Distribution in the music industry is a way to get music out to the largest audience possible. Traditional music distribution deals were needed for artists before streaming services existed because physical albums needed to be manually produced and delivered to various stores. Now all of this can be done digitally by signing up for a digital music distribution service online.
Traditional distribution deals exchange around 20% of the royalties of a song in exchange for distribution services and promotion. Promotion usually included playlist placement on prominent playlists and featured placement in digital stores that will direct audiences to the artists music. In lieu of signing over royalties, artists can distribute music to online stores by paying a small fee or in exchange for a royalty percentage.
DistroKid allows artists to keep 100% of their royalties while only paying $19.99 a month for unlimited uploads. Music will be distributed to Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Deezer, YouTube, and 150 more online music streaming platforms. Bonus features include cover song distribution, YouTube music distribution, Spotify artist verification, an option to add lyrics and an official YouTube artist channel.
Symphonic has an application process and requires artists to be approved in order to become a part of the distribution program. The standard distribution plan asked for 15% of royalties while offering free promotional tools. Upper threshold plans include analytics, rights and UGC, Youtube monetization and video distribution. Many of the add on distribution options are paid for with royalties instead of an upfront payment. They also have graphic design add on packages.