The Ultimate Digital Music Distribution Round Up


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A great guide to getting your music distributed worldwide with a lengthy overview of the steps to take and the companies that will help you. A little dated now being from 2009, but lots that is still of relevance and a complete overhall of the PDF is underway I am told by the writer. Its another free download and is due soon, you can sign up for notification here


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The Ultimate Digital Music Distribution Round Up

  1. 1. THE BUZZSONIC.COM DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE Exploring The Digital Music Distribution Jungle Originally published in April 2009 Written by Adrian Fusiarski @buzzsonicIve touched on music distribution issues here before with Tunecore, Bit Torrent and even good oldanalogue vinyl but thought Id dig around a bit deeper as there seems to be new distribution servicesspringing up on a regular basis these days. Be they aggregator or widget type tools. Ill be coveringdigital music aggregators here first and covering website widgets later in the week. Things To Consider When Choosing Digital Music DistributionWith the Internet its easy to research background on companies these days. That’s what Google is for.Do it. Search around the distributors website. Look for the names of people running the company. Put ashout out on Twitter or music forums if you need user feedback on any service.What is the distributors background, how long has the company been around? What is the revenuemodel ? Upfront yearly admin fee (like Tunecore) or a percentage of sales (CD Baby take 9%).Which digital retailers do the aggregators distribute too? Also, check the distributors list of bands,artists and labels that are using their services. Always a good reference point. Its reassuring to knowthat Tunecore (who I use) also handle digital distribution for established artists such as NiN, David
  2. 2. Byrne & Brian Eno and Jay Z and newer MP3 blog faves like MGMT.Also you need to know that you wont be signing away rights to your music and that you wont be tieddown to any lengthy fixed termsMusic industry scribe Moses Avalon has a good breakdown of distribution terms for a few aggregatorson his website. Its a couple of years old and as such covers only the longer established companies but isstill very relevant. TerritoriesIs the distribution deal exclusive? Does it allow you to distribute your music to additional regions oroutlets or are you bound to a single distributor?You should have the option to choose availability of your music by territory too. Maybe you want to beon iTunes in the USA but not Europe and so on. Several reasons for this, but mainly you may have adeal in another country so want to restrict a particular release.Dont rule out the possibility of using more than one distributor. Distributors like Tunecore and CDBaby dont cover niche retailers like Beatport and TrackitDown for instance.For smaller specialist niches ( electronic/dance music for one) you would have to look at otheraggregators to get you into places like Beatport, DJ Download and TrackitDown and the like. If yourereleasing electronic music you really do want to be on the biggest electronic music stores. DJs headhere first for the higher bitrate downloads and upfront exclusives, not to iTunes.All distribution deals should be none exclusive. Youre not signing a record deal OK. Use your logicthough, dont try and use multiple aggregators to get on the same stores. The StoresBy default the major aggregators- at the very minimum- should be getting your music onto what I callthe Big Five. For better or worse these are the stores Joe and Jane public get the majority of their paiddownloads from.The Big Five are : iTunes (and you can go worldwide with Apple, or just by territory), the now BestBuy owned Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic and Amazon MP3 (a distant second in market share). Lots ofaggregators will bump up the number of "stores we distribute to", claim by counting regionalvariations.For instance Texas based Catapult Distribution claim over sixty stores, but thirty of these are iTunesand Napster regional variations. Just a small point really but worth noting.Stores that I would call second division outlets (ie: fractional market share, compared to iTunes)would include Zune, FYE/MusicNet, VCast and the like. For the UK youd add Tesco Digital and HMVto that list. Big high street brand names, small online share.
