Opinions and experiences, based on that we see many reviews online and videos explaining which distribution service you should choose. In this article, we'll give you our advice, on what really matters when making your choice between Distrokid or TuneCore.
For starters, what is a distribution service like TuneCore or Distrokid? The official name for this is a Distribution Aggregator - a catalyst who can place all your music via a platform and distribute it to various streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music.
They help smooth the distribution process of the music, payouts, statistics, upload and other parts.
But there are different services, which one do you choose? Today we take a look at 2 protagonists named TuneCore and Distrokid. We are going to do it slightly differently from other comparisons, because a comparison is nice, but it always depends on your situation and wishes as an artist - what is important to you? We believe that you should base your choice on that.
What is your preference?
We have used both services and have come to the conclusion that you can distinguish between two important parts.
Simple: do you just want to upload your music to a streaming service and you don't take your career very seriously yet? Then you do not need all kinds of services and opportunities that you get through one of these services. You just want to upload your song, that's it.
Advanced: you take your artist career seriously and you want to continue a future as an artist. You are eager to learn and would like to learn more about the music industry.
Why these two options? This is because TuneCore, for example, gives many extra services such as music publishing, which means that your music may be used on TV or elsewhere - which can be very lucrative and interesting if they choose your song.
Switch you're thinking in the sense of: I want to perform this action as simple and cheaply as possible to I would like to pay a little more for more value so that I can get the most out of this release.
Are you an artist, are you going to upload music but don't expect any streams? Then we would also go for the cheaper option. But the extra amount that you pay to TuneCore - you get a lot in return if you want results and insight.
How does TuneCore work?
TuneCore is a large company headquartered in New York. TuneCore was founded in 2005 and has been working hard ever since to develop a complete arsenal of tools for musicians.
TuneCore is not the cheapest, although the difference is often not very big. It is therefore important to see what you need as an artist.
TuneCore has a number of interesting features:
- Distribution to all platforms such as Spotify, TikTok and Apple Music
- Insight into advanced statistics
- Publishing options
- Generate revenue from YouTube, Instagram and Facebook
- Social media promotion options
- Double the number of platforms compared to Distrokid
- Multiple artists under one account
How does Distrokid work?
Distrokid looks super simple and straight-forward, that's probably the tactic they use as a platform. But being an artist isn't always easy and you need to understand the business side - whether you want to or not.
For example, if we search for prices on Distrokid's homepage, we cannot find them, even not directly on another page. They did put a lot of time into explaining why TuneCore is more expensive - but their own prices are not immediately clear on the website, which is strange if you claim to be cheaper and that is an advantage of your platform. There is a price in the text, but that is where it ends.
In addition, they are proud of the fact that the former owners of CDBaby and TuneCore say they recommend Distrokid. The mud-trowing has started, which is a shame because the focus should be on adding value for the musician. They are the old owners, with have different interests now - so not very relevant in our eyes.
Recently, a whole group of artists has also been speaking out against Distrokid because they would steal money based on the income that artists should receive. This is a complex and extensive topic, but you can see more about it in this video.
Below is an indication of the prices that we have found on both websites, the models on which the price is built up. Depending on the number of releases they are cheaper or more expensive.
Single: $ 9.99 per year
Album: $ 29.99, then $ 49.99 annually
Extra: options for Publishing, YouTube Monetization and TuneCore Social
Single: $ 19.99 per year (unlimited for an artist)
In terms of prices, it is a bit simpler at Distrokid and clearer. For $ 20 per year you can upload unlimited songs, but for that it is really just uploading and not as advanced in terms of possibilities compared to TuneCore.
Quality, features and opportunities - you simply can't get it for the cheapest price. Our advice is, pay a little more and get more.
Rights of your music
With both platforms you keep 100% rights and income over your own music. This is good in our opinion, because if your song is really going to get streams then you want to keep 100% of the income. You never want to hand this over to a distribution service!
As indicated in this comparison, you pay more at TuneCore if you want to upload more than 2 singles. If you only want to upload 1, TuneCore is cheaper. TuneCore does have a much more extensive dashboard and opportunities for artists.
Make the decision for yourself where you want to go in the future and which choice you take. Do you have any questions or need advice? Comment below this article for any questions.