When choosing a digital distributor there’s four things you want to make sure you look at:
- What stores they distribute to
- How much they charge
- If they take a percentage of sales
- How they pay you.
The four digital distributors I feel are most worthy of your attention are OneRPM, CDBaby, Tunecore, and Reverbnation. Some of these companies have a host of other services they provide; some for free, some at an additional cost but they aren’t included in any digital distribution package. This is a comparison of the digital distribution packages.
Digital Music Stores:
There’s a lot of music stores out there and you want to have your music in as many of them as you can but some are more important than others. Ideally if you sell physical product in the real world you want your product in Walmart, Target, Macy’s, etc. These are the areas where most people tend to shop. In digital distribution there’s really only six stores equivalent to the offline mega stores that you need to have your music in. Those stores are: iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Rdio, Deezer, and Rhapsody. All the digital distributors on this list distribute to those stores so they’re all even in that regard.
Cost of Digital Distribution:
this is the fee Digital Distributors charge you to distribute your music to online stores like iTunes, Amazon, etc. – not to insult anyone’s intelligence, just noted for clarity.
|CDBaby.com (Updated)||OneRPM.com (Updated)||Tunecore.com||Reverbnation.com (updated)|
|CDBaby charges |
OneRPM charges $40
|Tunecore charges $50 per album, per year and $10 per year per single.||Reverbnation charges |
Percentage of Sales Taken by Digital Distributors:
0% for an annual fee of $30 per album
Though both Reverbnation and Tunecore give artists 100% of their sales revenue, the annual fee they charge acts as a defacto percentage of sales. In fact, in some instances the annual fee can be worse than a percentage of sales such as when you have to pay more in fees than you’ve made in sales. I know everyone is a Rock Star and plans to swim in money like Scrooge McDuck when they drop their album but the sad reality is that artists are struggling to give music away for free, let alone sell it.
Digital Distribution – the Distribution of funds:
|PayPalDirect/ Direct Deposit$10 minimum balance to withdraw funds|
No minimum balance to withdraw funds
|PayPal/ Direct DepositNo minimum balance to withdraw funds||PayPal$20 minimum balance to withdraw funds|
Digital Distribution – Added Incentive:
|Doesn’t do anything aside from distributing your music.||Provides you with widgets to post on your website and Facebook page. Embed music stores, collect emails, post events, etc.|
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