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RouteNote Review – Music Distribution Buyer’s Guide

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About RouteNote Music Distribution Service

Visit Routenote: https://bit.ly/3tttjPM

Routenote is a UK-based music distribution service with multiple pricing models. They have a percentage-based system where artists pay 15% of revenue in exchange for distribution and a pay-as-you-go system where artists pay per release. The pay-per-release is a bit convoluted and less straightforward than I’d like it to be. At first glance, it seems like a no-brainer, you pay $30 for an album and get to keep 100% of the revenue from the release. Underneath the price chart in tiny print, which I don’t appreciate, you see “annual renewal fee of $9.99” meaning in addition to paying $30 for the album, you also have to pay $9.99 to keep receiving 100% of the revenue. The $9.99 annual fee is applied per release.

Consider this, 3 albums distributed under Routenote would cost you $90 upfront and an additional $30 per year. If you were to distribute 10 albums you’d end up paying $100 a year for music distribution. The more music you release, the more inflated your annual cost. Why pay Routenote $100 a year for 10 albums to keep 100% of revenue when you can pay Tunecore $15 or Distrokid $23? The only feature I can highlight that would make it make sense is Content ID. You get to keep 100% of Content ID revenue with Routenote, but I’m not sure if they have a direct deal with Youtube or if they’re using a third-party service like Audiem. The Audiem Content ID service takes 20% of the revenue and because Routenote’s terms state they pay from net receipts, you’re getting 100% of what they get after Audiem takes their 20%. The only distributor I know for a fact that has direct deals is Tunecore but also have reason to believe CD Baby and Distrokid have direct deals also. In the case of Distrokid, they use Audiem for Content ID but are clear about that and charge a fee on top of the disclosed percentage taken by Audiem.

Another argument for Routenote could be music distribution for labels because they allow you to distribute for an unlimited number of artists. At the same time, they’re charging a fee per release plus $10 annually for each release vs. Tunecore’s $15 per artist where you get unlimited releases for that artist. Adding to it all, the transaction fees you have to pay to withdraw your funds is uncapped for Paypal. If you get your money through Paypal, you lose 2.9% + $0.30 every time.

A major Red Flag when it comes to Routenote is their missing Artist agreement! You can find the Terms and Conditions for the usage of their website but not the Terms you’re agreeing to for digital distribution. For that to be left out, even by accident, is a major problem for me.

Their website poses major issues in another area as well and that’s logging in. It’s a 50/50 chance I’ll be able to access my dashboard whenever I visit. Sometimes it doesn’t recognize your password and it has to be reset. The link sent to reset your password will sometimes take you to an error page. After resetting your password and accessing your account, once you logout you mind that you have to reset your password once again to gain access to your account. It’s a nightmare as far as user experience goes.

As an option for music distribution, it doesn’t compare to Tunecore, CD Baby, or Distrokid.

RouteNote Music Distribution Details

TierFreePremium
Price$0$10 per single [1 Track]
$20 per EP [2 – 6 Tracks]
$30 per album  [7 – 18 Tracks]
$45 per extended album [19+ Tracks]
+ $9.99 per release annually
PercentageKeep 85%Keep 100%
ReleasesUnlimitedUnlimited
StoresUnlimitedUnlimited
Release DateYesYes
Transaction Fees2.9% + $0.30
Payments Through: Paypal

Free
Payments Through: Bank Transfer
2.9% + $0.30
Payments Through: Paypal

Free
Payments Through: Bank Transfer
Payment Threshold $50$50
ArtistsUnlimitedUnlimited
Youtube Content IDYes
Keep 100%
Highly suspect there’s a 3rd party service provider taking a cut prior to payment
Yes
Keep 100%
Highly suspect there’s a 3rd party service provider taking a cut prior to payment
WhitelistingYes
Facilitated by Email request
Yes
Facilitated by Email request
Split PayYes
Free
Yes
Free
UPC & ISRCFree
UPC comes with the ability to bring your own
Free
UPC comes with the ability to bring your own
Pre-OrdersYes
Free
Yes
Free
PartnershipsRoutenote doesn’t have the influence to garner preferential treatment from DSPs so there’re no perks in that area.Horus doesn’t have the influence to garner preferential treatment from DSPs so there’re no perks in that area.
Cancelation/Non-paymentFailure to pay will result in your releases being downgraded to the Free percentage-based tier. Failure to pay will result in your releases being downgraded to the Free percentage-based tier.
Sync Licensing Note offered
Highlight onsite but it’s referencing Youtube Content ID and not usage in movies and TV shows.
Note offered
Highlight onsite but it’s referencing Youtube Content ID and not usage in movies and TV shows.
TaxesSubject to 30% taxSubject to 30% tax
Red FlagsMissing Distribution TermsMissing Distribution Terms

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