Best distribution companies in 2022

At RouteNote we provide all of the tools independent artists and labels need to distribute, earn money from and analyse their music online.

RouteNote’s goal is to help unsigned artists and labels upload and manage their music on stores, streaming services and social media platforms. But what helps RouteNote stand out from the crowd? On top of powerful easy-to-use tools, fast moderators, helpful support team and leaving artists with 100% of the rights to their music, our pricing strategy can rarely be beaten.

RouteNote Pricing

  • Free Distribution. Artist keeps 85% revenue.
    • Zero fees, zero recurring costs
  • Premium Distribution. Artist keeps 100% revenue. $9.99 per year, plus one-time fee:
    • Single: $10
    • EP: $20
    • Album: $30
    • Extended Album: $45
  • Unlimited uploads on both tiers
  • Unlimited artists on both tiers
  • Free UPCs and ISRCs
  • Fast moderation and support on both tiers
  • All features and stores are the same between tiers
  • No additional fees for any stores
  • Artists can switch tiers at any time

Click here to sign up to RouteNote today.

Click here to learn how to switch distributors, while keep the same stats and artist pages.


Amuse Pricing

  • Start Distribution: Free
    • 12 releases per year
    • One artist page
    • Slow distribution
    • Limited stores
    • Limited features
    • Limited support
    • Royalty split with 15% fee
  • Boost Distribution: $24.99 per year
    • Unlimited releases
    • One artist page
    • Faster distribution
    • More stores
    • More features
    • More support
    • Royalty split with 0% fee
    • YouTube Content ID with 15% fee
  • Pro Distribution: $59.99 per year
    • Unlimited releases
    • Multiple artist pages
    • Faster distribution
    • More features
    • Faster support
    • YouTube Content ID with 0% fee
    • Custom record label
    • Statements when requested

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. Amuse comparison.


AWAL Pricing

  • AWAL Core: Artist keeps 85% revenue
  • AWAL+: Smaller cut for artist depending on deal
  • AWAL Recordings: Smaller cut for artist depending on deal

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. AWAL comparison.


CD Baby Pricing

  • Artist keep 91% revenue, plus one-time fee:
    • Standard Single: $9.95.
    • Pro Single: $29.95
    • Standard Album: $29
    • Pro Album: $69
  • UPC
    • Single: $5
    • Album: $20

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. CD Baby comparison.


DistroKid Pricing

  • Musician: $19.99 per year
    • 1 artist
    • Limited features
    • Limited stats
  • Musician Plus: $35.99 per year
    • Up to 2 artists
    • More features
    • More stats
  • Label 5: $79.99 per year
    • Up to 5 artists
  • Label 10: $139.99 per year
    • Up to 10 artists
  • Label 20: $239.99 per year
    • Up to 20 artists
  • Label 50: $59.99 per year
    • Up to 50 artists
  • Label 100: $1199.99 per year
    • Up to 100 artists
  • Shazam: $0.99 per song, per year.
  • Stores Maximizer (delivery to new stores): $7.95 per album, per year.
  • YouTube Content ID: 20% fee, plus:
    • $4.95 per single, per year.
    • $14.95 per album, per year.
  • Leave a Legacy (release won’t be takendown due to missed payment):
    • $29 per single
    • $49 per album

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. DistroKid comparison.


Ditto Pricing

  • Artist: $19 per year
    • 1 artist
  • Professional: $29 per year
    • Up to 2 artists
  • Label: $69 per year
    • Up to 5 artists
  • Label: $119 per year
    • Up to 10 artists
  • Label: $159 per year
    • Up to 15 artists
  • Label: $199 per year
    • Up to 20 artists
  • Label: $249 per year
    • Up to 30 artists
  • Label: $299 per year
    • Up to 40 artists

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. Ditto comparison.


Level Pricing

  • $20 per year
  • Up to 5 artists

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. Level comparison.


ONErpm Pricing

  • Artist keeps 85% revenue on most stores
  • Artist keeps 70% revenue on YouTube Content ID

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. OneRPM comparison.


Spinnup

Spinnup are currently transitioning to an invite-only system, so it’s unclear whether their pricing will remain the same.

  • Single: $9.99 per year
  • EP: $19.99 per year
  • Album: $39.99 per year

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. Spinnup comparison.


TuneCore Pricing

  • Single: $9.99 per year
  • Album: $29.99 first year, $49.99 each following year.
  • YouTube Content ID: $10 and 20% fee
  • Instagram/Facebook: 20% fee

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. TuneCore comparison.


UnitedMasters Pricing

  • UnitedMasters: Free. Artist keeps 90% revenue.
    • Limited stores
  • UnitedMasters SELECT: $59.99 per year. Artist keep 100% revenue.

