Can I Use Multiple Music Distributors?

can i use multiple using music distributors - decibel peak academy

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I was asking myself the same question, can I use multiple music distributors. HOWEVER, the reason I was asking seemed to be different than everyone else. It should be obvious to anyone out there that distributing the SAME release through different music distributors is impossible. You’d simply be creating duplicate releases which isn’t good… So, why was I asking?

Being promiscuous with your music distribution services might be a good idea (especially if you’re not experienced). The reason I was asking myself if I could use multiple music distributors was simply to test multiple platforms at once. In other words, I would be releasing DIFFERENT releases through different music distributors. That’s how I ended up creating all of these in-depth reviews on music distribution services. Keep reading to find out more about my strategy for “interviewing” music distributors.

Why you shouldn’t use multiple music distributors

Releasing the same release through different music distribution services will result in duplicate versions of your music. That’s not going to get streaming platforms to like you very much…

The only time this situation should happen is TEMPORARILY.

The only reason that’d be the case is if you were switching music distributors.

Other than that, I honestly can’t think of any reason why you’d want to have the same music on different music distribution services. Do some of you think it’ll make you double (or triple) your earnings?

I’m curious, let me know in the comments!

If anything, it just ends up costing you more BUT… It doesn’t work either way!

Why you might WANT to use multiple music distributors

If you want to find the best partner for your music, you need to be patient. Expecting to find the best music distribution service the day of your scheduled release isn’t best practice…

I recommend choosing 3-5 and releasing 3-5 singles through them.

If you’re still at this stage, chances are you won’t really get much streams anyway.

Sorry for being so blunt, but the advantage of getting started is the ability to LEARN and MAKING MISTAKES. It’s best to do that when it doesn’t really matter.

Just remember that your releases can be pulled from streaming services anytime.

Also, keep in mind that you can always CHANGE music distribution service at any point.

What about multiple artist profiles on streaming services?

One of the most realistic concerns I came across the web (which I too, had) was the fear of creating a duplicate artist profile. The only way to find out was to take the risk, which I did!

While distributing my music using DistroKid, I also wanted to try RouteNote.

It was perfect timing since I also wanted to conduct this experiment. What ended up happening is that the streaming services grouped my music under the same profile.

I can’t explain how it happened, but I guess streaming services are smart enough!

If you use the same metadata on each music distribution platform, you should be fine.

I can’t guarantee that this’ll work for EVERY music distribution “pair”, but chances are that it’ll be okay. You’ll have one artist even though you’re distributing your music using multiple services.

Other reasons you may want to use multiple music distributors

Besides having the ability to “interview” these different music distribution services, you can also test for payout consistencies. If you understand how streaming royalties are calculated, you can simply determine how much each distributor pays per stream.

It’ll require some mathematical skills, but you’ll be fine!

I can’t confirm any of these cases, but I’ve definitely heard of music distribution services “cheating” their clients. It’s not impossible, so just make sure to do your due diligence.

That’s basically what this is!

Another reason I use multiple distributors is because some of them provide different advantages. For example…

  • Soundrop makes it super easy/affordable to get cover licenses
  • RouteNote allows you to monetize your SoundCloud/YouTube streams for FREE
  • LANDR has several revolutionary perks and advantages

You can also choose to have one distributor assigned to specific platforms (for example, Spotify) and have that streaming service excluded from all others.

In those cases, you just want to make sure to have ONE ISRC/UPC code assigned per release.

If you want to learn more about that, read one and/or both of these articles:

I hope this article has provided you with some peace of mind. If you have any questions about music publishing/distribution, feel free to leave us a comment. If you want to work 1-on-1 with me, you can also schedule a consultation HERE. Thanks for reading!

Sources

https://www.reddit.com/r/WeAreTheMusicMakers/comments/9cmli0/can_i_use_different_distributors_to_submit_the/

https://www.reddit.com/r/WeAreTheMusicMakers/comments/abvkpn/using_multiple_music_distributors/

14 Responses

  1. I have been using United Masters for distribution until this point. They have yet to upgrade to video release capabilities. I am planning to release my video to the public tomorrow. I decided to just post the thing on youtube but I found out that Tunecore does have video release capabilities. The SONG that the video is for is already released through UM. Would it be silly to only release the video for said song through Tunecore?

    1. Hey Jonathan,

      It wouldn’t be silly to release only the music video on Tunecore, however, it’s best to only work with one music distribution service in the long run. I’ve worked with 2 at one time, but it just makes it more complicated to manage.

      If you’re looking for an alternative to Tunecore, Ditto allows you to release music videos to VEVO (not to streaming services though).

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck!

