In this article we will look at the 10 best music distribution platforms in 2023, review the advantages, disadvantages, pricing and features to help you choose the best option for you.
You have recorded your album or your latest EP and now you want to distribute it online?
The profusion of music that is released every day is likely to make you invisible.
You need to give yourself all the means to be discovered to be streamed and accessible to your audience.
Music distribution platforms have the advantage of saving you time and making you accessible on all streaming platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Youtube Music and many others.
The only problem? There are now more than a dozen platforms to aggregate and promote your music on the internet.
How to choose among this profusion of choices? I will try to help you to choose by making a comparison of the different solutions allowing you to broadcast your music online.
Let’s go for the comparison!
Our selection of the best music aggregators
Detailed comparison of the best music distribution platforms
TuneCore is certainly one of the biggest music aggregators on the market today.
This service allows you to distribute your songs on more than 150 platforms.
It is a bit more expensive than other competing solutions but it is very well established on the market.
It is a safe bet that is particularly suited to artists who will generate a minimum number of listens.
With a strong history and a good establishment in the sector, TuneCore gives you access to partners and discounts on some promotional services.
The discounts are not exceptional but it is always a good point to underline.
Other positive points of the service: the interface is available in many languages and the delays to publish your music on the streaming platforms are rather short.[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Simple interface and translated in your local language (rare enough to be underlined)
Short publication delays on streaming sites
Several partnerships with other music players
A solid and well established company
You keep all royalties on your streams
Well suited for established artists with a solid fanbase[/i2pros][i2cons]The price : you have to renew your uploads every year
The customer support : it is not the fastest in the world. Everything works by email. You don’t have a hotline available[/i2cons][/i2pc]
TuneCore, unlike DistroKid, does offer a free plan, which is limited but free.
The Rising plan is priced at $14.99 per year, which is very competitive for what it offers.
My favorite plan is the Breackout Artist plan, as it offers all the features an artist could need for a reasonable price of $29.99 per year.
The Professional plan is definitely the best, priced at $49.99 per year and is focused on record labels.
The RouteNote distribution platform has a slightly different positioning from the competition.
Indeed, it allows you to distribute your music for free via its Freemium offer.
In free mode, you are charged 15% of your sales while if you switch to premium mode, the royalties remain 100% in your pocket.
The other strong point of the platform is that it provides you with tools to promote your music.
The PUSH service allows you to create pages to promote your music to your audience.
You can also easily share revenue with other musicians and view streaming statistics of your tracks from the interface.[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]A formula to distribute your music for free
A user-friendly and easy-to-use interface
Advanced tools to promote your music
You get back 100% of the royalties when you have the Premium subscription[/i2pros][i2cons]The free formula retains 15% of your income (at the same time, it must be paid)
Some users say that the publication delays are sometimes long
The platform is only available in English for the moment[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- Free : $0 but 15% retained on your royalties
- Premium Package :
- Upload of a single: $10 (for a single)
- Upload of an EP (2 to 6 tracks) : $20
- Upload of an album (7 to 18 tracks) : $30
- Upload of a big album or double album (more than 18 tracks) : $45
Founded in 2013 in the United States, DistroKid is one of the world’s leading music distribution companies.
The platform allows you to distribute your music on nearly 150 platforms.
The great strength of Distrokid is that it does not take commissions on sales made by artists.
Its price is also very accessible and the platform does not limit the number of uploads of tracks as part of your subscription.
It is however a very automated platform. The support is effective but only works in writing.
Moreover, some options and additional features are not free.[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Affordable price
No limit on the number of songs you can add
Very fast publishing time on the platforms (among the fastest on the market)
Spotify partner company
When you stop your subscription, you don’t have to remove all your songs from Distrokid. You can use the Legacy feature to leave them online
Distrokid offers a feature that allows you to share your royalties with other collaborators[/i2pros][i2cons]Many options are not free
The user interface is only in English[/i2cons][/i2pc]
3 packages are available depending on your needs:
- Musician” package at $19.99/year
- Musician Plus” package at $35.99/year
- Label” package at $79.99/year
4. Ditto Music
Ditto Music is a service a little less known than some competitors.
However, it works with internationally renowned artists such as Ed Sheeran.
Its subscription at an affordable rate allows you to keep 100% of your royalties on the listening of your tracks.
A 30-day trial is offered and gives you the opportunity to try the platform before committing yourself.
Like all music aggregators, Ditto Music provides you with a streaming dashboard of your tracks as well as promotional tools to communicate with your fanbase or share your revenues between artists.
The big plus of the platform is that it has offices in 15 countries.
