RouteNote and DistroKid: music distribution costs compared

There’s a lot of choice when it comes to getting your music online and it can be hard to decide who to go with. We’ve compared our free and Premium distribution with DistroKid to help you decide.

Yearly fee for full distribution of 5 singles by 1 artist

RouteNote Free: $0
RouteNote Premium: $50
DistroKid: $89.45

With RouteNote you can distribute your music for free and choose any and all of our partners including streaming services and download stores as well as services like Shazam and YouTube. You keep 85% of all the money you earn and have access to everything we offer, there are no paywalls for certain features.

For $9.99 a single you can keep 100% of everything you make from services. After a year we ask for $9.99 to keep it online or you can switch to free distribution. You can always switch between Free and Premium at any time simply by getting in touch.

DistroKid costs $20 for the year for 5 singles but for full distribution everywhere it costs a lot more. To match RouteNote’s distribution you’ll have to pay extra hidden costs:

Shazam & iPhone Siri: $0.99 per song/year
Make it easy for people to identify this single if they hear it playing on radio/tv, in stores, restaurants, parties, etc.

Store Maximizer: $7.95 per album/year
DistroKid will automatically deliver this single to new online stores and streaming services as we add them. Which is often. We’ll give you notice before adding.

YouTube Money: $4.95 per single/year, $14.95 per album/year, + 20% of YouTube ad revenue
Get notified & paid if your music is ever used in any YouTube videos. We’ll add this single to YouTube’s Content ID database, and continually scan for matches. When your music is detected in any YouTube video, you’ll be notified—and ad revenue will automatically go to you, instead of to the person who uploaded the video. Watch YouTube’s video explaining Content ID.

Leave a Legacy: $29.00 per single, $49.00 per album of 2+ tracks (nonrecurring fee)
DistroKid will never delete this single from stores due to a lapsed DistroKid membership, even if you die. You can always choose to delete it any time—or not. You will continue to accrue 100% of royalties, as normal, forever. Leave your legacy for future generations.

You can pay for a subscription each year or if you want each individual single to stay online forever regardless of subscription you have to pay legacy. Legacy costs you $145 for 5 singles!

If you’d like to find out more about what RouteNote offers feel free to get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

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.

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    I personally prefer RouteNote to DistroKid for the reasons given above, plus the reach of stores is way better in Asia, which is a major market for me. China is also becoming a player in distribution for western musicians and RouteNote is leading the way. However, I am unfortunately forced to use DistroKid if I release a cover version of a song – or if an album contains one cover version, then the whole album has to go with DistroKid. This is because DK take care of the mechanicals, whereas if I did it myself I would have to estimate how many downloads I was going to have (usually impossible) and pay extra admin fees etc. and it’s just not worth the hassle. I for one think that if RouteNote could provide a service to license cover songs by taking the 9c or whatever it is from the sale of each download and paying it to the copyright holder, then it would attract many more customers and make it one of the best services available, if not THE best.

    Thanks for your comment Steve and we appreciate the kind words! We will definitely take on board the issues when it comes to cover songs. I’ll share it with the team and we’ll consider improving that for the future. We hope you continue enjoying our services!


    Hey Jim, yes parodies have the same rules as covers. So as long as the recorded content is all original or licensed then it’s all good and the same territory rules apply.

    Hi, yes you can use both services for music distribution at the same time. You must ensure that you don’t upload the same release to the same stores through both though. It is perfectly fine to have the same release distributed through both but not on the same store at the same time. Get in touch again if you’d like any more information.

    You mention that I can use Distrokid and Routenote at the same time . I’m interested in learning how to do this . Distrokid no longer distributes to Napster and I would like to see how to get my music on Napster through RouteNote.

    Hi Troy, you can sign up to a free RouteNote account and then upload your music and select Napster. Just ensure that you’re not releasing music anywhere with us that you’re already distributed to through Distrokid.

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