Best Music Distribution Companies 2019 | Who’s the Best Aggregator?

Understanding music aggregation and distribution is extremely important for an independent musician. What is the best digital music distribution service? Fortunately, we’ve found a number of great music distributors that you can use.

Knowing how to distribute your music effectively online is essential if you want to be in with a good chance of succeeding as an independent artist. 

What is the best music aggregator and what’s the best music distribution service to get your music heard? Here we answer those questions and also list 9 of the best cost-effective digital music aggregators.

Best Music Distribution Companies 2019

  • TuneCore
  • Ditto music
  • Bandcamp
  • Horus Music
  • Fresh Tunes
  • Soundrop
  • Routenote
  • Level Music
  • Awal
  • Amuse
  • Distrokid

How do I sell my own music? 

How do you distribute your music

Music distribution: As a musician, once you’ve recorded some original material and built up a fan base you may want to consider starting to generate some income for your music. 

When a fan base is built up and your songs are perfected you will want to get your music out there. This isn’t just for the fans to hear, but also to make some income. 

How do you distribute your music? 

There are 2 ways of distributing and sharing your music to the public: 

  •  Physical sales
  •  Digital sales 

Previously the main way to distribute your music was through making CD’s and distributing them into record shops and selling them at gigs. Although this is still the case, CD sales are in a massive decline these days due to the rise in technology and digital music sales. 

It’s also quite common that some releases aren’t even manufactured physically but for selling at gigs and events. The CD can still be a good option to generate income and used as a marketing tool for people to take from the event. 

Some experts would advocate giving CD’s away free at each gig you perform at and potentially with CD manufacturer possible for as little as 50p. A CD is a consideration for a bigger goal in winning over the loyalty of the fans. 

What is digital music aggregation? 

Digital music aggregation, also known as digital music distribution, is the process of delivering your original music to digital online stores (like iTunes or Spotify). 

Aggregators make their money by charging upfront fees and/or charging a percentage of the revenue earned from the streaming and downloading of your music. 

In some cases, aggregators will also charge an ongoing annual fee to keep your content online. 

New subscription models are also starting to appear, where an annual fee is charged and set according to the number of songs or albums you want to distribute. 

Selling Your Music Online Through Online Retailers and Distributors

Selling music online for singers Selling your music through online retailers and distributors: The next step on from selling music directly to fans is to get it onto the major sites, such as ITunes and Amazon. For this you use what is known as an ‘aggregator’. These sites sell your music to the top online... Read more »

Why do you need music aggregation? 

In 2019, streaming is the fastest growing way of consuming music. If you don’t have your music on services like Spotify or Apple Music, you’ll be missing out on the opportunity of reaching potential new customers. 

How to get your music on Spotify and Apple Music 

There are multiple different ways to get your music on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Each digital music distributor has a slightly different way in which you submit your music to these platforms. 

With most of them, you’ll need to upload the song as an MP3 or WAV file and then fill in relevant details about the song. Such details can include: 

  • Song title 
  • Album artwork 
  • Lyrics 
  • Release date 
  • Name of E.P or album it’s a part of 
  • Songwriters 
  • Stores to submit to 
  • Band/artist name 
  • Genre 
  • Price of songs

N.B. If you’re an independent artist, we definitely recommend that you use an aggregator. 

Avoid using more than one aggregator site when selling your music online. Using different aggregators will result in your track having multiple barcode numbers, resulting in two versions of the same contentOften both copies will be removed. 

The other thing to take note of is that if you have aspirations on making the charts. Whether you’re shooting for national or specialist charts, like the Indie chart, you will need to ensure that they are registered as being chart eligible. 

Also at the time of writing this, streaming and the number of times your song is downloaded and listened too will also count towards a chart position. 

More on releasing your music in the UK here:

Releasing Your Music in the UK

Making sure the release of your music as a singer is successful. Releasing your music in the UK. Releasing your music can be easier than you think. However planning and timing is everything. Make sure you give your release every chance to succeed by reading these tips below. Register your music As a singer you... Read more »

Independent music distribution companies vs major labels – how does music distribution work? 

