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Old 04-18-2019, 06:48 AM   #1
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Default Music Distribution Services-Which one should I use & avoid?

I have my first song that I want to distribute online.

I was wondering if you all can give your input on which online distribution services I should use and which ones to avoid .... and why?
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:01 PM   #2
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I am assuming you are talking of spotify, iTunes, deezer etc.

I've heard talk of Distrokid, but there are others, and each have their own way of making money off you.

Personally I don't give a damn about those services mainly because, as far as I am concerned, they screw over the artists big time.

I therefore stick to Bandcamp for my "serious" stuff and SoundCloud for all sorts.

I don't regard my stuff worthy of selling anyway but I have sold a couple of albums since using Bandcamp. Not enough to feed the habit, so to speak...
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:00 PM   #3
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I'm referring to ones like:

-LANDR
-CD Baby
-TuneCore
-Ditto Music
-ReverbNation
-Loudr

Anyone had good luck with any of these or maybe feel you got ripped off?
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synkrotron View Post
Personally I don't give a damn about those services mainly because, as far as I am concerned, they screw over the artists big time.
how, exactly? i think you can rest easier on this subject

tunecore's fine, $50 per year per album, with weekly payouts. i don't hate it, it pays my bills.

i think i remember reading that of the bunch, distrokid was the best -- but that was last year's info.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:15 PM   #5
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don't sign up with one that takes a percentage. that's ridiculous.
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:04 PM   #6
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One other thing....

I need to obtain a BUY link for my track that I have on SoundCloud. The thing about BUY links is that for a newbie it is not exactly clear how to make or get one!

I have done a Google search and can't seem to find an answer.

So, how do I get a BUY link?
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:54 PM   #7
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After looking into this myself over the past couple of weeks, I narrowed my own decision down to two possibilities, Distrokid or CD Baby. I ended up going with CD Baby for three primary reasons; They give the option of creating physical media such as CD and vinyl, they charge a one time fee per album with no annual fees and they have been around a long time with a good reputation.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:38 PM   #8
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CD Baby charges a fee and you get 91%.

One person here said not to go with any of them that charge a fee.
Did you think about that and what role did that play in your decision?

I'm just asking questions here....
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:02 AM   #9
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i said not to go with one that would take a percentage. go with one that you pay a flat fee for, preferably one time.

with a percentage, you end up paying a LOT more unless you're making substantially less than a couple grand a year from the music.

if I understand correctly, these companies make it hard for you to switch distributors without potentially losing all of your iTunes ratings, reviews, etc. hopefully that's no longer the case but it means you had to choose carefully early.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
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CD Baby charges a fee and you get 91%.

One person here said not to go with any of them that charge a fee.
Did you think about that and what role did that play in your decision?

I'm just asking questions here....
Yeah. The fees I was referring to are yearly membership fees. CD Baby don't charge those. I'd much rather pay a 9 percent per sale fee as opposed to a yearly fee personally. As far as I'm concerned, that helps both the artist and the distribution company. I want whoever I am working with to be around for the long haul and CD Baby have proven their worth in that regard.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:14 AM   #11
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if you make more than $556 yearly from 1 album, then 9% is a bad deal compared to a yearly $50 fee.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:43 AM   #12
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Thanks to everyone! You have given lots of great input and I've got lots to think about!
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:06 AM   #13
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If you don't expect to earn anything and just want your music on spotify etc for fun, then a percentage is the best deal I guess.
I guess there are lot's of us that has that approach, but I haven't seen that factor in the tests on the net.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:15 AM   #14
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Since this is my first track I'm posting, I decided to experiment with LANDR. I decided to do that because they charge me $6 / month.

They provide me with an ISRC number for my song.

Once they approve my song and verify my license information then they will distribute my music to lots of streaming services, pretty much just like all the other guys.

And, just like I was encouraged by another user, they let me keep 100% of my royalties.

