LANDR Music Distribution Review | Decibel Peak Academy

landr music distribution review - decibel peak academy

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LANDR Distribution

8.7

Release Speed

8.5/10

User-Interface

9.0/10

Pricing

8.0/10

Features

9.0/10

Customer Support

9.0/10

Pros

  • "Pay As You Go" Option
  • Cover Song Licensing
  • Includes YouTube Content ID
  • Keep Earning When You Cancel
  • Promotional/Marketing Tools

Cons

  • You'll pay commissions unless you chose the "Unlimited" Plan

If you’re still searching for the right music distribution service, I think you’ll really enjoy reading about LANDR Distribution. If you’re already familiar with their online mastering service (which leverages artificial intelligence/machine learning), then you understand why LANDR isn’t your typical music distribution service. What else can it offer though?

LANDR music distribution is one of the best music distribution services on the market. It’s certainly got some pretty revolutionary features and believe it or not, it’s actually one of the most affordable music distribution services out there. It all depends on how you play your cards and that’s what this LANDR music distribution review is all about. After reading, you’ll know everything you need to know about LANDR and have the insight you need to choose the perfect plan for your needs. If you think LANDR is right for your music, let’s find out if this Montreal-based company is worth its weight in gold!

Is LANDR good for music distribution?

YES. Technically speaking, it’s just as good as any other music distribution service. LANDR Distribution is relatively new, but it’s rapidly becoming one of the best options on the market (one of the most affordable as well). The highlight being their quick/responsive customer support.

That last statement might confuse you if you’ve read the negative reviews on TrustPilot

However, LANDR had a pretty good response in my honest opinion:

Hi there,

I‘m very sorry to hear about your recent poor experience with LANDR. Rest assured–this is far from the standard of service we strive to provide our customers.

The artist community has been extremely active throughout confinement which led to an increase in volume of release submissions and support requests. We admit that our team was a little overwhelmed at first.

However, we’ve made significant improvements over the last 4 months including doubling the size of the distribution and support teams. As a result, we’ve been able to return to our regular response times. Support inquiries are answered within 24 hours and release submissions are approved within 1 week.

If you would still prefer to move your releases to another distributor, you can make the request a takedown and removal from our support team who will get back to you within 1 business day (https://support.landr.com/hc/en-us/requests/new).

On behalf of the entire team at LANDR, I’m very sorry for the inconvenience these delays have caused. We’re committed to providing fast and reliable service and hope you’ll continue to choose LANDR for your music creation needs.

– LANDR Support

That response was posted on August 12th 2020.

I haven’t dealt with LANDR customer support as of yet, but I have personally spoken with some of their representatives (that’s a luxury I haven’t been offered by other music distributors).

To summarize, the citation above is accurate and LANDR is currently stronger than it’s ever been. Customer support seems to be their biggest strength at the moment as well as distribution speed (more on that later).

Now, does that mean that LANDR is the best music distribution service?

It’s not an easy question to answer. I personally haven’t found a single music distribution service that I would label as “perfect” or “the best”. The grass is always greener on the other side…

I definitely have my list of favourites though:

However, I chose these music distribution services for DIFFERENT REASONS.

That’s why I think it’s worth considering MULTIPLE music distributors.

Staying on topic though, LANDR does have one of the most affordable pricing options. It also provides some of the most revolutionary add-ons. We’ll be glancing over these towards the end of the article.

For now, just take note of them:

  • LANDR Mastering
  • LANDR Samples
  • LANDR Network
  • *LANDR Sessions
  • *LANDR Plugins

If you’re ready to learn more about LANDR Distribution and have some of your questions/concerns adressed… Let’s keep going!

Is LANDR music distribution free?

NO, but it’s free to signup. Once you create your account, you’ll have the ability to explore LANDR before making any commitments. You’ll also have access to 2 FREE masters per month (low-quality MP3, but still).

It’s even possible to distribute your music without purchasing any of their yearly plans (we’re talking about the “Lite” plan).

