Digital Distribution: CD Baby vs. Tunecore vs. Onerpm vs. DistroKid


Different distributors offer different pricing options. You’ll find distributors like DistroKid that offer unlimited distribution for a low annual fee. There are distributors like CDBaby and Onerpm that charge an upfront flat fee plus a percentage of sales and there are digital distributors like Tunecore that charge an annual fee per release. What it comes down to is what’s going to work best for you.

Paying a one time fee per release plus a percentage of sales works great if you’re concerned about the possibility of not selling and making money. If you don’t sell, the distributor gets a percentage of zero dollars which works out great. At the same time, if you’re annually earning $1000 in royalties, something like 15% could cost you $150 annually. A platform like DistroKid offers unlimited distribution for $20 per year allowing you to release as many albums as you’d like for that one low fee. In theory it’s a great deal but in practice it may not be so beneficial. Onerpm vs. DistroKid as an annual fee is $20  vs. 15% /$150 if you’re earning $1000 per year in royalties. What happens if you gross zero dollars for the year ? Onerpm earns 15% of zero dollars which costs you…zero dollars. Alternatively, earning zero dollars for the year would still cost you $20 with DistroKid.

No artists plans for their album not to sell but it happens and it happens OFTEN!. The vast majority of artists releasing albums aren’t making any money. If you’re like most artists and earning under $20 per year, DistroKid is going to be too expensive for you in the long term. If you’re earning $300 per year, DistroKid is the better option. Keep in mind that you must be able to pay DistroKid’s $20 annual fee without a doubt because failing to pay it once may result in the removal of all of your songs from all digital stores and streaming platforms resulting in the loss of reviews, star rankings, and broken links from places that linked to the album, the same goes for Tunecore.

 Distributors Price % of Sales ISRC & UPC Payout Rep Extras
  • Album $40 $0.00
  • Single $15 $0.00

Digital distribution through Onerpm is now FREE!


  • 15%
  • $30 annually to keep 100%
Free PayPal 100%
  • Free Distribution
  • Marketing Support
  • Free video productionStudio
  • MCN
  • Direct to Fan
  • Quality Customer Service
  • Youtube Licensing
  • Daily stats
CD Baby
  • Album $60
  • Single $15
  • Free ISRC
  • $20 for UPC
  • Direct Deposit
  • Paypal
  • Physical Distribution
  • $4 per sale
    Direct to Fan
    Quality Customer Service
  • Youtube Licensing
  • Daily stats
  • Album $50
  • Single $10 Fees paid annually
0% Free
  • Direct Deposit
  • Paypal
  • Quality Customer Service
  • Youtube Licensing

$20 Annually

Unlimited Releases

  • Free UPC
  • Must upgrade to Musician Plus plan
  • $35 Annually
Paypal  100%
  •  Cover Song Clearance
  • Youtube Licensing






  1. […] This video above was created by You tuber and digital music marketing expert Shawn Folk from the blog I interviewed Shawn a while back for the mixtape marketing podcast episode 12 where we briefly discussed Digital Distribution Sites. Since then Shawn has created this amazing video where he has broken down each digital distribution site with their pros and cons. Below I broke down the video for this blog in the hope that it would prove useful to the readers of my blog. If you want to see Shawn’s Blog post on his video on music distribution companies check out this article here :  Click Here   […]

    • Well, they didn’t mention it anywhere on their site when I wrote this. I chatted with the owner on Twitter and he didn’t mention it either. They do themselves a disservice by hiding so many components of their service. There’s a lot you only find out about them by creating an account. Can’t say I’m a fan of the way they do business.

  2. This is a great review. The one thing that I would also like to see compared is the amount of stores and streaming services. I’m willing to pay extra money per year if it means my music can get in front of larger audiences or in more digital stores.

    • Thanks for commenting. I left the list of stores out because they all get you the same stores so it’s not something that would influence a decision. Some distributors add a whole bunch of stores nobody buys from to give the illusion of value. The store doesn’t matter, what matters is if your fans buy there. You really only need iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Apple Music, and a few others. Like I said, they all get you where you need to be. Hope that helps.


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