While freelancing is my main thing, I’m also in an original band called Hello, Dear with my wife Faith. While I’ve been critical of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, these services aren’t going anywhere.
In the modern music business, if you’re trying to do the artist thing and your music isn’t on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and everywhere else, it might as well not exist. So how do you get your music on these services? What kind of pricing do they offer? And how complicated is it?
There are many different services that will do the trick, and they all have slight differences like how much the annual fee is, what percentage of royalties they take and more. But I’ll save you time researching all of that: here’s the best deal you can get.
The Only Service You Need
If you want to get your music on premium streaming services, use DistroKid. For $19.99 a year you can upload unlimited music, and keep 100% of the royalites. Yes, seriously.
What $19.99 Gets You
- Upload unlimited albums or singles.
- Choose which stores your music goes to on an album or single basis (includes standard stores like Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, and a bunch of other wannabe stores and streaming services).
- You keep 100% of the royalties.
Want to upload your music right now? Here’s all you need.
- The finished track or tracks
- Artwork that is 3000px by 3000px in jpg format.
Seriously, it’s that easy.
We’ve used DistroKid to upload our first album as well as two individual singles. Since DistroKid lets you upload unlimited music and doesn’t charge for individual songs like other services, we’re working on new music all the time and uploading it as we finish it.
Choose Your Stores
DistroKid allows you to choose which stores your music goes to on a song or album basis. Want that new release to be a Tidal exclusive (Ahem… Jay-Z)? DistroKid lets you do just that. You can add or remove your music from various stores at any time.
Withdrawing your royalties is easy. When you’re logged into your DistroKid account, just click on the “Bank” section to view your royalties. Most stores are on a 3 month delay, which is kind of a bummer, but you can view your streams and purchases in incredible detail. Check this out:
When you want to get paid, click “Withdraw” and DistroKid sends you your earnings via PayPal. Here’s what the earnings look like for Hello, Dear for July through September:
Limitations to the $19.99 Tier
When you sign up for the basic plan at $19.99, here’s a few limitations you should know about:
- You cannot specify the name of your record label. For Hello, Dear, it shows up as “586390 Records DK.” In order to show a custom label name, you’ll need to upgrade to the $35.99/year plan.
- Your music won’t be automatically added to new stores. DistroKid adds new stores periodically and charges an extra $7.99/year to add your music to it automatically. Alternatively, you can login and do that manually for free (like I do).
- Shazam and Siri recognition support is $1 per song per year. I pay the extra dollar for this feature.
- In order to specify a custom release date, you’ll need to pay for the $35.99 a year plan. Different stores take longer to include your music, so if you’re on the basic plan at $19.99, new releases could be slightly scattered by a day or two across various services. This doesn’t bother me, so I’m still on the basic plan.
Here are the additional tiers that DistroKid offers
DistroKid doesn’t handle mechanical licensing of cover songs, so if your music isn’t 100% original, you’ll need to license that through a separate service (like this one).
Even with the limitations, $19.99 a year for unlimited uploads and 100% royalties through DistroKid is an unbeatable deal.
Even the founders of CD Baby and TuneCore think so: