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Best Digital Distribution or Aggregator
View Poll Results: What's the best Aggregator (Digital Distribution)?
CD Baby
5 Votes - 22.73%
TuneCore
2 Votes - 9.09%
ReverbNation
0 Votes - 0%
AWAL
2 Votes - 9.09%
MondoTunes
2 Votes - 9.09%
Catapult
1 Votes - 4.55%
Other (specify in your post)
10 Votes - 45.45%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

Old 27th October 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Best Digital Distribution or Aggregator

iTunes and Amazon are the biggest digital music distributors.
But an Indie artist cannot sell music there, alone. One needs a service called Aggregator. With this kind of service, you can sell music in several digital stores, or get money from streaming.
Here are the most popular:

- CD Baby
- TuneCore
- ReverbNation
- AWAL

There is also MondoTunes, Catapult, Topspin, RouteNote, Label Worx, Feiyr, Rebeat, Nimbit, EPM, Orchard, and others...

After searching and studying this business for awhile, I think the best option, for the musician, is to pay a one time fee (and not yearly), and to not give any percentage of the revenue. The more digital stores, the better. And, of course, to keep 100% royalties and 100% ownership.

After some math, I've concluded that if one sells less then 10 albums a year, AWAL is a good option (it takes 15% of your revenue, but you don't pay anything upfront). But if you sell more then 30 a year, you loose money with services that take % from your revenue.

The best option seems MondoTunes, but I haven't read testimonials and reviews about this service. Anyone?

I've read some TuneCore and ReverbNation scams, but from what I've understand, none of these complaining artists registered their work BEFORE distributing their music in these services.

What's the best service for you, and why?
Please fill the pool, and justify your answer
Old 30th October 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maktown View Post
You forgot one major distributor that we are using. It's ADEDistribution and their website is at How To Sell Your Music On iTunes Store Amazon and Spotify | ADEDistribution

Can you add them to the list so we can vote for them?

They only charge $5 a month + $3 for every single/album/EP you want to submit and they pay you every week!

They have the lowest start-up costs
Unfortunately, I cannot insert another option or change the pool.
I've seen that you voter "Other", tho

$5 a month it's 60 per year, plus you pay extra money for an album or a single. They are more expensive distributor I've seen!

I've discovered another one:
Blood Rush Digital
But they cost you 15% of royalties, like AWAL or the free package of ADED, although they don't charge you money. If you don't sell more then 10 albums per year, I think this is a great option.

MondoTunes seems the best option, distributing your music to 750+ stores, and charging a one time fee (not yearly or monthly) of 39$99 and no additional fees per store.

I'm hunting MondoTunes reviews and unsatisfied customers, but I've seen none. I think I'm going MondoTunes...
Old 31st October 2012
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Just found this:
ArtistCore: An open letter from TuneCore Founder Jeff Price

Jeff Price left TuneCore.
Old 8th November 2012
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciperlone View Post
Just found this:
ArtistCore: An open letter from TuneCore Founder Jeff Price

Jeff Price left TuneCore.
Yeh not a great advert
Old 11th November 2012
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Jon Silva's Avatar
 

other: Believe Digital

No monthly or recurring fees, distributor margin tbn, very reliable payments, helpful and really nice label managers (at least in my case).
Old 11th November 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
If I had to pick from that list my first choice would be The Orchard, followed by CD Baby.
Old 11th November 2012
  #7
I just signed up to bandcamp, seems to be straightforward and simple. You can let the buyer decide what to pay for the download or set a price. Money gets to you via paypal. A link on your website to bandcamp and your done.
Old 29th June 2013
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thanks for this great post, how can we get more people to give input? This is very helpful and insightful. I have a client who is shopping for an aggregator for classical music, with an emphasis on contemporary - Believe Digital looks like a good option. Any ideas?
Old 10th July 2013
  #9
Here for the gear
 

reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciperlone View Post
Unfortunately, I cannot insert another option or change the pool.
I've seen that you voter "Other", tho

$5 a month it's 60 per year, plus you pay extra money for an album or a single. They are more expensive distributor I've seen!

I've discovered another one:
Blood Rush Digital
But they cost you 15% of royalties, like AWAL or the free package of ADED, although they don't charge you money. If you don't sell more then 10 albums per year, I think this is a great option.

MondoTunes seems the best option, distributing your music to 750+ stores, and charging a one time fee (not yearly or monthly) of 39$99 and no additional fees per store.