So...... it will be interesting to see how things turn out!
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:17 AM   #15
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In reference to the above post, I forgot to say that the $6 / month is for 10 songs. I don't have close to that many so that price works for me ........
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:37 PM   #16
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I am assuming you are talking of spotify, iTunes, deezer etc.

I've heard talk of Distrokid, but there are others, and each have their own way of making money off you.

Personally I don't give a damn about those services mainly because, as far as I am concerned, they screw over the artists big time.

I therefore stick to Bandcamp for my "serious" stuff and SoundCloud for all sorts.

I don't regard my stuff worthy of selling anyway but I have sold a couple of albums since using Bandcamp. Not enough to feed the habit, so to speak...

I wanted to stick to just Bandcamp. Not that I have any "fans" or following at all or anything. I like how Bandcamp works. But people kept rolling their eyes or scoffing when I told them I "released my album on bandcamp"

I hate to say it, but they have a bad name. Bandcamp. This sounds very amateur to people. I kept hearing it over and over.

Then when I finally got my album on Spotify and Apple/iTunes, people were like "Wow!" Despite that I like how bandcamp does business better, I feel more accomplished having my album on the services people use more which are Spotify and Apple/iTunes. Everybody I know uses these services.

I wish Bandcamp had a more professional sounding or unique name, it would help us out a lot I think. People would take it more seriously.
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:29 AM   #17
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^ haha agreed, people don't know how easy it is to be on iTunes (how come they can get away with having such a stupid name? come to think of it, Spotify is a stupid name too)

Bandcamp is falling out of favor - fewer and fewer people want to own and manager their mp3s compared to buying into streaming services. it's a decent model for the artist, though nowhere near as heavenly as they suggest. Bandcamp has no business taking a cut of physical sales just for hosting a store when bigcartel does the same for free
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:11 AM   #18
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I would love to get on Bandcamp, but, I can't!

They require songs to be a certain length and mine are not that long...
For example, One song I sing is 'People' from Barbra Streisand. The song is only 3:45 long which by Bandcamp standards is too short!
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:33 AM   #19
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I would love to get on Bandcamp, but, I can't!

They require songs to be a certain length and mine are not that long...
For example, One song I sing is 'People' from Barbra Streisand. The song is only 3:45 long which by Bandcamp standards is too short!
Huh? I definitely have songs that are way shorter and way longer than 3:45 on Bandcamp...
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:43 AM   #20
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OK. Let me try again!
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:48 AM   #21
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My bad... I got it confused with another one that did not let me post because my song was too short .....
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:49 AM   #22
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BTW, what is a reasonable price to pay for a download of a song?
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Old 04-21-2019, 01:23 PM   #23
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BTW, what is a reasonable price to pay for a download of a song?
I think it all depends. You should charge somewhere between what you think it's worth and what you think someone would be willing to pay. But of course that varies person to person so who knows.

On Bandcamp my album is free. It's my first album and I don't think it sounds as good as albums by Foo Fighters and Soundgarden and etc etc. so I didn't feel like it was worth putting a price tag on it. If bands that great ^ struggle to get people to buy records, they sure as heck aren't gonna wanna buy mine.

But once you get on streaming services you don't need to think about pricing and such. You just get what they give you per stream which is like 0.0004 cents per stream or something like that.

It's very hard to make a significant income "selling your music" nowadays. From what I can gather. Unless you were already an established act prior to the industry shift.
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:42 PM   #24
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I personally use Distrokid and I'm happy with it. Would recommend
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:47 PM   #25
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I dont plan on earning anything with it directly, but I bought a distrokid label membership and DO use teampay for other people's distrokid accounts linked to mine.

What I like is just how easy they make it to upload once and then have it go everywhere else in the internet with just a few clicks
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:04 PM   #26
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OK, I got 2 questions ------
  1. Before I sign up for DistroKid, I will need an ISRC # / UPC code for my song. Can they provide that for me, or, do I need to already have one?
  2. And, if I need to already have one, where is a place to get a legitimate one? I am asking because I have seen online that some providers say they are giving you one when it is not a legitimate one.