If you’re an independent artist, you’ll need to use an aggregator. It’s slightly simpler if you’re signed to a major record label; they’ll do pretty much all the distribution work for you. Part of the contract will most likely mention that you don’t need to deal with digital music distribution, you just need to focus on making music. 

This is one of the many benefits of being signed to a record label. There are drawbacks, however, such as the fact that the label will take a significant percentage of the royalties you earn from streaming. 

More on independently releasing your music here: 

How to Publish Your Own Music | All You Need to Know About Self-Publishing

How do I self-publish my music? As an artist or songwriter, knowing how to publish your music is extremely important. Whether you choose to use a publishing company or you’re doing it yourself, you need to know how it all works. How to self-publish your music. Understanding the concept of music publishing is so important if you want to do it yourself. Self-publishing successfully is tough, but we... Read more »

Cheap music aggregators 

Songcast and TuneCore 

Songcast and TuneCore 

  • Both services require a small monthly subscription fee for their services 
  • There is a one-off payment to be made for every single/EP/album you upload. The prices vary depending on which you choose. 
  • Both distribute your music to a large selection of online retailers, such as iTunes, Amazon, Shazam, Spotify, etc. 
  • You keep 100% of the royalties and all the rights to your music 
  • It is a month-by-month contract so you can cancel at any time! If an album/EP/single has been up for less than 8 months there will be a fee to remove each one from the site! 
  • Takes 2-3 weeks before your music will be on the sites! You will be paid monthly and can receive daily and weekly sales reports to see how each item you upload is selling! 
  • TuneCore also offers a Music Publishing Administration service. For a one-off fee, they offer a worldwide royalty collection service amongst other things! 

Ditto music 

  • Ditto Music offers a similar service to TuneCore and SongCast. Your music gets distributed to a wide variety of online retailers and you keep all royalties and the rights to the music. 
  • Like the other sites, there is a one-off fee for uploading a single/EP/album, which then occurs a small monthly fee 12 months after uploading. 
  • Ditto can also offer the ability to get your music chart eligible 
  • Ditto offers the ability to start up your own record label! 

Best music distribution companies. What is the best music distributor in 2019? 

When it comes to picking a music aggregator for your artist project, you need to choose the right one for you. 

There are benefits and drawbacks to all of the different distributors out there. We’ve created a list of the top 9 best affordable music aggregators for 2019 (in no particular order). 

Best music distribution companies. What is the best music distributor in 2019?  

#1 Bandcamp  

Bandcamp is a great place to start. You can offer your songs as a free download and ask for an e-mail address, or set the price by yourself to distribute your latest EP or album. 

Another feature is the integrated store to distribute merch, vinyl, CDs, and tapes. You also have many useful stats that you can use through Bandcamp, and you can create download codes to give some of your music away for free. 

Which shops for download and streaming are included? 

  • Bandcamp Store. 

How much % of the royalties do they keep? 

  • Bandcamp keeps 15% of your download revenue. 

When do you receive payments? 

  • Your share of each digital transaction is transferred into your PayPal account 24 to 48 hours after the sale. 

Extras: 

  • Physical records & selling merch (vinyl, posters, tickets, t-shirts). 
  • Optional high-quality download formats like FLAC, Wav, and Apple Lossless. 
  • Pre-orders. 
  • Discount codes. 

#2 Horus Music 

Horus Music distributes your songs to over 200 stores including: 

  • Spotify 
  • Apple Music
  • iTunes 
  • Google Play 
  • YouTube 
  • Tidal 
  • Amazon Music 
  • Shazam 
  • Saavn 
  • Beatport 
  • Vevo 
  • Soundcloud 

How much % of the royalties do they keep? 

  • Now you pay an upfront fee (starts from £10) for 100% of the revenue back to the artists. 

When do you receive payments? 

  • The payment threshold depends on where you are based. If you’re not in the UK Horus Music has a £10.00 minimum threshold. 
  • For UK based clients Horus Music has no minimum pay-outs. They will pay your royalties through Western Union each month. 