  3. 3. The Digital Music Aggregator ListAWAL - (Sheffield/London, UK) - Take 15% cut but doesnt seem to be a sign up fee. No upload area,good old fashioned mail in signed agreement and CD for encoding. Handling Arctic Monkeys, Sparks,Klaxons and Moby and 100s more. Aimed more at labels as apposed to individual artists. Promotionand licensing services too. Co-owned by ex-Comsat Angel Kevin Bacon (no not that one!). No storelisting but iTunes seems to be the biggest focus.IRIS - (San Francisco, USA) - Take a 15% cut of sales. Impressively comprehensive list of retailersand mobile music outlets worldwide. Again, another outlet aimed more at label catalogs than DIYartists. Submissions for consideration are initially via an online form. In house marketing arm too.CD Baby - (Portland, Oregon, USA)- $35 one off sign up fee and take a 9% cut of download revenue.Digital distribution sticks to the big 5 retailers and some of the second tier stores. Can get your CD’sinto US stores via one stop distributor Super D. Now owned by New Jersey based CD manufacturerDiscmakers. @cdbaby101 Distribution - (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) – The 101 Basic setup is $49.95 and you get 75% payoutof all sales. Distribution to iTunes and all the majors. @101DistributionNimbit - (Framingham, MA, USA) -$15 per album sign-up fee and they take a 20% cut for getting youon iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and CDFreedom . They do the encoding so you mail in your CD andartwork. They have a number of extra services like CD duplication, merchandising, online storefronts,widgets and download cards. @nimbitIODA - (San Francisco, USA) - One of the longest established digital music aggregators with animpressive list of distribution partners and services. Again, one of those services that is aimed at labelsvs individuals. Hopefuls can apply here. @iodapromonetCatapult - (Frisco, Texas, USA) - $25 set-up fee (plus $20 for a barcode) which includes placement onthe usual big five stores plus Verizons VCast, Tesco Digital and HMV Digital (UK), Puretracks(Canada), Zune and FYE. Full list here. Artist keeps 91% of sales which is inline with CD Baby andmeans you can expect something like 56c from a 99c download. Like most USA based services(excluding IODA) theres a lack of niche outlets, with the majority being USA and Canadianmainstream retailers.
  4. 4. ReverbNation - (Durham, NC/New York, USA) - RN looks like it was designed for the MySpacegeneration with its ADD inspired layout! Nevertheless dig around and theres a bunch of great services.Digital distribution will cost artists a one off $34.95 sign-up fee and get you on iTunes worldwide, andthe rest of the big 5. 100% of sales goes to the artist. Where RN possibly beats out similar pricedoutlets like CD Baby and Tunecore is with the additional viral marketing tools. Theres a bunch of freepromo tools, widgets, email lists, and a Sonicbids feature beating EPK . @ReverbNationSongCast - (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA) - Another relatively new name (to me at least). Songcastoffer the basic big 5 distribution deal for $19.99 sign-up and $5.99 a month. You keep 100% of salesbut with the monthly fee that works out at $91.96 for the first year. Something like triple the fees ofother entry level* distributors like Tunecore, ReverbNation and CD Baby. Oh, they throw in a freebar-code. Difficult to see why youd go here and pay more to get on the same major downloadplatforms though.KJER - (Brabrand, Denmark) - KJER use the services of IODA to get artists and labels on one of themost comprehensive retail store lists mentioned here (presumably the same list as IODA itself). Theirclient list seems to be mainly European independent labels though their services extend to clientsworldwide and their website invites individual artists to submit material for distribution. Further detailson their blog and on the main website FAQ. The lack of information on their website doesnt fill youwith confidence.Ditto Music -(Birmingham, UK) - Ditto have a massive retail partner list including the usual big 5, allthe major dance music stores, mobile music outlets and white