A lot is asked of artists. Entrepreneurs, resourceful, multi-taskers… they have to be everywhere to make a living and be visible.
Visibility is a key issue for an artist today.
How do you find a place in the profusion of music bands that are released online every month?
Music distribution is one of the axes that can allow an artist to gain traction and get known faster.
Distrokid is currently one of the world leaders in music distribution on platforms.
As a musician, you have certainly already heard of this service.
In this article, I propose to go into detail, to give you my opinion and to analyze the features, advantages and disadvantages of Distrokid compared to the other music distribution platforms available.
Let’s go for the presentation!
My opinion in brief on Distrokid
Distrokid is often the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of a music distribution platform.
With more than a million registered artists, it is a reliable platform that has proven its worth to artists.
Indeed, Distrokid has some great arguments to attract musicians: an affordable entry-level subscription to test the service, the possibility to upload tracks without limit, a presence on all major music platforms and publishing times among the best on the market.
My opinion: I can only recommend Distrokid to artists who are starting out and/or who want to publish content regularly.
The platform is not perfect, however, because several features are available via additional payments that can increase the final bill.
However, this practice can be found in most of the competitors.
Not convinced by DistroKid? There is a better alternative with better features: TuneCore.
Presentation of DistroKid
Distrokid is an online service that allows any artist to easily distribute their music on all music platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, Youtube, iTunes, Tidal, Qobuz and many others.
Currently, Distrokid allows you to distribute your music on 150 platforms and makes sure to add all the new platforms to its catalog as time goes on.
The brand was founded in 2013 by Philippe Kaplan, an American entrepreneur.
At that time, Distrokid managed to make a name for itself and revolutionize its market despite the presence of historical competitors such as TuneCore and CD Baby.
Distrokid made a big impact in 2015 as one of its bands, Jack & Jack, reached number one on the iTunes charts.
Considering Distrokid doesn’t get a percentage of commission back on sales, they were the first number 1 band on the charts to get all of the revenue back for their work.
Pretty cool, huh?
Today, the brand has more than 1 million artists registered on its platform.
Notable musicians include Ludacris, Dan the Automator, Rob Scallon, Ari Herstand, Dweezil Zappa and many more!
Getting started with Distrokid
Registration to Distrokid
When you go to the Distrokid website, you will create your account and choose your subscription package among the 3 packages offered.
As a spanish person, since the company is American, you will have to fill in your TIN number to finalize your account setup and be able to receive payments.
This information will depend on your type of structure.
Do not hesitate to ask a specialist if you have any questions.
Following your registration, you will also be able to fill in your account space with your photo, your bio and your social networks which will be used to create your artist file on the different streaming platforms.
The registration is generally very well done. The interface is very efficient and sober.
Interface and ergonomics
The Distrokid menu allows you to access the different functionalities of the platform:
- Upload: menu that allows you to add music for a single, EP or album release
- My Music: you will find in this space all your music already uploaded. The big plus is that you can come back at any time to update information about your tracks, your albums, etc. It takes about 1 to 3 weeks for the changes to be reflected on the music streaming platforms
- Split: this section is very practical. It allows you to manage the distribution of earnings between you and your collaborators (DJ, guest, singer, etc.). Please note: your collaborator must also be on Distrokid to use this feature. You can invite him to take advantage of a 50% discount on his first year subscription
- Stats: this menu is only available from the “Musician Plus” package. It allows you to view your stream statistics by day/week/year on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and Apple Music
- Upgrade: this section allows you to change your subscription package
- Bank: in this section, you will be able to get your earnings on streams and sales you have generated directly through your Paypal account
- Goodies : this section gathers several small features to allow you to create a page to share your tracks with all the links to the platforms (a bit like Link.tree)
The my account area also includes several practical sections:
- Messages: chat allowing you to exchange with your listeners
- Account: your space to change your account information (email, password, etc.)
- Personal profile : from this space, you can update your artist information (bio, social networks, etc.)
- Payout method: allows you to define your banking information to recover your earnings
- Credit card: your section to update your Distrokid bank account information
- Receipts: your receipts related to your Distrokid payments
- Cover licenses: this feature is mainly used for the USA to authorize and manage other artists who want to cover your songs
- Referral program: feature that allows you to invite users to use Distrokid
Distrokid is for the moment only available in the website format.
The brand does not provide users with a mobile application to manage their account.
The website is very efficient and has a simple design.
Just like Distrokid, there are no unnecessary frills on this service, just the essentials.
Here is an overview of the different features of Distrokid for artists.
Note that most of these options are added on top of the initial subscription.
Distrokid allows you to distribute music on 150 streaming platforms.
There is no limit to the number of songs you can add to your subscription.
