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.