstand, who happens to be a top dawg in the music marketing space.

Here is what he had to say about the founders of Ditto Music:

Well, I’m sorry to say that Lee and Matt have some of the worst reputations in the space. They consistently berate their customers (publicly on message boards) and get into Twitter battles. They have very thin skin and cannot take criticism well. This is all personal, yes, but this attitude seeps into every aspect of their company – including customer service.

Ari Herstand from Aristake.com

He goes on to mention that Ditto Music threatened to sue him for asking a question about collecting royalties, that Ditto tends to have only great pre-sale customer service (ie: they treat you great to get you to subscribe, then stop caring), and that post-sale customer service is slow or non-existent.

Ari also mentions that there are complaints that Ditto “rips down releases and doesn’t pay their artists”.

Spotify is taking a pretty aggressive stance on any artist that has “fraudulent streams”, so that may not be Ditto’s fault in particular. However, a lot of these other criticisms are hard to defend.

Reputation, company culture, and customer service are hard problems to fix, but not impossible ones to solve whatsoever.

If Ditto could remedy these issues they’d be SO easy to recommend. But, until that time comes, working with Ditto seems like you’d be taking a chance and so are hard to recommend.

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.

Because DistroKid and Ditto share quite a few of the same features, I am only going to call out unique pros and cons.

For example, features like unlimited song uploads and only having to pay a small annual fee are pros of both DistroKid and Ditto.

Pros

Here are the main benefits of using DistroKid compared to Ditto:

  • DistroKid has a great reputation and they have a great relationship with its users
  • Widely available DistroKid discount to save on your first year
  • There is no upsell for “fast-tracking” your release, your music always gets uploaded to streaming services and stores very fast
  • Upgrade your normal YouTube channel to a YouTube Official Artist Channel
  • Their customer support is excellent, especially once you know how to contact DistroKid

In summary, the main benefits I’d call out are DistroKid’s reputation, relationship with its users, and customer service.

Also – to learn more about DistroKid’s speed (for both getting your song to Spotify and getting paid), check out my article on DistroKid wait times. 🙂

Cons

Here are the main disadvantages of using DistroKid when compared to Ditto:

  • You need to upgrade to the Musician Plus plan to be able to set custom release dates
  • No free trial available
  • Currently, there is no DistroKid app available (that is changing though)
  • I think the dashboard and stats area kinda looks like poop 💩
  • DistroKid has upsells for Shazam, YouTube Content ID, and a feature to automatically upload your previous releases to new stores as they are added

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

P.S. For a more detailed look into DistroKid’s prices and costs, be sure to check out my article on DistroKid pricing. 🙂

Ditto Music: Pros & Cons

Ditto Music 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.

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.

As you will see below, these are massive pros in my eyes… it really is just that dang rep and customer service that is holding Ditto back in my opinion.

Anyways, on to the pros and cons list…

Pros

Here are the main benefits of using Ditto compared to DistroKid:

  • 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.

Cons

Here are the main disadvantages of using Ditto when compared to DistroKid:

  • 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.

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

DistroKid is a better music distributor when compared to Ditto Music, due to DistroKid’s reputation, track-record, and customer service.

Although Ditto is easily the better music distributor on paper, it is just too hard to recommend them due to their poor reputation in the music community.

Ditto gets massive points for their feature set and the fact that their business model does not at all focus on upgrades or upsells.

Both music distribution services have a small annual fee to upload unlimited songs and take no commission, however, I would recommend DistroKid as the right music distributor for you based on their reputation, track record, and customer support.

Ditto Music Alternatives

My top suggestion for a music distributor is definitely DistroKid, however, I’ve compared DK to other popular services if you are in the market for a new digital distributor.

Other popular alternatives to a music distribution service like Ditto include TuneCore, CdBaby, and Amuse.

If you would like to see how these other distributors compare more closely, check out this articles:

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:

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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