Music distribution is an essential part of the process when releasing music. Without proper distribution, your tracks won't reach all the streaming services and stores you need it to. However, music distribution can be too expensive for some. That's why in this article we're going to cover the best free music distribution services you can get.
What Are The Best Free Music Distribution Platforms? (At A Glance)
Here is the complete list of the best free music distribution companies:
|Service||Comission||Insta/TikTok?||YouTube Content ID?||SoundCloud Monetization?||Payment Threshold?||Publishing Royalties?||Pre-Save Links?||Asian Distribution?||Accepts Covers?|
|Routenote||15%||yes||yes – 15% comission||yes – 15% comission||$50||no||yes||yes – tencent||yes|
|TuneCore||15%||yes||Yes – 20% comission||Yes – 20% comission||$1||Yes – $68.50 setup cost||no||no||yes|
|Amuse||0%||no||no||No||$10||No||No||Yes – Tencent||yes|
|Soundrop||15%||Yes||no||no||$20||No||Yes||Yes – Tencent||Yes|
|Boost Collective||0%||Yes||Yes||No||$10||No||Yes||Yes – Tencent||Yes|
|Indiefy||15%||Yes||Yes||No||$100||No||Only with Pro||No||Yes|
|FreshTunes||0%||No||No||No||$25||No||No||Yes – Tencent||Yes|
|SongTradr||10%||Yes||Yes||No||$10||Yes – through sync||No||Yes||Yes|
✅ Free, unlimited music distribution for multiple artists to all stores
✅ Transparent analytics & great marketing tools
✅ Fastest free distribution, taking 72 hours to hit stores
✅ SoundCloud & YouTube monetization options
✅ Free label distribution solutions
✅ Revenue sharing
✅ Supports cover songs
❌ Take 15% commission
❌ Customer service isn't great
❌ Doesn't collect publishing royalties
Having used Routenote ourselves to distribute music, we can say it is hands down the best free music distribution service. It offers unlimited releases, and artists at a rate of 15% commission, with the most features you'll find on a free distribution service.
If you are a beginner and don’t want to invest money, they offer the most feature-rich free distribution platform out of all the options you could choose. They have really fast music distribution, considering one of your other free options is Amuse, and they take 4 weeks to distribute.
You can expect Routenote to distribute your music in 4-7 days if it’s quick and, 5-10 days if it’s slow. They have a great GUI and dashboard and they offer YouTube monetization and SoundCloud monetization as well as accepting covers!
You also get access to pre-save links and automatic revenue splits for collaborations you’ve done with another music artist. The marketing tools are stripped back and there isn’t much else to see with Routenote, but they offer what you need to grow and get started.
Routenote is a great tool to choose from if you’re low on budget. It’s especially good for labels, offering unlimited uploads of multiple artists for a 15% commission on streams! It's a risk-free way to test out label ideas and see if it's for you.
You can additionally choose to upgrade to Routenote premium, where you pay a charge for distribution, but you get 100% of your royalties from them.
✅ Free releases to all major streaming services
✅ Keep 100% of your royalties
✅ Access to artist support through advances and label
✅ Playlist spotlighting
✅ User-friendly app & mobile distribution
❌ Only 12 releases per year
❌ Long distribution time of up to 4 weeks!
❌ Long customer service response time
Amuse has one of the best free tiers for digital music distribution. They offer 12 free releases per year to all the major streaming services – and you get to keep 100% of your royalties.
You also get the ability to apply for artist advances, which is great for up-and-coming artists. However, the distribution time for free users is the biggest drawback, taking up to 4 weeks to release.
If you're happy to wait, Amuse is a great platform to use and is better for artists looking to get scouted and get help with their growth. This is something Routenote doesn't offer and is a huge bonus of Amuse.
They additionally offer some great user experience features, such as the Amuse app, which gives artists all distribution tools and royalty payments in one place.
Amuse also monitors the performance of all its users.
If your music is performing well and you’re getting a lot of streams and engagement, then you could be eligible for an advance on your royalties, or even a spot on their in-house record label.
Royalty advances can be a great way to invest in your career when you’re starting out and can help you grow your streams and fanbase. But, be careful with this as advances are essentially a loan and you will need to pay this back from your future earnings.
If you get chosen by Amuse’s label then you could be eligible for loads of great support from their label team. They offer marketing support, career guidance, and loads of other great features to help artists grow.
