How to distribute compilation albums

RouteNote is the ideal solution for unsigned artists to get their music on stores quickly, easily and for free. RouteNote can also be the best choice for labels and compilation curators too.

If you’re managing a label, a compilation can be a great way to show off many of your artists in one release. Anyone can create a compilation album on RouteNote, but there are some things you need to consider before you send over your tracklist.


This is the most obvious and important one. You need to have permission from every artist on the release to use there track in a compilation. Make sure you have this in writing. An email or DM is sufficient between friends, but a contract is recommended for any high profile artists to ensure you have all the finer details signed off.

Revenue Split

During contact with the artists, you’ll want to work out exactly who will receive what portion of revenue from the release. Maybe the label will receive all revenue for a one off payment to artists. More likely, you’ll want an easy way to dish out portions with little effort. RouteNote can help here. We make splitting between RouteNote accounts easy and autonomous. Just make sure everyone is setup with individual accounts, then royalties will be paid to all accounts monthly and forwarded to the PayPal account linked.


Where you distribute your compilation albums is an important aspect of the release and something you need to inform your artists of. Presuming your artists’ music is already on stores such as Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music, a re-upload of the music is fine in compilation album format. However selecting stores such as YouTube Content ID and Facebook may cause issues with content already on these sites. Compilations albums sent through RouteNote will not be sent to YouTube Content ID or Facebook unless you have proof of exclusive rights.


When your release is being moderated, we may ask for proof of permission to distribute these artists. A screenshot of the message/email/contract or DM from the official artists social channel to one of our team member ought to do it. Once you’ve verified permission to distribute a high profile artist, we’ll be sure to note this on your account, so you aren’t asked every time.


With multiple of the same track on stores, you may be wondering how these tracks will appear in search results and on the artists profile. Results vary based on the store. We’ve used Spotify in the examples below.

Search Results

For search results, the single is front and centre, followed by the compilation inclusion to the right.

Artist Profile

All compilations an artist features on can be found at the bottom of an artist’s profile, under ‘Appears On’.

Play Count

As you can see, handily Spotify combines plays across different versions of the track, even if different ISRC codes are used on upload.

To get started uploading your compilation albums to all popular stores, signed up to RouteNote and get distributing. It’s completely free and artists/managers keep 85% of the revenue. If you’d prefer, select Premium distribution for a small fee and keep 100% of the revenue.

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    I’ve been thinking about doing a compilation album for years now. This article just might be the boost I need to get that going.

    Greetings Routenote, … A band from our label was asked to be on a compilation and they already have songs distributed to Spotify, etc … (1) will distributing by Routenote conflict with our distribution contract from our own Digital Delivery Service platform ? (2) Can we keep our ISRC / UPC intact and not use Routenote’s ? .. much thanks

    Hi Phil, the distribution of this band’s song on a compilation won’t affect any distribution elsewhere at all. Sadly, once an ISRC has been used we are unable to use it on another release.

    You will need to add new ISRC’s to this release – if you leave the ISRC section blank, we will automatically generate these for you for free.

    We apologise for any inconvenience here.

    I wish to release a compilation with each track on the album licensed in from other labels.
    The tracks i license in will generate new ISRCs but the artist name and track title will be the same as the original released by the primary label.
    What happens with royalties generated by the tracks on my compilation? Will the royalties come back to me through the new ISRC or will the royalties flow back to the original label who released the track in the first place?

    Hope you can help.


    Hi David, the royalties will come to you as the tracks will be treated as their own individual version with a unique ISRC on them. Other instances of the track will generate royalties on plays of that release of it only.

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