label branded stores too. The serviceseems to be geared towards artists aiming to crack the UK download charts and Ditto claim to haveushered seven unsigned artists into the UK top 40 already. Theres a sliding scale of sign up feesdepending on the amount of stores you want to be on, from the basic 25 UK Pounds ($36) packagewhich includes iTunes and Amazon UK but not eMusic, Napster or Rhapsody bizarrely. A total of 70UK pounds ($103 approx) gets you just about everywhere in Europe, including those illusive danceretailers Beatport, Trackitdown, DJDownload, Stompy, XpressBeats and Juno. Artists keep 100% ofrevenue. Theres an additional 55 UK pounds service to register your release with the chart authoritiesCatco/PPL. @Dittomusic , MySpace.RouteNote - (Redruth, UK) - Routenote are another UK based distribution service (and a new service,less than a year old) thatll get your music on iTunes, Amazon eMusic, Snocap, iMeem and LastFM,though no Rhapsody or Napster. Nothing different here really, though theres no sign up fee and artistshare is 90% of revenue. @routenoteSymphonic Distribution -(Tampa, Florida, USA) Symphonic is aimed squarely at getting dance musicartists across the variety of niche electronica and digital dance music retailers worldwide (and as suchis of great interest to me!). They service just about all the dance specialists, including Beatport, JunoDownload and TrackitDown . They will also get you on iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic and Amazon withtheir SymDirect offshoot which seems to be their mainstream outlet. As far as I can gather. 100% ofsales royalties go to the artist and an album sign-up fee would be $29.99. Promising, I really like thelook of these guys. MySpace.Musicadium - (Brisbane, Australia/Tokyo, Japan)- Australian based digital distribution setup that letsyou keep 100% of sales in return for a sign-up fee of $39Aus per album, (about $28US). They seem tobe limited to iTunes, eMusic and Amazon MP3 right now though more retailers are promised. Blog.@musicadiumTunecore - (Brooklyn,New York,USA) - I like Tunecore a lot. I use them, I trust their service and
  5. 5. theyre fair to the artist. Theyre pretty transparent too with an informative blog, free PDF downloadsand multiple Twitter accounts. They service the ubiquitous big 5 stores as well as smaller retailers andoutlets like Lala, Shockhound and Amie St. Theres a $19.98 sign-up charge which is yearly and artistskeep all the sales $$$. More FAQs here. I think the common consensus into what would makeTunecore better than it is, is more stores. Recommended for the mainstream retail distribution.@tunecoregary @TuneCore - (Traunstein, Germany) - German based digital distributor that is an offshoot of major vinyldistributor Dance All Day. Feiyr supply a massive selection of dance retailers across Europe and alsothe big 5 retailers worldwide. Recommended for their wide and specialist coverage. Sign up fee isaround 10 Euros and the artist share seems to be variable. Not the best website in the world.The Orchard - (New York, USA/London, UK) - Another company (like IODA) that seem to have beenaround forever. Offer a comprehensive list of download stores worldwide and other services like synclicensing, marketing and video distribution. Again, like all the higher end distribution services theresan application process here. Not aimed at artists with one off releases. Conclusions?Given my own niche (dance/house music),if I ever get around to getting my arse in gear with newtracks this year I’ll probably give Symphonic, Feiyr or Ditto the nod for the additional coverage andniche stores. If I was just wanting distribution on iTunes, Napster, eMusic, Rhapsody and Amazon Idprobably head for ReverbNation for their impressive additional promo tools. Neither CDBaby,Tunecore, ReverbNation or Nimbit cover any different ground retail wise between them which meansthey’re all chasing the same market. ReverbNation and Nimbit probably edge it with their extrafeatures.For labels with a few artists or bigger names and a regular release schedule IODA is the one for me.Theyve been around since download stores were born just about and cover more stores worldwide thananyone else Ive mentioned here.*Footnote. By entry level stores I refer to the fact that these are aimed more at individual artists vsthe bigger catalog/label distributors that have more barriers of entry. Not a sleight on any of theservice providers here. Related ReadingHow To Effectively Promote and Sell Your Music on iTunes ( To Get Your Music Distributed on iTunes (And Keep Most Of The Money) ( Future Of Music Distribution-Your Computer ( On Content Aggregators and Digital Distribution ( Store Comparison Part Deux (Fatdrop Blog)The Long Fail-The Cost of Digital Distribution (MusicThinkTank)