The main drawbacks with Amuse’s free tier is the distribution and customer service times.
With the free tier of Amuse you have to wait 4 weeks for your music to be released, this is much longer than most distributors. Similarly, the customer service wait time is long and you have to pay more to get faster support.
✅ Distribution to all major streaming services (e.g. Spotify Apple Music)
✅ Cover song licensing included (you don't have to pay)
✅ Music stays up forever and there is no cost to keep it there
✅ Free royalty splits
✅ Exclusive discounts on creator tools
✅ Great analytical & marketing tools, including detailed revenue reports and pre-saves
❌ 99¢ per release (not free but still very cheap!)
❌ 15% commission on all royalties
Soundrop shouldn’t necessarily be on this list because they aren’t technically free. However, Soundrop offers an excellent service for indie musicians on a budget at only $0.99 per release.
This price includes distribution to all the major streaming services, cover licensing (usually costs $10+ on other services), and automatic royalty splits. Soundrop additionally ensures that your music stays up for life. However, they take 15% commission on all your royalties.
The included cover licensing is great for musicians who specialize in cover songs. If you perform a lot of your covers on Facebook and YouTube, then Soundrop is a great way to get those songs released in stores and earn money from them.
For a very small price you get great distribution without the risk of any licensing issues and copyright claims.
Soundrop also offer discounts to their users for creator tools such as CloudBounce – an AI mastering service. This is a nice feature to have because not all artists need or can afford great human mastering. However, Soundrop does earn a commission by recommending these services, so that's also something to keep in mind.
CloudBounce is great, but it's nowhere near as good as a proper mastering engineer and we'd always recommend purchasing proper mastering. However, if you have a good mix and just need something streaming platform ready, it's a really cheap way to do that.
Soundrop isn’t technically free and they don’t offer as many features as other distributors on this list. But, it is a very simple, cheap, and artist-friendly music distributor and we’d definitely recommend it for one-off releases and indie musicians.
4. Boost Collective
✅ Unlimited distribution to all major streaming services (e.g. Spotify Apple Music)
✅ Keep 100% royalties
✅ Rewards and bonuses including promotion, playlisting, and music video maker
✅ Free music video distribution
✅ Incredible analytics, revenue and streaming reports (one of the most user friendly)
✅ Get on huge Spotify playlists for free, using their credit system
❌ Inconsistent with their distribution time and accuracy
❌ Poorly reviewed customer services
❌ Their promotion system doesn’t always deliver and can be a waste of money
Boost Collective is another free distribution company that offers a number of features that are exclusive to them. They offer global music distribution to +150 stores, with 100% royalties and playlist promotion support – all for free.
And while that sounds like every other distribution service, Boost Collective claim to be able to get you in huge Spotify playlists for free, using their Spotify credit system.
This allows you to earn credits as you upload and complete tasks on the platform. You can then use these credits to purchase promo packages. Or alternatively, you can purchase promo packages with your own money.
To us, the credit system feels a bit gimmicky and we're not a huge fan of it. It's difficult to afford great Spotify promo just using the credits, so you're likely to just purchase promo anyway.
They offer all the same features as most of the main distributors – custom release date, release stays up forever, distribution to Beatport, custom label name, unlimited artists and more.
Boost Collective has received very mixed reviews which seem to be split between rave reviews and success stories, and very angry customers. The fact is that Boost is trying to do something no one has yet done, and they’re still a relatively new company. This means that things are likely to go wrong – and it seems they go wrong a lot.
Most complaints are about music being uploaded to the wrong place, with the wrong title, or even to the wrong artist. However, this happens with other distribution services too – even Distrokid sometimes!
There are people who have paid a lot of money and haven’t received any of the growth they think they were promised. Most of these complaints seem to find an issue with customer service, as their problems don’t get fixed.
✅ Free unlimited distribution
✅ Distribute to the major streaming services
✅ Custom release date
✅ Distribution to Asian stores
✅ YouTube monetisation is included
❌ 15% commission on royalties
❌ 3 week distribution time
❌ Free plan only allows 11 stores
❌ Basic support is really basic and you have to wait a long time
On the surface, Indiefy looks like a great option for people looking to distribute their music for free. Indiefy offer a very simple but effective service with no frills. You get unlimited free distribution, to the major streaming platforms (e.g. Spotify and Apple Music), and you get to set your own release date.