Click here for our full RouteNote vs. UnitedMasters comparison.

The free Spinnup alternative that’s open to everyone!

Spinnup just announced they’re going invite-only and reducing the number of artists on the platform. Learn about a better alternative here!

Universal Music Group’s digital music distribution arm just made a major change to their service. Not only are Spinnup shifting to invite-only, but they’re also asking many artists “to takedown their releases and transfer to a new distributor by July 19th 2022”.

Tired of getting booted off platform? With zero barriers to entry or fees, RouteNote wants to help the small artist and label succeed online. For fifteen years now, RouteNote has helped over 800k artists distribute almost 5 million tracks online, and we’re not going anywhere! There’s a reason RouteNote are the leading digital music distributor in Europe. We simplify music distribution, at competitive prices.

Regardless of the tier you choose, you have full access to all features, and can distribute to all of the same stores and streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, TIDAL, and many more, including social media platforms such as YouTube Content ID, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud and TikTok. The artist always keeps 100% of the rights to their music and can switch tiers at any time.

  • RouteNote Free: Our Free tier has absolutely zero upfront of recurring fees. Upload as many songs, releases and artists as you like. You keep 85% of the revenue.
  • RouteNote Premium: For a small fee and $9.99 annual payment, Premium lets artists keep 100% of the revenue.

Click here to see how RouteNote stack up against the competition.

Click here to learn how to switch to RouteNote.

Click here to get started on RouteNote.

Top 10 streaming services with the most tracks in 2022

Want to subscribe to a platform with the most songs? Which streaming services have the most number of tracks as of April 2022?

Since we last took a look, almost all of the streaming services below have updated their catalogue size available to users and subscribers.

It just so happens we distribute to all of the top 10 (and many more) music streaming service. Click the streaming service below to learn how to upload your music there for free.

This data is from the streaming services themselves. Most streaming services below highlight and keep the number of tracks available on their homepage updated, except YouTube Music. Luckily, the Google-owned music streaming service published an article in August last year with the latest number. Click the amount of any service to see the source.

1. SoundCloud

SoundCloud
Image Credit: Soundcloud

250 million+ tracks


2. Apple Music

Apple Music
Image Credit: Apple

90 million+ tracks


3. Deezer

Deezer
Image Credit: Deezer

90 million+ tracks


4. KKBOX

KKBOX
Image Credit: KKBOX

90 million+ tracks


5. Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon Music
Image Credit: Amazon

90 million tracks


6. Spotify

Spotify
Image Credit: Spotify

82 million+ tracks


7. TIDAL

Tidal
Image Credit: TIDAL

80 million+ tracks


8. YouTube Music

YouTube Music
Image Credit: YouTube

80 million+ tracks (2022)


9. Qobuz

Qobuz
Image Credit: Qobuz

80 million+ tracks


10. Napster

Napster
Image Credit: Napster

60 million+ tracks

Amazon Music vs. Spotify – comparing the features, catalogue and price of the two music streaming services

We compare the features, cost and catalogue of the two streaming services to help you decide where to spend your subscription money.

Amazon actually have various tiers under their music streaming umbrella. Amazon Music Free is similar to other free streaming services, with ad-supported playback and limited features. Amazon Music Prime comes bundled with Prime memberships, with standard features such as ad-free, offline and on-demand listening, but a limited catalogue. Finally Amazon Music Unlimited, which is Amazon’s full on music streaming service.

In the US, for individuals, Spotify comes in two flavours: Spotify Free and Spotify Premium. Spotify Free is the audio company’s ad-supported music streaming model, while for a monthly subscription Spotify Premium gives listeners all the features they need.

For this comparison we’ll be looking at Amazon Music Unlimited, as this most closely competes with Spotify Premium.


Features

Both streaming services offer the same basic features such as ad-free listening, offline and on-demand playback, letting you listen to any song, anywhere, with unlimited skips.

While both streaming services offer the streaming of lossy MP3 files at up to 320 kbps, Amazon Music HD recently brought the previously $12.99/month hi-fi streaming feature to regular Amazon Music Unlimited memberships at no additional cost. Amazon Music HD gives users access to music in ultra HD, at up to 24-bit/192 kHz, as well as exclusive ultra HD remastered albums.

Spotify have also announced their own HiFi streaming tier, however we are still waiting for the feature to launch, and have no word yet on the maximum bitrate available or potential price increase above Premium memberships. With the competition for hi-fi music streaming from streaming services such as Amazon Music and Apple Music, it’s likely Spotify will drop any initial plans they had to include a price increase for the feature. Fingers crossed!