That being said, LANDR’s pricing is both interesting and complicated…

We’ll talk more about numbers later, but just understand that you can distribute your single for 9$ and your EP/Album for 29$ on the 0$ “Lite” plan. These fees are non-recurring fees (one-time).

HOWEVER, you’ll still be paying LANDR 15% of your earnings.

If that sounds confusing, don’t worry!

We’ll be talking more about pricing plans later. I definitely think that the “Lite” plan can be appealing to some of you, but we’ll decide which plan suits you best LATER. Right now, we still have lots of ground to cover if you want to understand the potential of LANDR’s music distribution service.

Just keep in mind that LANDR isn’t really free.

Which stores does LANDR distribute your music to?

150+ stores which includes…

  • Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Tidal
  • Deezer
  • Pandora
  • iHeartRadio
  • Shazam
  • Gracenote
  • Kkbox
  • Saavn
  • AWA
  • 7 Digital
  • Anghami 
  • TwentyFourSeven 
  • Line
  • iMusica 
  • Rhapsody/Napster 
  • UMA
  • YouTube Music
  • MediaNet
  • Tencent
  • NetEase
  • Xiami
  • Yandex
  • Facebook
  • Amazon Music
  • TikTok
  • Resso
  • BoomPlay
  • Alibaba
  • KuGou
  • Kuwo
  • QQMusic

It’s pretty much the same deal for every music distribution service. Your music will be stocked on every major streaming service, don’t worry.

You’ll also get to control WHICH stores you want to distribute to using LANDR (that’s much more important).

HOWEVER…

LANDR does provide some additional marketplaces that other music distribution services don’t have access to (as of right now). I’m talking about distributing to BeatPort.

If you’re not familiar with BeatPort, you can check it out for yourself. Just keep in mind that it won’t be suitable for EVERY genre of music, so you may not necessarily benefit.

That being said, LANDR also distributes/monetizes your music on social media (Instagram, Facebook, etc…) and on YouTube.

LANDR also distributes to TikTok.

What about SoundCloud though?

Does LANDR distribute to SoundCloud?

YES. Unlike RouteNote (another music distribution service), LANDR can upload music directly to your SoundCloud account and generate ContentID (just like on YouTube). Platforms like RouteNote can only monetize your music on SoundCloud.

However, SoundCloud and LANDR have formed a partnership.

What that means for you is that you can have LANDR master your track specifically for SoundCloud. That also means that you’d need to use LANDR Mastering which ISN’T included with LANDR Distribution.

Is it really what it’s hyped up to be though?

The ability to upload directly to SoundCloud from LANDR is great!

However, the loudness standard for SoundCloud isn’t that different from some of the other music streaming services. If you want to understand this concept a little better, you may be interested in reading this article I wrote on the subject.

You’ll notice that the whole “mastering for specific platforms thing” is slightly gimmicky.

Just my honest opinion though!

In other words, I recommend uploading your music to SoundCloud manually. If you want it mastered “specifically for SoundCloud”, well you’ll need to signup for LANDR Mastering for that.

The fact that LANDR can monetize your music on SoundCloud (and YouTube) is really neat though. The best part is that they won’t charge you a percentage of your earnings (which is RARE).

How long does it take LANDR to release your music?

According to LANDR’s product manager, releases are currently being reviewed within 2 business days. However, that doesn’t include the time it takes for stores to process your release.

That usually takes another 24 hours with Apple Music and Spotify.

With other stores, it can sometimes take longer (music distributors have no control over that part of the equation).

If we compare LANDR’s distribution speed with DistroKid though, they’re actually pretty close. If you’re not aware, DistroKid is actually the FASTEST music distribution service (to my knowledge).

Once I release one of my tracks using LANDR Distribution, I’ll be updating this section with some more accurate results. Just keep in mind that the only piece of information you’d need to know is how long it takes to REVIEW your releases.