The one major drawback of the free version is that they only distribute to 11 stores. Granted, these are the important ones, but when you can get free distribution on Routenote to multiple stores, it doesn't make sense why you'd choose Indiefy over it.
Indiefy charge you 15% of your royalties and offers very little outside of digital music distribution. Alongside this, there are lots of very negative reviews, with stories of people having their royalties withheld, their accounts deleted and receiving poor customer support.
There's not much else to Indiefy that's worth mentioning. It's a free distribution platform with all the features you need to get started. The support isn't great and the paid plan is better.
6. Fresh Tunes
✅ Free unlimited digital music distribution
✅ Keep 100% of your royalties
✅ Get free industry professional feedback on your songs to improve them, but you could just use SubmitHub for less
✅ Up to 4 artists for unlimited uploads
✅ Potential promotional help to aid in your music growth
❌ Poor customer service
❌ Analytics and reporting aren’t great
❌ 14 day distribution times
❌ Content ID is only available for “trusted partners” which is really vague and weird
Fresh Tunes is another one of those free distributors that offer unlimited music distribution to all the major stores (e.g. Spotify & Apple Music) while you get to keep 100% of your royalties.
They also offer you the option to get feedback from professionals – this comes at an additional cost of $25. If you’re good enough, they’ll offer you a promotion deal that you can pay for to get extra reach for your own music.
The major drawback with Fresh Tunes is the customer service. The email option takes a little while to respond and their responses aren’t always the help you need. They also offer a live chat support feature – but this will set you back $25. This isn’t ideal as they're essentially profiting off their slow email response time.
That being said, Fresh Tunes offer a simple, straightforward way to get your music distributed for free. It doesn't get taken down like other platforms, and it's a 0% commission.
When compared to something like Routenote, the only benefit is the track feedback and this costs $25. You could just as easily get 30 credits for something like SubmitHub and get the same feedback from industry pros, with the opportunity to be released on labels and blog etc. making Fresh Tunes pretty redundant as a free distributor when compared to the others on this list.
✅ Free distribution for artists that make the cut
✅ You get your own artist manager if accepted that will help you to grow and develop you as an artist
✅ Have a huge marketing team that will help to get your music heard
✅ Huge roster of previously successful artists
✅ Offer a full label solution from independent artists to artists that are going to blow
❌ They take a 15% commission on your royalties
❌ You have to apply to be accepted or be scouted.
AWAL stands for, artists without a label. They are the best music distributor for artists that already have a following and need help with marketing. They do take a 15% commission, but the reach that you’ll get as a result of their marketing efforts could be worth the payoff or the switch if you can get accepted.
They also have some of the highest payout per stream rates on Spotify and Apple Music in the industry, which could make that 15% cut a little less of a hit. However, this data could well be skewed though as AWAL has fewer artists than someone like Distrokid, due to it being an invite-only platform
AWAL additionally has its very own A&R team that monitors everything and can upstream artists who they think have real talent or are destined for success. If you get chosen, you will be assigned an artist manager who will help to develop you and get your music heard by millions.
They have a huge track record of success doing this, and if you can get accepted, it's worthwhile thinking about joining up.
The only reason we've placed AWAL lower than they should be because they’re not accessible to everyone. Don't let this scare you off though, they offer one of the most world-class services in the music industry.
✅ Free distribution if you get accepted
✅ Amazing music marketing analytics for DIY artists
✅ Direct rep assigned to you to help with music promotion. They help to get you in playlists, can help with Billboards and other really cool stuff.
✅ Easy to use split payment system
✅ Big network of high listening Spotify and Apple Music playlists
❌ Charge 5% commission
❌ Not open to the public and it's hard to get accepted
Stem is a newer music distribution service and they’re very similar to AWAL. They’re an invite-only platform that will give you access to your own artist manager if you get accepted. This means they’ll market your music to a wider audience and use their industry knowledge to help you grow as an artist.
Unlike AWAL, they charge a much smaller fee of 5% commission to do this.
They offer some of the most user-friendly dashboards, the best analytical tools, and marketing services in the music industry.
Stem and AWAL offer similar services in terms of marketing teams, artist advances, and artist development. So, if you’re a big artist, it might be worth checking all of them to see who can provide the best deal for you.
You want to go with a balance of the service that can get you the most streams, coverage, artist support, and the highest payout per stream with the lowest commission.
Like AWAL you have to apply to STEM through their website and be accepted, in order to gain access to their services. We’ve placed Stem lower than they should be because they’re not accessible to everyone. They are not for newcomers to music.
