Songtradr is very different from a number of their competitors simply because they focus mainly on the sync and licensing aspect music distribution. If getting placements in TV, film, or commercials is important to you the you might want to check out Songtradr.
Starts at $20/year
Songtradr has a different approach to distribution as their key focus is on sync licensing which is great but overall their list of features could be stronger
With a focus on licencing this is where Songtradr takes more of a commission. For distribution, pricing is similar to that of Distrokid offering unlimited distribution
Ease Of Use
There is a bit of a learning curve for this platform because there is more to Songtradr than distribution.
Contact options via phone and email.
- Unlimited uploads
- Manage multiple artists at a fraction of the price
- Submit your music for placement on films, TV shows, and more
- Only a 15% commission for YouTube Monetization
- Payment splitting available
- Text notifications sent to your phone
- Pre-orders are not available
- Cover songs can’t be licensed in-house
- No publishing admin
- Payment is only available with PayPal
When it comes time to pick a company for distributing your music online, the options can quickly become overwhelming. There are seemingly more distributors now than ever, each vying for your attention and money. That’s not to mention that many of them have overlapping features, further confusing the selection process.
However, that’s not the case with all distribution companies. There are some that have created niches for themselves with specialized offerings. Today we’ll look at one such company: Songtradr.
Songtradr can distribute your music to all of the standard stores just like any other company, but that’s not their main focus. What they specialize in is helping independent artists license their music for use in TV, film, and more.
In the following review, we’ll take a close look at Songtradr’s services, helping you to understand each of their features and how they might help you. We’ll then compare them to their competitors and see how they fare. Lastly, and most importantly, we’ll help you to determine whether or not Songtradr is the best fit for your distribution needs.
Songtradr Distribution Review 2023 – What You’ll Learn
- How you can use Songtradr to land licensing deals
- How Songtradr’s simple pricing system can potentially save you money
- How Songtradr is a cost-effective option for small, indie labels
Who Is Songtradr For?
While Songtradr is first-and-foremost a sync licensing platform, they do have a noteworthy distribution offering. For only $4.99 a month you can upload unlimited music to 200+ stores and keep 100% of your earnings. You can also monetize your music on YouTube and keep 85% of the earnings there.
However, they can’t do everything. They have no built-in service to get licenses to release cover songs. Likewise, they have no publishing administration to help you get the royalties from your own original music. Consequently, if you need a fully comprehensive distributor for your music, Songtradr isn’t your best choice.
In the end, Songtradr seems most appealing to an artist who is actively seeking out licensing deals for their music. They can distribute their music to stores and submit their music for placement all in one place. In turn, this streamlined approach helps them to reduce their workload while maximizing the earnings from their music.
Fees & Commissions
Let’s start things off with the most important question of all: how much does it cost to work with Songtradr? Well, some good news right off the bat: Songtradr is free to sign up for! They do not charge any fees to create an account with them. When it comes to Songtradr’s pricing plans, they have two options: Distribution and Pro. Let’s take a look at what each of these means:
As the name implies, this plan only focuses on the distribution side of things! The plan provides unlimited distribution for one artist and will come at a cost of $20 per year. You are able to upload as many tracks as you’d like while keeping 100% of your distribution royalties.
You are also provided with licensing opportunities which is an amazing feature for artists trying to land larger scale placements of their music. It is important to note that Songtradr’s licensing program is run through a credit/submission program where the amount of credits you have determines the amount of submissions you are allowed (more details on that later).
Both the Distribution plan and the Pro plan come with 3000 credits per year. Where commissions are concerned, Songtradr will only take a cut off your earnings when you begin making money from a licensing deal. This happens in two ways:
If you land a licensing deal, Songtradr will take a 40% commission of the upfront sync fee that you’re paid. The rest of the royalties down the road are yours to keep. Alternately, if you receive any tips on your Songtradr profile, you only get to keep 75% of the revenue – Songtradr takes a 25% commission.
This plan is the full-featured offering from Songtradr. It includes all of their distribution and licensing services, plus YouTube monetization and several other features. You can upload as much for distribution as you like – no limits!
The Pro plan costs $5 per month for a single artist. However, if you opt to pay annually, you get a 10% discount, so it’s only $49.99 for the whole year.
As far as commissions go, Songtradr takes no cut on the revenue from the music to distribute to iTunes, Spotify, and other stores. Everything is yours to keep! In the same way, all tip proceeds from your Songtradr profile go straight to you.
Finally, if & when you land a licensing deal using the Pro plan, Songtradr takes only a 20% commission on the upfront sync fee. After that, you keep all of the royalties you earn.
What’s interesting is that Songtradr also gives you the opportunity to distribute music for more than one artist under the same account. You have to pay more for each artist you add, but the individual price goes down correspondingly. For example, distribution for 100 artists costs only $81.99 a month. In consequence, this is a much more cost-effective option for small labels or managers looking to distribute music for multiple artists.
With Songtradr there are no extra fees associated with adding new stores or removing your music from distribution, which is great news for you as the artist.
Outlets & Release Options
For those signed up for the Pro plan, Songtradr will distribute your music to over 200+ stores and platforms. These include all of the main stores you’re familiar with – iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music – and countless more.
When you upload your music you have the option to select which specific stores you want to distribute your music to. You also have the option to select which territories are included in your music distribution.
Speed To Stores
Once you upload your music to Songtradr they claim that your music will be live and active on all stores in 14 days or less. Unfortunately, they do not have any more detailed information on how long specific stores will take to upload your music.
An important part of any music release is setting the release date. Fortunately, Songtradr makes this an easy task. In the upload process, you can set the music to “release as soon as possible” or set a future release date. Keep in mind, however, that the release date must be at least 14 days in advance.