In particular, there is a Ditto Music office in Paris.[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]A local presence
Reasonably priced subscription
A 30 day trial period is offered
You keep 100% royalties on your streams
Promotional tools offered[/i2pros][i2cons]Platform only available in English[/i2cons][/i2pc]
Ditto Music’s pricing
Ditto Music is available in three packages:
- Artist : 19 € per year
- Professional : 29 € per year
- Label : from 69 € per year
Landr is a global platform for musicians and producers. Indeed, Landr is basically an online mastering service based on an algorithm.
Its positioning is therefore broader than the other platforms listed here.
You can finalize the production of your tracks with the tool and then distribute your music on over 150 streaming platforms.
Landr allows you to follow your streaming statistics and to orchestrate your promotional launch.[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]A 2-in-1 service allowing you to master and distribute your tracks
Additional tools to create music and collaborate: sample library, composition and production tools
A modern and pleasant user interface
Flexible pricing plans[/i2pros][i2cons]Music distribution subscriptions include commissions on streaming (except for the unlimited package which is quite expensive) [/i2cons][/i2pc]
You can either subscribe to the whole Landr suite of tools (mastering, sample library and music distribution) or only to the distribution service.
For the distribution service, here are the formulas proposed:
A la carte (15% commission) :
- 9€ to upload a single
- 29€ to upload an album
Full (9% commission) / 20€ per year
- 5€ to upload a single
- 19€ to upload an album
Unlimited (0% commission) / 80€ per year
- Unlimited upload without additional fees
Like Landr, iMusician offers multiple features to its users.
You can distribute your music but also do mastering online.
The big advantage of this solution is that it allows you to have a quality support.
With nearly 400,000 registered artists and labels, it is a very popular platform on the market.
It commits to pay you your royalties as soon as you want unlike other platforms that require minimum thresholds to make payments.[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Support in multiples languages
A 2 in 1 platform to distribute your music and master your tracks
No minimum threshold for royalty payments
Options to accelerate the release of your tracks on the platforms
A starter offer at a mini price to discover the service without breaking the bank
Broadcasting possible on more than 200 music streaming platforms
You don’t have to subscribe to use the service[/i2pros][i2cons]Youtube monetization is offered as part of an additional subscription
Starter and Regular subscription packages include commissions on your streaming revenues
Overall, the pricing offer is a bit confusing and difficult to understand[/i2cons][/i2pc]
iMusician’s packages are available under different formulas:
- Starter : from 9€ for 30% commission and one broadcasting platform
- Regular : from 19€ for 15% commission and +200 distribution platforms
- Rockstar : from 39€ for 0% commission and +200 distribution platforms
- Pro Unlimited : a complete offer at 499 € per year for labels and professionals
7. CD Baby
CD Baby is one of the oldest music distributors on the market.
Like most of its competitors, it offers a service to distribute your music on about 150 platforms.
The platform leaves 100% of the royalties to the artists and offers promotional services in parallel to its basic mission.
It is a reliable platform that works on a flat fee basis rather than on an annual subscription basis.[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]A reliable and historic brand in the sector
A fixed price operation
All revenues are redistributed to the artists
Additional services such as physical album/vinyl distribution and promotional tools[/i2pros][i2cons]The physical distribution is oriented on the Anglo-Saxon market [/i2cons][/i2pc]
CD Baby’s pricing
2 formulas are proposed: the standard formula and the pro formula.
- To release a single : 9.95$ for the standard version and 29.95$ for the pro version
- To release an album : 29.95$ for the standard version and 69$ for the pro version
Spinnup is a subsidiary of Universal Music Group that offers a music distribution service for the major streaming platforms.
The platform gives all its revenues to the artists and even offers a service to connect with labels to get your music discovered.
I think it’s a great concept to go beyond simple distribution.
In terms of business model, Spinnup has a similar operation to TuneCore.
You don’t pay royalties on your streams, but you have to pay every year for your singles or albums releases.
[i2pc show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]A partner company of one of the biggest labels in the world (Universal)
A talent search service available allowing you to be exposed to major labels
100% of the royalties paid to the artists
Additional services and partnerships to take advantage of great deals[/i2pros][i2cons]You have to pay every year for the singles, EPs or albums you upload to the platform[/i2cons][/i2pc]
- Publication of a single (1 to 2 tracks) : 9,99 € per year
- EP release (3 to 6 tracks): €19.99 per year
- Album release (7 to 25 tracks) : 39,99 € per year
Wiseband is a fairly well known and established music distributor in the sector.
