Ditto vs DistroKid Music Distribution | Decibel Peak

ditto vs distrokid music distribution - decibel peak

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If your priority is affordability, Ditto and DistroKid are definitely the best music distribution services out there. In today’s article, we’ll be comparing Ditto vs DistroKid to better understand the differences between both of these SEEMINGLY SIMILAR music distribution platforms.

It may seem that way on the surface, but there are actually some pretty significant differences.

The problem is that you’ll have difficulty finding the specific information you’re looking for if you’re simply consulting their websites. That’s why I decided to provide the missing information through this article.

With my knowledge (and opinion), you’ll hopefully know which of these services is right for you.

If not, then maybe you’ll prefer some of the others I’ll be mentioning throughout. Alright, let’s get started!

What I like/dislike about Ditto music distribution

One of the things I like most about Ditto’s music distribution platform is that you’re not compromising features for affordability. Although DistroKid’s entry-level plan is the same price as Ditto’s, it omits some important features.

That’s something I figured out AFTER signing up for DistroKid.

We’ll talk more about the specific details later, but one of those features was the ability to customize your label/publisher name.

You’d need to be using DistroKid’s middle-tier plan to have access to that.

On the other hand, Ditto provides that feature with ALL of their plans.

It’s a really small detail, but it’s quite noticeable on certain streaming services like Spotify. DistroKid provides you with some generic label name that looks like this…

“DK123456789”

I was literally ready to pay double the price just to gain access to that feature BEFORE learning about Ditto. If you were in the same situation, now you know too!

Another thing I like about Ditto’s music distribution service is that it provides you with the opportunity to get discovered by Ditto’s own record label (Ditto Plus).

However, this will obviously not apply to most users so it may not be THAT beneficial.

Lastly, I honestly prefer the platform/website.

It’s much simpler and less cluttered than DistroKid’s.

You can sign up for FREE and check it out before signing up (f.y.i. You can’t test out DistroKid before purchasing a plan, so that’s worth noticing as well).

What I like/dislike about DistroKid music distribution

Generally speaking, DistroKid’s music distribution speed is much faster. It’s actually one of the fastest on the market (if not THE fastest). That’s the main reason I signed up.

However, some artists don’t need their release released instantly.

In fact, most artists will usually have some sort of promotional campaign which could last several weeks before release.

That being said, Ditto is pretty much tied with DistroKid in terms of speed.

It might vary from week to week, but speed isn’t a reason to choose one over the other.

One of the reasons you MAY want to consider DistroKid over Ditto is because of the ability to license cover songs. Ditto doesn’t include this with any of their plans.

That being said, I don’t think DistroKid is your best bet if you want to distribute lots of covers.

The most affordable option for cover artists would be Soundrop.

Other than that though, I don’t really see any other advantages with DistroKid. I mean, there are LOTS of widgets/gimmicks (and new ones being added all the time) which can be interesting for social media.

For example, DistroKid can generate “promo cards” for you to post on social media.

There’s even an add-on service to generate a visualization video of your music.

I personally think these features are kind of lame, but hey, maybe it could save you some time.

If you’re not into creating your own content, DistroKid can be your one-stop shop!

The differences between Ditto and DistroKid

To better outline the differences between Ditto and DistroKid, you’ll want to consult these tables…

Distribution

DittoDistroKid
# of Stores200+150+
China DistributionNetEase/Xiami/TencentNetEase
TikTok DistributionYesYes
Instagram DistributionYesYes
Facebook DistributionYesYes
Pandora DistributionYesYes
*Beatport DistributionNoInvite Only
Vevo Distribution (music videos)**YesNo
*Beatport is a music marketplace specifically catered to DJs **Setting up an account + 1 upload = 99$/1 upload = 29$

Features

DittoDistroKid
Credits/Liner NotesNoYes
Custom Label NameYes*Yes
YouTube Monetization**Select***Add-on
SoundCloud Monetization**SelectNo
Cover Song LicensingNoYes
Live Chat SupportYesNo
*Only available starting at the 35.99$ plan **Only available to select artists ***4.95$ per single/14.95$ per release yearly

Financials

DittoDistroKid
Pricing19$/29$/69$+ per year19.99$/35.99$/79.99$+ per year
Earnings100%100%
Royalty SplitsYesYes
*Tax WithholdingNoYes
Payment Threshold25$0$
*Applicable to foreign artists (non-US in the case of DistroKid)

Now, that may seem like LOTS of information to digest, especially if you’re new to music distribution.

