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Record Union Review 2023

CD Baby is a pillar in the music distribution community. However, how does thier track record stack up against their competitors both new and old? Read more to find out!

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Free Plan Available!



Large set of features which can be overwhelming at times and you will have to pay to utilize some of them



Free Plan Offers Limited Features

Ease Of Use


The site is easy to use for the most part but there is a lot going on which may using the platform a struggle for some artists



Very Strong Support Options

Check Out Record Union Here

  • It is extremely easy to use even if you have no prior distribution experience.
  • Spotify Trends can help you keep an eye on how your music is doing on that specific platforms.
  • Covers all major platforms and can help you reach top platforms for a reduced fee.
  • Speed to iTunes and Spotify.
  • Pre-release available.
  • The platform offers great career opportunities due to its links with known labels like Sony Music.
  • Record Union members can enjoy discounts on third-party services.
  • You have to wait for three months to see your sales report. The waiting period is too long and can be excruciating at times.
  • No integration with social media networks.
  • Heavy commission.
  • Only accepts PayPal and cards.
  • Payout takes time.
  • Lack of promotional tools.

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As I am sure you are already aware, making great music is only the first step. I know shitty right? Why can’t we just be artists and let the music market itself? Maybe in another life but in today’s day and age, you need to dig deep and put in work to get your music heard. A pivotal component to this is distributing your music to different platforms to be able to reach a wider audience.

With the likes of iTunes, Spotify, Tidal and the hundreds of other stores that people are now turning to for their listening needs, digital distribution has become a very big deal.

There are a number of platforms out there that can help you reach digital stores like the popular ones mentioned above. One such tool is Record Union, which has been in the business for about a decade and offers quite a few features.

Despite stiff competition in the digital distribution field, Record Union seems to be doing quite well. But is it really worth a try?

In this review we’re going to dig into the details of Record Union and see if their offering matches your needs as an artist.

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Record Union Distribution Review 2023 – What You’ll Learn

  • All the features offered by Record Union and how they can help you reach a vast number of platforms including iTunes and Spotify.
  • What packages Record Union offers and how you can save money on subscriptions.
  • How you can use their analytical tools to improve your marketing

Who Is Record Union For?

When you think of it, the platform is for everyone who wishes to distribute music. But there are a variety of such tools and not all can be apt for everyone.

I would say this one is designed for people who are new to the industry and wish to start slow.

You can pick the cheapest package (2 tracks) and then move ahead. But, it can be extremely expensive to use due to their commission structure.

You can reduce the commission by paying a fee, but the reduction isn’t much, especially since there are other platforms that take no commission and only charge a fee.

Record Union is not the best in the industry, but it is very easy to use, which is why it is perfect for newcomers.

It offers almost all that you need and can quickly help you understand how music distribution works.

It has a nice selection of platforms, but it does not include everything out there. Nonetheless, it can be a good option if you only want to upload your music to top platforms.

You might be able to save money if you opt for the right package. Having more platforms is not always beneficial, especially if you do not intend to release your music to all platforms.

Moreover, it is also a good platform for people who want to make it big in music as Record Union provides some great opportunities to new talent due to its links with some top labels.

Fees & Commissions

Record Union is free to join, a popular position taken by most digital distribution companies in the industry.

Now of course with anything, you want to know how much it’s gonna cost you. Unlike other distribution stores, Record Union has an interesting pricing structure. This is because they charge you based on the amount of stores you want to distribute your release to.

The cheapest package is the “Build Your Own” option which goes for $7 per year for the release of a single. This allows for access to one store and $2 for every additional store you decide to add. If you only want your music distributed to one store then this option will suffice but can be quite expensive if you change your mind. Pricing for an EP and album are $10 and $13 respectively.

Next, is the Top Dog package which gives you the ability to distribute your single to six stores of your choosing for $10 per year. Pricing for an EP and album are $13 and $16 respectively.

