Distrokid Or TuneCore?
There are several well-known digital music distributors, including CD Baby and Tunecore, which are arguably the most established. Then… there is DistroKid! DistroKid maybe one of the newest kids in town, but it is fast becoming the most popular distribution service around. DistroKid, with its low prices, and a la carte business model, is the easiest way for musicians to get their music onto streaming services. Their cost effective, innovative and artist-friendly features have won over thousands of musicians and labels around the world since its inception. In this review, you’ll get a better insight about DistroKid. In addition, we will examine what features they offer, pricing, comparison with main competitors and more!
What Is DistroKid?
DistroKid is a digital distributor. This means that the platform sends your music, cover art and data to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Pandora, Amazon, YouTube, Tidal and more. Once released, listeners can find you and your music on these platforms.
DistroKid was founded in 2013, and was launched almost a decade after established competitors like TuneCore and CD Baby. For a new start up, they hit the ground running and they were able to compete right away with the champions of digital music distribution. They quickly became one of music’s favourite distribution companies within a short period of time. Competitors such as CD Baby also offer physical distribution, and Tunecore offers social media promotional tools and other services. But DistroKid’s main selling point is its ability to share an immeasurable amount of music quickly and more cheaply than its competition.
Interestingly, some of DistroKid’s biggest fans are former founders of rival companies like TuneCore and CD Baby. In 2018, TuneCore’s founder Jeff Price said “As the founder of TuneCore I hate to say it but DistroKid is the single best music distribution company in the world. Light years ahead of CD Baby and TuneCore and far less expensive.” In addition, CD Baby’s founder, Derek Sivers said DistroKid is “amazing”. He publicly said that he would direct all his musician friends to the platform – which is a very commendatory endorsement of DistroKid as a great music distribution service!
What’s Great (And Not So Great) About DistroKid?
DistroKid has many positive attributes, and we will highlight some of the platform’s features shortly. Firstly, let’s take a look at what’s great about DistroKid.
DistroKid is the only music distribution service that lets you upload unlimited music to stores for one low price, so that is a massive plus point. It saves you money, and it is convenient. Plus, all of your royalties are going straight into your pocket.
Another huge bonus is that DistroKid is faster than its competitors with regards to getting your music onto streaming platforms. DistroKid claims that with them as your distributor, your music will be in stores 10-20x faster than any other service. You can also see your daily stats, including tons of features along with a simple interface. The range of streaming services offered is fantastic, with the list looking like this:
Now, for the cons of the platform.
If truth be told, DistroKid is not the most visually appealing of the distributors. The interface is a little dated looking and simplistic. It also doesn’t have the additional features and services as some other distributors. DistroKid does offer some additional options for releases (such as additional stores, monetisation etc). However, they are charged on top of the annual amount. In regards to what actual services DistroKid offers, it is only really distribution that’s up for grabs, compared to other platforms which offer more (we will dive into some more in-depth comparisons later).
In terms of pricing and payment, if you are an artist that isn’t releasing regularly, it might be better for you to choose a distributor with whom you pay per release. One final roadblock, also, is that artists can’t choose a specific release date for their music unless they have a ‘Musician Plus’ or ‘Label’ plan. Therefore, the basic $19.99 annual cost doesn’t allow access to this – and your music will be harder to promote without a specific release date.
Now, let’s take a look at some of DistroKid’s stand out features that separate it from other distributors.
HyperFollow Pre-Save Page
DistroKid has a great feature ‘Hyperfollow’, which creates your own personalised page where fans can pre-save your upcoming music. This gives artists a landing page to send fans to, with an easy link to put in their bio. Once a fan has pre-saved, the song will automatically be saved to their Spotify library upon release. Additionally, they will automatically follow your artist page on Spotify. Finally, when fans enter their email address to pre-save the track, the artist is notified and supplied with their email. This is great for building mailing lists and tracking audience engagement!
This is a paid, opt-in feature – but is definitely worth highlighting. DistroKid offers a service to make money when your music is used on YouTube. It works like this: when YouTube detects your music in a video, monetisation (ads) will be turned on for that video. If there is a text or banner ad on the video with your music in, and the viewer clicks on the text or banner, or if there is a commercial before or after the video and the watcher watches up to 30 seconds or the entire commercial, ad revenue is collected. The ad revenue (minus 20%) will go to you, instead of the person who uploaded the video. Simple!
