Thursday, April 18, 2024

Amuse vs. Distrokid vs. Tunecore vs. CD Baby

This is a comparative overview of Amuse vs the top three digital distributors and how they compare. We’ll first take a look at what Amuse does that separates it from its competition, following up with a head-to-head of services and features. We have links to discounts on some of the services we talk about below. If you decide to use these services, you can support us by using our links to purchase.

Discounts & Recommendations:

What’s Different About Amuse?

Mobile app

Amuse has a mobile app that can be used to keep track of streaming and sales activity. It’s not the only distributor on this list that has one. Distrokid also has an app that does the same thing. I don’t get the point of an app for a digital distributor. If it’s something you see value in, they have it available.

Early royalty Payouts

This Amuse feature allows you to get your royalties faster than you normally would. The catch is, that they charge a fee in exchange for providing your royalties in advance. Their fee is unique to each artist so there’s no standard rate. All they have to say about what you could potentially pay is that it’s a “small fee” but that’s subjective. Their idea of a small fee, may not be your idea of a small fee.

Multiple Artist Profiles

Distributing music for more than one artist could get messy. Amuse allows you to have multiple artist profiles where each artist would have a separate account. As an account manager, you’ll be able to easily view the performance of releases from individual artists without going through the trouble of having to filter artists and releases.

Invite Team Members

This feature allows you to grant access to your account without giving personal details like your account’s password. Invited Team Members would have separate login credentials and access levels.

Deal Breaker

One major issue I have with Amuse is their royalty reporting. It’s very subpar. You’re only shown the number of streams and sales your music has generated, but not how much you’ve earned from those streams and sales. Additionally, they only show stats for 5 stores. Even when you export a CSV file of a report, you’re still not shown how much you’ve earned from streams and sales. Your revenue is set separate from your sales.

With an Amuse royalty report, you wouldn’t be able to identify how much you earn per stream from Spotify vs. Apple Music. They say they have direct deals, which means that after iTunes takes its 30%, a download should pay you about $0.70. There’s no way to identify what you’re being paid for a download.

Amuse works if it’s free, but not if you’re paying a fee. Since they’ve done away with the free tier, it needs to step up and provide a service comparable to its competitors. At this time, it does not.

Distrokid 7% DiscountTunecore 20% DiscountCD Baby 50% DiscountAmuse
Price$23 Annually | Musician
$39.99 Annually | Musician Plus $23 Annually | Ultimate
Free + 20% | New Artist
$19.99 Annually | Rising Artist $35.99 Annually | Breakout Artist $49.99 Annually | Professional Artists
$10/Per release  $20 Annually | Boost
$59.99 Annually | Pro
PercentageKeep 100%Keep 100%Keep 91% Keep 100%
New Stores+Store Maximizer: $8 per release annually+Store Automator: Requires Professional Artist PlanIncludedIncluded
Pre-OrdersYes – Requires support from a representative
Includes Instant Gratification tracks
$30 for iTunes & Amazon
Includes Instant Gratification tracks + Special pricing
Includes Instant Gratification tracks
Video DistributionNot offeredNot offeredNot offered Not offered
Release DateNo – Musician
Yes – Musician Plus
Transaction Fees2.9% $1 Cap per withdrawal2.9% 25¢ Cap per withdrawalNo Fee for Direct Bank Transfer 2.9% Uncapped for PayPal 2.9% per withdrawal capped at $1 – $8
Payment Threshold$1None$10$1
Artists21Unlimited 1 Boost
3 Pro
Content ID$5 Per single $14 Per album Annually + 20%20%Keep 100%Keep 100% 
Split PayRequires a $10 annual Subscription for collaboratorsRequires an $8 annual subscription for collaboratorsNoFree
UPCFree, can’t bring your ownFree, can’t bring your ownAdvanced + Free + bring your own Free
ISRCFree, Bring your ownFree, Bring your ownFree + bring your own Free, Bring your own
CancelRemoved from storesRemoved from storesRelease stays Removed from stores
If you reside in a country without a US tax-treaty
30% Withheld 30% Withheld 30% Withheld No tax
Custom Label NameNo – Musician
Yes – Musician Plus
Direct DealsYes/NoYesYes? Claim they do but royalty reports don’t allow investigation
Red FlagsYesNoneNone None


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