How to know if your music distributor is a good price

Want to know how to get your music on streaming services? First you need a digital music distributor. But which distributor is the best value for money?

Can’t wait for listeners all over the world to hear the music you’ve been cooking up? Whether you’re an EDM producer, in an indie-pop band, or run an independent record label, you need a digital music distributor to get your tracks onto streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.

Choosing an online distributor for your songs can be overwhelming. After all, this is your music we’re talking about – you’ve sweated over it, put your heart into it, and you want it to be in good hands. Start Googling and lists of companies appear, all seeming to offer the same thing – and usually asking you to part with cash.

So which distributor is best for your music? There are several things to consider. How much do they charge upfront per release? Look into which stores they’ve partnered with – is it a truly worldwide reach, or are some territories missing? How many releases are you allowed, and are there hidden fees? You’re trusting them with your music – transparency is key.

Let’s look at some of the different digital music distributors and how they measure up in terms of price.


First up: RouteNote. That’s us, by the way. We offer free music distribution that keeps you in total control of your music – you can upload unlimited tracks while keeping 85% of all revenue you earn.

Because you’re always in control of your music, you can come and go as you please and switch plans at any time with each new release. For established artists who know for certain they’re going to get a high volume of streams and downloads from their fans, RouteNote also offers Premium distribution, letting you keep 100% of your earnings for upfront with yearly recurring costs that beat all competitors on price – but we’ll get to them in a moment.

Free music distribution from RouteNote also gets you extra goodies like access to our YouTube Network to earn revenue for content on your channel, and SoundCloud monetisation with a free unlimited uploads account.


Of course, RouteNote isn’t the only option. You’ll probably have come across other major music distributors such as CD Baby, DistroKid and TuneCore. Check out a price comparison table here, then let’s explore a bit deeper into what they have to offer.

RouteNote’s Free distribution flattens the competition in terms of getting your money’s worth. For bigger artists who might not even be considering a free option, RouteNote Premium’s first year payment is $30 for an album release, TuneCore edges under at $29.99 and CD Baby is way above at $49.

DistroKid are partnered with fewer services, and ask for $19.99 upfront before you have a chance to see the hidden fees that become apparent once signed up, such as charging $0.99 a year for Shazam and iPhone Siri discovery per song.

All good music distributors should offer extra features. TuneCore has promotional feature LinkShare, which lets you share all your stores with a single link, as part of their Social Pro subscription. Social Pro costs $7.99 a month – meanwhile, RouteNote offers Fanlinks through our brilliant partners PUSH.fm, priced at $4.99 a month and letting artists create 30 Fanlinks for free to promote new releases.

CD Baby meanwhile offer YouTube monetisation, but unlike RouteNote don’t offer SoundCloud monetisation – and neither do TuneCore or DistroKid.


Championing smaller artists and offering professional features for established artists, RouteNote’s huge range of partners and unlimited free music distribution makes it a competitive option for musicians, producers and labels looking to get their music online and make some money while they’re at it.


Find out more and sign up to RouteNote for free here.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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