Extras: 

  • Paid option to receive 100% of your royalties. 
  • Paid options to create your own VEVO channel, Sell your music video on iTunes, Tidal & FunonGo. 
  • Physical distribution. 
  • Urgent iTunes music delivery. 
  • Mastered for iTunes. 
  • MIDEM representation. 
  • Music distribution to Asian markets (including China). 
  • Playlisting campaigns. 
  • Telephone support. 
  • Radio and social media support.  

#3 Fresh Tunes  

free music aggregator

Fresh Tunes is another free music aggregator. They have zero fees and you keep 100% of your royalties and rights. 

Just upload your music, after 24 hours your album or EP is checked and will immediately be sent to Spotify, iTunesDeezer and other shops (a total of 14 streaming and download services). 

Another advantage is that you will be offered a pre-order function for your upcoming release. 

They also provide promotional campaigns via Facebook or YouTube, to promote your next music release. 

Fresh Tunes distributes your music to the following stores: 

  • Spotify 
  • Apple Music 
  • iTunes 
  • Deezer 
  • Google Play 
  • YouTube 
  • Tidal 
  • Amazon Music 
  • Shazam 
  • Yandex Music 
  • Saavn 
  • Kanjian.com 
  • Claro-Musica 
  • Zvooq 

How much % of the royalties do they keep? 

  • Fresh Tunes keeps 0% of your download and streaming revenue. Everything is free and, 100% of the royalties go to the artist. 

When do you receive payments? 

  • If you’ve earned $25 or more you can withdraw your royalties to your bank card, Payoneer or WebMoney account. 

Extras: 

  • You can pay Fresh Tunes to get the promotion, album art video production, artwork production or to find a producer. 

#4 Soundrop 

distribute your music online

Soundrop distribution is the replacement for Loudr.fm, whose service has closed in 2016. 

They offer an almost free YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Spotify distribution. They charge 15% of your download and streaming revenue if you use their service.  

Soundrop distributes your music to the following stores: 

  • YouTube Music 
  • Apple Music 
  • iTunes 
  • Spotify 
  • Amazon Music 
  • Google Play 
  • Deezer 
  • Pandora 

How much % of the royalties do they keep? 

  • Soundrop keeps 15% of your download and streaming revenue. 

When do you receive payments? 

  • Once the balance on your earnings page has reached the USD$20 minimum threshold amount. 

Extras: 

  • Use Show.co marketing tools for free. 
  • Set up payee splits to distribute revenue automatically among multiple rights holders. 
  • Sell cover songs - Pay a one-time fee of $9.99 per composition they will take care of calculating and paying all the appropriate publishing royalties on your behalf. 

#5 Routenote  

digital music distribution

Routenote is a digital music distribution platform and was founded in 2007. They operate from Great Britain to help artists release their music. 

Routenote digital music distribution offers a free and a premium plan. With free music distribution, Routenote takes a 15% commission from your earnings. 

With the premium plan, you get 100% of your earnings, but you pay per music release to the aggregator Routenote. 

The good news is you can switch between the free and premium plan at any time. 

According to Routenote, your music can be distributed up to 200 different shops and streaming services. Also interesting that many Asian and Chinese stores are included. 

Routenote distributes your music to the following stores: 

  • Apple Music 
  • iTunes 
  • Spotify 
  • Amazon Music 
  • Google Play 
  • Deezer 
  • YouTube 
  • Shazam 
  • Pandora 
  • Melon 
  • Soundcloud 
  • Groove Music 
  • Claro Musica 
  • Tidal / WiMp 
  • eMusic 
  • Napster 
  • Omnifone 
  • Anghami 
  • Gracenote 
  • Kanjian 
  • + 30 Chinese Stores 

Routenote pricing: 

  • Routenote distribute your Music with no upfront cost but keeps 15% of your download and streaming revenue. 

When do you receive payments? 

  • Once the balance on your earnings page has reached the USD$50 minimum threshold amount. 

