Ditto had a lot of bad press in the past: how are they now faring in 2023? Ditto seems to have cleared their act up since and offers one of the best distribution services available now, alongside Distrokid, Tunecore RouteNote, and Repost Network. With so many distribution choices out there, it's hard to know which service is best for you. They all offer a different approach and features – some you might need, some you might not. In this Ditto Music review, we're sharing our thoughts from over 3 years of using the company for distribution and why we switched over to Tunecore or Distrokid. But Ditto may still work for you! Scroll on to find out whether it's for you or not.
Ditto Music At A Glance
One of the best distribution companies for label management. Fast distribution time, no hidden fees, excellent GUI.
- Cheap yearly subscription for unlimited uploads.
- Free trial
- Fastest payment
- Great analytics & marketing tools
- Exclusive Spotify playlist submissions
- Publishing arm to collect radio & TV royalties
- Best GUI & dashboard
- Revenue sharing
- No opportunity to get an artist deal or an artist advance.
- No data on payout per stream, making it hard to tell whether you're getting as much as you would with Distrokid or TuneCore.
- Bad online reputation with tarnishing reviews
- Not the fastest distribution time
- Slow email support (>1 week)
- Doesn't support cover music videos, only originals (but supports audio covers)
Who Is Ditto For? (TL;DR Verdict)
Ditto Music is a great platform for independent artists. They offer 0% commission with a publishing royalty collection arm that collects all your royalties, one of the most advanced dashboards & analytical reports, with everything you need for marketing. But they have a slow distribution time and previous bad reviews (note: we have personally used Ditto to release music, and have never had any of the problems people have shared they've had in the past.)
✅ Ditto is for you if:
- You are an independent artist looking for 0% commission on your music releases
- You want to release covers and monetize them on streaming services
- You want to collect all your royalties in one place and don't want to sign up for a PRO
- You need great marketing tools and value the interface of the backend login area
- You need music video distribution and you want a Vevo channel (costs $99 extra)
- You want to test the service before purchasing, using a free 30-day trial.
❌ Ditto is not for you if:
- You care about customer service and past reviews (we have never had an issue with Ditto personally)
- You want to get an artist deal or artist advance. Ditto does not offer this. Amuse, TuneCore, and other platforms like Stem and AWAL are for you.
- You want to maximize your payout per stream. There is no data on Ditto payouts. Distrokid and TuneCore offer the highest payouts in US and UK Apple Music + Spotify.
- You want free music distribution.
Publishing Royalty Collection Is A Major Benefit You Should Know Before Reading On
One of the major benefits of Ditto is that they collect all your music royalties. Platforms like RouteNote, Repost Network, and Distrokid do not collect publishing royalties (which can be a huge chunk of your revenue). However, Distrokid is reportedly working on this.
To use the publishing royalty collection service, it's an extra $39/year per artist.
To make use of your publishing royalties, you have to sign up to music industry PROs (publishing rights organization societies).
These services are:
- PRS (for UK) – £100 one-off payment to sign up
- ASCAP (for US) – $100 one-off payment
- BMI (for US)– free to sign up
With Ditto, you don't have to sign up for any of these and they take care of all for you, but for an extra yearly fee.
We highly recommend Ditto if you want everything in one place – video music distribution, unlimited music distribution, cover support, publishing royalty collection, 0% commission, great marketing tools, and playlisting opportunities.
But it's generally better to use a service like PRS or ASCAP to collect these royalties as they are one-off payments, rather than yearly subscriptions.
Distrokid is additionally better from a customer service standpoint and offers higher payouts per stream, with more features to promote your music. However, does not collect publishing royalties.
With the higher payout per stream you'll get because of Distrokid's, TuneCore's, or AWAL's better DSP deals, it may actually work out better to pay the one-off publishing fee for a PRO.
How Easy Is It To Distribute Music With Ditto?
Ditto is extremely easy to distribute with. You simply upload your tracks to your ditto music account, and fill out the required copyright and artist information. It's important to note you will need 3000 x 3000 artwork that isn't blurry, otherwise, Ditto may reject your release.
This follows the same process as every other distribution platform, however, Ditto has a slight edge here because of their great interface. It's much easier to navigate and use and has a few more features that are quite useful.
One is the option to choose whether your release is an electronic/dance piece or a “normal” piece (whatever that means lol). This helps fill in data about your release and ensure the right meta tags are added to stores.
In general, it's just nicer to use.
Additionally, Ditto offers (for an extra cost) a rapid, planned scheduled release date, which is something other distributors like Distrokid do not. This is especially useful if you want to stick to a specific release, but need to get your music out fast.
Although we'd recommend leaving 3 weeks minimum to ensure you have time to submit to playlists, there have been many times we've had to release music on a tight schedule and this would have been very useful.
One thing to note about Ditto is, that they are not on Spotify's preferred distributor list, which means distribution to Spotify could be slower (but this is rarely the case these days).
