DistroKid vs CD Baby vs TuneCore - Which Music Distributor is Better?
In today’s digital age, independent musicians have more opportunities to share their music with the world. However, navigating the complex landscape of music distribution can be overwhelming.
That’s where distribution platforms like DistroKid, CD Baby, and TuneCore come into play. These services help artists get their music on popular streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and other platforms, while also providing additional features and support.
In this article, we will compare DistroKid, CD Baby, and TuneCore to help you determine which platform is the best fit for your needs. But before we delve into the comparison, let’s take a closer look at each platform including the pros & cons.
DistroKid is a popular distribution platform known for its user-friendly interface and fast release times. It has gained popularity among independent artists for its affordable pricing plans and extensive distribution network, which includes major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.
CD Baby is one of the oldest and most established distribution platforms. It provides comprehensive services beyond distribution, including physical CD sales, sync licensing, and publishing administration. CD Baby has been a trusted partner for independent musicians for two decades.
TuneCore is another well-known distribution platform founded in 2005. It has built a reputation for its wide network of digital stores and personalized customer support. TuneCore has helped many independent artists gain exposure worldwide.
Now, let’s compare DistroKid, CD Baby, and TuneCore. We’ll cover their pricing plans, customer support, distribution options, and more to help you determine the most suitable platform for your needs.
When it comes to distribution, all three platforms offer access to major streaming services, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more.
However, DistroKid has gained a reputation for its speed and efficiency in delivering music to various platforms. It boasts an impressive network of over 150 streaming services and online stores, ensuring broad exposure for artists. Therefore, in terms of distribution, DistroKid takes the lead.
DistroKid offers three pricing plans: Musician, Musician Plus and Ultimate. The first tier is Musician, which costs $1.92 per month or $22.99 billed annually. It allows one artist to upload unlimited songs and lyrics, with a Spotify-verified checkmark and the ability to collect split earnings.
The second tier is Musician Plus, priced at $3.33 per month or $39.99 billed annually, offering the same features as Musician but with additional benefits. These include syncing lyrics for Instagram, daily streaming stats, customizable label name, release date, preorder date, and iTunes pricing. Musician Plus allows for two artists or bands.
The third tier is Ultimate, starting at $7.50 per month or $89.99 billed annually, offering the most comprehensive features. It includes everything in Musician Plus but allows for 5-100 artists or bands and offers savings up to 40%.
CD Baby provides various pricing options for musicians. The Standard Distribution option costs $9.99 per single or album, allowing artists to distribute their music on multiple digital platforms.
The Pro Distribution option costs $49.99 per single or album and provides additional benefits such as worldwide CD or vinyl distribution, worldwide publishing royalty collection and direct song registration with global royalty collection societies.
TuneCore offers several pricing options for artists at different stages of their careers. The “New Artist” option is free and allows for unlimited releases to social platforms.
The “Rising Artist” plan costs $14.99 per year and provides essential distribution to over 150 digital stores worldwide.
The “Breakout Artist” plan is priced at $29.99 per year and includes unlimited music releases along with advanced customization features.
The “Professional” plan, available for $49.99 per year, is tailored for labels and industry professionals, offering unlimited music releases, access to premium products and services, and exclusive partnerships.
Each plan comes with different features such as revenue splits, promotional opportunities, customer service response times, and more.
In addition, TuneCore offers a “Pay Per Release” option so you can only pay for the songs you decide to upload.
Independent artists need reliable customer service, especially when facing technical issues or needing assistance.
DistroKid offers customer support via email and chatbot. We have come across multiple artists saying that DistroKid’s customer support needs improvement.
CD Baby offers a chatbot feature, and live chat support from Monday to Thursday, specifically between 9 am and 1 pm PST, ensuring artists can connect with a human representative during those hours. Furthermore, artists also have the option to submit a request form directly on the CD Baby website.
To contact TuneCore’s artist support team, submit a request by clicking on their “SUBMIT A REQUEST” link. You’ll need to provide relevant information, including account email, UPCs, ISRCs, and a detailed description of the issue. Their support is available seven days a week, with response times of 1-2 business days (excluding national holidays).
Overall, while all three platforms offer customer service options, we found that CD Baby excels in customer service, making it our preferred choice in this category.
Artists’ earnings and payout structures are significant factors to consider. DistroKid is known for its quick and reliable payouts, offering artists 100% of their royalties. CD Baby provides artists with various payout options, including direct deposit and PayPal, but takes a 9% commission on digital sales.
TuneCore offers multiple payout options including direct deposit and PayPal, with artists retaining 100% of their earnings. Based on these factors, TuneCore emerges as the winner in terms of payout, as it offers full royalty retention without commission deductions.