Extras: 

  • Non-exclusive release agreement. 
  • Routenote Premium – for a small upfront cost you keep 100% of the royalties. You pay $9.99 annually ongoing and one time per release (singles $10, E.P. $20, album $30, extended album $45). 
  • YouTube Content ID included. 
  • Custom web store with – Routenote Direct. 
  • Payment splitting for collaborations

#6 Level Music

global music distributor  

Level Music is a new global music distributor with no yearly fees or upfront cost. As an artist using this service, you have many streaming providers at your disposal. 

Level Music has integrated a useful statistics tool to understand your listeners better. There is also a landing page for each release to promote your music more easily. 

You will be paid via PayPal, and so far there are no additional costs for using this service.  In the test phase Level music is entirely free, but how long this will remain is not yet clear. 

Level Music distributes your music to the 9 following stores: 

  • Apple Music 
  • iTunes 
  • Spotify 
  • Amazon Music 
  • Google Play 
  • Deezer 
  • Pandora 
  • Napster 
  • Tidal 

How much % of the royalties do they keep? 

  • Level Music keeps 8% of your download and streaming revenue. 

When do you receive payments? 

  • You can withdraw your payments via PayPal. 

Extras: 

  • You can showcase your music releases with landing pages that route fans to their preferred streaming or download service. 

#7 Awal  

Kobalt Music Group

Founded in 2003, Awal Distribution is owned by the Kobalt Music Group and represents more than 4000 artists and labels. 

Itmusic aggregation service is App-based and invite only. You can submit your own music, but Awal will review your sound quality, social media reach, press releases and Spotify plays from the past. 

Awal distributes your music to 200 territories. Many download shops and streaming services are included in this: 

  • Apple Music 
  • iTunes 
  • Spotify 
  • Amazon Music 
  • Google Play 
  • Deezer 
  • Pandora 
  • Napster 
  • Tidal 
  • Beatport 
  • Boomkat 
  • Soundtrack your Brand 
  • Svooq 
  • Juno Records 
  • Traxsource 
  • Beatport 
  • Vevo and many more 

How much % of the royalties do they keep? 

  • No upfront fees but Awal takes a 15% share of the revenue. 

Extras: 

  • They don’t accept everyone. 
  • You keep 100% ownership of your music. 
  • Awal app to track play stats etc. 
  • Marketing. 
  • Funding. 
  • Playlisting and radio submissions. 
  • Data analytics.

#8 Amuse  

app-based music distribution service

Amuse was founded in 2016. It’s as app-based and 100% free music distribution service. 

You can upload your tracks in .wav format via IOS or Android app. But you also need a Google Drive, Dropbox or ICloud account. 

Amuse distributes your music to following stores for free: 

  • Spotify 
  • Apple Music 
  • iTunes 
  • Deezer 
  • Google Play 
  • YouTube / YouTube Music  
  • Tidal 
  • Amazon Music 
  • Napster 
  • Shazam 
  • Pandora 

How much % of the royalties do they keep? 

  • Amuse keeps 0% of your download and streaming revenue. Everything is free, and 100% of the royalties go to the artist. 

When do you receive payment? 

  • If you’ve earned $10 or more you can withdraw your royalties using PayPal. 

Extras: 

  • They discover artists they believe in and will offer them a record deal that includes marketing, financing, promotion and playlist pitching. If you are one of them, they split the profits 50/50 with the artists. 
  • First app-only music distributor with no desktop site. 
  • You have to upload your music to ICloud, Dropbox or Google Drive to release your music. 

#9 Distrokid  

music aggregators

Distrokid distributes your songs to more than 150 stores including: 

  • Spotify 
  • Apple Music 
  • iTunes 
  • Google Play 
  • YouTube 
  • Tidal 
  • Amazon Music 
  • Shazam 
  • Beatport 
  • Soundcloud 

How Much does it Cost? 

  • The cheapest distribution plan starts at $ 19.99 per year, to upload unlimited songs & albums. 

How much % of the royalties do they keep? 

  • You keep 100% of your royalties when releasing music with Distrokid. 

When do you receive payments? 

  • Your money will be sent within the 1-14 days of a withdrawal request. 

Extras: 

  • Releases on Beatport. 
  • Spotify has a distribution partnership with Distrokid.

Have you used a music aggregator? What advice would you give to others distributing their music digitally? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below 

 

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