On that note, LANDR Distribution is certainly a serious contender!

How do payouts work with LANDR?

LANDR makes payments easy. In fact, it’s one of the features that attracted me the most. However, you won’t find any of this information posted on their website which is why I asked!

LANDR’s product manager gave me an explanation:

  • You don’t need a TIN/ITIN
  • The minimum payout threshold is 1$
  • Payments are made using PayPal (2% fee)
  • The maximum fee is 20$ and the minum fee is 0.25$

If you’re not familiar with TIN/ITIN (tax identification number), that’s okay. LANDR is one of the few music distribution services that WON’T require you to have one in order to get paid.

That was one of my frustrations with DistroKid…

The payout threshold is also the lowest I’ve seen. Most music distribution services set their threshold to 50$ minimum.

However, you’ll most likely want to make your withdawals more efficient considering the 2% fee each time. You do the math!

Can labels/publishers use LANDR Distribution for their clients?

MAYBE. Independent labels/publishers SHOULD be able to use LANDR Distribution to release music for their clients. However, I came across some threads on Reddit where users claimed that this WASN’T the case (they encountered issues).

That’s why I decided to ask the question to LANDR’s product manager.

She reassured me that there are many labels/publishers using LANDR Distribution to distribute music on behalf of their clients.

The “Unlimited” plan allows up to 7 bands/artists and she also mentionned that it could be increased by contacting LANDR.

I’m still slightly skeptical about this issue though.

My advice… Read their policy and draw your own conclusions.

Based on that, it seems that the “Unlimited” plan isn’t actually unlimited. Most artists put out an album maybe once or twice per year. If you’re releasing EVERY DAY, you’ll most likely be in violation of their terms.

If you have specific needs, you can contact LANDR yourself. They’re incredibly responsive and you’ll at least get some form of confirmation/accountability if ever they come back at you.

The solution will most likely be an increase in rates (which would be fair depending on the volume of releases they need to process for you).

I will keep this section up to date if new information comes to my attention.

Is LANDR worth it?

If we’re taking all of the add-on services LANDR has to offer, YES. Before concluding this article, I’ll be going over LANDR’s other services to give you an idea of what you’re signing up for by working with this music distribution service.

LANDR Mastering

LANDR earned its reputation from its AI/ML-driven online mastering service. It isn’t included with the music distribution service though, so you’ll need to signup for that separately.

Is it really worth your money though?

The answer really depends on how much time you’ll be saving.

I personally mix and master my own music (and that of others). It usually takes me 1-3 hours to accomplish depending on the size of the project.

That being said, I’d personally consider automating that process…

We know for a fact that the end-result is professional. Mixing and mastering are still subjective fields, so even an actual engineer’s work could sound good to some and not so good to others.

The question is though… How much is your time worth?

Also… Could that time be allocated to something more important (like composing, arranging, recording, producing, etc…)?

Now, let’s say you worked on 100+ tracks per year. That’s pretty realistic for music producers/sound engineers (actually, it could be WAY more).

So, let’s do the math…

Whether it’s LANDR Mastering or any other artifical intelligence/machine learning engine (like iZotope Neutron), I hope you realize how beneficial it could be to your workflow.

AND on the flip-side…

It’s also much less expensive than paying someone to master your tracks.

LANDR Samples

One of the features that may interest you is LANDR Samples. If you’ve ever worked with Splice Sounds, then you know what you’re dealing with here.

LANDR Samples isn’t included with any of the plans though.

You’ll need to purchase credits just like Splice Sounds. Which one is better?

I’ll be covering that in another article but generally speaking, I prefer LANDR. The platform looks much cleaner and the samples sound like they’re higher-quality.

It also includes an interesting module called the “Creator”.

Basically, it allows you to layer up to 8 samples/loops to make a backing-track on the spot (kind of like a multi-track recorder).

It’s perfect for vocalists/soloists who just need a beat to work with.

LANDR Network

LANDR network is one of LANDR’s newest additions.

