Top 10 Best music distribution services 2021 for Artists:

Updated: Jan 17

Would you like your music to reach audiences all over the world? How can you get your music played on Spotify or Apple Music? Here are services that distribute music online! A streaming service can be a valuable marketing tool for independent artists. To get your music onto streaming services, you will need to have an understanding of distribution services. So that you can make a wise decision, we explain what music distributors do. It is important to understand what distributors do, and what music distribution companies are out there.


Music Distribution Services: What Are They?

Several major platforms, including Apple Music, Shazam, Pandora, Amazon Music, Tidal and not to mention the beast that is Spotify, make it easier than ever before to sell your music. Streaming platforms and independent artists can work together via music distribution companies. Artists' music is distributed through distribution services.


The record industry was once dominated by record labels since they handled all the legwork and secured distributing your music deals with companies to deliver physical music to stores. Distributors, however, now allow artists to handle this all themselves.


There were an average of 40,000 music tracks released through digital distribution companies every day in 2019. What's the best digital music distribution service for you? With so many aspiring artists and labels swarming to make it big - how can you select a partner? Are you experiencing difficulty in navigating today's over-saturated market? Here are a few of our favorites.

1. AWAL

Kobalt's AWAL Distribution ranks second on our list. Their services cater to the needs of artists, but are only available to select clients. Often, these clients are approached by them, or by one of their artists or managers.


AWL should be able to fulfill all of your marketing requirements, including distribution to DSPs, advanced royalty calculations, dedicated teams for worldwide marketing, playlist campaigns, sync licensing, and funding. In a sense, at AWAL we provide label-services beyond distribution. The company doesn't charge up-front or annual fees, and takes a share of a company's revenue instead.


You Me At Six and Lil Peep are a few of the acts on their impressive roster. Every day, their roster has been growing as new artists join their team and their careers progress.


2. Horus Music

Horus Music Services is one of the best and most underestimated distributors around. A team of musicians and labels are part of the Leicester-based company, which works collaboratively with artists. Their artist and relationship team are always on hand for assistance as previous Queens Award winners for Enterprise Of International Trade. Fast turnaround is another advantage.


In spite of the fact that they don't have any notable artists, however, they rank well because they are efficient and straightforward to deal with. Through a partnership with Western Union, artists can receive direct bank deposits. Collaborators can also split royalties easily. Among their packages are marketing campaigns, chart registration, and representation at Midem. A package for artists who regularly release content is available for £20 (per year).

An account with CMT (Custom Music Tools) can be obtained by established labels upon request. In return for 20% revenue, labels can release an unlimited number of titles. A feature of their artist profiles is the ability to create a sub-profile for each band member. They also provide advanced software to track royalties. The label and the artist may agree on a royalty split, or the band members may negotiate their own split. Plus, all revenue is paid directly to providers each month without the requirement for minimum payments or manual cash outs. On top of this, labels also receive a dedicated rep and free promotions on DSP playlists. When released music at least six weeks after being released, this is allowed. Horus offers label services along with distribution if you need more than just distribution.


3. Amuse

The origins of Amuse are a little hazy since they appeared in 2017. They do this because they offer artists who are interested in signing to their label division distribution for free with high advances.

Will.i.am co-founded the company soon after it launched. In addition to helping the platform grow, he will also assist the artists they choose to license.

Fast Forward is one of Amuse's newest features. Based on current streaming activity, this indicates how well a song should perform. In addition to royalty splits and the option to upgrade to Amuse Pro, other features include the ability to invite collaborators to your profile.

With Amuse, there are no fees and no commissions on music distribution. The goal was to sign up artists with a 50/50 deal by simply looking at data and swoop up the artists that start to catch. Data analysts, not A&R. The founder of the company studied data analytics at Universal Music Group (Sweden). Another founder is from Warner Music Group (Sweden), and the chief designer has previously worked at Spotify.


4. Spinnup

A distribution platform for independent artists, Spinnup is owned by Universal Music Group. UMG is seeking artists interested in gaining distribution with only small fees and no revenue cuts in order to get their work seen.


A great opportunity for those with a significant following and a wealth of material to release, this is Universal's way of identifying new talent. The Spinnup brand is especially effective for content without special incentive organization or pre-order campaign setup. The team can provide these upon request.


I know that Spinnup has pushed over 100 artists over to UMG. That's something impressive to note. Rather than focusing on the USA or UK, Spinnup is primarily European in focus. With FUGA serving as their distributor, they benefit from FUGA's streaming power and speed.


Providing studio time, matching disadvantaged kids up with mentors, and assisting them in getting their music distributed is something I appreciate about their company.


