There are many channels for distributing music. Some of them may be more effective, others, on the contrary, less effective. Distribution of music through distribution companies is generally considered a very successful solution for artists. Of course, in this case, the artist loses part of his profit, but at the same time, his risks are significantly reduced, and there is no need to deal with administrative work.
Which distribution company to choose? There is no single answer to this question. Much depends on the circumstances, the degree of fame of the artist, the terms of cooperation and many other factors. Therefore, we can only talk about the basic principles by which artists should evaluate distribution companies.
Once you decide to deliver music to digital services yourself, you will realize that you cannot do it all on your own. In order to deliver your songs to Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music and many other services, you need to find a distributor i.e. a company that will give you this opportunity. It is worth noting that today it is digital music streaming services that generate more than 80% of the profits of the entire global music business.
What should you think about before deciding to cooperate with this distributor? What to check? Well, it is clear that the first step is to read the draft contract before you sign it. And don’t forget to consult with a lawyer about incomprehensible provisions.
If you share the income with a distribution company, then it’s easy. In the contract, you have a certain percentage that you give for distribution.
If you want to use an internet platform (such as CdBaby, TuneCore, or DistroKid), you will have to pay for content on the websites. Pay attention to whether you subscribe for a certain period of time, but you can download an unlimited number of songs, or pay separately for each delivery. Consider how many releases you want to share (single, EP or album is one release). See what the service charge is for – for example, CDBaby and TuneCore charge an annual distribution fee. It’s not a small fee, prices for a single start at $9.99 and end at $69.99 for an album (with TuneCore charging $49.99 for each subsequent year of album distribution). The biggest advantage of this model is that all income stays in your pocket.
Be sure to check if the service charges anything extra (for example, CdBaby charges a 9% commission on distribution revenue, and you also pay for a UPC code, without which delivery cannot take place).
The period of distribution of music is the second most important moment. Everything is simple here. The distribution period is included in the contract, it is for a fixed or indefinite period, you have a notice period in it.
If you have chosen an online platform, please pay attention to whether your works will remain on the sites after a certain period of time or if they will be automatically deleted. Perhaps the aggregator takes an additional fee to keep the works on the sites until the end of the century?