  6. 6. Worldwide Online Stores Map ( Every Musician Should Know About Digital Distribution, Part II (Tunecorner)Promoting Your Music On iTunes ( Problem With eMusic (Hypebot)9 Ways To Ride The Digital Music Wave Free eBook ( Music Distribution-The Indie Band Survival Guide ( UK Top 40 Download Charts ( Your Singles Online-A BPI Guide For Independents PDF ( Says 95% of Music Downloads Are Illegal ( Can I Sell My Music Online? ( publishes Digital Music Report 2009 ( Distributors:Choose The Right One For You ( Most Digital Distribution Start-ups Will Fail (’s MP3 Store, One Year In: No iTunes Killer; Probably Won’t Be ( Competitors: Were Number 2! No, Were Number 2! ( Labels:The New Majors? ( And Quarmby (Sandman Magazine) Twitter List Im going to start adding Twitter account link of people/companies mentioned in my posts simply because it ads transparency and more importantly allows you to connect to people of interest. If you want too.@Moses Avalon@beatport @Beatportal@Trackitdown@eMusicNews@DJDOWNLOAD@amazonmp3@Puretracks@discmakers Digital Music Distribution Round-Up Part Two Originally published in April 2009I didnt get to mention all the digital music distribution outlets that I wanted too in my (part 1) post afew days ago, Exploring The Digital Music Distribution ‘Jungle’, so I thought Id update the list in thisquick additional post. Thanks also to the feedback and suggestions I got, especially from 101Distribution and @Charles at 247 Entertainment.Again Ill refer to the major download retailers as the Big 5 which right now would be iTunes,Amazon MP3, eMusic, Napster and Rhapsody.Pro Music - Online Music Stores - Not a distribution company but an online worldwide map of legalonline digital music retail stores listed by country and maintained by the IFPI and a very good resource
  7. 7. for checking out worldwide outlets. The same website maintains weekly download chart links acrossmainland Europe and Japan. Right now Lady GaGa seems to be universally topping the charts acrossEurope with Poker Face.EPM Electronic - (Maastricht, Netherlands & London, UK)- European based company with a verycomprehensive list of stores they service, including the big 5 worldwide and a very large selection ofniche and independent retailers, including all the major electronic dance music stores across the USA,the whole of Europe, Asia and the Far East. Also cover some of the major mobile platforms like Nokia,Vodaphone and 3 Mobile. MySpace.Its one of those application deals, where you fill in a short form and upload a music sample. Theres noterms on the website but theres a demo page for label management.WaTunes -(Atlanta, Georgia, USA)- One of the newer aggregator/distribution channels around,WaTunes are different from just about all the rest in that there is no sign up fee (at the moment) and theartist gets to keep 100% of sales royalties. They distribute to four of the big 5 (excluding Rhapsody),plus Shockhound, Zune, Beats Digital and Masterbeat. Im not entirely comfortable with the everythingis free revenue model tbh as it doesnt exactly stimulate financial stability. CEO Kevin Rivers isblogging here and tweeting here if you want to fire questions. MySpace.Vidzone Digital Media -(London, UK) - leading distributor of Independent music via mobile networksinternationally. More than 130 distribution partnerships across 40 countries. Have a very informativePDF of digital music FAQs too. A checklist of the basics and more advanced info on need to know stufflike UPCs, Metadata and ISRCs. Aimed at labels rather than individuals.