✅ Unlimited distribution
✅ Receive sync and licensing opportunities
✅ Better for TV & Film composers rather than those looking to become artists
✅ Used by brands to find music for advertisements etc.
✅ Collect all royalties
❌ 10% royalty commission
❌ Not 100% distribution focussed, so can have some issues with DSPs which go unfixed
SongTradr offers a free music distribution site as well as sync licensing, distributing your music to all the main streaming platforms. They only take 10% of your commission for DSP distribution, but 40% commission for sync licensing. They are better for Film and TV composers looking to get opportunities with big brands like Nike, Toyota etc.
There are a few issues with their DSP distribution services – things like wrong release dates, wrong artist profiles, and songs denied for unknown reasons. These are fairly common issues with distributors but because SongTradr mainly works in sync licencing, they’re usually slower to fix distribution issues than other distributors.
You don’t have to use SongTradr’s distribution to use their sync licensing. Their sync licensing service is a great tool to make money from your music through things like adverts and films. They have a ‘music wanted’ section where users can submit music to different opportunities.
There are thousands of brands that work with SongTradr to find the right music for their adverts, so it's a great place to get opportunities for work like this.
SongTradr’s sync works on a credit system. Different pitches cost more or less credits but with the free plan you get 2 free submissions and 120 credits a month – which is a good deal. They also offer sync opportunities out of the blue, so you don’t necessarily need to pitch your music.
Sync can be very lucrative. Even though SongTradr take a 40% commission on free users sync income, it’s definitely worth a try seeing as it’s free. You can earn 10's of thousands for one accepted sync license.
✅ Free, unlimited distribution to social media stores
✅ Potential for artist advances
✅ TuneCore points system gives you access to playlisting opportunities and training
✅ Collects publishing royalties as well as the master royalties
✅ Great analytical dashboard and marketing tools
❌ Doesn’t distribute to streaming services (e.g. Spotify/Apple Music) on free tier
❌ No verification for Apple Music or Spotify on free tier
❌ 20% commission on releases
❌Long customer service support wait time
TuneCore is one of the big players in the music distribution game, and they’ve recently overhauled their whole pricing model to compete with companies like DistroKid (the best distribution service)
TuneCore has quite a few bad reviews floating around online, so you might be wondering why they're so high on this list. The main reason is, that they have done a LOT of work to mend their reputation and genuinely offer one of the best distribution services now.
They have improved a great deal to become one of the most competitively priced music distribution services around, with a great set of unique features (for paid distribution).
This is why TuneCore is much higher on our list of best music distribution companies, because the paid version is actually very affordable and feature rich.
The free distribution is nowhere near as good and seems like an offering to sign you up to their system, then get you to upgrade to the paid plans once you've released a few songs and realise you need more features.
TuneCore’s free plan is called ‘New Artist’.
With ‘New Artist’ you can release unlimited music to social platforms without paying an annual fee. TuneCore distributes your music to TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for a fee of 20% of your royalties.
This offers a fairly clear disadvantage compared to other free distributors because TuneCore doesn’t distribute free users’ music to major streaming services. As far as we can tell, TuneCore offers this as a way for artists to test new releases on social media without formally releasing them on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
This is a good way to interact with fans and test/tease a release – especially if it’s free. However, their free tier is quite limited compared to others on this list.
With a free TuneCore account, you also get a YouTube Official Artist Channel, official sales reports, and access to TuneCore Rewards Master Classes.
TuneCore Rewards is a points and free rewards system – the more points you earn the more rewards you get. These rewards include access to expert advice from people in the industry and VIP access to exclusive TuneCore services.
This does feel slightly gimmicky and is another way to get you to use the service more, but there is some good information on there. You could probably find it for free on YouTube though.
TuneCore’s free customer service response time is 5 business days. This is a really long wait if you’re having issues with an upcoming release and you have to pay if you want quicker support.
Overall they're a great distributor if you pay, but they're less great if you want a free account.
✅ Unlimited uploads to main DSPs
✅ Keep 100% of royalties
✅ Open your music to investment opportunities
✅ Incredible analytics and dashboard
❌ New and untested
❌ No features for marketing or artist development
Sonomo is a new player in the distribution game and they’ve come at it with a totally different approach.
Sonomo distributes your music to all the major streaming platforms, let you keep 100% of your royalties, and do not charge you at any point. This seems too good to be true! However, this is reserved for labels.
