The world of digital distribution (in regards to music) can seem like a long walk through very murky waters for any independent musician. So, we’ve collected a pretty comprehensive list of music distribution companies and the stores they distribute to. If you were to ask: “What is the best music distribution company that will show me how to put music on the itunes store?“, then our answer would be ADED.US Music Distribution at http://www.aded.us
1. ADED.US Music Distribution
ADED.US Music Distribution is a one stop shop for indie artists. They offer music distribution services to get your music on several stores as well as their own store. They also help promote your music to their network of 40,000+ music industry professionals and music fans.
- Also spelled as ADED US Music Distribution, Added Us Music Distribution, ADED Distribution, ADEDistribution, or ADE Distribution.
- They offer competitive pricing from $5 a month to $100 a year.
- They also have free accounts but you are limited to 1 release and your music will only be placed onto the ADED.US site
- ADED.US distributes to 1,000 digital stores and apps worldwide across several brands including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Tidal, and more.
Soundrop (formerly known as Loudr.fm) has a website with some interesting flow. However, when we used it we ran into some problems.
- If you try to use your own UPC (barcode) their site starts glitching. We had a UPC that started with the number ‘0’ and it wouldn’t let us submit it. So, we had to use their UPC code.
- They only deliver to 4 services as compared to ADED.US which can deliver to 1,000 digital stores and apps.
- They are the secret weapon of Ditto Music. This means that Ditto Music is actually using them to distribute the music of it’s own clients. Ditto Music clients could save money by using Soundrop directly or ADED.US.
101 Distribution / 101Distribution ▶︎ 101distribution.com
Audio Life / AudioLife (defunct)
Black Hole Distribution / Black Hole Recordings
Catapult Distribution / Catapult Music Distribution / catapultdistribution.com
3. CD Baby
- CD Baby (as a company) has been sold twice. The founder of CD Baby was Derek Sivers. Derek Sivers sold CD Baby to a company called Disc Makers, whom he had a longstanding working relationship with, for a reported $22 million USD.
CI / C.I. / Consolidated Independent
• They are not up-front about pricing. They want you to contact them just to figure out pricing.
• They have a-million-and-one ways to charge you for every little thing you want to do
• They are extremely complicated and expensive to deal with
• They are 1 of 2 companies that the Google Play Music staff will direct you to if you are trying to distribute music directly to the Google Play Music platform –– the other being FUGA / F.U.G.A.
dig dis! / digdis
DistroKid / Distro Kid
Ditto Music / DittoMusic ▶︎ DittoMusic.com
2. Horus Music
i Musician Digital / iMusician Digital / iMusicianDigital
I Serve Music / iServe Music
indigo boom / indigoboom
Jam Vana / JamVana
Kudos Records Ltd.
KVZ Music Ltd.
Label Engine / LabelEngine
La Cupula Music / LaCupulaMusic ▶︎ LaCupulaMusic.com (primarily Spanish)
- Pricing varies from €1.50 to €82.50 depending on the number of tracks on your project release and the number of stores you want your release distributed to
- They only distribute to 10 brands (channels)
- They charge a separate ‘storage fee’ that ranges from €0.05 to €0.50 per month
- Merlin isn’t a distribution company that distributes for independent artists directly. They specialize in serving as a liaison between pre-existing distribution companies and the digital stores and apps for music. They secure contracts on behalf of firms that represent independent musicians
Mondo Tunes / MondoTunes / mondotunes.com
MusicXip is a a pretty pricey service but they get the job done.
neptunes mp3 / neptunesmp3 (defunct)
One RPM / OneRPM / ONErpm ▶︎ OneRPM.com
Record Union / RecordUnion ▶︎ RecordUnion.com
Red Eye / RedEye
ReverbNation / reverbnation.com
- also spelled as Reverb Nation
Route Note / RouteNote ▶︎ RouteNote.com
SongCast ▶︎ SongCastMusic.com
- also spelled as Song Cast Music, or SongCast Music
- ran by Michael ‘Mike’ Wright in Akron, Ohio, U.S.A.
The Orchard / TheOrchard ▶︎ TheOrchard.com
- they make you jump through several hoops just to get your music distributed
- they are not very informative or forthcoming with information on how things work or the how/when of royalty payments
TuneCore / Tune Core ▶︎ TuneCore.com
- The founding members (Jeff Price and Peter Wells) were ousted by the venture capitalists that took over TuneCore. This was a huge public scandal. TuneCore is no longer controlled by ‘music people’, it’s controlled by venture capitalists and corporate clones
- TuneCore consistently changes their pricing, so it’s hard to keep track of what’s what
- Ran by Kevin Rivers in Michigan, U.S.A.
- They only distribute music to the iTunes music store
- They claim to be ‘free’ but this is merely a play-on-words. They actually take 20% of your incoming royalties.
- This company has changed names at least 3 times: from WaTunes to Venzo Digital to Zoningo
Zimbalam ▶︎ Zimbalam.com
- It costs $19.99 to distribute a single (1-3 tracks) and $29.99 to distribute an album (3 or more tracks)
- They keep 10% of your incoming royalties