However, for people who want to be heard all around the world, there is a worldwide package that gives you access to all available stores for $15 per year for the distribution of a single, $20 for an EP and $25 for an album.

Although these prices are not insanely high, Record Union also takes a commission on your music. In their terms, they do not actually take a commission but regardless you do not get to keep 100% of your revenues.

Subscription Type

Record Union gives you a chance to save more money here as you may opt for the normal yearly package or enjoy up to a 20 – 30% discount by choosing a 3 or 5-year subscription.

Give it some thought before you choose a package. If this is your first time uploading music or using this platform, then going for a 1 year subscription would be a smart choice because once you pay the amount, it will not be refunded for any reason.

Royalties & Commissions

Record Union keeps 15% of your earnings and pays you 85% in royalties. However, you have the option to reduce this commission to 7.5% by paying a fee of $25 per year. This way you will be able to take home 92.5% of your total sales.

I would suggest you pay the $25 if you believe you’ll be able to make a good number of sales (i.e: more than $25 per year). This way you will be able to take home a bigger paycheck. Again, it is a bit odd to me that they as a company state they are not taking any of your commissions but you can pay them to reduce the commission rate…

Adding New Stores

From our research, the only fee that you would have to pay for adding new stores would be determined by the type of package you originally selected. On a “Build Your Own” plan you will have to pay to add a new store that Record Union starts distributing to, same with a “Top Dog” package. However, It is our understnading that the worldwide package would automatically be added free of charge.

Takedown Costs

There are no associated costs for the takedown of your music. Once you notify Record Union of your decision, they will send a request for your music to be removed from all the digital services it is currently available on. Usually, the music will be removed within a week but in some cases, this can take as long as 4-6 weeks.

Outlets & Release Options

Record Union offers artists a total of 15 stores and the assumption is that this number will continue to grow.

It covers all the popular stores including Amazon MP3, Google Play, Spotify and iTunes. While the number is not as high as some other services, this would not be the only company to have a more niche list of stores that they distribute to.

Speed To Stores

Record Union asks for 5-8 days to make your music available on different platforms but is decently fast when it comes to Spotify and iTunes, two of the more popular choices.

It takes about 4-6 days for music to be up on Spotify and Google Play. iTunes is a little faster with songs being available typically within 3 days. Rhapsody, eMusic, and Vidzone Portals are the slowest and take about 4 weeks. Check here for complete list.

Release Dates

Something that is unique to Record Union is your capabilities surrounding release dates. Usually, you are either given the option to set one date or your music just becomes live as soon as possible. However, with Record Union, when you select a package that allows you to choose more than one store you are able to set individual dates for each store. Not sure how relevant this is for most artists but certainly an interesting feature depending on your marketing plans.

You can choose any date (up to 3 years) and the platform also gives you the option to choose where you wish to release your music. You can be selective and choose countries where you’d like your music to be released or not and geo-filters allow streaming platforms to prevent your music from being released in those regions.


The Record Union platform allows you to set a pre-order as well and with this pre-order feature, you can make your music available for sale before the official release dates. Some stores that support pre-orders include iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play, 7Digital, and Rhapsody.

General Features

Instant Mastering

Record Union does not have its own mastering services but has partnered with Landr to offer mastering to artists.

Most musicians I have spoken to emphasize the importance of mastering as it gives your music a professional touch. I hope this is a no brainer to everyone and I personally do not recommend releasing your music on a distribution platform unless it is mixed and mastered.

Special Offers

Record Union has partnerships with other companies that can also help you as an artist.These exclusive offers are designed to provide Record Union users with additional discounts and perks.

