Music distribution for independent labels explained

2021 is the era of the independent record label, and it’s never been easier to distribute music for free.

All hail the indie label. The independent music revolution continues, rejecting the need for artists to sign with a big money-sucking record label. It’s changed the way that the music business is structured, removing the major label gatekeepers.

Take Spotify, for example. Their latest figures show the percentage of streams dominated by major record labels shrank from 70.3% to 68.9% between 2019 and 2020. And who rose up? Independent labels and artists, growing their share from 29.7% to 31.1%. That’s quite a jump in just a year when you consider the stranglehold major labels have traditionally had over the industry.

music streaming independent share spotify
Image Credit: MIDiA Research

There’s never been a better time to be independent. But don’t you need to be a big label to get your artist’s music across streaming platforms?

Music distribution is a simple way for independent labels to reach listeners across streaming services. It’s an essential part of a label’s setup. At RouteNote we offer unlimited distribution, which makes us a great choice for independent labels especially as we offer it for free. Artists keep 85% of their earnings, and for established indie labels Premium Distribution is our free tier with bells on. For a small upfront cost, artists keep 100% of money made from streams and downloads.

We’re an independent company with backing indie artists and labels at the heart of what we do, with no hidden fees lurking in the small print, or backyard deals with big labels happening behind the scenes. Useful tools like Revenue Sharing system takes the admin headaches out of revenue splitting – all automated, letting labels pay out percentages to multiple artists as soon as payments roll out each month.

Benefits of distributing through RouteNote include:
  • Free distribution to the top stores and streamers
  • Keep 85% of all profits (100% using our Premium tier)
  • Keep 100% of the rights to your music
  • Earn extra through our referral system
  • Take your pick of whichever stores and streaming services you’d like to distribute to
  • Opt-out anytime – No commitments; leave, change your account, manage the stores you’re on anytime
  • Free UPCs/EANs and ISRCs for releases
  • Join our SoundCloud and YouTube Networks free

Completely transparent and avoiding hard-to-escape contracts, distribution plans at RouteNote are the most competitive on the market, offering unlimited distribution for independent labels. More and more artists are realising there’s little need to chase major label success only to get twisted up in constricting contracts.

Artists are taking control of their own destinies like never before. Explore all the options for music distribution for independent labels through RouteNote 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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    Hi Razza, we have lots of information available on our website and our blog here. You can also find lots more handy info on our Support Hub at or if you’d like to talk to someone personally you can get in touch at

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