How Quick Are Ditto At Distributing Music?
Ditto recommends 3 weeks of release time for your music to be live in all stores. However, it takes 5 business days to release on Spotify and Apple Music. There is no specific data on how long it takes to release to each store individually.
To make use of the 5 business days release time, you will also have to pay for an express service, which is an extra cost of $40 – a cost they keep well hidden from the front page.
When talking about a music distribution platform, Ditto is one of the slowest to get music on streaming services. If you're looking for speed, don't use Ditto, use Distrokid or TuneCore instead
Heck… even Routenote are faster and they're free!
When you're distributing music with Ditto, you must ensure that you have all the information correct and the artwork is not blurry. Otherwise, your music could go to a manual review, which would take 2-3 weeks to process.
We would generally avoid using blurry images even if that is the design, because we have personally had artwork rejected before because of a blurred design.
Can You Release Covers on Ditto?
Yes, Ditto supports cover songs and you can monetise your cover songs on streaming platforms. However, if you want to send your covers to stores where fans can download a digital copy, you will need a mechanical license. This is something you would have to find yourself as Ditto does not provide help with this.
This is a drawback of Ditto when compared to Distrokid or other platforms that help with licensing covers. For instance, you can pay $12 on Distrokid and they will sort the license for you. Just sit back and let them get to work.
However, with Ditto, you will have to go through an agency like Harry Fox to do this. This is a more laborious process and the cover licensing agency only operates in the US.
Which Stores And Territories Does Ditto Distribute To?
Ditto distributes to 160 stores worldwide, including all the major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal etc. They additionally support distribution to Chinese distribution platforms.
This is the same compared to Distrokid, Repost Network and CDBaby.
If you are looking for Middle Eastern, South East Asian, and South Asian distribution, Ditto and the other distributors listed above will not support distribution to these countries.
TuneCore and RouteNote are better options if you want releases covered in Asian countries apart from China. We have a full list you can check here for Asian music distributors.
Is There Support for Music Videos?
Ditto supports music video releases and even offers a service to get you your own VEVO channel on YouTube. This costs an extra $99 to do. You additionally keep 100% of your royalties from music video distribution.
This is the same as Distrokid and other distribution platforms – they support music video releases, but it will cost extra.
How Much Does Ditto Cost? (Every Hidden Cost Shown)
Ditto's basic plan costs $19/year to release unlimited music. They do not charge any commission on this. However, Ditto's pricing can go all the way up to $299/year for 40 artists.
In terms of value for money, it's one of the cheapest platforms, and has the edge over TuneCore, Distrokid and CDBaby here, because of the inclusion of scheduled release dates on the basic plan.
This is something you have to pay extra for on other services, so if this is important to you – you'll get it cheaper with Ditto.
Here is the breakdown of Ditto's subscription prices:
- Artist ($19/year) – unlimited releases, scheduled release dates, 0% commission for a single artist.
- Professional ($29/year) – unlimited releases, scheduled release dates, 0% commission for two artists.
- Label ($69-$299/year) – unlimited releases, scheduled release dates, 0% commission for up to 40 artists.
Ditto is one of the most affordable distribution platforms, but like many, it has a few hidden costs it doesn't show on the front page too.
Here is the breakdown of all Ditto's hidden costs (all are optional):
- Promotion for tracks (from $399) – Ditto offers access to a music promotion team who will help to promote you and get more plays + fans.
- VEVO channel ($99/VEVO channel) – Ditto will create a VEVO music channel for you.
- VEVO release ($29/upload) – Ditto uploads music to the VEVO channel for you.
- Express scheduled release ($40) – Your release will be guaranteed in 5 business days. Useful to pay for because Ditto has one of the slowest distribution times out of the paid platforms.
Ditto doesn't charge for extras like releases on Shazam, or releases to TikTok & Instagram music. These are all included in the yearly subscription, making it one of the most competitive prices out of all the distribution platforms.
How Does Ditto Music Pay Artists?
Ditto collects royalties from the DSP (Spotify, Apple Music etc.), then takes this money and pays it directly to the artist. This means that you get 100% of your streaming revenue earned. They take no commission in between.
Typically, the streaming service will take a cut of the money you earn from streams for using the platform. In the case of Spotify for instance, they take a 1/3rd and distribute the rest to the distributor or record label that deals with your money.
How Quickly Does Ditto Music Pay Earnings?
Upon withdrawal request, your money will arrive from Ditto in 1-3 days. You can request to withdraw your earnings from Ditto once the streaming reports have been updated. Streaming reports update every month for the previous month.
So, for instance, you will be paid September's earnings in October, because they will release the data in October.
For payment, Ditto has one option – Payoneer.
Payoneer only allows you to be paid through pre-paid card or bank transfer, both of which incur fees with the transaction. You will also have to have a Payoneer account to be paid by Ditto – something to be considered before signing up.
You additionally have to verify yourself with a government ID before withdrawing any earnings.
