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DistroKid vs ONErpm: Which Music Distributor To Choose

By Matthew Vultaggio

February 3, 2022

If you are trying to choose between DistroKid and ONErpm to distribute your music, I’ve researched both options and written my findings down here for you.

DistroKid is a better music distributor than ONErpm because DistroKid lets you keep 100% of your earnings, is widely used and trusted, and is at the top of Spotify’s preferred music distributors list.

The main difference between these 2 distributors really comes down to the pricing:

You will need to choose between a small annual fee and keeping 100% of your income against not paying a fee but only keeping 85% of your income.

To learn more about DistroKid and ONErpm, what they offer, how much they cost, and which one is the right music distributor for you, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

P.S. If you get all you needed from this intro section, I’d recommend learning about the DistroKid discount before signing up so you can get the lowest possible price!

DistroKid vs ONErpm: Annual Fee or Commission?

When it comes to music distribution, the main difference between DistroKid and ONErpm is that DistroKid charges a small annual fee and takes 0% of your earnings and that ONErpm charges no annual fee but takes 15% of your earnings.

In my opinion, I think that 15% is way too much to take and that not having to pay a percentage or commission of your music’s income is one of few things that really matter when choosing a music distributor.

Making sure that you choose a music distributor that does not steal a cut of your music’s revenue is important because you want to have as much of that money go to you when your song’s finally pop off.

The Hard Truth & Some Tough Love

So when it really comes down to choosing between DistroKid and ONErpm, you are most likely thinking this:

“I think want to upload a song for free since I don’t know if it will even do well. I’d rather give 15% of nothing than spend $20.”

If you truly feel like your music will not be streamed or if you can’t afford $20, I’d honestly reconsider if right now is the right time for you to be pursuing proper music distribution.

If this is you there is nothing wrong with this and I’ve included some resources later in this article on how you can start growing your fanbase for free.

This way you can work on building an audience that wants to stream your music, improve your music, and save up some cash before even worrying about music distribution. 🙂

Comparing DistroKid With ONErpm

With that out of the way, before we dive into the pros and cons of using DistroKid as your music distributor when compared to ONErpm, here are a few notes:

I don’t list the number of stores and streaming services as a pro nor a con, because let’s get real… All that really matters is Spotify and Apple Music.

Although ONErpm releases to fewer streaming services and stores, neither music distributor really has an edge on the other since they both get the music to the most popular services.

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

In addition to this, both distributors get your music live quite fast and generally seem to be trustworthy ways to get your music where you need it to be.

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.

Although DistroKid does offer other services, its core offering, and ultimate focus is on music distribution.

For a small annual fee of $20, you can upload unlimited songs to all of the most popular streaming services and get to keep 100% of your earnings.

At this point, DistroKid is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) music distribution services out there and is actually at the very top of Spotify’s preferred music distributors list.

With that said, let’s dive into the pros and cons of using DistroKid

Pros

Here are the main benefits of using DistroKid as your music distributor when compared to TuneCore:

  • Widely available DistroKid discount to save on your first year
  • Unlimited song uploads (you don’t have to pay per song or album!)
  • Simple, low-cost annual fee
  • DistroKid has built up a great reputation over the years and they have a great relationship with its users
  • You can legally release covers with DistroKid cover song licensing
  • Their customer support is pretty good once you know how to contact DistroKid

In summary, the main benefit I’d call out when comparing DistroKid to ONErpm is the fact that you get to keep 100% of your earnings for a low fee and that they are one of the most widely used and trusted music distributors out there.

Cons

Here are the main disadvantages of using DistroKid as your music distributor when compared to ONErpm:

  • You need to upgrade to the Musician Plus plan to be able to set custom release dates
  • Currently, there is no DistroKid app available (that is changing though)
  • I honestly think that the dashboard and stats area kinda looks like poop ?

In summary, the main annoyance I would call out when comparing DistroKid to ONErpm is the push to upgrade to your plan.

ONErpm: Pros & Cons

ONErpm is a music company that offers music distribution in addition to music publishing, sync licensing, video management, and several small marketing tools like links and analytics.

Although ONErpm can offer customized and “full service” marketing support, their standard “self-service” features are free to use but take a cut of earnings through commissions.

ONErpm does not seem to be well known or talked about by artists, but apparently has a strong network in Latin America and seems to really focus on providing for artists that are in or releasing music for the Latin American market.

When it comes to music distribution, ONErpm offers unlimited song uploads to most streaming services for free but will take a 15% cut of any earnings your music makes.