Just like other platforms, the service offers several features:
- A music distribution service on platforms
- Services for bands (personalization of pages on streaming platforms, goodies production, website production, inventory management)
- Promotional tools such as the generation of pages for pre-orders or promotion on a launch
A coverage of the main streaming platforms
A free offer to discover the service[/i2pros][i2cons]Commissions are charged on sales
3 formulas are currently available on the service:
- Free: 0 € per month to distribute a first single
- Artist : 4,99 € per month and 9% of commissions to distribute an artist
- Premium : 39 € per month and 15% of commissions to distribute as many artists as you want
Awal is an interesting platform because it mixes distribution and music promotion.
You have the possibility to be distributed on the main music listening sites but also to take advantage of the services of a more traditional music label that will promote you on the networks, get you advertising syncs, etc.
The only problem with the platform is that you have to contact them to get in.
This implies that you have to meet their selection criteria.
But as they say: nothing ventured, nothing gained! Do not hesitate to contact them, you never know!
Other platforms to follow
Other music aggregators exist on the market and are worth a look:
Feel free to browse their offers to compare them.
How does a digital distributor work?
The role of the distributor is multiple:
- They provides you with a centralized platform for uploading and managing your music
- They takes care of deploying the information to all the partner streaming platforms for you
- They offers you a statistical tool to follow your listening
- They provides you with tools to promote your music and generate more listenings
In exchange for these services, the platforms take a percentage of your royalties or charge you for the addition of tracks on a one-time basis or as a subscription.
What are the criteria to consider when choosing your music distributor?
Several elements must be taken into account to choose the distributor that best suits your needs:
- The pricing of the distributor: as we have seen, each distributor offers its own pricing formula. Globally, if you are an artist already known who will stream a lot, it is rather recommended to choose a distributor who does not take any commission on your streams. On the other hand, if you are not yet well known, choose a cheap or free platform that will take its commission on your streams
- The publication delay: if you want to orchestrate launches or release parties of your EPs/albums, ideally choose a distributor that offers short publication delays. In this respect, Distrokid and TuneCore are very interesting
- Paying options: be careful with the paying options of distributors. Some may attract you with an affordable monthly subscription but make up for it with paying options in parallel. Analyze well your needs and the proposed offers to make your calculations
- The proposed streaming platforms: most aggregators work with the main music platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Youtube Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, etc.). Nevertheless, check if the distributor you want to choose works with the platforms you are interested in
- Customer support: many platforms are based in the US and only offer customer support by email. Often, these companies are not very responsive and not very accessible. If you are not comfortable with English or if you want responsive customer support, choose non-english speaking platforms that emphasize the quality of their customer support
- Payment rules: also be aware of the rules regarding the payment of your royalties. Some distributors pay you when you want while others require you to reach certain thresholds before releasing a payment
- Geographical areas offered: many distributors are located abroad. They therefore offer services and partnerships that are more often of interest in the USA than in Europe. Check carefully if the services sold concern your territory
- Services: you play in a band? Make sure that your distributor offers a royalty split. This is a very practical little extra that will save you a lot of headaches later on!
- Contractual aspects: before committing yourself, find out about the conditions for closing an account with a distributor. Will my music stay online? Will I receive a balance at the end of my subscription? Anticipate these issues so you won’t be surprised at the end of a contract
Our tips for distributing your music on streaming platforms
The platforms where you should be present
Today, only a few platforms are really massively used.
We can mention Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Youtube Music and Amazon Music.
Make sure you are distributed on these platforms to get the maximum number of listens.
Work on your metadata to be more visible in the search engines of streaming platforms
Metadata is the information attached to your tracks, albums or artist files.
Think to fill in carefully each information to offer rich information to the platforms.
It’s a guarantee to gain visibility and not to have any problem on the publication of your tracks in the future.
Sign up for Spotify for Artists
Spotify for Artists is a free service from Spotify that gives you access to several features.
With this platform, you’ll be able to customize your artist page, share your concert dates and much more.
Don’t forget to sign up to improve your image with your audience!
FAQs about music distribution platforms
Can I distribute our music for free?
Although some distributors present themselves as free solutions, there is no real 100% free solution to distribute your music.
Either you will pay commissions on your streams, or you will pay per upload of tracks or you will pay twice.
If you want to distribute your music totally free, you will have to register manually to the different distribution sites you are interested in.
This is certainly free but also very time consuming.
Will the music distributor promote your music?
No. The role of the distributor is only to deploy your music on the platforms.
In this sense, it differs from the label that will try to make you known to an audience.
Some services such as Awal or Spinnup offer promotion but it is globally quite rare among distributors.
This comparison of the best music distributors is coming to an end.
I hope it will help you to see more clearly and to make an informed choice according to your needs and your career as an artist.
If you have not decided on one, we recommend you ➜ TuneCore.