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DistroKid Review

13 Comments Entrepreneurship Music

I’m wicked excited to write this review for DistroKid. As someone who’s both an entrepreneur and musician, I love being able to do everything on my own and have full control over how my tracks are released. I’ve been using DistroKid for almost a year now, and it’s always been a reliable service for independent artists looking to release tracks to major distributors such as iTunes, Amazon, and more.

I’ll also say this: DistroKid didn’t ask me to write this article – I wanted to do it on my own. I wanted to write this review both to give an honest opinion of my experience with DistroKid, and to recommend it, because it’s made my life a lot easier as a musician.

Sign Up With My Special Link and Get a 7% Discount!: DistroKid

UPDATE: Here’s my NEW review after using DistroKid for a couple years!

Price

This is usually the biggest factor when it comes to independent distribution. Because you’re not releasing through a label, you have to do everything yourself, which can be costly overtime. DistroKid was made by the original founders of Tunecore and CD Baby, who left those companies and decided to join forces.

Now this post isn’t meant to be a comparison of DistroKid versus other distribution services, but I will say that if you plan to release a lot of tracks, DistroKid is the way to go. It’s only $19.99/year to release unlimited tracks – if you want to release a track a day, knock yourself out. In addition, you keep 100% of the profits – making it even better.

The only flipside is that CD Baby has a one time fee for a single and album – $9.95 for a single and $49 for an album (and thats for the standard package – their pro package is more expensive). There are no yearly fees with CD Baby, so once you upload something, it’s completely permanent (unlike DistroKid, where if you stop paying, your music gets taken down). They do take a 9% cut of the profits, however, so it all depends on what you’re shooting for.

 

Simplicity

When I was planning to release my debut album The Light Nearby I researched every distribution service out there. If you want a full comparison of all the major ones, check out Ari’s Take Post – it’s definitely the most intricate post out there about all the services. I personally was trying out different services to see what they offered, and what I noticed right away was that DistroKid was way easier.

With the other services you have to sign up and provide all this information. With DistroKid, it was as simple as singing up, uploading my music, selecting the places, and boom. Done. It was extremely surprising how quick and efficient it was, and my music was on iTunes within a matter of hours (some services take longer though).

In addition, if you’re looking to start a music label, DistroKid is a great place to start releasing music under your name. It’s a bit more pricy ($35.99/year), but it’s completely worth it. When I started my label MetaMusic Records, I released all of my works under that name, and it was just as simple as typing in my name under the Label Name section. Pretty simple.

 

Customer Service

This was actually the precipitant that caused this post. Their customer service is incredible. I ran into some issues with some of my releases, and they will always extremely responsive and helpful. Any problems that I had were quickly fixed, and it was comforting to know that if I ever had a situation, they would be not only responsive but active in resolving it. When doing some research I saw a lot of negative reviews about other distribution companies, although I can’t say from experience because the main one that I’ve used is DistroKid.

 

Reliability

It’s an extremely important aspect to me (and probably everyone else) that if a company says you’re going to be distributed to a bunch of different places, that it actually happens. DistroKid was always extremely quick and reliable to make sure that all the information is correct and distributed to all the stores that they have. Again, I can’t say from experience, but I’ve heard some unfortunate stories about other distribution companies not doing what they promised.

 

Negative Aspects

I wanted this to be a comprehensive review, and the truth is, there really aren’t too many complaints I have with DistroKid. There are a couple though. First, it is tough that if you stop paying the yearly fee your music gets taken down. While it is only $20/year, it’s sometimes comforting knowing that once you pay a certain amount, your music is permanent forever.

Second, DistroKid has an additional extra feature that it will automatically send your track/album to new stores and streaming services as they add them. The only catch is that it’s an extra $8/year for each track/album, so if you release a ton of tracks, this can start to get costly. You technically don’t have to do this, but I do it on all my tracks because it’s good to know that if any random services pop up (like when Apple Music was created), everything is automated.

 

Overall

All in all, DistroKid is my permanent choice for independent musicians looking to release their music. Not only is it the cheapest out of any distributor out there (especially if you plan to release a lot of music), but the customer service is outstanding and the whole uploading process is a breeze. Again, like I said in the beginning, they didn’t ask me to write this and I’m not getting any affiliate revenues from recommending them.

Sign Up With My Special Link and Get a 7% Discount!: DistroKid

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask! If you want to watch my video where I review DistroKid on camera, click here: DistroKid Review Video.

13 comments

  1. Jason Silver - December 3, 2015 7:13 am

    Wow, that hasn’t been my experience. So far I’m seriously frustrated and annoyed with DistroKid.