If you prioritize exposure though (which is what music distribution is all about in my opinion), you’ll definitely want to side with Ditto. They occupy more space in the Chinese market which is a BIG untapped market.

The other thing that should’ve cauht your eye is the credits/liner notes.

It may not seem that important, but metadata is SUPER important for getting discovered.

However, you’ll need to debate whether the additional 15$ per year is worth it with DistroKid because of the ommission of custom label names at the entry-level. That’s kind of important too.

Other than that, the fact that DistroKid withholds taxes to foreigners isn’t such a big deal…

You’ll need to pay taxes on that income sooner or later. Applying for an ITIN can make things easier though.

So, I just want to conclude this section by saying that DistroKid isn’t as bad is it seems.

On the flipside, Ditto does seem to present some great advantages, but at what cost?

The advantages of Ditto’s music distribution service

You’re choosing Ditto over DistroKid because…

  • The possibility of getting discovered by their label
  • The larger amount of distribution channels (especially in China)
  • The option to distribute music videos (through Vevo)
  • The “Record Label in a Box” product

We haven’t really covered the “Record Label in a Box” yet, so now’s a good time!

It’s actually one of the features that sets Ditto apart from ALL the other music distribution services.

Basically, they’ll set up a record label/music publishing company for you.

They’ll even incorporate you for an additional 150$, which will actually save you LOTS of time and money.

I haven’t personally tried this product/service (since I already took care of setting up my company on my own), but it seems really interesting. You can read more about it RIGHT HERE.

Lastly, you can also purchase music promotion services from Ditto.

However, it doesn’t seem like anything I’d personally invest in (just saying).

The advantages of DistroKid’s music distribution service

You’re choosing DistroKid over Ditto because…

  • The ability to embed credits/liner notes into your releases
  • The ability to purchase mechanical licenses for cover songs
  • The fastest music distribution speed on the planet
  • The copious amount of widgets/gimmicks (constantly being added)

That last one is somewhat of a joke but seriously, the platform is always being improved.

It’s actually one of the things that makes me proud to use DistroKid. However, I admittedly don’t use ANY of these widgets/gimmicks (I kind of like the promo card generator though).

DistroKid isn’t as refined in certain aspects (like sales reports), but it personally doesn’t bother me.

The only real downside is also one of its greatest strengths… AUTOMATION.

It’s difficult to get things done by a human being, but you can easily get support by contacting them via Twitter.

Will they actually be able to help? That remains to be seen!

Summary: Ditto vs DistroKid Music Distribution

It may appear that Ditto and DistroKid are quite similar but in reality, they’re quite different. We needed to dig a little deeper to find out the truth, but I’m sure you’re now WAY better informed. Right?

The advantages/disadvantages of each platform should now be clear to you.

If you’re still hesitating though, my personal choice is still DistroKid. Why?

That’s something you’ll need to read about once I release the dedicated product review for Ditto (coming VERY soon). If you want more details though, I’ve already written the in-depth product review on DistroKid.

Which one of these four do you think you’ll go with?

Let us know and make sure to share your experience as well.

It’ll help everyone visiting this page make better informed decisions.

On that note, I’ll let you get back to shopping. Thanks for your time, until next time!

Sources:

https://dittomusic.com/en/blog/ditto-music-vs-distrokid/

https://dittomusic.com/en/blog/a-guide-to-the-new-record-label-in-a-box-contracts/

https://support.dittomusic.com/en/support/solutions/articles/11000070696-how-does-youtube-content-id-work-

https://support.dittomusic.com/en/support/solutions/articles/11000102487-how-do-i-add-split-royalty-payments-to-a-release-

https://support.dittomusic.com/en/support/solutions/articles/11000078823-can-i-release-music-to-instagram-facebook-

https://aristake.com/digital-distribution-comparison

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