The way they afford this model is through opening your music up to investment opportunities. You can sell off a percentage of your future royalty income to investors. If you sell 20% of your projected royalty income to an investor, they pay you but then they are entitled to 20% of your royalty income from that release in the future.
You still own your master copyright though so you’re still in total creative control.
This is a very interesting and unique model for a distributor. Sonomo are still new in the music industry and there is not much information or feedback available online – so it’s hard to tell how good they really are and how successful they will be.
Who Has The Fastest Free Music Distribution Service?
Here is a list of the best free fast music distribution services, ranked by speed order:
- Routenote: 1-3 days. Our experience was 4-7 days.
- Boostcollective: – 2-5 days to hit stores.
- Tunecore: 3-9 business days for all stores.
- Soundrop: 9-15 days distribution time.
- Indiefy: 21 days for free music distribution
- Amuse: 28 days for free users
Routenote has the fastest free distribution time, claiming 1-3 days for releases. In our experience, it took 4-7 days to release music using Routenote. They are still faster than every other free distribution company.
Which Free Music Distro Pays The Most?
Amuse has the lowest commission on paper and therefore pays you the most. However, it's not that simple – distribution services negotiate deals with Digital Service Providers at varying rates. Therefore it's impossible to know which free music distributor pays the most per stream, as there is no data to validate this claim.
However, there is data on TuneCore. They have the highest payout per stream in Spotify (GB), 2nd for Apple Music (US), top for Spotify & Apple Music Brazil and 3rd for Spotify India.
This would suggest that you would earn the most with TuneCore. However, with the 15% commission rate on the free plan, it seems better to go with Amuse if you're worried about streaming revenue.
How Can I Distribute My Music on All Platforms For Free?
Here's how you can distribute your music for free on all platforms:
- Choose any of the free distribution companies on this list
- Sign up for an account
- Upload music, artwork and description through the portal
- Submit your music for approval
- Wait 3-30 days for your release to reach stores
This may vary depending on which distribution service you choose. Some may be faster than others to distribute. For instance, Routenote distributes in 24-72hrs, whereas Amuse distributes in 28 days.
What Is The Best Free Music Distributor for A Record Label?
The best free music distribution for labels is Routenote. They offer unlimited, free distribution to all stores for as many artists as you like. They are the only free aggregator to offer this, but they will take a 15% commission.
There are also paid options for labels, where you can keep 100% of your royalties. However, these will charge hefty, yearly fees.
Depending on your situation the streaming revenue might outweigh the fees and it will be better to keep 15%. If you're starting out, we recommend going with Routenote, as you can always move distributors using ISRC codes when the time comes.
Where Can I Get Free Music Distribution With Content ID (YouTube)?
How Do I Distribute To Beatport? Is There Anyone That Does it Free?
You can distribute to Beatport using Distrokid. This costs an extra $9.99/year and they only accept electronic music. You cannot distribute to Beatport for free as of yet.
The distribution services that offer Beatport Distribution are as follows:
These are all paid services. You can distribute through Beatport directly, however you need to apply to Beatport. This is a rigorous process and they're not currently open to accept new labels. However, they will consider active, good-performing record labels.
It's much easier to just go with a distribution service that offers Beatport coverage.
Is Stem Music Distribution Free?
Stem music distribution is free if you get accepted. It runs off an invite only basis, so you must already be an established artist, with a growing fan base to be accepted. They take 15% commissions on all streams.
For that 15% cut, they will run marketing campaigns and help you reach a bigger audience, offering dedicated artist managers to your music projects.
What About Music Distribution for Asia? Who Offers The Best Service?
When distributing in Asia, you want to make sure your service includes Tencent. However, if you want total coverage (not just China) it's best to go with a more niche streaming service that offers more territories.
Some territories like India, Thailand etc. are not included with Tencent.
Here's a list of distribution services that focus on Asian distribution:
How Can I Release Cover Songs?
To release cover songs, you must ensure that the services and countries you are distributing to have a blanket mechanical license already. The cover cannot contain original samples from the song, or you will need permission from the original song owner.
The countries, stores and services that already have mechanical licenses are as follows:
- All stores excluding: USA, Canada, Mexico, Pakistan, and India
- All countries for these services: Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Saavn, Nuuday, Anghami, Tidal, and KKBox.
Joe is an Indie artist/producer based in Brighton.