Top 5 Label Distributors 2021

Online music distributors are a great solution for unsigned artists to publish their music to stores and streaming services, but distributors can be a great way for label managers to control their catalogue.

A digital distributor needs to get music from the artist/label onto stores. Many distributors offer other unique tools to entice users. Here are the top five distributors for labels.

1. RouteNote

RouteNote
Stores

RouteNote distribute to all the top stores and streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal, Google, Amazon, TikTok, Pandora, Tencent, YouTube, Deezer and many more.

We distribute to many Asian markets with stores such as Kanjian and serve indie focused store eMusic. None of the distributors listed below are partnered with these stores.

Every month your earnings will be sent to your RouteNote profile and are redeemable via PayPal. We provide users with detailed breakdowns on what stores and territories are streaming and buying your music.

Additional Tools

RouteNote aim to offer all the features artists and labels need to maximise their audience and revenue. Many distributors will hide such tools behind extra fees or subscriptions. All the features listed below are offered with RouteNote at no extra cost.

  • Content ID – Submission to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram’s Content ID systems. This scans the platform chosen for any instances of your music. You can then monetize this content.
  • SoundCloud Monetization – Monetize the tracks on your SoundCloud profile and generate revenue per SoundCloud stream.
  • YouTube Network – Join our YouTube Network to earn revenue for all of your videos on YouTube.
  • Promo tools – Use our partner site Push.fm to generate fan links, pre-saves and content unlocks.
  • Revenue Sharing – Our revenue sharing tool allows you to split the earnings of a release between multiple RouteNote accounts. This is ideal for collaborations or label managers to easily and securely pay artists. Simply set the percentages each party should receive and we’ll sort out the rest.
  • Playlisting – Playlists are helping break small artists into the mainstream. We can help push your releases to Spotify’s top playlists with millions of followers.
Pricing

We match or beat the competition in almost every instance. Giving artists and labels two simple pricing structures, with easy switching between the two depending on each releases performance. Note, UPCs and ISRCs are always free for both models.

RouteNote Premium
  • Artists keep 100% revenue
  • Single – $10
  • EP – $20
  • Album – $30
  • Extended Album – $45
  • Annually – $9.99
RouteNote Free
  • $0.00 – Zero upfront fees or recurring costs
  • Artists keep 85% revenue

For more info on how RouteNote can help labels, click here.

2. TuneCore

TuneCore
Stores

TuneCore distribute to the top major stores such as Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok and YouTube Music.

Additional Tools
  • Content ID – YouTube, Facebook and Instagram Content ID are offered through TuneCore, however these services are charged with additional cost. YouTube is an extra $10 plus a 20% cut of each release. Instagram and Facebook are ‘free’, but are again users only keep 80%, even after paying for the initial distribution.
  • Promo tools – Subscribe to TuneCore’s Social Pro for $7.99/month for access to features such as fan links.
Pricing
  • Artists keep 100% revenue
  • Single – $9.99/year
  • Album $29.99 first year, $49.99 each following year

TuneCore’s initial cost for singles and albums match RouteNote’s Premium plan, however it’s recurring cost for albums is very expensive at $49.99 per year (RouteNote – $9.99). TuneCore do not offer a free tier for small artists and labels.

Find our direct comparison between RouteNote and TuneCore here.

3. CD Baby

CDBaby
Stores

CD Baby will get your music to the top stores and streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube and Deezer.

Additional Tools
  • Content ID – YouTube, Facebook and Instagram Content ID is available through CD Baby’s Standard and Pro distribution
  • Promo tools – CD Baby users can create pre-saves and social unlocks through Show.co, however pre-save’s can only be accessed with a Gold, Platinum or Enterprise account, which start at $39/month.
Pricing
  • Artists keep 91% revenue
  • Single from $9.95
  • Album from $29
  • Artists keep 91%
UPCs (required for every release):
  • $5 per single
  • $20 per album

At $9.95 and $29 for single and album distribution, this almost matches RouteNote’s premium option. However, charging 9% on top of a fee for albums, singles and UPCs is unsustainable for small and large artists.

Find our direct comparison between RouteNote and CD Baby here.

4. Amuse

Amuse
Stores

Amuse offer free distribution, however stores and additional tools are very limited without extra cost.

Free
  • Spotify
  • iTunes/Apple Music
  • Google Music
  • YouTube Music
  • Deezer
  • Tidal
  • Amazon
  • Napster
  • Claro Música
  • Shazam
Amuse Pro – $7.99/month
  • SoundCloud
  • Anghami
  • TikTok
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube Content ID

These free and ‘Pro’ stores cover the largest traffic for online streaming in the US and UK, however do not cover growing markets in Asia.

Additional Tools
  • Fast lane releases (10 days) – Amuse Pro only
  • Fast lane support – Amuse Pro only
  • Multiple artist profiles – Amuse Pro only
  • Automatic royalty splits – Amuse Pro only
  • Promo tools – Through their ‘invite only’ record label
Pricing
Free
  • Artists keep 100% revenue
  • Limited stores
  • Delayed release times
  • Delayed support
  • Only one artists per account
Amuse Pro
  • Artists keep 100% revenue
  • $7.99/month

Artists and labels require mass coverage to make an impact around the world. Amuse’s free tier offer very limited stores and tools.

Find our direct comparison between RouteNote and Amuse here.

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