  8. 8. Digital Pressure -(Hollywood, CA, USA)- Another long standing big player on the digital distributionfront and one of the first. Digital Pressure have been around since 1997 and are a subdivision of PeerMusic. Seem to work more with labels/catalog and a percentage cut with no upfront fees. MySpace.Twitter."Our contracts with content owners are four-year, non-exclusive distribution agreements. These simplecontracts empower Digital Pressure to become your exclusive agent for all of the partners within ourglobal distribution network, but allow you to distribute your music outside of our relationship throughany other service or site, including your own." Contact page.Ingrooves -(San Francisco, CA, USA) - Long standing distributor who also specialize in licensingmusic. Main site was down at time of writing. Another aggregator working with a percentage share.MySpace.Zebralution -(Berlin/London/LA)- One of the longer standing independent digital music distributorsheaded up in Berlin, Germany with multiple regional offices worldwide. Huge network of retailersworldwide including the big 5, genre specific retailers and mobile music outlets. Warner’s acquired asignificant stake in the company in 2007. Theres an application process for labels here. MySpace.The CAN -(Australia) - Oz based Chaos Artist Network supply all major digital retailers globally(iTunes etc) and traditional retailers throughout Australia (JB Hi Fi, Sanity, Big W, Leading Edge etc).Distribute physical product, CD’s and DVDs as well as servicing digital retailers. Part of the Stompentertainment group. -(New Jersey, USA)- Two programs offered here, the earBuzz set-up, which costs $25sign-up and $2 a month for you to sell Cd’s and downloads on the earBuzz website. An additional $39enters you into the WWX program which gets you into the big 5 retailers, ringtone store Myxer, We7and LaLa. Theres same day payout for sales onsite and 100% royalty share. MySpace.DashGo -(Santa Monica, CA,USA) - A slightly different selling point from Dashgo. They distributemusic via the usual big 5 retailers and also offer placement on social music outlets including LastFM,iMeem, Blast My Music, iLike and YouTube which includes analytics breakdown. Also provide "full-
  9. 9. service digital sales and marketing solutions, promoting your content to digital retailers, securingpositioning with social sites, and soliciting coverage on influencer blogs and discovery sites." Alsooffer the Audioswop service with YouTube. Twitter.Kontor New Media -(Hamburg, Germany)- Worldwide digital content distribution of music, video,ringtones and audio books. Include the big 5 and a bunch of dance music outlets, Zune, Nokia, FNAC,7 Digital and mobile music retailers. Contact. MySpace.Consolidated Independent - (London, UK)- Not a service for individual artists. CI only works withlabels or distributors with more than 200 tracks in their catalog. Fees start from £150 a month. Coverjust about every retailer on the planet it seems and promise to get labels into ones that arent already ontheir list.FineTunes-(Hamburg, Germany)- Not to be confused with Finetune. Finetunes distribute across all themajor digital retailers as well as providing software solutions for labels, download stores and artistswebsites. Twitter. MySpace. Related ReadingDigital Distribution For Unsigned Artists (PDF) ( Sells Your Music On iTunes And Amazon Free Of Charge ( Music Online-Online Music Stores ( Connects Musicians and Labels to Social Media ( Digital Music Report 2009 (32pg. PDF) (IFPI)The Digital Top 40 FAQ PDF (VidZone Digital Media)Independent Distribution Solution:Getting Records from Concept To Consumer ( (MP3audio files with PDF and Excel Spreadsheet documents in a zip file.$59.99)Music and Metadata ( Distribution ( I Do Something About Metadata? ( Ultimate Digital Music Distribution Round-Up (Part Trois) Originally published by August 2010Ive actually been promising an update to my two earlier posts on digital music distribution for waaaytoo long now, so apologies to all for the horrible delay (April 2009? What the..). Anyway. In case youmissed them…Part 1: Exploring The Digital Music Distribution Jungle April 2009Part 2: Digital Music Distribution Round-up Part 2 April 2009There were seventeen companies mentioned in Pt.1 and thirteen in Pt.2. Out of them, the only changeto report from part one is that Australian based Musicadium has been rolled into Valleyarm.