Opinions?
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:48 AM   #27
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You just get what they give you per stream which is like 0.0004 cents per stream or something like that.
the misinformation about streaming payout is STRONG. spotify gives you about .004 USD (.4 cents), google play almost pays 1c per stream. it's far, far better than .0004 cents (.000004 USD), in which a million plays = $400.

in reality, 1 million spotify streams = about $6000. which is awesome, because passive income is awesome.

Quote:
It's very hard to make a significant income "selling your music" nowadays. From what I can gather. Unless you were already an established act prior to the industry shift.
this is false. it is easier than ever before to make a living by selling your music. when was it ever better?
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:06 AM   #28
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Quote:
BTW, what is a reasonable price to pay for a download of a song?
$0.00, "pay what you want." don't limit your audience by charging an amount that means something different everywhere in the world. you will earn more by getting your music out there than you will earn by charging a "reasonable" price.

Bandcamp doesn't offer an adjusted price per country, and it should. i want my albums to cost as much as a cup of coffee in your country, be it 10 baht or $10 San Francisco Dollars. since i don't have that option, my work is 0.00 whenever possible, and people still pay.

just use bandcamp as a distribution method. "go here to download the music for free." it's simpler and prettier than a dropbox link. if your music becomes successful, you're going to earn substantially more via streaming services than you will earn from bandcamp
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:00 AM   #29
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this is false. it is easier than ever before to make a living by selling your music. when was it ever better?
It depends on what kind of music you do, how you promote it, and how popular you are.

Our album is on Spotify, Deezer, Google Play Music, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Youtube Music, Tidal, Napster (yes it still exists!), and probably a few other streaming services I forget, and we've raked in a whopping grand total of $71 in streaming revenue since 2016. We do niche music in a niche genre; a big gig for us is an audience of 40 people although occasionally we'll play to a few hundred at a festival.

By far the most money we make is from gigs, followed by selling physical CDs at gigs. We have download cards as well but nobody buys them; they all want the actual CD. Our annual sales revenue from physical CDs is typically 10-20 times higher than our streaming revenue.
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:48 AM   #30
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It depends on what kind of music you do, how you promote it, and how popular you are.
just like always, except now you can easily/unilaterally distribute your music to billions and ~20 years ago you couldn't
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:16 AM   #31
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we've raked in a whopping grand total of $71 in streaming revenue since 2016. We do niche music in a niche genre; a big gig for us is an audience of 40 people although occasionally we'll play to a few hundred at a festival.
Well, if your music is in such a niche genre, that's probably $71 more than you would have made under the old paradigm.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:22 AM   #32
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Well, if your music is in such a niche genre, that's probably $71 more than you would have made under the old paradigm.
Haha, that's probably true.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:27 PM   #33
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In regards to ISRC codes and UPC codes for music, I went to this website:

https://www.isrc.com/

I want to find out if what he said is true or not about having to not only get an ISRC & UPC code that they have but to also need to embedded them into the physical music file in order to track downloads and streaming plays...

can someone clarify the truth here of what is really required?
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:08 PM   #34
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I have used Tunecore, CDbaby, and distrokid. I like DistroKid, it is by far the best deal and easiest to use. 1 yearly price (or monthly if you want) for UNLIMITED releases. I have already released 6 new singles this year and it has never ever ever been easier to do so.

With CD Baby or Tunecore, you pay per release, usually about $30-40 each but sometimes you can catch a deal for $10 each (plus fees)...but that's usually a 1 year release so you have to pay again for each release each year. I have a couple releases from many years ago that are in limbo right now.

