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Distribution Service?

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Distribution Service?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:12 am
by awjoe
I've finished another album, and I'd like to distribute it via a distribution service. For the last two albums I've used Distrokid, and made about a dollar overall. (Cue applause...) So it's obvious I do it for the fun rather than for the money. I'm curious about your experience and opinions about online distribution services in general and Distrokid in particular.

Re: Distribution Service?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:24 am
by blinddrew
Are you talking hard-copy or download only?

I'm currently using CD baby for our last band EP but their pricing model works better for albums. Worth a look for sure.
I note that SoundCloud have a comment about distribution to streaming services on their pro unlimited plan now. I've not checked it out yet but am intending to as my solo stuff doesn't tend to fit the album format so much.

Re: Distribution Service?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:30 pm
by BigRedX
I use CD Baby and Catapult for two different projects.

Neither has made a profit when you take the upload fee into consideration, despite having had music up there for almost 10 years now.

As part of the overall distribution strategy they are worthwhile especially since neither band is currently playing live, and now we get a small but steady income from Spotify and Apple Music streaming, but while we were gigging, the revenue generated was less than 5% of all sales.

Re: Distribution Service?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:51 pm
by awjoe
Well yeah, if it's money you want, then gigging's way way better than the online floggeroo. On Friday night I watched a three-man British band called The Trials of Cato playing in a kind of club way out here on the left coast of Canada. (They described themselves as 'folk' and they are, but intelligently and inventively so. Relatively unknown on this side of the planet, but an awesome talent that I heartily recommend.) They managed to fill a 250-seat venue and got a take of the gate, but they really worked the signed CD sales during the intermission and at the end. *That* is how to make money. And interestingly, they don't even sell CDs online, only mp3s.

In the meantime, I just want to get my stuff out there online, as sensibly as possible. I've checked reviews of Distrokid and some people really pan them along the lines of 'They were good when they started but they've gone to the devil recently - don't trust them' sort of thing. Of course, I know better than to believe anonymous reviews online, so I thought I'd ask here. ... oh hang on... you're online and relatively anonymous too... Never mind. It's all about *degrees* of trust, right? :headbang:

Re: Distribution Service?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:16 pm
by connorhawke
I've mainly used CDBaby. They're quick to get music to stores (usually a few days from submission) but somewhat more costly than competitors - e.g. $20 just for an album barcode whereas many other distributors provide this for free.

I tried Distrokid once, which seems more cost-effective if you want to distribute music constantly although there is a fee that pushes it above CDBaby's cost if you want to keep the music on stores after your subscription ends.

amuse is free but very slow - several weeks to get submission to stores, and long wait times for customer service. I'm trying their Pro service which should be slightly faster and I'll see how it fares.

ONErpm and RouteNote are other free options I've tried for my collab tracks as they offer automated split earnings.

Each service has their own drawbacks which may or may not affect you / your group so it's worth doing some individualized research and perhaps test-trialing to see what works best for what type of work. There's also a great summary article which covers a lot of the pros and cons of common distributors: ... imbalam-or

Hope this helps.

Re: Distribution Service?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:35 pm
by CS70
So far I’ve seen only a parameter which means something: you either you pay the one-off processing fee but give them a cut for every sale, or pay every year a publishing fee but they take no cut. If you estimate lots of sales, the latter is best, if not the former is.

I have good experience with cd baby service and interface but I’m pretty sure it can be said for others.

The one above is imho the most meaningful difference between all these services.

Re: Distribution Service?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:25 pm
by blinddrew
I did look at SoundCloud Pro as it was on offer recently but you need to be hitting a certain level of plays to get on their Premiere service - and I was nowhere close!

Re: Distribution Service?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:33 pm
by MOF
You might consider your own YouTube channel for monetising and cross promotion. Also some promotion through Facebook and Instagram on a regular basis.