Another commonly used tool in marketing a music release is the pre-order. By giving fans a chance to purchase the music before it’s released, it helps build up hype and anticipation.
Unfortunately, this is not a feature available with Songtradr – they do not offer any options to set up pre-orders.
Music Wanted Listings
Songtradr’s flagship feature is their sync licensing and this happens primarily through their “Music Wanted” section. This is an online listing board with real-world buyers looking for music to feature in their films, TV shows, commercials, apps, and more!
The board is curated by Songtradr’s team of music specialists and is being constantly updated with new opportunities.
To submit your music for consideration you have to use some of the credits associated with your account. (As you may recall, Free accounts receive 20 credits per month and Pro accounts receive 250 credits per month). How many credits you’ll have to use depends on the individual listing as well as how many songs you want to submit.
If you need extra credits you can buy them at any time and they will roll over into the next month if you don’t use them all. However, free credits don’t roll over, so Songtradr recommends to use them all up every month.
Another way that Songtradr works to help artists gain exposure and get licensing deals is through their curated playlists. As Songtradr puts it, these playlists are a “great way to be discovered by prospective buyers, fans, and fellow musicians.”
While they don’t provide any guarantee that your music will be added to a playlist, they do provide many helpful tips on how to boost the chances of getting your music accepted.
While most of the licensing opportunities on Songtradr are submission-based, there are some exceptions. The Monetization Portal is one of them.
As Songtradr explains, with this feature you can “opt-in for your music to be immediately eligible for licensing into Overhead Radio, Compilation Albums, Apps/Social Media opportunities and much more!”
This expands your licensing opportunities, giving you even more chances to make money from your music!
YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for people to discover and enjoy music and can be a profitable income source for artists. This is possible through YouTube monetization: when someone uploads a video that features your music, you are entitled to a portion of the ad revenue off of that video.
Songtradr makes this feature available on their Pro plan. You don’t have to pay any extra for it, but they do take a 15% commission on all ad revenue.
This 15% commission compares favorably to many other distribution companies out there as it is definitely on the less-expensive side. For example, TuneCore charges a $10 setup fee and then takes a 20% commission, while CD Baby takes a full 30% commission of your revenue. Definitely not as cheap as Songtradr!
Songtradr allows you to release cover songs using their platform as long as you have the necessary licenses to do so. However, they do not provide you with any services to do that – you will have to go through a third-party company to get the licenses you need.
This is unfortunate, as we’ve come to expect cover song licensing to be available from most distribution companies these days.
If you were worried about having to pay for a UPC barcode, don’t be! They come for free with all releases on Songtradr.
This is a simple but unique feature from Songtradr: they can send you mobile notifications! Simply put, any notifications that appear on their website or are sent to your email can also be sent to your phone via text message. These notifications are configurable from your Songtradr account page, giving you the option to select which notifications are sent where.
Keep in mind, however: this feature is only available with the Pro plan.
Getting paid with Songtradr is easy and hassle-free. They use PayPal to pay artists and you can withdraw money at any time as long as there is $25 in your account. Each time you withdraw PayPal will take a 3% processing fee.
While this is a simple solution, it is unfortunate that they don’t offer any other payment options, such as direct deposit. PayPal’s 3% fee isn’t a lot, but it does add up over time.
One of the hottest features right now for music distributors is payment splitting and Songtradr is one of the companies to offer it! But let’s back up first: what is payment splitting and why is it important?
Well, simply put, what do you do at paycheck time if your last release was a collaboration with multiple artists? Do you get a calculator out and determine how much each person gets paid? What if there was a system that automatically made sure everyone gets paid their fair share?
This is where payment splitting comes in. You can set up the royalty percentages when you upload your music and then each person will be paid what’s due to them.
With Songtradr this service requires each collaborator to set up an account with them, but that’s no problem since accounts are free of charge.
Analytics & Reports
Songtradr has a strong analytics and reporting system, including data from their platform and data from distribution platforms. Here’s what they have to offer:
The distribution analytics provides you with information on the age and gender of who is listening to your music, as well as where in the world those listeners are and what type of devices they’re using. You can track your top songs, top releases, and the total number of streams. All of this data is updated on a monthly basis.
For the music hosted on Songtradr’s site, the analytics are a little different. They offer you the play-counts and likes on your songs over time, as well as how many times people have viewed your profile and what songs are attracting interest for licensing. This data is all updated in real-time
Ease Of Use
As a whole, Songtradr is a simple and straightforward platform to use. They have a lot to offer but break it down in a way that isn’t overwhelming.
Their FAQ and support site is very helpful and covers just about every question you might have. What’s more, it’s really easy to search.
If you have any issues, you can contact Songtradr via phone or email.
Also, as mentioned above, they have a strong support section online. Therefore, more than likely you can answer your questions on your own without having to contact support.
To their credit, Songtradr manages to offer top-rate services for both sync licensing and music distribution. While their distribution features aren’t as comprehensive as a dedicated distributor, their licensing opportunities are far ahead of the competition. For any artist hoping to get their music on film or TV, Songtradr is an obvious choice.
Kevin is the founder of Music With Flavor, which joined Whipped Cream Sounds in 2023. He is a seasoned musician turned industry expert. His passion for music goes beyond melodies; he delves deep into the intricate world of music marketing, striving to unearth the most effective strategies for indie musicians. However, Music With Flavor isn’t just about Kevin’s knowledge; it’s a network of industry experts handpicked to provide the most trusted advice. Kevin’s role is to pose the right questions, not just answer them, as he and his team tirelessly research trends, connect with artists, and gather valuable insights.