Instant Spotify For Artists Access & Verified Checkmark
Spotify for Artists is Spotify’s app that gives artists access to stats, control over your profile, access to Spotify’s Artist Support team, and the sought-after blue verified checkmark on your artist page. Normally, to get access, there is an application process with Spotify, which can include a long wait, and may be rejected. As a DistroKid user, artists will be instantly verified and given access to their Spotify For Artists.
When uploading music, DistroKid gives the option of paid add-ons. These include monetising your music on YouTube, Cover Song Licensing, Instagram and Facebook (for use in Stories), and so on. This could be a pro or con depending on how you look at it, as the platform is the cheapest available, so paid add-ons are understandable. Plus, it means that artists can cherry pick what features or services they want to take advantage of.
DistroKid Pricing & Payment
Although DistroKid doesn’t offer some of the other perks their competitors offer, for the annual price of $19.99, you can upload an unlimited amount of music through a sleek and uncluttered platform. The best part of this? You can upload as much as you want and keep 100% of your earnings. The big difference here is that other services make you pay every time you upload music, which ends up costing a lot more if you plan to release a lot. DistroKid do also offer multiple plans if you want more benefits from the platform, including a service for labels. There is the Musician plan ($19.99 per year), Musician Plus ($35.99 per year) and Label ($79.99 per year). Check out the full list of plans on DistroKid’s website.
Artists also have the option of entering ‘splits’, where you can fill in a percentage split between yourself and a co-writer, co-performer, producer and so on. Great news for artists, also – you will get paid your royalties on a monthly basis. This means no waiting around for quarterly payments.
What Is TuneCore?
TuneCore is a renowned music distribution platform that has been around for quite some time. It has been designed to revolutionize the process involved in selling artists’ music by making sure they have all the tools required to sell their music online.
TuneCore, since its debut, has been able to give so many artists a rare chance to get access to the online community and sell their music.
To use this amazing service, you only have to open an account with them with which you will use to upload your music whether you are a band or a solo artist.
What you will learn from every single TuneCore review is that the site is very professional in its dealings. This is not just a place where you plaster your music and wait for it to get sold to a number of interested people.
It also provides remarkable statistics and very crucial information that will enable you to grow your music in one way or the other. To make it even more interesting, you get to keep 100% of your royalties. This is because TuneCore does not charge a commission on any single or album you sell.
As an artist, you get to earn every single cent from the sale of your music, something that is both amazing and rare.
TuneCore also provides you with a conduit to gain access to some of the most incredible online music stores. These include Amazon Music, Google Play Music, Tidal, iTunes, Spotify and YouTube among many others.
These online stores are known to be hot cakes when it comes to providing rare access to the online community. Each of them boasts of a huge following, and so they are just exactly what you need to grow your fan base.
TuneCore, however, requires you to pay a subscription fee that is often much more than many other music distribution platforms such as Cd Baby. Despite the steep prices, most people still prefer TuneCore.
Key features of TuneCoreThe minute you sign up with this amazing online music distribution platform, you will be intrigued by the number of features it comes with.
You will find that every feature incorporated in TuneCore has a specific use to the artist, some will enable you to know more about your fans while others will provide you with a platform to get your music past your geographical borders by introducing your music to the whole world.
Below is a rich list of some of the most incredible features you will note while using the platform.
1. You get access to a number of social media toolsWhether you are a budding artist or a renowned musician, there is no better way to maintain your relevance in the industry than with the use of social media.
With that in mind, you will need TuneCore social or social pro a feature that is designed to give you an easy time while interacting with various social media platforms. The feature enables you to update your various social media platforms with news about your music.
This can be a new music alert, an upcoming collabo alert or even a new video alert. This means that you won’t have to access every individual social media platform to make a post.
All you have to do is use TuneCore to access to all.
Some other benefits that come with this feature include being able to access SoundCloud where you will be allowed to make two posts a month. Similar courtesy will be extended to MixCloud. With these two sites, people will be able to stream your music online thus opening a whole new market for you as an artist.
However, to access social pro and benefit from its offers, you will have to pay a subscription fee since it comes with much better inclusions that will see you make incredible strides musically just by the use of social media.
2. You get to access publishing administrationThe era of artists getting coned of their hard-earned cash is long gone. This platform has made sure that you are provided with TuneCore publishing administration.