So my recommendation is DistroKid, they seem to have the whole process simplified, but yet offer more. The only thing they don't offer is physical media, but that's really where CDbaby shines anyway, and you can just get CDs from them if you actually want CDs. Nobody else will want a CD (lol) but it can still be done.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:15 PM   #35
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I have used Tunecore, CDbaby, and distrokid. I like DistroKid, it is by far the best deal and easiest to use. 1 yearly price (or monthly if you want) for UNLIMITED releases. I have already released 6 new singles this year and it has never ever ever been easier to do so.
Not hijacking your post my friend just using it as a springboard... What I've found is each person needs to do their own comparison of all the features/gotchas then make a decision. I've not found a single one that doesn't have some gotcha I don't like and there is no best really.

I went with CD baby because with DistroKid you have to pay the fee every year forever, or you lose the distribution/store stuff if you don't pay that recurring fee. With CD baby there's a commission, but it's there forever - the main point though is more about those same fine print items mattering differently to different people.

I suppose I should give my experience with CDBaby and that is that they were great, the website backend managment is great, and I had a representative call me whom I could actually call back and talk to - we exchanged email and calls several times - the website or they themselves answered all questions and walked me through anything I didn't know so I must give them huge props for their help. The entire process was a joy to be honest.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:33 PM   #36
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Not hijacking your post my friend just using it as a springboard... What I've found is each person needs to do their own comparison of all the features/gotchas then make a decision. I've not found a single one that doesn't have some gotcha I don't like and there is no best really.

I went with CD baby because with DistroKid you have to pay the fee every year forever, or you lose the distribution/store stuff if you don't pay that recurring fee. With CD baby there's a commission, but it's there forever - the main point though is more about those same fine print items mattering differently to different people.

I suppose I should give my experience with CDBaby and that is that they were great, the website backend managment is great, and I had a representative call me whom I could actually call back and talk to - we exchanged email and calls several times - the website or they themselves answered all questions and walked me through anything I didn't know so I must give them huge props for their help. The entire process was a joy to be honest.
Thanks karbomusic!

Based on your feedback I'm sold on CD Baby! I don't know about other people, but, good communication is important to me and it sounds like compared to most other services I've looked into, based on your comments, CD Baby seems to even know what communication is in the first place!

I started out going with LANDR.com, but I have reached out to them several times and I get no answer or the answer is very slow....a week has gone by and my song is still not published. So, I'm moving on to CD Baby.......
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:54 PM   #37
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I went with CD baby because with DistroKid you have to pay the fee every year forever, or you lose the distribution/store stuff if you don't pay that recurring fee. With CD baby there's a commission, but it's there forever - the main point though is more about those same fine print items mattering differently to different people.
Philip Kaplan explained on distrokid blog:

At DistroKid, we’d like your music to live on forever. And maybe even make your kin some money. That’s why we recently launched our new “Leave a Legacy” feature. Opt any album or single into Leave a Legacy, and we’ll make sure your music stays in stores forever, even after you die, even if your credit card expires, even if you can’t keep your DistroKid membership alive.

And we’ll continue to pass along 100% of earnings to you (or whoever gets your dough after you’ve kicked).

Pricing for Leave a Legacy is a one-time (non recurring) payment of:
$29 for a single
$49 for an album

I chose this pricing because it’s the exact same pricing our friends at CD Baby (it’s true, they are our actual friends) charge to upload a new single or album. But unlike CD Baby, who will take 9% of your earnings forever, DistroKid takes nothing. So it’s an easy choice.

Check the rest: https://news.distrokid.com/youre-all...e-93f343c073e5
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:04 PM   #38
karbomusic
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It's good they offer that as an add-on. Were they one of the ones that had a lot of add-ons? I don't remember, just curious, glad they added that either way. There is still no single right choice for everyone though. I would still use CDBaby for example where someone else might be happy with DistroKid.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:49 PM   #39
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I just finished posting my song on CD Baby and will post here again when it goes 'live' !!
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:23 AM   #40
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congrats, dude! what a good feeling it is, eh?

indeed this is a great time to be an independent musician as there are several ways to publish and the options keep getting better and better.
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