  10. 10. In part two, WaTunes dropped their bespoke distribution service and changed tack to become a ‘socialmusic store’ and now choose to go thru ReverbNation for distribution services.The rest, as you were.Rather than go over the same points here you’ll be much better off catching up with the first two parts.To make things a little more convenient I’m welding the three pieces together as one PDF so you canprint and study at leisure.Some points you may want to take into consideration when choosing a distributor.Location. Is your distributor of choice in your own country? Possibly a key issue because of currencydifferences and support concerns. Do they phone support? A physical address?Read the websites about page to find out names, history and credentials. If they have none, move on.Use Google. A lot.Always amazes me when some site pops up claiming combined “20+ years industry experience” butgiving no actual NAMES. Then you get a PO BOX for a mailing address. Run. In the oppositedirection.The reason I have a lot of time for companies like Tunecore is simply that they do what they say theywill and do it well. Theyre financially stable with industry chops and you’ll see SVP Peter Wells allover the web answering Tunecore queries on forums and blogs and Twitter. Accountability.Going back to most of my bad experiences with vinyl distributors in London, years back, was that onceyou’d handed over your records, trying to get hold of anyone after the release, get sales figures or eventalk to anyone that mattered was like trying to hunt down Bin Laden. I piss you not. Getting your hands
  11. 11. on any money was even harder!Digital distribution has changed all that. Thank God!There are probably close to 50 digital distributors vying for your attention these days, compare and takeyour time. And remember this, between them, iTunes and Amazon control close to 80% of the Everyone will usually be offering their services as standard alongside eMusic, Rhapsody, Zuneand Napster.Some will be offering MySpace, Spotify and the like. The more the better. How Much $$ From iTunes? Tell Me, How Much !!These figures should be close give or take a cent or two making allowances for currency fluctuations.For convenience sake I’m using the mighty $$ simply because I live in the USA. The US. figures arebased on a 99c download with the foreign equivalent. Take into account that download prices differfrom country to country, its not a 99c worldwide set price.Japan 89-92c , Australia/New Zealand 88c, USA 66c, Canada 67cUK 66-73c, Europe (28 countries) 90c.Dont forget also as a writer there’s a 9.1c (I think thats right) mechanical royalty for publishing (in theUSA) that you’d get separately either via your publisher, or, if like me you dont have one, your localPRO.I worked out that with my old 17 point deal with Tripoli Trax, from a 12 inch single retailing at $5, Iwould see approx. 85c. From a 99c download as an independent Ill see around 70c. Weird huh. Fivetimes the cost but only 15c more. The good old days. Newer TrendsOther than the five or six DSPs that have the lions share of the market there’s competition now betweendistributors to offer more stores to differentiate. There’s also more niche distributors springing upespecially in the dance music field.I’m always slavering on about Tunecore but their one ‘fault’ is their narrow choice of DSPs. AddBeatport and TrackItDown and we’d be spot on. Anyhow..The other trend we’re seeing now is ultra fast delivery to services like iTunes, especially fromdistributors like Ditto and Tunecore (amongst others, I’m sure).Where you could once be chewing your nails for 6-8 weeks it is now taking as little as an HOUR fordelivery to Apple’s market leader iTunes after your finished product has been approved by yourdistributor.So lets look at more digital distributors, in no particular order (maybe soon!)Zimbalam (Paris, France) Paris based Zimbalam are an offshoot of Believe Digital and have a decentlist of 25 stores including the usual big guns. They also supply Spotify, several of the larger mobileoperators in Europe, including Orange, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile and Virgin. They also include four ofthe larger dance stores (but not Beatport from what I can see). Album price is $29.99. There’s an annual‘subscription’ fee of $20 (taken from your royalties) and your cut from sales is 100%. There’s a 5 storedistribution deal, the ‘Electro Pack’ which is aimed at electronic stores and is only $4.95 (but omitsBeatport). Payment is by Direct Debit. Bonus. Twitter Twitter UK Blog