This is where your music sales are monitored closely and keenly so that you get to earn every single cent you make after you sell your music online. This feature ensures that you collect 100% of your royalties whenever someone plays your music.
This used to be very difficult before TuneCore came in the picture, but now it is quite an easy process. TuneCore will, however, take 15% of whatever you make on publishing.
They also take 20% commission on any sync licensing you obtain. So be sure that once you make your music or album accessible to the online masses, no single sale or play will go unpaid. It is one important feature that puts TuneCore ahead of other platforms like Distrokid.
3. TuneCore has Sync and Master Licensing featureAt an additional cost, you will be able to access the most remarkable Sync and Master Licensing feature. This is usually a very prestigious feature that enables your music to be used in a number of TV commercials and ads.
Landing such an arrangement is not as easy as it seems but with TuneCore, you will be amazed by how fast you can land such an incredible and reputable deal.
The platform has a way of making you visible to so many people who would be interested in using your music to come up with an outstanding commercial that will move masses. These people are also ready to dish out incredible cash for the feature, and so you should not get worried about TuneCore pricing on the same.
There are many times that artists get such remarkable deals but due to some misunderstanding with the parties involved you get to get to be paid only a portion of what the client is paying. This is not the same with TuneCore.
Every single cent that the client pays for a feature is fully credited to your account without any commissions deducted whatsoever. They also make sure that you get to earn a good amount of money from a deal and so all you have to do is subscribe for the feature and let TuneCore handle the rest.
Since its initialization, there is no day that there has been a complaint about unpaid royalties.
4. TuneCore provides music analysis on the reporting platformAny form of information about your music is very vital. This is because you get to know the next step to take as an artist. That is why TuneCore provides you with an analytic and reporting platform. This is where you will get to access all the relevant information about your music.
You will know which of your albums is the most streamed on SoundCloud as well as which single has received incredible likes on Spotify. You will also have a vivid view of which region or country you have most fans and which music is most disliked and why. All this information will be accessible on your analytics and reporting dashboard.
With this information, there are so many steps that you can take to make your music better and gain more fans worldwide. It can also help your manager to know the regions that you will get most attendance in case you want to set up a concert.
In terms of composing, you will be aware of what kind of music your fans prefer from the likes and dislikes you received on your previous music. This is just enough information to transform your music career and make you a much better artist.
It will also enable you to come up with the most trending music since you will know what your fans love and you will make sure you give them exactly that.
5. TuneCore provides artists with distribution creditsSince TuneCore pricing is known to be a little bit higher than other distribution platforms, anything that will enable you to minimize spending unwarranted amount of money is very important. TuneCore enables artists to pre-purchase distribution credits.
This is only necessary if you are planning to produce new music that will require distribution. Since you will be buying ahead of time and in bulk, you will tend to spend much lesser than you would have spent otherwise.
This is just the feature that you should make use of to avoid paying so much for every individual album you post on the platform.
6. You get to access your funds anytime thanks to the ultra-responsive featureThe one thing that motivates artists is the payout. This is when you have composed, recorded and distributed your music and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. TuneCore allows you to access your money through your TuneCore account.
Just initiate a withdrawal request to your PayPal, EFT or check and wait for the funds to be released. The process is much simpler and very fast than most similar platforms.
For bands, there is an option that allows you to send every individual member on the band his or her money.
What to expect from itAs soon as you sign up for a TuneCore account be ready for a life-changing experience.
You will be provided with an interactive platform where you will be able to distribute your music, remain active on different social media platforms and source useful information from relevant music stores and music streaming platforms.
You should also get ready to be paid your royalties in full without compromise.
How does it work?TuneCore is one incredible platform that enables individual artists or bands to sell their music online by linking them to some of the best online music stores where they will be able to access a huge market for their music. Every cent you make from the sales is credited to your account without any deductions.
The platform also enables you to access very crucial information about your music. In return, you are only required to pay some amount of money referred to as a subscription fee.
Price and plansTuneCore pricing and plans are a little bit expensive than most sites, but in return, you get incredible services.
You will sign up for free, but then you will be required to pay a subscription fee before accessing their services.
The distribution fee for a single song is $9.99. For an album that has more than two songs, you will be required to pay $29.99. They also charge an annual fee of $29.99 of an album and $9.99 for a single. For two years and beyond, you will be required to pay $49.99.
For Social pro, you will be required to pay $10.99 for a monthly subscription and $118.99 annually.
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