TuneCore, RouteNote or DistroKid? Which music distributor is right for all independent artists and labels of all sizes.
Be careful when selecting a music distribution service. TuneCore’s annual pricing for albums can be costly, while DistroKid hides many basic features behind paywalls or additional fees. RouteNote provide the all-in-one service that independent artists and labels are looking for.
RouteNote distribute to all of the top platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, TIDAL, TikTok, Tencent Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio and many more. RouteNote also distribute to a number of partners missing from TuneCore and DistroKid. These include eMusic, Nuuday, and many other streaming services in growing parts of Asia such as Kanjian, Melon, Bugs! and AWA.
On top of stores and streaming services, RouteNote monetize content across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and even SoundCloud – which neither of the distributors below offer. Unlike TuneCore and DistroKid, distribution to social platforms works in the same way as any other store, requiring no additional costs.
RouteNote’s pricing aims to suit artists and labels of all sizes. Free Distribution is perfect for artists just starting out, not costing a thing unfront or having any recurring fees. The artist keeps 85% of the revenue. Premium Distribution allows artists to keep 100% of the revenue, costing just $9.99 annually, plus a one-off fee per release:
- Single: $10
- EP: $20
- Album: $30
- Extended Album: $45
There are no other differences between Free and Premium Distribution, and you can switch at any time. Unlike DistroKid, distributing additional artists doesn’t cost a penny.
TuneCore distribute to stores and streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, TIDAL, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, TikTok and Tencent Music. On top of basic distribution, TuneCore can monetize your content on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. YouTube Content ID costs a one-time fee of $10, then you keep 80% of the revenue across all three social platforms.
TuneCore Social Pro offers basic marketing tools such as LinkShare, which are similar to PUSH.fm’s Fan Links. Subscriptions are $7.99 per month.
Artists keep 100% of the revenue on releases for the following yearly payments:
- Single: $9.99 per year
- Album: $29.99 first year, then $49.99 each following year
DistroKid send music to many of the same top stores such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, TIDAL, TikTok, YouTube Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Deezer. DistroKid also help artists monetize content across YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. YouTube Content ID from DistroKid comes as one of their Album Extras, thus costing an additional fee per release and per year, as well as a revenue cut. Content ID is $4.95 per single/year, $14.95 per album/year, plus 20% of the revenue generated. Taking a look through Album Extras on DistroKid reveals the other hidden fees associated with DistroKid that RouteNote offer for free, such as distribution to Shazam, delivery to new stores and keeping releases online in case of a lapsed payment.
Pricing on DistroKid is a little different than RouteNote and TuneCore. DistroKid charge a membership fee depending on the type of account you hold. Accounts vary in the features and the number of different artists you can upload. A basic Musician account starts at $22.99 per year and allows you to upload one artist, while severely limiting features. Musician Plus accounts start at $39.99 per year allowing you to upload two artists and unlocks some basic features such as synced lyrics on Instagram, customizable label name, cusomizable release date, customizable preorder date and customizable iTunes pricing, all of which RouteNote offer for free. To upload more artists a Label subscription is required. These memberships vary from $89.99 to over $1,000 in order to upload 100 artists, a common requirement for label managers.