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How to Choose the Best Music Distribution Service for Your Releases - Discover the Top 5 Things to Check Before You Decide

Image of hands with a tablet and computer in background. TEXT: Music Distribution

Start the Hunt for the Best Music Distribution Service...

Yes, choosing the best music distribution service isn't the easiest thing to do.

You have so many music distribution companies competing for your distribution budget, all with slightly different offerings and pricing structures.

In this post below you'll discover the 5 top things to check to make sure you find the right music distribution fit for your own release strategy. But first, you must have a good idea of...

  1. ... which platforms you want your music on, and...
  2. ... how much and how often you plan to release music.

With a basic idea of where and how often you plan to release your hunt for the best music distribution service will be much faster and easier to get started.

5 Top Things to Check to Find the Best Music Distribution Service for Your Music

1. Which platforms do they distribute to?

Most of the better music distribution services will cover the major platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play, Amazon Music and Deezer, to mention a few.

There are however some that won't cover more niche platforms like say Beatport for example. So, it's a good idea to make sure the distribution service you choose can distribute to the platforms you want your music on.

2. How does their pricing work?

Not all distribution services charge in the same way.

Some charge a yearly flat fee for unlimited releases while others charge per release.  In the same way some take a cut of your royalties while others give you 100% of your royalties. Some services also have hidden charges that only become apparent later in the process.

So, you'll have to decide which is the best music distribution service based on your release strategy and budget.

A service that allows you to release unlimited tracks or albums and charges you a flat yearly subscription fee may work well if you plan to release a lot.  On the other hand, a service that charges nothing to distribute your music but takes a percentage cut of your income may make more sense if you don't plan to release very often.

In short, take some time to make sure the pricing structure and fees are in alignment with your own release strategy.

3. How good is the support they offer?

Some distribution services are very automated.  This means that getting in touch with human support agent might prove a difficult thing to do.  Others have dedicated support teams ready to assist you most of the time.

Now,  of course, the hope is that you don't ever need to contact support since everything just works as it should.  That would be a perfect world though, and as you know by now, reality often proves itself to be not-so-perfect.

So, take a bit of time to check out Reddit posts, audio and music production forums, Twitter and review platforms to make sure the service you'll get is decent.  You may even want to contact support before you subscribe to check the responsiveness.

There are a few music distribution companies,  I won't mention names,  that have very bad reputations when it comes to support and service.  A little bit of research will uncover these companies fast.

No company is perfect but some are closer to perfect than others.  Make sure you pick one of the better ones.

4. How good are the reports and analytics they offer?

This is one area where music distribution services differ quite dramatically.  So, if analytics, stats and reports are important to you (as they should be!) then this aspect of the company you choose will play into your decision.

I suggest checking out Ari Herstand's excellent comparison of the best music production services for a full breakdown of the main companies in this space.

5. Do they offer any added features or benefits you want?

Many of the companies will offer additional services that could be of use to you.  This may include discounts on other services like mastering, label-type services, playlist pitching, cover licensing and cloud backups for your music,  to mention a few.

So, take some time to review the added features and benefits you get with your shortlist of music distribution services so you don't miss out on anything you may want to make use of.

Music Distribution Choice Infographic Summary

Conclusion:

Choosing a good music distribution service for your releases is a bit like a marriage. You don't want to rush to a decision without careful consideration of your needs.

There are many factors to consider, but as long as you check the following 5 things you'll be on the right track to choosing the music distribution service that'll work for you:

  1. Which platforms do they distribute to?
  2. How does their pricing work?
  3. How good is the support they offer?
  4. How good are the reports and analytics they offer?
  5. Do they offer any added benefits and features you want?

Once you've answered these questions for yourself you'll have at the very least a shortlist of services that qualify.

Remember to also check out the list of 5 of the best music distribution companies in this post.


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