I'm hunting MondoTunes reviews and unsatisfied customers, but I've seen none. I think I'm going MondoTunes...
Plz let me know how that turns out because i think am joining emubands.com and al post complete honest feed back promise ! no BS
Old 10th July 2013
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
NAJ89's Avatar
 

Have you tried DistroKid? I read about them on here the other day, but I haven't tried it. Its supposed to only be $19.99 a year, you can upload unlimited songs and you all profits. That's what I read in the thread, but like I said I haven't tried, so I don't know any of the specifics. If anyone has any experience with DistroKid, would you share you're insight?

NAJ
Old 10th July 2013
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
NAJ89's Avatar
 

ModoTunes is a one time $39.99 fee? That's pretty tempting, I need check them out. Thanks.

NAJ
Old 10th July 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Has anyone explored a more DIY option of using a shopping cart that supports downloadable products? You would have to set up and maintain the web site, but there is lots of great stuff out there for that, like Magento. Then you can sell your merch too and let your customers know that 100% of their money goes to you. If you don't want to actually ship anything there are a lot of fulfillment services out there that will store and ship product.

Honestly, I am confused by the distribution problem, as if we need to use another service to give fans access to music. Facebook has some eCommerce shopping cart possibilities, too.

Tim
Old 10th July 2013
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
I would say that, ones which take a % would be better. in the sense that, they should theoretically be more motivated to sell your music to gain the %.

if they don't push track and their model is a % model, you would have to ask yourself why. it might be that the tracks are used in other countries without knowledge, but that is a cynical view. stranger things have been known to happen.

you could argue it the other way round and claim, the ones who take a fee might be able to have more employees actively pushing products. so they might perform a little better.

in any case, if none of this is exclusive then there is a case for putting a track with all the % based sites and seeing who performs best.
Old 10th July 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
NAJ89's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
I would say that, ones which take a % would be better. in the sense that, they should theoretically be more motivated to sell your music to gain the %.

if they don't push track and their model is a % model, you would have to ask yourself why. it might be that the tracks are used in other countries without knowledge, but that is a cynical view. stranger things have been known to happen.

you could argue it the other way round and claim, the ones who take a fee might be able to have more employees actively pushing products. so they might perform a little better.

in any case, if none of this is exclusive then there is a case for putting a track with all the % based sites and seeing who performs best.
Very interesting thought.

NAJ
Old 11th July 2013
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAJ89 View Post
Have you tried DistroKid? I read about them on here the other day, but I haven't tried it. Its supposed to only be $19.99 a year, you can upload unlimited songs and you all profits. That's what I read in the thread, but like I said I haven't tried, so I don't know any of the specifics. If anyone has any experience with DistroKid, would you share you're insight?

NAJ
DistroKid is from the Fandalism guy (who also started f*ckedcompany.com). The lack of info on their site is... breathtaking. heh

www.DistroKid.com


I haven't used any of the aggregators yet.

(Although I have an album distro credit at TuneCore I'm not going to use; They managed to tick me off so much by jacking up their maintenance fees by a huge amount that I'm kissing off the money. They encouraged me to use it anyway, saying I could remove the stuff later if I wasn't happy -- but I've heard bad word-of-mouth regarding trying to get TC to remove/release your material in a timely manner. I don't want to get stuck doing business with them, at this point, and I certainly don't want to get hung out to dry by their reported slowness at takedown.)

My inner kid really, really wants MondoTunes to turn out to be as good as they themselves say are. heh But I really get a heavy too-good-to-be-true vibe. That said, I keep saying I'm going to put a single up there (only 8 bucks, after all) and see how it all works.

My issue is that, frankly, I'm afraid of not having enough sales to pay the yearly nut at Tunecore. Sad as they may sound. Hence the appeal of no ongoing charges or, a little farther down the desirability slope, an outfit that takes a percentage slice. Unfortunately, some of those that take a cut instead of a yearly fee don't necessarily service all the subscription services and not only am I a long time user of such services, it appears that the tech writers have FINALLY got it through their heads that such services make a lot of sense for music lovers who love variety but no longer feel like going out and dropping $12 or $15 every time an artist they like drops a record.
Old 11th July 2013
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinzin View Post
I just signed up to bandcamp, seems to be straightforward and simple. You can let the buyer decide what to pay for the download or set a price. Money gets to you via paypal. A link on your website to bandcamp and your done.
I love BC; if you don't need/want to be in mainstream stores like iTunes, Amazon, etc, or on streaming subscription services, BC is great little resource.

And, actually a great little resource either way; nothing to stop you from having your stuff in the mainstream channels and then offering higher quality download purchases -- and BC allows purchasers to set their own price (or not, depending on the artist's wishes, who sets the price otherwise) as well as to get their downloads in anything from phone-friendly 3gp's to full-CD fidelity FLAC or Apple Lossless.

