RouteNote vs. CD Baby vs. TuneCore 2021

Compared against competitors CD Baby and TuneCore, RouteNote offer the best value for money tools for independent artists.


RouteNote
RouteNote header

RouteNote helps artists of all sizes upload their music to Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, TikTok, Tecent and many more.

Other tools from RouteNote include monetization across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud at zero extra cost. Plus campaign tools such as Pre-saves, Fan Links and Content Unlocks via our partner PUSH.fm. Users get limited access to all PUSH.fm tools for free and can unlock unlimited access for just £4.99 per month.


Pricing is simple with RouteNote. We have two tiers designed to suit artists of all size:

Free Distribution
  • Zero one-off or recurring fees
  • Artists keep 85% of the revenue
Premium Distribution
  • One-time fee
    • Single: $10
    • EP: $20
    • Album: $30
    • Extended Album: $45
  • Recurring payments
    • $9.99 per year

If you find your release taking off, you can switch tiers for any release at any point. With a totally free option, as well as a premium tier, RouteNote offers the most flexibility for artists of all sizes.


CD Baby
Image Credit: CD Baby

CD Baby distribute to many of the same streaming services as RouteNote such as Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music, Deezer, TikTok and Amazon Music. However CD Baby miss some crucial services such as SoundCloud, eMusic, Nuuday, Gracenote, Twitch, as well as key Asian stores such as Melon, Bugs! and Kanjian.

CD Baby offer a handful of other tools such as monetization across YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, verification on Spotify for Artists and Apple Music for Artists, and marketing tools like pre-saves and smart links via services Show.co and HearNow, however subscriptions to Show.co can cost $99 per month for a limited number of campaigns.


CD Baby charge three fees for distribution of each single or album:

  • One-time fee:
    • Single: $9.95
    • Album: $29
  • UPC fee
    • Single: $5
    • Album: $20
  • Percentage cut
    • 9% of the revenue

Charging a one-time fee and UPC fee on top of the revenue cut is unfair and unsustainable for artists big and small.

See our full comparison between RouteNote and CD Baby here.

Learn how to switch from CD Baby to RouteNote here.


TuneCore
Image Credit: TuneCore

TuneCore also distribute to many of the same partners as RouteNote such as Spotify, TikTok, iTunes, Amazon Music and Tencent, but miss services such as SoundCloud, eMusic, Nuuday, Soundtrack by Twitch, plus stores in growing markets across Asia, like Melon, Bugs!, AWA and Kanjian.

TuneCore offer monetization across YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, however with 20% revenue cuts and additional fees for YouTube, on top of basic distribution costs, TuneCore’s pricing here gets costly. For a subscription of $7.99 per month, TuneCore Social Pro gives artists access to promotional tools such as LinkShare, which are similar to Fan Links.


Pricing on TuneCore’s albums are based on a first year payment, then subsequent yearly payments:

  • Single: $9.99 yearly
  • Album: $29.99 first year
    • $49.99 subsequent years

The cost of albums at $49.99 per year quickly adds up, especially for those with many releases.

See our full comparison between RouteNote and TuneCore here.

Find out how to switch from TuneCore to RouteNote here.

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