Some offers include:

  • Radio Airplay: Reach a wider audience with guaranteed airplay time on internet radio. Record Union users enjoy 100 free spins which means thousands of new listeners. This is obviously my favorite offer since a number of people who listen to internet radio do not necessarily have subscriptions to other platforms.
  • Sage Mastering: Record Union users can enjoy 15% discount on their mastering services. It might be better option than Landr, so do consider it.
  • iPluggers: Despite what one says of radio, it is still heard all around the world. This offer gets you 10% discount with the ability to have your music on international radio frequencies.
  • Cover Art Factory: If you’re too lazy to design your own art, you can pick one from here at a discount of 10%. Do try this since Record Union’s own artwork is nothing to write home about.
  • Radio Direct X: This gives you access not only to radio stations but music reviewers as well who can talk about your music and help it reach a large number of people. This can be an expensive tool but you can enjoy a 10% discount on it if you are a Record Union member.

PR – Promotion Tactics

The service helps you with publishing SEO friendly stories on the platform, but can also help you reach a wider audience by using other techniques such as email marketing, social media monitoring and more.

Since it is a third-party app, you will have to make a new account to get access to all the features. There is an option to opt for a trial package that can help you gauge if this is for you or not.

Artist Opportunities

Record Union promises to help artists land new and exciting opportunities.

Record Union has a strong partnership with Sony Music who uses Record Union to find new talent. This can make it easier for you as an artist to get noticed.

Record Union also mentions partnerships with other major labels as well, including Tidal, to which it regularly pitches new talent.

The company also hold monthly breakfast sessions where they invite musicians to come and perform at their office. A great opportunity to network and get your name out there with professionals in the industry.


Not many people know the purpose of these codes but they are very important and are used to give your music its identity and prevent theft.

You can purchase UPC codes from third party sites or buy them for $10 from Record Union. Usually these codes are provided for free but Record Union has opted to charge you for them. ISRC codes, however, are available for free.

Analytics & Reporting

You will have to wait for three months for your sales report to be delivered.

When you are a new musician, you are eager to know how your music is doing, but sales reports tend to take quite some time to arrive. According to the company, this is due to some platforms being very slow to provide royalties and other details.

If this is your first time selling music, then the waiting period can be cumbersome. You are not always eager to get the money, but usually to see how your song is doing and if you we’re able to make any sales.

I am an anxious person by nature. First I was desperate to record and release my first song, and once it was out there, I was anxious to know how it was doing.

Record Union’s analytics section is not amazing and focuses primarily on Spotify. You will have to use the Sales Performance feature for details on other platforms.

Nonetheless, here you can know more about your audience including who’s listening to music and where they live.

Artist Payout

You can request a payout one month after you earn money. For example, the money earned in May will be available for payout on August 31st. This might be excruciating to some, but is quite common for many distribution companies.

Unfortunately Record Union does not offer payment splitting for artists.

Knowledge Base

Record Union is quite easy to use but you might still come across some problems and questions. I got stuck at a few instances but easily found the help that I needed within the Knowledge Base.

The section covers almost everything from FAQ to prices to Spotify trends to promotion. While I found the information to be very good, the section seems to be hugely influenced by questions about Spotify.

Customer Support

You can write to Record Union, using their platform if you have any queries. I wrote to them and got a response within a day. The do have a “live” chat feature but it typically takes some time for a response which leads to them getting back to you via email. There was no option to reach out via phone unfortunately.

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Final Verdict

I would say Record Union is great but it is not the best distribution service out there, especially due to what I would call a ridiculous commission structure (15% basis, and 7.5% if you pay $25 per year).

Why would you want to try it when there are other options that charge you 0% commission (TuneCore) or let you distribute limited amount of songs for free (Landr).

However, it isn’t like Record Union is the only company charging you commision. CD Baby, for example, charges 9% commission.

Nonetheless, it is not all dark here. Record Union does have a few things going in its favor though. You can start for as low as $2, which is great. Plus, the platform is also extremely easy to use. It will take you only a few minutes to get your first song out.

You can use this one to build an audience and then move to other platforms that will let you enjoy a bigger share of your earning. Also, give it a try if you trust your luck since Record Union appears to offer great opportunities – but no promises there.

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