7 Best Music Distribution Services For Emerging Artists

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  • Confused about which music distribution service to go with?
  • We help you figure out which one suits your needs best
  • Learn how to get your music on streaming sites effectively

If you’re a band or artist, chances are you’ve either released your own music or have considered releasing your music at some point.

Nowadays, consuming music is easier than ever. But have you ever wondered how to get your music onto streaming services like Spotify?

Luckily, all you need to do is to sign up with a distribution service. The great thing is it doesn’t matter if it’s your first demo recording or a professionally produced album. Anyone can get their music onto Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services quickly and easily.

Today, we’re talking about the best music distribution services.

The Best Music Distribution Services Available Today

  1. Magroove (Our Pick)
  2. Ditto Music (Best For Playlisting)
  3. CD Baby (Best All-Rounder)
  4. LANDR (Best Community Support)
  5. DistroKid (Best Value)
  6. EmuBands (Best For Additional Services & Resources)
  7. TuneCore (Best Variation Of Release Plans & Fees)

1. Magroove (Our Pick)

The first on our list is Magroove. Magroove works off a pretty ethical business model, where you aren’t even charged a fee for distributing your music. All they do is keep the first $5 of your earnings.

In exchange, you’ll be distributed to over 40 online streaming services and sites such as Spotify, iTunes, and Deezer.

You’ll also have access to their merch store, which is super quick and easy to set up, but one of the most unique aspects of Magroove is their app.

Using AI, their advanced algorithm allows the system to recommend music based on your existing listening habits.

This benefits the artist and the listener because most other algorithms are based on popularity (meaning your recommendations are likely to be the more successful artists and bands).

Magroove’s system is based solely on musical features. This way, you’re most likely to be matched to similar music and artists giving you much more chance of discovering something new. Still, as an artist, you’re more likely to be discovered by listeners who will enjoy your music based on the music alone, not your popularity.

2. Ditto Music (Best For Playlisting)

You’ve probably heard of Ditto music if you’ve done any research into distribution. They are one of the world’s top platforms for sharing music, and it’s no surprise to see some huge names linked to them, such as Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Chance The Rapper.

The great thing about Ditto is you keep 100% of your royalties, which is particularly reassuring should one of your songs take off!

It’s also worth considering that most streaming sites are notorious for paying out very little per stream, so knowing that you keep whatever you earn is a great reason to go with Ditto.

Ditto can even help you submit for playlists which can be an invaluable way of getting heard, particularly with so much competition out there, as well as give you analytics, listener data, and demographics.

If you’re unsure, they have a 30-day free trial to see how you find the platform, with various pricing structures depending on your needs.

3. CD Baby (Best All-Rounder)

Despite the name, CD Baby isn’t just about the physical reproduction of music. Their focus is much more on streaming and digital distribution (although they do have a straightforward CD printing service should you want to create physical copies of your next single).

The great thing about CD Baby is their transparency. Their pricing is straightforward to understand as you’ll be charged per release (rather than needing an annual subscription, for example).

Prices start as little as $9.95, and signing up for CD Baby gets you access to some really helpful extras, such as marketing tools and social media monetization services.

CD Baby is probably the best service for you if you’re just starting to release your music and are feeling confused.

4. LANDR (Best Community Support)

Chances are you’ve heard of LANDR. If you haven’t, they made waves in the industry a few years back due to their online AI mastering service.

This divided opinion left many musicians wondering whether artificial intelligence can beat a real mastering engineer. We actually put this to the test right here

Opinions on whether our robot overlords can master better than a trained engineer aside, LANDR is a great option for digitally distributing your music.

Signing up guarantees you 100% of your royalties, and LANDR can even work with you to set up royalty splits, so whether you’re wanting to divide your payouts equally or assign more to one member depending on their creative input, LANDR can set this up and avoid any uncomfortable conversations at your next rehearsal.

LANDR is clearly putting a lot into building its community. Their team of experts hand-picks their favorite releases every quarter to be featured on their playlist, and they boast the fastest response time in the industry regarding questions and customer support.

5. DistroKid (Best Value)

DistroKid is another big name in the world of digital releases.

Like the other entries on our list, they will secure your distribution on all the major streaming services for a competitive fee of $19.99 per year.

In exchange for this, you get unlimited releases. So if you’re the kind of musician or producer who gets on a roll and likes to line up releases, or maybe you have a few tracks under your belt that you want to release gradually, this is probably the best plan for you.