Catalogue

Spotify report over 82 million tracks are available for streaming, while Amazon Music report 90 million tracks are available. All 90 million are available in high definition on Amazon Music, which is CD-quality at 16-bit/44.1 kHz. Over 7 million tracks on Amazon Music are available in ultra HD. As for Spotify, we are unsure how large their upcoming HiFi catalogue will be.


Price

For individual memberships in the US, Spotify Premium is $9.99 per month. Amazon Music Unlimited is also $9.99 per month, but is reduced to $8.99 per month for existing Prime members.

Both services offer various discounts for families, students and bundles with other subscription services.


Conclusion

While both services are comparable, the inclusion of Amazon Music HD at no additional cost gives them the edge in features and catalogue. For existing Amazon Prime members, the discount is a nice inclusion too.


If you’re a music artist, you’re in luck. RouteNote can help you get your music onto either of these music streaming services and many more for free. Just sign up to RouteNote, upload your tracks, select the stores to distribute to and we’ll do the rest.

How to tag products on Instagram

Image Credit: Alexandru Voica

Instagram are rolling out the ability for anyone in the US, not just businesses and creators, to tag products in feed posts.

Instagram started its push into e-commerce in 2016, when it rolled out product tagging. Over the past six years, shopping on Instagram has expanded to video posts, stories and Reels. Instagram even includes native checkout features, making purchases a seamless experience. Today 1.6 million people tag at least one product per week, but this is due to expand drastically as Instagram rollout product tagging to more users.

Shared by Alexandru Voica, EMEA tech comms at Instagram’s parent company Meta, on Twitter, soon everyone in the US will be able to tag products in their posts. This feature was previously reserved for the business or creator selling the product.


This could be a great feature for brand partnerships and sponsored influencers. The tagger will not receive any commision from the sale. The brand will receive a notification when one of the products is tagged and all tagged content can be found under the tagged tab on the business’ profile. Brands can turn off tags from everyone in account settings.


How to tag products

This feature is rolling out to all users in the US over the coming months. Follow these steps to see if it’s available to you.

  1. Create a post
  2. Apply any filters and edits
  3. On the New post page, before sharing, tap Tag people to tag the brand
  4. Tap Tag products to browse and tag products from the brand
  5. Tap Share
Image Credit: Alexandru Voica

Still no sign of this feature expanding to stories for everyone, however available to all users, Link Stickers are the next best thing.

Find out how to monetize your own music across Instagram for free, as well as everything else artists need to know about the social platform here.

How to link and control Spotify playback in Waze

Image Credit: Spotify

Step-by-step instruction on how to pair navigation app Waze with music streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music and more.

Five years ago, Spotify teamed up with Google-owned navigation app Waze to seemlessly integrate music into your road trips in a safe way. Once you connect the two apps, playback controls show on the same screen as direction, letting you skips tracks or change playlists without switching apps.

Spotify aren’t the only audio company to work with Waze. Waze can also pair with other music and audiobook apps like Amazon Music, Audacy, Audible, Audiobooks.com, Castbox, Deezer, iHeartRadio, NPR One, NRJ Radio, Pandora, Scribd, TIDAL, TuneIn, TuneIn Pro and YouTube Music.


How to link Waze with audio apps

  1. Open Waze and tap the music icon in the top right corner (if you don’t see the icon, tap My Waze at the bottom, then the settings cog in the top left corner, then Audio player.)
  2. Select your preferred audio app of choice.
  3. If you’re already logged into Spotify on your phone, the two apps should automatically connect after you Accept the agreement.

That’s it! You’ll see basic playback controls at the top of the navigation screen. You can hide this pane by tapping the up arrow to the right. Tap Show list to see recently played artists, albums and playlists. Tap an artwork to start playing.


Find the perfect playlist, across genres, to soundtrack your drive here.

The best third-party Spotify playlist curators to send your music to in 2022

You’ve uploaded your music to Spotify, submitted to Spotify’s top playlists, where do you go from here? Submit your music to these top third-party playlist curators.

With RouteNote, we can help you upload your music to Spotify for free. Spotify for Artists provides artists and managers with an easy way to submit their music to Spotify’s own playlists with thousands or even millions of followers. However Spotify’s playlists aren’t the only ones gaining attention from listeners. There are thousands of playlists out their from third-party curators dedicated to showcasing music of all different genres.

Some operate on multiple different platforms such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, etc. So make sure you’re distributing to as many different stores as possible. It’s free and as easy as ticking a box with RouteNote.


RouteNote

We just opened our playlists to submissions from any RouteNote artists. Submission is free and easy to all six of our playlists, covering a wide array of genres. Our playlists have all been launched in the past year and we are already seeing strong growth across stores.