5. DistroKid

Among the first non-major distributors to partner with TikTok, one of the most popular video-sharing platforms, is DistroKid. Music by DistroKid artists will now be included in fan-made videos worldwide. DistroKid spearheaded the initiative, but it should be noted that other distributors subsequently followed.


For unlimited releases or uploads at $19.99 per year, DistroKid is one of the most cost-effective options. Besides the Musician plan (for $19.99 per year), Musician Plus plan (for $35.99 per year) and Label plan (for $79.99 per year), DistroKid offers multiple plans. Moreover, all royalties are kept by the artist!.

For those interested in commercially releasing cover songs, they also make acquiring mechanical licenses easy. Using MediaMonkey, unlimited collaborators and unlimited distribution can also be automatically split - whether you are splitting with producers, featured artists, or investors. To get paid. Any collaborators must subscribe for 10 dollars a year. Furthermore, Hyperfollow is a cool feature that allows listeners to pre-save your music on Spotify.


Due to its popularity, it is sometimes challenging to get your questions answered efficiently and you must use the ticketing system. Users can close tickets after receiving generic replies from the user support team. Most often, they are referred to specialists by the highest performing artists, who understand the issue better.


6. TuneCore

TuneCore has an intuitive user interface, and it doesn't require much information to process releases. Artists may find this convenient. As of now, the system does not offer barcodes or ISRCs for more established labels and artists. Additionally, the main independent distributors target young bedroom musicians today. In contrast to major distributors like AWAL (more about them later), these artists want rapid progress with their first releases.

In order to determine if Tunecore is worth the costs, you will need to assess whether you can get a greater return in terms of exposure on the platform.


For its first year, Tunecore charges $9.99 per single and $29.99 per album. It costs $49.99 to release an album and $9.99 to release a single.


7. CD Baby

In the indie music community, CD Baby is also a popular distributor. They stand out because they make sure artists can tap into all revenue streams. They do this through distribution of CDs and vinyls and publication administration. In addition to sync for films and TV programs, Music Gateway & CD Baby have recently partnered to provide sync for film placements.

Moreover, they charge only a one-time fee per release, which makes them more lucrative. There will be no recurring costs! Indie artists can use this platform to register their tunes with royalty-collecting societies more easily. Currently CD Baby offers singles for $9.95 and albums for $29. Single upgrades to Pro cost $20, and albums cost $40. A 15 commission in percentage is also taken by CD Baby.


CD Baby also offers a variety of additional services, such as publishing admin, sync, duplication, and manufacturing. It is even possible to get advance payments from established artists.

8. Ditto

Even though they have worked with many established artists (Ed Sheeran, You Me At Six and Sam Smith), they have shown great controversy in the last five years.


Despite the discrepancies concerning ditto music online, they qualify for this list. Negative reviews and slanderous articles appeared in blog posts and comment threads. Their record label in a box service, however, has helped many artists pave their way. That is why they remain a top independent distributor to this day.

Aspiring label owners can choose one of three tiers of RLIAB, which offers terrific value. With this, government business registrations have been streamlined. Furthermore, DITTO offers to help you set up neighbouring rights as well as to register labels with PPL so that you can collect royalties. They also offer clients a free domain name, contract drafting software, a sales dashboard, and free distribution to 180 Direct Selling Platforms.

A single artist may release unlimited albums with their lowest tier for £19 per year. Alternatively, they can upgrade to a yearly fee of £29 for two artists. A label tier is available for £69 per year in addition. You will be able to distribute unlimited music to five artists for £299 per year for forty artists.


9. Stem Music:

Music distribution service provider STEEM is a major player. Clients get a dedicated project manager and the company boasts a very high playlist plugging success rate. It's easy to split payments with stems in their reports. Everyone else in this space has been catching up to them since they had payment splitting from the start. The team provides individualized attention to each client because the team is invite-only (submission-based).


Milana Rabkin is the CEO and co-founder of Stem. A woman is the only one running this music distributor.

Until recently, the company's business model wasn't profitable since it was investment backed. The company pivoted in 2019 after realizing that more artists didn't equal better business (just more money spent on customer service and technology). Their commission was raised from 5% to 10%, and a large number of artists were booted.


Conclusion:

Want to record your first few singles as an artist or label? Maybe you need guidance throughout the release from a team? If you are uploading music to streaming services, you need to find the right partner. How should music be distributed? We suggest Music Gateway because of its low price and wide array of additional services. This article should have been helpful to anyone considering switching distributors or considering switching to a new one.



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