Although ONErpm apparently has a reputation for rejecting songs, it is most likely due to standard issues when submitting songs (like incorrect titles, artwork, files, etc) which can happen no matter what distributor you use.

With that said, let’s dive into the pros and cons of using ONErpm when compared to DistroKid

Pros

Here are the main benefits of using ONErpm as your music distributor when compared to DistroKid:

  • No annual fee
  • Can also provide music publishing, sync licensing, video management, and several small marketing tools like links and analytics
  • Can choose which regions you want to distribute your music to

In summary, the main benefits of using ONErpm are the lack of an annual fee and the potential for them to be a “one-stop-shop” for more than distribution.

In addition to this, if you are an artist in or releasing music for the Latin American market, you may find ONErpm particularly appealing.

Cons

Here are the main disadvantages of using ONErpm as your music distributor when compared to DistroKid:

  • They take a massive 15% cut of your earnings
  • Not well known or talked about by artists
  • They take an absolutely massive 15% cut of your earnings

In summary, the biggest disadvantage of using ONErpm when compared to DistroKid is that they aren’t very well known and that they take a big cut of your potential earnings away from you.

How much does ONErpm cost?

ONErpm has no upfront fees and instead takes a 15% cut from any of the earnings that you may get from your music.

Is ONErpm free?

ONErpm can get your music on streaming services for free although they will not give you 100% of the royalties that your song may earn. ONErpm takes a 15% cut from any of the earnings that you may get from your music.

Is DistroKid Better Than ONErpm?

DistroKid is a better music distributor than ONErpm because DistroKid lets you keep 100% of your earnings, is widely used and trusted, and is at the top of Spotify’s preferred music distributors list.

When researching ONErpm’s music distribution service, I found a Reddit thread called Onerpm for music distribution that ended in this comment from the original poster:

Reddit users result after looking into ONErpm for music distribution

At the end of the day, I think this is where you will end up as well after making your comparison of what the two company’s offer.

With that said, if you still feel like a service like ONErpm may be better for you because you truly feel like your music will not be streamed or if you can’t afford $20…

I’d recommend releasing your music for free on something like YouTube or Soundcloud to start and promote your music for free with social media.

This way you can work on building an audience that wants to stream your music, improve your music, and save up some cash before even worrying about music distribution. 🙂

Here are some articles you can check out to help you out with that:

Which DistroKid Plan Is Best For You?

Although DistroKid’s basic Musician plan is the cheapest way to get started, I’d recommend looking into their Musician Plus plan as the best option.

The Musician Plus plan does cost a bit more, however, the ability to be able to set a custom release date is pretty important so that you have an actual date to focus your promotion towards.

With that said, to learn more about how you can pick the right DistroKid plan for you, I’d recommend checking out any of these articles:

Regardless of which plan you choose, I’d recommend learning about the DistroKid discount before you sign up so that you can get your plan for the lowest possible price.

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 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.

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

If you would like to see how DistroKid compares to these services, more closely check out these 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:

How To Choose A Music Distributor: What Matters

When choosing the right music distributor for you, there are really only 2 things that matter:

  1. Being able to release unlimited songs
  2. Not having to pay a percentage of your music’s income

Being able to release unlimited songs is important because you need to release music frequently and not have to break the bank doing it.

Making sure that you choose a music distributor that does not steal a cut of your music’s revenue is important because you want to have as much of that money go to you when your song’s finally pop off.

These are the 2 main things you should consider when picking a music distributor.

Other things to consider when choosing a distributor

In addition to the 2 main things I mentioned above, there are some other things that you will want to pay attention to when making your choice of music distributor. These are:

  • Reputation: make sure that your music distributor has been around for a while, has a good track-record, and is generally well-liked and praised by the community.
  • Delivery Speed: you should make your best effort to set your releases as far in advance as possible, but it is definitely a major plus if your music distributor can get your music uploaded quick af.
  • Custom Release Dates: you want to be able to set customized and specific release dates so that you can plan marketing your release appropriately.
  • Customer Service: ideally you will never need to hit up customer service but it is always a plus when a company has great customer service. They will be able to help you when you are in trouble AND the quality of a company’s customer support gives you insight into the company’s culture and how they view their customers.

All these things could be considered “nice to have” but they can make the difference between having a good or bad experience with your music distributor in the long run.

Be sure to at least consider these 4 things a bit when choosing the right music distributor for you.

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.

Facebook Ads For Spotify Success

Although Facebook Ads can be a real pain to get working properly, there is no denying that they are incredible for growing Spotify streams and getting your music in front of real fans.

This is why I’ve put together a completely free course that you can check out called Facebook Ads For Musicians’ Spotify Streams. 🙂

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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