Click here to submit.


Filtr

Filtr US currently have over 17 million followers across over 200 playlists on Spotify, with even more internationally and on their genre-specific profiles. Filtr is the second largest third-party playlist curator on Spotify. Filtr is run by Sony Music Entertainment but accept playlist submissions from all artists.

Click here to submit.


Digster.fm

Owned by Universal Music Group, Digster have over 7 million followers across over 100 playlists on Spotify. Much like Filtr, while the majority of music is from UMG themselves, they do accept submission from independent artists via SubmitHub.

Click here to submit.


Lofi Girl

Responsible for one of the most popular live YouTube videos you’ve probably seen. You know the lofi hip hop one with the animated girl studying, with a pretty consistant 50k concurrent viewers. Lofi Girl (formerly ChilledCow) also own a Spotify playlist with over 6 million followers, as well as a handful of other playlists with a few hundred thousand followers.

Click here to submit.


LoudKult

An independent record label founded by artists. LoudKult’s 115 playlists largely revolve around tropical/deep house, pop, EDM and chill-hop. With over 4.7 million eyes on Spotify, land on one of LoudKult’s playlists and you’re bound to find success.

Click here to submit.


Selected.

The independent label has 4 playlists covering deep house and chill house music with a total of over 4.4 million followers on Spotify. Got a new house track that’s up to scratch?

Click here to submit.


Indiemono

Folk, chill, urban, latino, pop, EDM, indie, alt, with over 200 playlists, your music is bound to fit in with one of Indiemono’s playlists. On Spotify alone, Indiemono have over 3.7 million followers on their playlists.

Click here to submit.


Soave

Soave look for the best in dance and chill music. With over 3.6 million followers across 133 playlists on Spotify, this could be a big push in new listeners.

Click here to submit.


Promoting Sounds

Promoting Sounds specialise in rap, hip-hop, trap, lofi and bass. Got a track that deserves their attention? Submit it to one of their 20 playlists with over 1.9 million followers on Spotify.

Click here to submit.

How much music streaming services pay per stream

Find out what streaming services pay out to artists and labels per listen on a song.

How much a stream is worth is important for an artist to know when they’re releasing their music on these huge new platforms. It is however crucial to note however that there is no consistent payout rate across services and in fact streams can pay out very differently between two artists on the exact same services.

The reason that there is no way to say for sure what a stream is worth on a platform is because the streaming rate is dependent on so many variables which can drastically change the value of a play. The most important elements that decide how much a stream will pay are as follows:

  • Whether the listener is a paying subscriber or on an ad-supported free tier
  • The territory they are listening from (country and location)
  • The number of streams on the service overall
  • How many streams other artists on the service are getting

The listener’s subscription (or lack thereof) makes a huge difference, as a subscribers money is worth so much more than a free listener’s – no matter how many ads they’ve seen/heard! Price points for subscriptions and therefore also streaming value change between every territory; so a stream in the US won’t be worth the same as a stream in India.

Then there is the pro-rata model which the majority of streaming services use to distribute their streaming revenues between the artists being listened to on their services. Using this model, all of the revenues that are allocated to be paid out to artists and labels go into one large pot. That pot is then divided out based on the percentage of streams that artists have gotten compared to everyone else.

This system means that not only your own streams, but the streams of every other artist on the service can have an impact on how much you’re earning.

Depending on how your music has been distributed to streaming services, your revenue may also be split by your label or distributor. Labels often take a high percentage cut from the streaming revenues. Distributors will often also take a percentage of the streaming revenue of artists they’re distributing

At RouteNote, we provide artists a choice so that they can distribute their music making the best choice for how much they’re earning on streaming services. Artists can upload unlimited music for free and keep 85% of all of their revenues still – one of the best splits on the market. If an artist is likely to make a lot of streams on their release, they can upgrade to Premium for a one-time fee at a competitive rate to keep 100% of their streaming revenues.


Estimated streaming rates for each platform

With the important disclaimer out of the way, we can still gauge a rough estimate of how much you’d expect to see from each platform as a streaming artist. It is very important to bear in mind that whilst we estimate a rough average streaming rate for platforms that this does not suggest your streaming revenue will be represented on each platform by this average.

Spotify

Spotify pays out between $0.003 and $0.0084 per stream on their platform. The average rate for a listen on Spotify is $0.004. You can see how drastically different the figure can be on a single listen and this is largely due to the disparity between the value of a listen from a Premium subscriber on their service and listens from the many free users.

As always, territory also plays a large part. Reports suggest that streams from the US may earn $0.0039 whilst a listen in Portugal can pay $0.0018.