    Reply
    • Marc Freccero - December 3, 2015 10:59 am

      Dammmm really?? What has happened with you when you’ve tried using them

      Reply
  2. Cire Moolb - August 2, 2016 11:15 pm

    These companies make everything sound SO super-fantastique, and you proceed as far into the joining process as you can, and right as you’re about done, you get hit with all the drawbacks, extra charges and asterisks. I’m glad I read the review from Just Offshore and the others. They tell you $19 per year for unlimited uploads, but according the JUST OFF’S review, that isn’t true at all. Screw it. My search goes on for a legit outfit~E

    Reply
  3. Ray - September 22, 2016 8:40 am

    As an FYI, DistroKid was not started by Jeff Price and Derek Sivers like the article claims. They actually have nothing to do with DistroKid. They just endorsed it.

    Reply
  4. Chuck Spencer - March 21, 2017 12:57 am

    DistroKid came highly recommended, so I jumped in. Paid the full fee. After uploading the tracks and making sure metadata is correct, The track following the title track got added to the title.
    Sent a message and the reply was, it gets uploaded just like you posted it. I call BS on that issue.
    Along with that came a notice that because I used and “AKA” between my name and my artist name, it wasn’t posted to many stores, although it was available on Amazon. I’m rechecking every track now and it is exactly like I created everything. So I made a mistake I was not made aware of until after weeks of work. The “AKA” !
    For me it’s not so much about the fee as it is about the info provided. And now going through the process of redo every track and cover art. So… I’ll upload it once again and correct my “AKA” mistake and see how it uploads. As a matter of fact, during the initial upload, I monitored each track as it uploaded. So I know for fact what I did. Somewhere in the upload process came the issue. The site lacks info on these possible issues. That needs to be made clear to subscribers/artists!

    Reply
    • Marc Freccero - March 21, 2017 9:53 pm

      I do agree with you that the whole naming process can get really tricky (I’ve had a bunch of issues in the past). The truth though, is that this isn’t Distrokid’s fault, it’s that iTunes and other stores are EXTREMELY strict about naming (too much so in my opinion). I will say that Distrokid has gotten better about warning you if there’s a naming issue

      Reply
  5. Lyryca - March 21, 2017 11:47 am

    We’re a band from Chihuahua MX and… well it’s been a headache to find a realiable service to upload our songs to Spotify, Itunes and others. A friend recommended us to use DistroKid and this article seems to do it too, but then some comments says the opposite, we would like to know, what is that not-so-cool thing about DistroKid? I mean, it can’t be perfect, right?

    Reply
    • Marc Freccero - March 21, 2017 9:50 pm

      To be honest, it definitely isn’t perfect, but for an independent distributor it comes pretty close. The biggest issue I personally have is that although it’s only $20/year for unlimited uploads, there are a lot of “add ons” that can make it pricey pretty quick (especially if you release a ton of tracks). Besides that, I really can’t recommend it enough

      Reply
  6. Bao - May 19, 2017 9:15 am

    Hey thanks for the post. Can you please update the pricing area with all the extra add-on fees? These are so important and I can’t believe they bury this information, forcing you to create a PAID account before you can see these fees! Thanks.

    Reply
    • Marc Freccero - May 20, 2017 9:56 am

      I’m going to be posting an updated review of DistroKid, and I’ll be talking about the add ons in that post.

      Reply
  7. Reinaldo Cayugan Ortiz - June 7, 2017 12:00 pm

    I have a question. How about having your music in tv films movies etc. like cd baby,Tune Core and get paid the royalties. Does distrokid have a program for that. Please let me know.

    Reply
    • Marc Freccero - June 7, 2017 5:22 pm

      They do not unfortunately – that comes down to royalties, and you need to sign up with a PRO (Performing Rights Organization) like ASCAP, BMI, etc

      Reply
  8. Kirk Cole - August 8, 2017 5:34 am

    The main sites are good, but none of these sites (CD Baby, TuneCore, Distrokid, etc.) are perfect. You just have to pick, and choose, and learn from experiences. I just got into the business of music a few years ago, I have a few singles out there, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s a daily grind with ups and downs, and good times and bad, It takes a lot of learning, research, money and risks. That’s just the way it is. Your end results are based on what you’re after, and how much work you’re willing to put in. If you want to be that mega star collecting grammy’s, or that super producer, or that high in-demand audio engineer, then you’re going to have a long hard road ahead. If you want to submit multiple tracks to music libraries, then that’s going to take time and hard work, but it’s a different path. Just do your best, and research, study, practice and learn. If you go that extra mile, you’ll have success.

    Reply

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