      – Stefan

  2. Hi Stefan, thanks for your very nice article!!
    I am in the situation of choosing 2 distributors for the same release:
    Distrokids for all the stores, and a second one ONLY for Youtube content ID (that in DSTRKD is not free).
    You said in the commets here that you personally would not recommend the Youtube content ID, can I ask you why? This is a very important topic fpr me.
    Thanks a lot for your work, best regards
    Luigi

    1. Hey Luigi,

      You don’t need another music distribution service for YouTube Content ID.

      You can use a service dedicated to that purpose like Identifyy.

      The reasons I don’t recommend YouTube Content ID…

      – Unless you’re getting millions of placements on YouTube, you’ll make pennies (if any)
      – It’ll cause problems if you ever decide to start licensing your music
      – It’s very difficult to get your music off of YouTube Content ID if you ever make the transition.

      Just make sure to think twice about it. It’s not worth it in my opinion, but that’s just me.

      Let me know if you need more info. Thanks for stopping by, take care!

      – Stefan

  3. Hi Stefan,

    I was just wondering, let’s say you distribute singles from one distributor, are you allowed to release the same songs on an album through a different distributor or is that not recommended?

    1. Hey TYH,

      Hmm… That’s a good question!

      I would personally recommend not doing that, even if it’s technically considered two different releases.

      In general, I wouldn’t recommend releasing music with more than one music distributor unless you have a very specific reason.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks, all the best!

      – Stefan

  4. I started with Repost Network in 2015, now I’m with Distrokid, have been since 2018. Distrokid famously charges fees for additional services (even Content ID), which Repost does not. They also don’t charge for Shazam, which is $0.99 for a single & more for an album. Also, Repost has Yandex, which is in Russia, which Distrokid doesn’t have, yet.

    1. Hey Ase,

      I personally don’t recommend using ContentID, but you’re right.

      In regards to Shazam, you’re correct as well but for some reason, I Shazamed one of my tracks and still shows up even if you haven’t paid for it (I don’t know if it’ll always work).

      Lastly, most people use Spotify and/or Apple Music. If you think it’s worth it for Yandex, go for it. I personally don’t think it’ll make much of a difference.

      Thanks for your input, take care!

      – Stefan

  5. Hi Stefan
    This year i started my own music label (21k RECORDS ) i an using distrokid’s music label plan to distribute my music but distrokid does not doensnot include some of the local streaming platforms like (Gana & Wynk ) which is included in tunecore so can i use both at the same time as in will only be using tunecore for those 2 platforms which are not present in distrokid

    1. Hello Satyam,

      Congratulations on starting your own music label!

      You’re correct, you’ll be able to use both DistroKid and Tunecore at the same time if you only use Tunecore for Gana/Wynk.

      You can also use multiple music distributors if you release different music on each one.

      Feel free to reply if you ever have any other questions. Thanks!

      – Stefan

  6. Hi Stefan,

    Thanks for the great article. I have a question specific to children artists. I have 3 kids who write songs and I want to keep all three of their names on their songs, but my youngest is 11. When I tried using CD baby to distribute they informed me that they do not service anyone under 13! What do you recommend doing? Is there a music distributor that doesn’t have a lower age limit.? I would hate to leave my youngest’s name out of the credits. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello Naomi,

      That’s a great question! I’m also glad to hear that you’re taking your kids’ creative ambitions seriously.

      So, to answer your question… You’ll need to represent your kids until they reach the legal age, but that has nothing to do with the credits. Just think of yourself as the “record label” for your kids. That means that you’ll be managing the account in your kids’ names, but you’ll still be crediting them as the artist/band.

      In other words, all music distribution services (and other online services) require you to be of legal age to use them.

      Now, the MOST IMPORTANT part when it comes to your kids’ music is to register the works with your local performance rights organization (PRO).

      You’ll need to look up the one for your country, but you can always sign up with BMI/ASCAP regardless (those are the organizations in the US).

      Once again, you’ll still need to sign in your kids’ names until they reach the legal age.

      So don’t worry, you’ll have the ability to credit your kids through the music distribution service AND the performance rights organization. You’ll simply be acting as the representative until your kids reach the legal age. Once that happens, they can take control of their accounts.

      I personally use DistroKid to distribute my music.

      They also have an affordable plan to have up to 5 artists, so you can have all of your kids’ music in the same account.

      I hope that answers your questions, let me know if you have more. Thanks, best of luck!

      – Stefan

  7. I am in Israel. Here many people use distrokid. I was accepted into symphonic but am not sure -will they be able to match my hebrew name for search on spotify ? Or do I have to stik with distrokid

    1. Hello Danielle,

      Congratulations on getting accepted by Symphonic!

      I think it might be worth it to switch over. There are more benefits at Symphonic, especially considering the barrier to entry.

      That being said, you can still keep using DistroKid if you prefer having both. As long as you use the exact same name, it should group your releases together.

      How many tracks have you distributed with DistroKid?

      However, I would personally think about having only one music distribution service in the long run, but try both for now. See which one you like best!

      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

      Thanks for stopping by, best of luck!

      – Stefan

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