You’ll get to keep 100% of your royalties by releasing through DistroKid, but you’ll also gain access to some useful features that you won’t get elsewhere.

For example, their Vizy Video Generator allows you to create shareable videos for your music, which could be pricey (and take a long time to complete) by going elsewhere. You’ll also have the opportunity to submit to DistroKid’s genre playlists meaning all the more chance of getting heard.

6. EmuBands (Best For Additional Services & Resources)

Although one of the lesser-known names on this list, EmuBands is definitely a distribution service worth considering.

Their competitive prices are charged per release (usually $10 for a single, $20 for 2-20 tracks). One of the unique aspects of choosing EmuBands is the ability to choose an optional support package when you sign up.

Benefits include daily payouts (with no minimum payment threshold) and professional mastering to ensure your track sounds the best it can do come release day.

If you want to incorporate YouTube monetization into your revenue streams, then EmuBands doesn’t charge any commission.

One aspect we love about EmuBands is their commitment to the well-being of musicians and artists. Sadly, mental health issues are all too common in the creative industries, but the dedicated Health and Wellbeing section on their site shows that their interest lies in more than just their customers’ income.

7. Tunecore (Best Variation Of Release Plans & Fees)

The last entry on our list is TuneCore. These are another heavyweight in the world of distribution, and it’s easy to see why

Uploading to TuneCore gets your music distributed to more than 150 digital stores across 200 territories, and you’ll also keep 100% of the royalties made from your music.

Unlike many other services, you can either pay per release or set up an unlimited plan. The great thing about TuneCore is there is a package to suit anyone, whether it’s a one-off release you are doing or a series of singles and albums.

Each package offers a variety of benefits from cover art creators to verified check marks and even advice from industry experts.

It’s worth checking over their packages and seeing which one fits you best. There’s even a free option if you’re just looking to dip your toe into distributing your own music.


What is a Distribution Service?

You might have heard the term ‘distribution deal’ thrown around when it comes to releasing music. Thankfully a distribution service is not related to this (which is great as distribution deals can get complex and heavily weighed down with clauses).

In very brief terms, a distribution service acts as the middleman between you and streaming services. Usually, you will pay a fee or a royalty to them in exchange for them listing your single or album on mainstream music platforms.

Why Do I Need A Distribution Service?

A distribution service is useful to you as an artist because it takes out most of the hassle of actually distributing music.

Of course, you may want to still press physical copies of your release on CD or vinyl, but when it comes to digital releases then you’ll need to sign up with a distribution service.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way for an artist to simply upload music to be listened to on the majority of streaming sites, which is why distribution services have become pretty essential.

It’s worth noting that most of them are completely legitimate, and whilst there will be a financial outlay to release your music. Generally, the prices are fairly small. But if you are concerned about anything from royalty splits to annual fees, we’d recommend reading the Ts and Cs thoroughly before committing to a distributor.

Can’t I Just Distribute My Own Music?

Technically yes, but whether you would want to is another discussion altogether!

Distribution services exist to make your life as an artist easier. It’s like asking, ‘why would I buy a concert ticket when I could just put my own concert on?’.

You could attempt to reach streaming sites yourself, but for the usually minimal fee of subscribing to a distribution service, you will take a lot of the headache out of your release plans.

Does My Recording Have To Be A Certain Quality To Release Through A Distributor?

Not at all. Our advice would be to ensure that your music is recorded, mixed, and mastered to the highest standard you can get when releasing. Still, whether it’s a polished sounding single or a raw-sounding demo recorded in your garage, you can release whatever you please.

Keep in mind that streaming services will have certain rules on the kind of subject matter songs can contain, but for the most part this isn’t something to be too concerned about.

What Royalties Do Streaming Services Pay Out?

This is a bit of a mysterious subject. Each platform pays out slightly differently, but none tend to publish a specific rate they pay per stream publicly.

We recently put together a deep dive into streaming payouts which you can check out here

Can I Remove My Songs Once I’ve Uploaded To A Streaming Service?

Yes, you can, but it’s worth checking the distributor’s Ts and Cs before going ahead if you think this may be something you wish to do.

There will likely be a short wait for the track to come down, so if you’re unsure if your track is release-ready, it’s probably worth making sure you’re pleased with it rather than deciding further down the line you want it taken down and replacing with mixver2.!