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5 of the Best Music Distribution Companies for Independent Artists & Music Producers

TEXT: 5 Distribution Companies - Image of mobile phone desktop with music streaming icons.

Music Distribution Has Come a Long Way

In this post you'll discover a selection of the best music distribution companies for your independent releases.

Long gone are the days where the only way to get distribution was by being signed to a label or get a distribution deal.

The digital music distribution space has exploded since the advent of online music downloads and streaming.  This means that you're at no loss when it comes time to select a music distribution service for your music.

5 of the Best Music Distribution Companies

There are so many music distribution services available.  Each will have a different selection of stores and platforms that they distribute to and different pricing or fee structure.

So, while this guide to 5 of the best music distribution companies is by no means comprehensive and solely based on the author's own research and experience, it is a good starting point to start your own shortlist of candidates.

Important note: The topic or question of which are the best music distribution companies is a highly contentious one, so don't be surprised if during your own research you find online battle threads that go around in circles for ages. 

Yes, there are a few companies that you may want to avoid due to a general bad reputation, and no company will have perfect reviews. That said,  choosing a good online distributor is what's important and the 5 options you'll discover below are all well worth your consideration.

1. CD Baby

CD Baby has been around since 1998, when it founded by Derek Sivers.  At first it focused on physical music distribution, which it still offers.  It has, as you can imagine, since pivoted to digital music distribution and now offers a host of additional services to independent artists.

Summary of services:

  • Online digital music distribution to 150+ partners which includes Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Youtube, TikTok and Tidal among others.
  • Physical music distribution of Vinyl and CDs through partnerships with Alliance Entertainment, Super D, and Amazon.
  • Detailed analytics, stats and trending reports.
  • Cover song licensing.
  • CD production services.
  • Collection of royalties through their Pro Publishing service.

Distribution pricing:

CD Baby offers two pricing tiers, Standard and Pro.  The Pro tier includes additional publishing and royalty collection services not included in the Standard tier.

Pricing is done as a one-time flat fee per single or album.  You'll find their current pricing and comparison chart here.

2. Tunecore

Tunecore, another long-time player in the digital music distribution game, has been around since 2005.

They, similar to CD Baby, can help you get your music onto over 150 different platforms. Expect all the big names like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, Youtube, TikTok and many more.

Summary of services:

  • Online digital music distribution to 150+ partners which includes Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Youtube, TikTok and Tidal among others.
  • Worldwide registration with rights collection agencies, Youtube monetization, sync licensing opportunities through their publishing service.
  • Other artist services include fan reviews, mastering, cover song licensing, advances, Facebook and Instagram monetization, vinyl pressing and various forms of music promotion services.

Distribution pricing:

  • Tunecore charges a yearly fee per single, album or ringtone. You'll find their current pricing here.

3. Distrokid

Distrokid differentiates themselves by charging a yearly fee for unlimited releases.

Apart from distribution they also offer:

  • Automatic splits.
  • Instant music video generators.
  • Spotify pre-save pages.
  • Cover song clearance.
  • Big playlists for DistroKid artists.
  • Synchronized lyrics on Instagram.
  • TikTok and Twitch support.

You'll find their pricing on the Distrokid home page.

4. Landr

Landr originally came to market with their automated online mastering solution.  More recently they have however moved into different areas which includes digital music distribution.

Apart from getting you onto the biggest online music platforms and retailers you also get:

  • The ability to instantly join the Spotify for Artists program.
  • Easy and affordable cover song licensing.
  • YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok monetization.
  • Ability to add lyrics with Musixmatch.
  • Tools to promote your music.
  • Dashboards with detailed stats and insights.

You'll find Landr pricing here.

5. Amuse

Amuse, one of the newer players on the scene, differentiates themselves by offering free music distribution.

The free music distribution option has a limited selection of platforms but you're still covered for the main platforms you'd mostly likely want to distribute to.  This includes Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, Deezer, Napster and Shazam.

You'll need to upgrade to their Boost or Pro packages for additional stores and platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitch among others.

Other interesting features of Amuse is the Fast Forward feature that allows eligible artists to take out advances against future royalties and a label that uses data from the distribution service to spot and sign artists.

You can see the pricing and compare their packages here.

The Best Music Distribution Companies - Conclusion:

So, there you have it! 5 of the best music distribution companies you can use for your releases.

I trust this shortlist has proven helpful.  If you want a more comprehensive and detailed comparison of the current music distribution companies then I recommend that you check out Ari Herstand's excellent comparison here.

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