Compared to platforms like Distrokid or Amuse, the payment system is pretty bad. Amuse allows you to cash out early based on forecasts, and Distrokid has a much wider range of payment options with lower fees.
If you get paid using Payoneer here are the fees you will face:
- Pre-paid card – straight fee of $3 per withdrawal
- Bank transfer – $3 fee + 2% conversion rate (if converting to different currencies)
What Artist Development Tools Does Ditto Music Offer?
Ditto offers the least features in terms of artist development as opposed to competitors like Distrokid, TuneCore, and Repost Network. You will get the basics like Pre-Save links and optional, extra-cost promotional services, but that's pretty much it.
In terms of things, this is all you really need to grow your music career. And, if you reach out to playlists and labels yourself, you should already be growing.
However, there is a complete lack of playlisting opportunities, and other promotional tools like video generators, artwork generators and a social network.
Although these options may seem gimmicky, the playlisting options on Distrokid, Repost Network, and TuneCore are actually very useful. You can submit your music to playlists and have a decent chance of being accepted.
There is additionally a playlist wheel that can automatically get you into playlists which some of our writers have had success with.
I've personally used Repost Network to get into playlists I wouldn't have otherwise if I wasn't on the platform, and it helped to increase my plays and fan count.
Unfortunately, Ditto really lacks in this regard, offering a promotional service that starts from $399 and nothing for free to help artists grow their music online.
This is not a deal breaker, because you should be emailing labels and music reposting networks as part of your release plan, daily. But it is a drawback when considering between different services. This is personally why I moved from Ditto to Distrokid and Repost Network.
Fantastic Analytics Dashboard
The one thing that Ditto does have above the competition is its analytical reporting. It is miles, miles better than anything out there right now. With other services you're left with terrible, fill-in-the-blanks reporting, whereas with Ditto you can see exactly where your money is coming from, what countries your music performs best in etc.
You could technically fill the gap on other services that lack this with Spotify for Artists, Apple Music for artists etc.
But you'd have to check all different profiles to get your analytics for all. Ditto pools them all to one place with easy-to-see and navigate analytics that really do help you pinpoint where your success is coming from. In this regard, Distrokid, CD Baby, Repost Network, and RouteNote really lack.
For someone running a label or multiple artists, it's important to have this information, so we would personally go with Ditto in this instance.
Why Would I Choose Ditto Music Over The Competition?
The main benefits that Ditto has over the competition are the publishing royalty collection ($39/year extra) and the release scheduler being available on the basic plan. On other distributors like Distrokid, this is not offered and you will have to pay more for the release scheduler.
For instance, the release scheduler on Distrokid is only available on the $35.99/year plan. On others like Repost Network and TuneCore, this is available on the basic plans too.
With the publishing royalty collection, this is a bonus, but in all honesty, you can get royalty collection using a PRO, which should only set you back a one-time fee of $100, which ends up being cheaper than the $39/year, depending on how long you foresee your music career lasting.
The main selling points of Ditto are, the release scheduler, the easy cover song release process, the fantastic interface and the in-depth analytics at a cheap price.
If none of these matter to you, then you should go with another distribution platform. We would personally recommend Distrokid, Repost Network (if you're a SoundCloud musician) or TuneCore.
What Others Are Saying About Ditto Music?
After browsing forums and reviews, the general consensus is that Ditto offers a decent, low cost service, but there have been many reports of them messing up releases and taking ages to sort them out. Most people recommend to use Distrokid instead.
Our personal experience with Ditto has been absolutely fine, but we have only released a few pieces of music with them. Many report that they get problems after a couple releases.
Most people say to avoid the promotional services because they are awful. The $399 will apparently get you on some blogs no one is reading and half-assed graphics.
Ditto is a cheap distribution platform that offers scheduled releases, payment splitting, and 0% commission. They additionally have a publishing royalty team that helps to collect all your royalties. Ditto has one of the best analytical dashboard, but falls short on artist development tools, customer service, and speed of distribution compared to other top contenders like Tunecore or Distrokid.
Here's a quick summary:
- If you're an independent artist, they're a great platform to use, but Distrokid is faster, has more responsive customer service and more artist development tools for you to grow.
- If you're a Soundcloud musician, Repost Network is a great choice that offers everything Ditto and Distrokid do, but an additional Soundcloud monetization, Soundcloud Pro subscription, and custom banner art option. However, they take 15% and charge $10/month for this.
- If you are releasing physical copies of your music then the clear winner is CD Baby. If you are a Soundcloud user, then Repost Network. But, if you want just digital distribution, there's no real unique selling point of Ditto to make it stand out from Distrokid.
Ditto isn't a bad distributor at all. It's the 2nd best if you're choosing between Ditto, Distrokid, CD Baby, TuneCore, and Repost Network for digital distribution. It's just there's not much reason to go with Ditto over Tunecore or Distrokid.
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.