Digital & Radio

Navigating the landscape of digital distribution for self-releasing musicians can seem daunting, but it’s essential to educate yourself about the options available to ensure your music reaches its audience effectively. Over the past decade, digital distribution has undergone a revolution, with numerous platforms offering similar services to help independent artists distribute their music worldwide. To begin, research and compare different digital distribution platforms to determine which best aligns with your goals and needs as a musician. Consider factors such as pricing, royalty rates, payout schedules, promotional features, and ease of use. 

Once you’ve chosen a platform, familiarise yourself with the distribution process and requirements. This may include preparing your music files according to platform specifications, providing metadata such as album artwork, track titles, and artist information, and selecting the platforms and territories where you want your music to be available. Additionally, take advantage of educational resources offered by these platforms to deepen your understanding of the digital music landscape. Many platforms offer tutorials, webinars, and support documentation to help musicians navigate the distribution process effectively.

Below we have basic details offered by six large digital suppliers but there may be others out there who are more appropriate for your particular genre of music; research as many as you possibly can. Please bear in mind most of these platforms charge in $ dollars and you will need to convert this into £ sterling.

  • CD Baby:

    • Pricing: CD Baby offers a range of pricing options for distribution:
      • Standard: $9.95 per single, $29 per album for standard distribution to digital stores.
      • Pro: $34.95 per single, $89 per album for additional features like YouTube monetization, sync licensing, and more.
      • Premium: $69 per single, $99 per album for expedited distribution and additional promotional features.
    • Additional Fees: CD Baby charges a one-time fee for each release, with optional add-ons available for additional costs.
  • AWAL (Artists Without A Label):

    • Pricing: AWAL operates on a commission-based model, where they take a percentage of the revenue generated from music sales and streaming:
      • Distribution Fee: AWAL typically charges a 15% commission on earnings, although this may vary based on specific agreements with artists.
      • No upfront fees: Unlike some other platforms, AWAL does not charge upfront fees for distribution.
    • Additional Fees: AWAL may offer optional services such as marketing and promotional support, which may incur additional costs.
  • Ditto Music:

    • Pricing: Ditto Music offers a variety of pricing options based on individual needs:
      • Standard: £19/year for unlimited distribution of singles and albums.
      • Artist Plus: £29/year, including features like pre-order campaigns and playlist pitching.
      • Label: £99/year, tailored for record labels with advanced distribution needs.
    • Additional Fees: Ditto Music charges a one-time fee for each release, which varies depending on the level of distribution and promotional services selected.
  • DistroKid:

    • Pricing: DistroKid offers a subscription-based model with three pricing tiers:
      • Musician: $19.99/year for unlimited uploads of singles and albums.
      • Musician Plus: $35.99/year, which includes additional features like customizable release dates and the ability to split earnings among collaborators.
      • Label: $79.99/year, suitable for record labels with multiple artists and advanced features.
    • Additional Fees: DistroKid does not charge additional fees for distributing music to stores, but there may be optional add-ons such as Shazam and YouTube Content ID for an extra cost.

The Orchard operates on a more personalized pricing structure tailored to individual artists’ needs. They typically offer distribution and marketing services, but pricing details are not publicly listed on their website. The Orchard’s pricing may vary depending on factors such as the level of distribution, promotional support, and additional services required by the artist.

FUGA also operates on a customised pricing model tailored to the specific needs and requirements of individual artists and labels. Like The Orchard, FUGA offers distribution and marketing services, but they do not publicly list pricing details on their website.

We also highly recommend looking through Karma Betelsen’s amazing Googlesheet resources here with a comprehensive DSP checklist for individual submissions.

KarmaBetelsenDSPGuide

As well as digital distribution platforms how about trying to get your music played on the radio?  F-List musician and marketing guru Lynz Chrichton from the Music Marketing Method explains how….

With thanks to – Lynz Crichton, Background Music: Dyalla