Dashboard to track your statistics
The Musician Plus subscription allows you to track your streaming statistics on the main platforms.
Distrokid has partnered with major players such as Spotify, Amazon, iTunes and Apple Music to deploy this feature.
Verified artist badge on Spotify
The Distrokid subscription gives you immediate access to your verified artist badge on Spotify.
This gives you credibility to your account and helps you stand out against other unverified pages.
Manage your song and album releases
Musician Plus allows you to schedule the exact release date of your music to organize a promotion or release day.
You can also schedule from your Distrokid interface your album, EP or single pre-order dates.
Youtube monitoring and monetization
Thanks to Distrokid you can monitor the illegal use of your music on Youtube and get the monetization of videos that use your music.
This is a great option to create additional income.
Note: Youtube takes 20% commission on these generated revenues.
Storage of your tracks with Distrokid Vault
Distrokid Vault is a feature that allows you to store your tracks directly at Distrokid in order to avoid losing everything if your hard disk should fail.
The bonus: this service is offered for free by Distrokid.
Distribution of earnings between musicians
Very practical feature: Distrokid allows you on each track to define the distribution of the earnings between you and your collaborators (DJ, musician, performer…).
This way, you avoid having to deal with administrative paperwork.
However, each collaborator must be a Distrokid subscriber to benefit from it.
You can motivate other users to join the platform by giving them a 50% discount on their first year subscription.
Other features in brief
- Streaming players monitoring: Distrokid monitors the launch of new streaming platforms and allows you to automatically add your music on any platform that will launch in the future
- Legal management for covers: Distrokid gives you the possibility to manage the legal process for covers of your songs in the US
Adding to Siri and Shazam: the Distrokid subscription allows your music to be identified on Shazam and Siri
- iTunes options: by subscribing to Distrokid, you benefit from additional options on iTunes. You can enter your lyrics and set your own prices on the music you sell
- Leave a Legacy: this option allows you to preserve a track on the platforms even if you unsubscribe from Distrokid
Distrokid is not particularly known for the reactivity of its customer support.
As a cheap player in the music distribution sector, the brand puts more emphasis on its frequently asked questions than its contact form.
However, it is still possible to contact them.
Just don’t expect an immediate written feedback.
Also worth noting: Distrokid does not provide a contact email.
You have to go through their website directly.
Distrokid’s price: what is the price for a subscription to the service?
Distrokid offers 3 subscription packages depending on your needs:
- The “Musician” package at $19.99/year that allows you to add an artist, upload music without limit and enjoy the Spotify verified badge
- The “Musician Plus” package at $35.99/year which gives you access to the Musican package options + the ability to have a 2nd artist, to add lyrics, to access sales statistics and to customize your releases (release date, label customization, custom iTunes prices…)
- The “Label” package at $79.99/year which gives you access to the Musican plus options + the fact of having up to 100 artists managed on your account
Online customer reviews of Distrokid
Distrokid collects very good online reviews from users.
On Trustpilot, the brand’s rating is 4.7/5 out of over 19,000 customer reviews.
My final opinion on Distrokid
Distrokid has been a major player in online music distribution for almost 10 years.
With an attractive entry price, advanced features and no limit on the number of songs you can add, it is now considered by tens of thousands of artists as the reference solution to distribute their music.
If you are an emerging artist or an artist who regularly produces content I can only advise you to subscribe.
The price is derisory compared to the time saved.
Take advantage of this technology to spend more time on your real job!
Alternatives to Distrokid
There are several alternatives to Distrokid on the market.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the main platforms you can compare before making your mind up:
- CD baby
- Horus music
FAQs about Distrokid
When was the launch date of Distrokid?
According to Wikipedia, Distrokid was launched in May 2013 in the United States by entrepreneur Philip J. Kaplan.
What is the average publication time on Distrokid?
Distrokid officially communicates on its website about its average publishing time. The delays depend on each music streaming platform:
- iTunes / Apple Music: 1 to 7 days
- Spotify: 2 to 5 days
- Amazon : 1 to 2 days
- Youtube Music : 1 to 2 days
These delays can be extended depending on each platform. This is a rare occurrence according to the Distrokid team.
Is there a free version of Distrokid?
No, Distrokid is a paid service. There is no free version on the market for the moment.
What commission does Distrokid take on the sales made by the artists?
This is a specificity of Distrokid: the company takes 0% commission on the sales made.
Its objective is to remunerate the artists as fairly as possible.
DistroKid is a good distribution solution for new artists, however, for pro musicians there are better options such as TuneCore.
Verdict on Distrokid Distrokid is certainly the leading music distribution platform in the USA today. Its affordable price and unlimited song uploads make it a serious choice to consider for distributing your music.
Upload of songs
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