Best music distributors 2020

The music distributon space got busy. We've compared the top 10 distributors so you can quickly make the right choice.

There's a hell are a lot of music streaming platforms some you've never even heard of. It's a distributor's job to push your music to as many platforms as possible and manage the revenue you earn from the streams.

There's also a hell of a lot of these distributors, it seems new ones are popping up every month. As an independent artist it can be quite daunting choosing the one that's right for you. We've tried to make the decision a little easier by writing a quick comparison of the major player.

Top 10 Music Distributors in 2020

Here's what we'll be comparing:

  1. Distrokid (free + paid)
  2. RouteNote (free + paid)
  3. CD Baby
  4. TuneCore
  5. Amuse (free + paid)
  6. ABC Digital (free)
  7. AWAL (free)
  8. Ditto Music
  9. OneRPM (free)
  10. Fresh Tunes (free)

Distrokid

DistroKid logo

Pros:

  • Keep 100% of your streaming royalties
  • Unlimited songs for one yearly price
  • Free cloud backup of music
  • Royalty payment splitting
  • Access to Spotify’s & YouTube artist verification platform
  • 10% off for Songwhip readers

Cons:

  • Lots of extra hidden fees
  • No physical distribution
  • No Facebook/Instagram monetization
  • Basic Reports and analytics

CD Baby

CD Baby promo image

Pros

  • No yearly fees to keep your music live, one time payment
  • Instant verification with Apple Music & Spotify Music for Artists
  • Worldwide CD or vinyl distribution
  • Facebook/Instagram monetization

Cons

  • 9% commission on digital sales and 4% commission on physical sales
  • Single costs $9.99 and an album costs $49 (one-time payment)
  • No payment splitting
  • High YouTube commission (30%)
  • Additional fee for a UPC

RouteNote

Pros

  • No yearly fees to keep your music live, in free plan
  • Royalty payment splitting
  • SoundCloud monetization
  • Better artist support team 
  • Worldwide distribution (even Asia)

Cons

  • Releases take 3-4 weeks
  • 45 day delay getting paid
  • 15% commission taken in free plan
  • No provision of mechanical license (?)


TuneCore

TuneCore logo

Pros

  • Keep 100% of the streaming revenue
  • Support 150+ digital music stores
  • Facebook/Instagram monetization
  • Detailed analytics reports
  • Multiple Payout method
  • Royalty payment splitting
  • Incredible customer support

Cons

  • You have to pay an annual fee
  • The site discards your music if you don’t pay
  • They take 20% YouTube commissions

Amuse

Amuse logo

Pros

  • Keep 100% of the streaming royalties
  • No distribution fees
  • Royalty payment splitting

Cons

  • Release in 4 weeks
  • No admin publishing service
  • It is app only, no desktop version to upload music or check stats.

ABC Digital

ABC Digital logo

Pros

  • No distribution fees
  • Better customer support
  • Release in within 1 week
  • Royalty payment splitting

Cons

  • 20% commission
  • High payout threshold 250£
  • Basic Reports and analytics
  • Registration process is lengthy

AWAL

AWAL logo

Pros

  • No distribution fees
  • Physical distribution possibility
  • Personal attention for artists with traction

Cons

  • 15% commission
  • No payment splitting
  • Release in 4+ weeks
  • High payment threshold
  • Customer support is slow
  • No admin publishing unless you are signed to Kobalt

Ditto Music

Ditto Music logo

Pros

  • Unlimited releases for $19/y
  • Free to add more stores
  • Good analytics reports
  • Keep 100% of the streaming royalties
  •  iTunes and Spotify trending reports

Cons

  • 15% taken from YouTube monetization
  • Physical distribution is not possible
  • High payment threshold
  • Bad customer support according to online reviews
  • Hidden fees
  • Can't use PayPal as a payout method


ONErpm

Pros

  • No distribution fees
  • Free to add more stores
  • Good analytics reports
  • Royalty Sharing
  • Better customer support
  • YouTube Content ID Tracking

Cons

  • 30% commission off youtube & 15% commission of music stores
  • Physical distribution is not possible
  • No admin publishing partner to collect royalties
  • No distribution fees
  • Keep 100% of the streaming royalties


Fresh Tunes

Pros

  • No distribution fees
  • Keep 100% of the streaming royalties

Cons

  • No Payment splitting
  • Only 15 digital music stores
  • Detailed analytics reports costs extra
  • No admin publishing partner to collect royalties