If you’ve heard of platforms like AirGigs and SoundBetter, it’s basically the same thing. If you’re an artist, it’s great to have access to professionals to help you finish your tracks. If you provide the actual services though, would you sell yourself to LANDR?

Decibel Peak Productions won’t.

My personal opinion is that LANDR is beginning to show intentions of “monopolizing” the music industry which may turn some of you off from the platform altogether.

As I mentioned earlier though, we’re mainly focusing on DISTRIBUTION today.

Just because they offer a service, doesn’t mean you need to use it. Independent artists can surely benefit, but I still recommend working with small businesses for the long run.

You want to develop real relationships in the music industry, right?

For professionals, I recommend starting your own brand and selling your own services. Don’t sell yourself short on platforms like LANDR Network, AirGigs, SoundBetter, Fiverr, Upwork, etc…

To summarize, LANDR Network isn’t fully-functional yet and I personally don’t endorse such services. Don’t let that colour your opinion for LANDR’s other add-ons though.

LANDR Sessions

Another feature from LANDR’s arsenal is LANDR Sessions. It’s basically a plugin for your DAW that allows you to collaborate with other music-makers.

It also allows you to stream LIVE audio from your DAW.

That’s a pretty amazing tool if you ask me. It’s like the Zoom for music production and will allow music professionals to work with one another with ease and simplicity from remote locations.

You basically insert this plugin in your master output bus and connect.

You can both stream and send audio using LANDR Sessions which means you can collaborate on your projects every step of the way. The best part…

It’s FREE!!

However, there are many applications availbale that accomplish the same task. You can actually use Zoom if you know how to route the audio properly.

LANDR Plugins

The newest feature on the LANDR marketplace is LANDR plugins. Once again, it’s worth making the comparison to Splice’s rent-to-own platform because that’s basically what this is.

It currently has one plugin, but I imagine this taking off in the near future.

I’ll keep this article updated as they add more plugins to the roster. Whether it’ll be worth your time/money is yet to be determined.

Which LANDR pricing plan is right for you?

As promised, we’ll be talking some more about LANDR’s pricing options. It’s kind of difficult to navigate which is why I thought I’d make a few recommendations based on your personal needs.

Let’s start with music distribution which is what this is really about!

The “Lite” plan is perfect if you don’t release that often. You basically pay as you go. However, keep in mind that LANDR keeps 15% of your streaming income. That’s why I recommend the “Unlimited” distribution for everyone else. You keep 100% of your income and eliminate any one-time fees for each release. It’s worth it if you release OFTEN.

If you’re considering the mastering service…

Just go with PRO. The other plans charge you extra to have your files mastered as WAV. Sure, music streaming platforms end up compressing your files either way, but you still want to be distributing using WAV files, not MP3s… Just my take though.

I also recommend purchasing 75 credits if you want to try LANDR Samples.

So, that pretty much sums it up! If you still have any questions about LANDR music distribution, you can leave us your questions/comments down below or reach out to us on social media. I have access to some of LANDR’s representatives, so I can provide some clear-cut answers if you’re willing to be patient!

Other than that, I recommend comparing LANDR to some other music distribution services we’ve reviewed…

Sources

https://www.reddit.com/r/WeAreTheMusicMakers/comments/98iqzr/anybody_tried_landr_distribution_yet/

https://www.reddit.com/r/edmproduction/comments/bkr4ew/anyone_got_experience_with_landr_distribution/

https://www.reddit.com/r/musicmarketing/comments/a967tz/landr_distribution_experience/

https://ca.trustpilot.com/review/landr.com

https://consequenceofsound.net/2016/05/soundcloud-is-now-offering-users-free-digital-mastering/

https://support.landr.com/hc/en-us/articles/115012243087-Can-I-set-a-custom-release-date-

https://support.landr.com/hc/en-us/articles/115009567407-How-long-after-submitting-my-release-will-it-go-live-

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