An essential part of releasing music is finding a great distribution service, so how do you know how to pick the best music distribution in 2020?
In this article we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you and sifted through every single distribution service we could find and weighed up the pros & cons, so you can make your decision with ease.
You’ve got enough to worry about while juggling all the social media posts, getting those sweet album graphics ready and not to mention making sure the music is perfect before it gets out to the worlds’ ears!
Here we’re all about making everything easy, so we made a table.
To make it even easier for you, we added a search function, so you don’t have to waste time browsing through them all. You can just search for what you want and it’ll appear! We’ll leave that table below for you to get stuck into, but if you want the full description, scroll down to see the full write-up of each distribution service.
BEST MUSIC DISTRIBUTION 2020: The Top 12 Distribution Services Made Simple
BEST MUSIC DISTRIBUTION 2020: Each Company Explained
If you’re looking for a bit more information on the best music distribution service in 2020, then this section of the article is for you. We’ve written, in more depth, about the perks of being a part of the different platforms, so take a look.
We’re gonna kick this list off with Ditto, because it’s our number 1 distribution service & is the best value for money.
Ditto is top of the list and for good reason!
By distributing through Ditto you’re not only able to keep all of your hard earned revenue from streams (they don’t take commission), but you also get access to state of the art analytics systems that can help you really pinpoint and define your fanbase.
On top of that, Ditto offer music video distribution and also give out pre-save links that you can share with your fans.
Pre-save links are streaming services answer to pre-orders in the digital age and are hugely important to an album’s success if you’re releasing music independently. If you’re bringing out a new album, you can send this link to your fans and they save your album early, so it will get instantly added to your fans’ libraries as soon as it’s released.
Using pre-save links can help massively with the number of streams you get on your tracks and getting as many plays in the first hour is detrimental to pleasing the streaming services’ algorithms.
Ditto costs $19/year and, for that, you get to upload as many tracks or albums as you’d like.
Ditto also offers a service specifically for people looking to start a record label with a stress-free approach. It’s definitely worth checking out if you want to go down that route.
Distrokid is similar to Ditto – you pay one price a year and you’re able to upload as many songs as you want with no commission taken from you.
By distributing through Distrokid, you get access to the same as Ditto users in terms of distribution, pre-save links & video distribution. However, Distrokid doesn’t have as strong of an analytics reports system, which makes it come in at 2 on our list.
If you want to use Distrokid, you can always use the in depth analytics systems provided by Spotify for artists.
Distrokid costs $19.99/year.
CD Baby is another huge contender for the top slot of best music distribution services in 2020. They do physical and digital distribution in one place, meaning that you’ll be able to get your music onto CD, Vinyl and Spotify.
CD Baby are also one of Spotify’s preferred distributors, which means your tracks get approved a little faster than other platforms. They take a 15% commission on your royalties and also charge $29 for a standard album and $9.95 for each single.
With that increase in price comes some extra goodies, which can be used as great tools for releasing your music. These include show.co, which is an incredible marketing platform used by huge labels and HearNow, which gives your fans an easy, one-click way to all of your music.
They also offer some great discounts on extra tools like BandZoogle and Indie Bible, which can be useful if you want a website or are just looking for mediums to get press articles written about your music.
You’ve probably heard of these guys from their SoundCloud advertisements.
TuneCore is a great choice if you’re looking to get all your music across all digital platforms in a stress-free way. They mostly offer the same features as Distrokid, but charge for each single and album.
They don’t charge anything on commission, so your streaming royalties are yours to keep, and they also collect your song royalties worldwide which is great if your music is popular elsewhere.
TuneCore costs $29.99/album and $9.99/single
AWAL stands for, artists without a label. They’re a really good service if you’re looking to try and expand your music’s potential as they can help you get on Spotify playlists. AWAL don’t take any fees for putting music up as well, which means they release your music for free! However they do take a 15% commission on the royalties that each of your tracks earn.
When submitting music to AWAL, you have to apply through their website to get accepted. They offer some of the best analytics of any distribution service going, so be sure to check them out 🙂
Stem is a completely new service to the music distribution niche and are relatively cheap when you’re looking to release your music independently.
They only charge a 5% commission on your tracks and actually don’t have an upfront charge. When you pass the application form, you get access to a direct representative that can help you generate more fans and more of a hype around you as an artist.
At the moment, Stem is currently closed to the public, so you have to get an invite to their website in order to get access.
Landr is an incredible solution to music distribution in 2020.
If you’re looking for a service that can get you across all digital platforms and ensure that your master is fit for each streaming service, then Landr offer an all in one, simple solution to your needs.
Making sure your master is fit for each streaming service can be tricky and each one has their own rules. Landr take a huge chunk of the work out here by making your music the right level for each, so you don’t run into penalties for a track that’s too loud. If you do go over the recommended loudness levels, platforms can be savage and your drums & overall mix can lose their character.
They run a subscription based service for their automated mastering platform, and if you’re a member you get free access to their distribution capabilities. Whilst offering all this, Landr allows you the opportunity to get on Spotify playlists which can be great for growing a fan base.
Symphonic are more of a music marketing choice for distribution. They offer some great extras as part of their packages that can generate you more plays and give you the knowledge to perform better within the industry.
They also offer music video distribution services that allow you to get on VEVO, TIDAL and more. Symphonic offer their packages to both English speaking countries and Spanish, so if you’re Spanish using this service could be beneficial.
Fresh Tunes is your solution to completely free music distribution! That’s right, you heard us… no fees or commission to release your tracks across all platforms. They also offer something most other platforms don’t, which is distribution to Chinese streaming platforms.
You’re probably asking, “how do they make money if it’s free”?
When putting your track on Fresh Tunes you get the ability to get some feedback from an industry expert, so you can see how they view your tracks and where you can improve.
Amuse is another solution if you’re looking for free music distribution services for your music in 2020.
They offer their music distribution for free upon the deal that, if your tracks do well, they can offer you a 50/50 split record label deal.
It can be good to submit to Amuse to see if your music is label material as it can often be difficult as an artist having to make music and market it yourself. Labels do the hard work and get your name out for a split, so it might be worth checking to see if you’ve got what it takes.
Reverbnation is a service that is great if you’re a band, rather than a solo musician or a music producer (but you can still use it whatever you are).
It’s a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to marketing in music and they offer some great packages for $20/month that can get you access to e-mail tools (you can use to mail your list with), some awesome distribution services and a great analytics tool.
Reverbnation also offer the ability to get TV placements, your music sent to labels and live gigs at major festivals. As well as all of this, Reverbnation acts as a kind of social media for artists and gives you loads of tools that can promote your music & get it heard.
BEST MUSIC DISTRIBUTION SERVICE 2020: Final Thoughts
Most distribution services you encounter online will get you what you need to have your music available to listen to easily, but it’s important to know the difference between each service and how they can benefit your career before you make a choice.
Some will be able to offer full commission and others can offer some incredible marketing tools, it all comes down to what you think is best for your music when you make a decision. We’ve just provided some guidelines so you can make an informed choice.
If you’re looking for the best value service, with the best analytics and DIY tools then Ditto is what we recommend hands down.
That’s it for today, so thanks for reading this far and we hope we’ve helped in some way. Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference as we’ll be updating it with each change as and when the distribution companies change their prices etc.
Also, if this article helped you in any way and you know someone who could benefit from it, hit that share button!