  12. 12. Digital Music Distribution (UK) Worryingly Spartan amount of info on DMD on their website exceptto modestly proclaim themselves, “the UK’s number one online music distribution”. Mmm. To get anyreal info on number of stores and terms you have to download a PDF which scrolls on for about 13pages, all in upper case (and Paypal only has one L guys). Its really not worth the effort, especiallywhen you get to the album pricing of 100 quid (an eye popping $155!) for six months. Everything onthe website is VAGUE. We supply to 12 stores + many more?. Royalty is around 40-50% of retail etc.Big major FAIL and in light of much better competition everywhere else wont be around very long.Next.Label Worx (Beverley, UK) Back with the professionals with North Yorkshire based set up, Label Worxwho have a great looking site and specialize in distribution for indie dance labels. There’s some qualitycontrol so not everyone will get in but they supply all the major dance stores plus iTunes, eMusic,HMV, Spotify and Zune. There’s a neat added service called Promo Manager for DJ mailouts andthere’s a sliding scale fee on sales which starts at 20% and dips down to 10%. No sign up fee, DirectDebit or Paypal payment. Aimed more at labels than individuals. Blog. TwitterIndie Pool (Canada) Canadas largest distributor (digital and physical) and exclusive supplier ofindependent music to Canadian Puretracks retailer chain and HMV. List 40 download platforms theysupply too but there is a lack of detailed info on the website(compared to others) just a contact page. Ifyoure a Canadian indie then probably for you.Dig Dis! (Germany) Dig Dis! Is the digital distribution arm of Music Mail who have been around for20 years and are known as a distributor of 12 inch vinyl more than anything. Now specializing indigital distribution (since 2004) for dance music labels. Cover just about all the worldwide dance storesas well as the majors. One for labels vs individual artists and as such no online sign up/upload set-upjust an email contact. FacebookMJM Distribution (New York, USA & Munich, Germany) One of the most complete lists of digitaldownload stores Ive seen yet and then some. So if youd like your music on sale in legal stores inMacedonia, Malaysia, South Korea, most of the Arab States and Eastern Europe, these are your guys.You get a 70% royalty payout, with no sign up and free UPC and ISRC codes. Payment is quarterly andtheres 24/7 sales access. Another one aimed at labels not individuals, with a query sign up page.Link Music Services (Massachusetts,USA) These guys have a limited number of stores they supply to(but promise more), covering just 35 iTunes stores worldwide and Amazon MP3. On the upsideeverything on the site looks straightforward and if its straight vanilla mainstream exposure youreaiming at then great. ISRC and UPCs are supplied and its a $9.99 sign-up and $5.99 annual renewal,100% royalty to you, paid monthly. Sounds great. Facebook
  13. 13. Syntax Distribution (California,USA) Christian digital music distributor which should mean theyll getyou into that niche area. The website is woefully out of date, the About page is blank and there is asevere LACK of info and if it wasnt for the active Facebook and Twitter pages I would have thoughtthe whole enterprise was kaput. So, if the Christian market (and it IS a sizable one!) is where your at,you can use their contact page or social networks to find out more. Facebook TwitterValleyarm (Australia) Valleyarm swallowed up Musicadium so have taken over as one of the mainAussie digital distributors recently . They supply just the mainstream leaders right now, so iTunes,eMusic etc. You supply UPCs and IRPCs and keep 100% of the take. Signup is a steep (compared tomost) 169Aus$ (or $151US). Though that is the one flat fee with no annual renewals. Twitter FacebookKisumusik (Crawley,UK) Interesting looking UK newcomer (to me at least). The Who Are We? pageactually says nothing of the sort, so.. Standard stores offered and its close to $46 for an album with100% royalty which includes UPC and ISRC codes. Upload is via FTP after payment. Quarterlypayment. Doesnt look that great. TwitterEPM Music (Maastricht, Netherlands & London, UK) Electronic dance music distributor with officesin London and the Netherlands. Another service that is aimed at indie labels vs. individual artists too.Its an application process and theyll get you into a huge amount of dance outlets and majorsworldwide. Twitter FacebookEmuBands (Glasgow, Scotland) Scottish based distributor that look OK to me if a bit pricier than