I personally don’t believe music streaming should be your primary way of monetizing your music. That being said, you still deserve one of the best music distribution services for independent artists.
Does that imply you’ll need to give up those free music distribution services?
Most likely, but paying for something doesn’t automatically make it better.
However, the music distribution services listed have significant advantages.
If you’ll be paying for something, make sure it’s one of these music distributors:
Music Gateway Music Distribution
The first music distribution service we’ll be looking at is the most impressive BUT…
It’s also the most unconventional!!
The only disadvantage (at the time of writing) is that Music Gateway doesn’t seem to distribute your music to streaming services. However, this is coming soon according to them.
That’s not really an issue though because it’s still possible to distribute your music.
You can distribute directly to RETAIL & HOSPITALITY:
That’s right, some retailers actually license music specifically for their outlet.
It’s really interesting because most music distributors DON’T offer this service.
The only catch is that you’ll need to be subscribed to one of Music Gateway’s plans. I think this’ll require an entire article to itself, but you’re getting much more than music distribution here…
This is what you get access to with any Music Gateway Plan:
- Cloud Storage
- File Management
- Metadata Management
- Playlist Creation (for pitching)
- Music Promotion
- Job Opportunities
- Sync Opportunities
- Retail Distribution
- FREE Mastering
The plans range from $7.50 – $37 per month.
However, they claim that music distribution (to streaming services) will be free.
You also keep 100% of your performance royalties when distributing your music.
It’s also possible to get your music placed on TV/Film and more through Music Gateway.
Keep in mind that you won’t be keeping 100% of your income from the placements you get through Music Gateway though. You’ll still be keeping 100% of your royalties, but you’ll keep 75% of non-exclusive sync fees and 80% of exclusive sync fees.
That’s still MUCH BETTER than working with most music libraries.
However, it remains to be seen whether or not Music Gateway can get you any placements.
I only recently started using the platform.
I also believe it’s relatively new to the scene.
That being said, I’ll most definitely be updating this article with more relevant information. I’m more than willing to give this platform a chance since it’s thinking about the future.
This might be what music distribution looks like in the future!
If it does, then I completely think using a service like Music Gateway should be your #1 priority.
LANDR Music Distribution
The next contender on our list is LANDR’s music distribution service. This one is also relatively new to the scene, but it’s quickly become one of the best music distribution services.
It’s also one of the most affordable options, but NOT the most affordable.
If you ask me though, the “Unlimited” plan is the only one worth your money.
That’s because it’s the only music distribution plan LANDR offers that allows you to keep 100% of your royalties and doesn’t require you to pay “per release”.
That being said, it’ll set you back $89 per year (less than 8$ per month).
It’s pretty decently priced if you ask me, but is it really worth it?
You can read the in-depth review I wrote on LANDR Music Distribution if you really want ALL the details. To be honest though, I think it’s worth it.
I often compare LANDR’s music distribution service to DistroKid.
So, the main advantages you’ll have with LANDR are…
- Beatport distribution
- Includes SoundCloud monetization
- Includes YouTube Content ID
- Excellent customer support
Besides that though, it’s basically the same as DistroKid’s $35.99 per year plan.
If you value any of those things, then you’re better off with LANDR.
My personal music distribution service (for now, anyway) is DistroKid. As I mentioned in the introduction, I’m not really fond of the current music distribution economy.
That’s why I literally have 2 tracks out of my entire catalog on streaming services…
That being said, I still want my music distributed as quickly as possible when I do!
In that sense, DistroKid is perfect for music producers like me.
It’s incredibly affordable and LIGHTING fast.
Is it faster than LANDR Music Distribution though? As it turns out, they’re actually pretty much tied at the moment.
DistroKid is just awesome because of its affordability and completely USELESS features.
Seriously, it’s like they keep adding more by the day…
If you’re just looking for something quick and easy and value the whole “Public Mobile self-serve” philosophy thing, then DistroKid is perfect for you.
Don’t expect anything special though, especially in regards to customer support.
If you do need help though, they can be reached on Twitter.
If you’re looking for something almost identical to DistroKid, but with slightly better features…
You’ll want to check out DITTO’s music distribution service.
The most affordable plan starts at $19 per year, however, that plan makes up for some of the features that are lacking in DistroKid’s $19.99 per year plan.
Look at it this way…
- If you want to pay 19$ per year, go with DITTO
- If you want to pay $35.99 per year, go with DistroKid
Now that you mention it, I don’t even know why I’d choose DistroKid over DITTO.
I didn’t know about DITTO at the time, so maybe that’s why.
Unless you’re into all the little insignificant gimmicks that DistroKid offers (like that AI bot that tells you about your track), I’d go with DITTO.
Especially since the $19 per year plan lets you set your own label name (not the case with DistroKid’s $19.99 plan, you get something generic instead).
Anyways, creating an account with DITTO is free. Check it out for yourself!
Summary: Best music distribution services for independent artists
Were you expecting anything else to show up on this list? Well, I personally found all the other music distribution services to be too expensive for what they offer (OR not worthy enough)
I won’t name any of them, you know who they are (right?).
Does that mean you shouldn’t use anything else? Of course not.
Feel free to do your own research and draw your own conclusions in regards to the best music distribution services for independent artists.
These are the ones I personally found to be the best.
However, I’m really excited about Music Gateway. I hope you’ll give them a try too!
As I mentioned earlier, I’ll most likely be keeping this article up to date with information regarding Music Gateway since they’re still new and growing.
It’d be even more awesome if you could comment with your own personal experience.
If Music Gateway proves itself to be viable though, it could most likely change the way music distribution companies operate. It’ll be INCREDIBLY beneficial for artists (and their wallets).
That pretty much concludes this article though.
If you have any questions about any of the music distribution services we covered today, let us know in the comments. As always, I thank you for your time and hope that you go out there and create some ROCKIN’ TRACKS!