An artist will need to reach 250 streams on a track to earn a dollar and 1000 streams will earn them somewhere between $3 and $5 most likely.

Apple Music

Apple Music pays out an average of $0.0078 a stream on their platform. It will take an artist roughly 136 streams to earn a dollar on Apple Music, and 136,000 streams to earn $1000.

YouTube

YouTube made changes to their music rates in recent years to ensure that a view on music content was worth more than a view on video content. This followed arguments that YouTube was severely devaluing music by making it available to stream on-demand on an ad-supported website where the ads are easily blocked, meaning music was earning far below the average.

For official content uploaded to YouTube, music earns on average between $0.0016 and $0.008 depending on whether the listen comes from a visitor to the website or a paying YouTube Red subscriber.

Music used in YouTube videos – but not uploaded by the rightsholder or their affiliates – also earns money through Content ID. Content ID will earn on average $0.00087 per stream.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music is the music streaming service associated with and technically alongside and connected to YouTube’s platform. It has its own app and website and earns slightly different for music streams than plays on YouTube’s main site videos will garner as its a dedicated music streaming service.

Plays on YouTube Music will gain on average $0.008.

TIDAL

TIDAL have long boasted some of the highest streaming rates in the industry with an artist focussed model and more expensive subscriptions for users. TIDAL have also recently begun exploring the UCPS model, an alternative to the pro-rata model that some deem to be a fairer way of distributing revenues between artists.

TIDAL pays on average $0.0128 per stream. TIDAL is remarkable as one of the few streaming services to pay more than 1 cent per stream. An artist needs roughly 80 streams to earn a dollar and 80,000 streams to earn $1000.

Amazon Music

Amazon Music is the official streaming service from the marketplace and tech giant. They offer a number of music offerings including the limited Prime music service which comes included in a Prime subscription. Here we’re talking about their full music service

Amazon Music pays an average of $0.004 a stream. An artist will need to gain roughly 249 streams to earn a dollar and 249,000 streams to earn $1000.

Napster

Napster are one of – if not the – highest paying music streaming service per play. Napster, like TIDAL, are a rarity in that they pay more than a cent per play. This is notably surprising if you take into consideration Napster’s storied past as a pirated music platform in the early 2000s.

Napster pays an average of $0.019 per stream. An artist will need just roughly 53 plays on Napster to make a dollar and 53,000 streams to earn $1000.

Deezer

Deezer pay an average of $0.0064 per stream. An artist will need roughly 156 plays on Deezer to make a dollar and 156,000 plays to earn $1000.

Pandora

Pandora pays an average of $0.0013 per stream. An artist will need roughly 751 plays on Pandora to make a dollar and 751,000 plays to earn $1000.


If we’ve missed out a platform that you’re curious about, do let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to keep the article updated with the figures that people are interested in.

How to like an Instagram Story without sending a DM

Image Credit: Instagram

Instagram now lets users like Stories, without sending a DM. Instagram Story likes are private and only shown to the author.

At the start of the year, Instagram announced they would focus particularly on video and messaging. Previously, reacting to Instagram Stories would send a message to the creator. Now, Instagram are adding a heart icon in the bottom right corner when viewing Stories, between the Send Message box and paper airplane icon.

Simply tap the new heart icon to like an Instagram Story. There is no public like count, but the original creator can see who liked their Story in the view sheet, with a heart icon showing next to the user’s handle. This move should encourage positive interactions on Instagram Stories, while cleaning up DMs. This feature is now rolling out to all users.


We are partnered with Meta to help artists upload and monetize their music on Instagram Videos, Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels and across Facebook for free. Click here to learn more.

How many artists are on Spotify?

Image Credit: Spotify

Spotify’s Q4 2021 earnings call shares how many artist and podcast creators are on the audio streaming platform.

As Spotify continue to face scrutiny over The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, the streaming service’s Q4 2021 results show strong growth in users and subscribers, as well as highlighting the new features brought to users and artists during the quarter. You can also find the full fourth quarter 2021 earnings report here or the webcast Q&A here.

As announced during the Q4 2021 earnings call, at the end of 2021 Spotify had 11 million creators. This is 3 million more than Spotify reported just one year ago at their Stream On event. This includes both artists and podcast creators. Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek believes Spotify will one day house 50 million active creators, saying:

Think of it as 50 million small-and medium-sized businesses that we can support by giving them the infrastructure and resources to grow. This evolution will take time, but I know some of you are wondering what this means in the near term. And the work there is already well underway.

Daniel Ek, CEO, Spotify

Push this number to 11,000,001 by uploading your music to Spotify for free.