most.Theres a sliding scale of upfronts, $79 for an album (6+ tracks), $55 an EP (3-5 tracks) and $39 for asingle. I rounded up the pricing as best I could from sterling. Price includes UPCs and ISRCs and youget 100% royalty. Outlets include all the majors worldwide including Spotify, Nokia and iLike. Onlything I didnt like the look of was that music submission is via good old fashioned CD thru the post orWAVs via YouSendIt. But if you can get used to that, looks OK and they have a couple of extraservices like video distribution to iTunes and SMS purchasing. Now SMS purchasing is something Ihadnt really thought about but would be good for a pre-order promo. Just had an idea... FacebookTwitteriMusician Digital (Zurich, Switzerland) And here come the Swiss. Massive list of stores supplied (over200 claimed but I wasnt counting). Including all those stores and countries youve never heard of(your chance to become big in Lithuania perhaps?) and all the ones you have. Prices range from $19 fora single to $29 for an album submission. Codes are $12 extra. You keep 85% of the sales. It looks gooduntil you see that they dont actually deal direct with the stores and use a third party distributor (morethan likely someone like IODA). This is a point worth asking ANY distributor because it means theresan extra slice disappearing from your pocket and in this case here it means youd likely see 57c perdownload vs more like 68c dealing direct.Record Union (Stockholm, Sweden) Impressive looking set-up from the Swedes here including a LOTof social media activity which is always kinda reassuring these days as it makes companies morevisible and ultimately more accountable. So anyway. All the usual major outlets supplied here includingthe ubiquitous Spotify and also 7Digital, 24/7, Nokia, Vidzone and a bunch of dance outlets includingBeatport. Nice. Basically they got you covered. Navigation is a bit confusing on the site with its ultrabusy look but I dug out the FAQs. Sign up is free but you have to pay $10 for a UPC , ISRCs are free.They take 15 percent from revenue, although they also take an extra $5 a year from each release fromsales. Looks good. Blog Twitter Facebook YouTubeThe Genepool (Plymouth, UK) You have to email to get a full stores list but included on the site are theones youd expect (which now includes Spotify I guess), T-Mobile, 7 Digital, Zune etc. Theres a oneoff $16 set up fee for each release and you get 90 percent royalty from iTunes stores, 80 percent fromall the others. Another setup where you have to mail in a CD (or use FTP) and email in artwork which
  14. 14. seems a bit clumsy these days, what gives? Anyway, that aside they can also press vinyl and go throughUniversal in the UK for physical distribution. N-Dubz and Hard-Fi started here apparently. Related ReadingiTunes Distribution In a Day: Yes, Someone Is Taking It There.. ( July 2010)Ditto cause debate on iTunes upload times for unsigned bands (CMU July 2010)Online Music Stores ( Jeff Price, TuneCores Outspoken CEO (Hypebot July 2010)Which Music Distribution Service Rocks the Most? ( March 2010)A Conversation With Peter Wells Tunecore Co-Founder (One Movement World)Feb 2010Digital Distribution for your Music 2 ( Feb 2010)Will Google Kill iTunes? ( June 2010)DOJ questioning Apples hold on digital music (ZDNet May 2010)Digital Music Distributors Compared (again) Routenote Nov 2009)Music Retail:The Rise of Digital ( Nov 2009)How To Get Your Music Into Digital Music Services (Future of Music Coalition-PDF) Oct 2009Solving the Digital Music Distribution Dilemma (Music Think Tank) Sept 2009MusicNomad’s Guide to Distribute Your Music Online ( Sept 2009Signs of Change, Ingenuity in Music Distribution (CreateDigitalMusic) July 2009Less People Are Going To Be Making Money Out of Music as Middlemen (FatDrop) July 2009How to Use iTunes to Drive Up Your iTunes Revenue (MusicThinkTank) April 2009The Right Way To Get Your Music On To iTunes/Amazon/etc.( April 2009Universal/TuneCore deal opens major doors for indie artists (ARS Technica July 2009)Digital Music Distributors Compared ( Feb 2009Despite Declining CD Sales, CD Baby Experiences Growth in 2008 (Techdirt) Feb 2009How To Effectively Promote and Sell Your Music on iTunes ( Music Distribution: Weird Al and Kid Rock Take Different Paths (ReadWriteWeb) Oct 2008Why I’m Choosing TuneCore over CDBaby ( July 2008Digital Music Distribution-The Ten Things You Need To Know (Knol) July 2008Gone baby gone: Crunch time for vinyl distributors (Resident Advisor Feb 2008)David Byrne On Digital Age Music Distribution ( Dec 2007