So, you're looking for a music distributor, but you're overwhelmed with all of the options that you have to choose from. Each company offers different perks, fees and access to certain music stores (Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, etc.) and you're also probably looking at what is the most affordable option within your budget. Now, I don't have experience with most of these services, but I have done the research myself and have found what seems to be the best bang for your buck.
And That Service Is...
DISTROKID! Yep! You've probably been eyeing this service as you were looking around for a suitable music distributor. In my experience, Distrokid has been the best all around service with some of the greatest reputation from other well known artists such as Ludacris and Kei Henderson, 21 Savage (Famous Rappers), Rob Scallon, Anthony Vincent, Joel "Roomie" Berghult, Glenn Fricker and Ryan "Fluff" Bruce (All well known musicians/producers on YouTube).
So What Makes Distrokid the Best?
Do you see that text at the bottom of the picture above? That's right! Just like the photo says, you get to keep 100% of your royalties when you distribute your music through Distrokid. Many other companies like CDBaby take a commission from all of your streams/sales (Of course, iTunes, Google Play and many other stores will take a cut of your album/ep/single sales as well, usually about 30%. For example, if you sell an album for $10.00, you will make $7.00, assuming your music distributor doesn't take a cut of the proceeds.).
What About Annual Fees & Other Costs?
Distrokid starts off with a measly annual fee of $19.99 a year to upload as many albums, EPs and singles as you want. Yes, whether that's 1 single song or 1000 full length albums, the price still remains the same with the basic plan. The $19.99 price includes distribution to Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Tidal, Amazon, Google Play, Napster, Deezer and many more totaling a hefty 150+ stores altogether. You can easily upgrade to one of the premium plans for $34.99 a year, which gives you some more features like stats for Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Amazon and allows you to submit music under 2 different artist names. The premium plan also allows you to customize your record label name and create a custom iTunes price for your release as well as a pre-order option, which will allow you to pitch your tracks to Spotify Playlists and will also allow people to purchase your music before it is released. You can also add other features (for an additional cost) like YouTube monetization or a lifetime license that allows you to permanently upload your album/ep/single forever which will carry on your legacy even after you pass away (but these features are optional). Honestly, all you really need is the basic $19.99 annual plan and that is more than worth the cost. Other companies like Tunecore charge you $29.99 "PER" album and $49.99 per album a year afterwards. So for example, for 3 albums uploaded to Tunecore, you would pay $79.97 a year for the first year and then you would pay $149.97 a year after that first initial year totaling $239.94. With Distrokid, you could pay as little as $19.99 a year your first year and then $19.99 the next year totaling $39.98.
So Are There Any Disadvantages to Using Distrokid?
Yes, a few. Distrokid does little in helping promote you as a musical artist. Also, making changes to an album cover art or incorrect song title punctuation used to be difficult as you would have to contact customer service (Although, they are extremely helpful!) but now you can easily edit your releases and all the information that needs to be changed with ease, just as if you were uploading it for the first time.
What Other Helpful Tools Does Distrokid Have?
They have a few tools like a HyperFollow link that when people click on it, it automatically has them follow you on Spotify. That HyperFollow link also contains links to other big music streaming services like Apple, Google Play, Tidal, Deezer and more. There is also a "Fixer" option in your account page where you can get your music on the right artist page or your music off if it is on the wrong page. You also get unlimited backups of all of your music files. One other amazing feature is their upload process is super simple. Formatting your song titles and album titles can be really tricky if you don't know the upload rules, but Distrokid makes it really simple and will auto correct uppercase and lowercase titles. When I tried using "OneRPM" I kept getting my 1st album rejected. Even after contacting customer service, they were completely useless and could care less to help me get my music distributed through their website. With Distrokid, the first time I uploaded that same album, It went through successfully without any issues whatsoever.
So How Long Does It Take for My Music to Get Distributed?
Not Long. Your music will be in some music streaming/stores in as short as 3 days and some stores will take up to 2 weeks. It shouldn't take longer than 1 month for your music to reach each music store on the market. Distrokid's upload/processing times are much better than other music distributors based on opinions from others I've heard on YouTube.