Now that Paypal does the micropayments thing, the BC PayPal system seems to work pretty nicely.
Old 11th July 2013
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
NAJ89's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
DistroKid is from the Fandalism guy (who also started f*ckedcompany.com). The lack of info on their site is... breathtaking. heh

www.DistroKid.com


I haven't used any of the aggregators yet.

(Although I have an album distro credit at TuneCore I'm not going to use; They managed to tick me off so much by jacking up their maintenance fees by a huge amount that I'm kissing off the money. They encouraged me to use it anyway, saying I could remove the stuff later if I wasn't happy -- but I've heard bad word-of-mouth regarding trying to get TC to remove/release your material in a timely manner. I don't want to get stuck doing business with them, at this point, and I certainly don't want to get hung out to dry by their reported slowness at takedown.)

My inner kid really, really wants MondoTunes to turn out to be as good as they themselves say are. heh But I really get a heavy too-good-to-be-true vibe. That said, I keep saying I'm going to put a single up there (only 8 bucks, after all) and see how it all works.

My issue is that, frankly, I'm afraid of not having enough sales to pay the yearly nut at Tunecore. Sad as they may sound. Hence the appeal of no ongoing charges or, a little farther down the desirability slope, an outfit that takes a percentage slice. Unfortunately, some of those that take a cut instead of a yearly fee don't necessarily service all the subscription services and not only am I a long time user of such services, it appears that the tech writers have FINALLY got it through their heads that such services make a lot of sense for music lovers who love variety but no longer feel like going out and dropping $12 or $15 every time an artist they like drops a record.
I'm brand new to the online sales stuff. I'm used to selling stuff at shows, but I've become increasingly more aware of the importance of online sales. I put together a new band recently and we're working on an album with the mindset of selling it online, not just streaming it. I know this is probably ancient news to a lot of groups, but we're trying to get with the times.

When I read about it on here the other day, I was hoping that it would be legit. Thus far, I think I only saw one person on here that's had dealings with them, I guess I was hoping for more to come out of the woodwork. Since we're doing this ourselves I was hoping one of these cheaper services would be a viable option. Times are hard.

NAJ
Old 11th July 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I love BC; if you don't need/want to be in mainstream stores like iTunes, Amazon, etc, or on streaming subscription services, BC is great little resource.

And, actually a great little resource either way; nothing to stop you from having your stuff in the mainstream channels and then offering higher quality download purchases -- and BC allows purchasers to set their own price (or not, depending on the artist's wishes, who sets the price otherwise) as well as to get their downloads in anything from phone-friendly 3gp's to full-CD fidelity FLAC or Apple Lossless.
Yep. Bandcamp is really great. They've also got great ways to help build your audience by using free give-aways in exchange for email addresses etc. I personally find the best way to use it to offer a large number of freebies (they only have to give their address once) whether it's out-takes or good live recordings or demos etc running alongside a nice selection of purchasable products.

And by all means use the other more mainstream storefronts (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify - if you so choose) as well. That's generally where the more casual fan will first go to find your music. For instance a guy takes a buddy from work along to a show and chances are unless he's used to spending time digging around the net (and the casual fans usually don't) he'll just pop your name into iTunes or Spotify and see if you're there. And if you're not? Well the kettle has probably finished boiling and he's already thinking about that email he needs to reply to and then the text from his girlfriend, oh and he forgot sugar in his coffee... before you know it you've possibly lost a sale/listen.

The more avenues the more ways to reach you!

R.
Old 11th July 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickB View Post
Plz let me know how that turns out because i think am joining emubands.com and al post complete honest feed back promise ! no BS
Oh and MickB quit spamming all the threads. Not cool.

Makes both you and the company look bad.

R.
Old 11th July 2013
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAJ89 View Post
I'm brand new to the online sales stuff. I'm used to selling stuff at shows, but I've become increasingly more aware of the importance of online sales. I put together a new band recently and we're working on an album with the mindset of selling it online, not just streaming it. I know this is probably ancient news to a lot of groups, but we're trying to get with the times.

When I read about it on here the other day, I was hoping that it would be legit. Thus far, I think I only saw one person on here that's had dealings with them, I guess I was hoping for more to come out of the woodwork. Since we're doing this ourselves I was hoping one of these cheaper services would be a viable option. Times are hard.

NAJ
Tell it, my brother.

That's where I am. I was just saying in the parallel thread currently in the Songwriting Forum that I'm definitely going to do the DistroKid first-ones-free offer. I've got a song that doesn't really fit into anything else I do I can play with. And I'll almost certainly do an $8 single at MondoTunes. That'll let me see how their system works. Or doesn't. As the case may be.


Like others, I've been curious about new services but most of the first hand experience around seems to be with TuneCore, since they've been around much longer.
Old 11th July 2013
  #21
Here for the gear
ahhhh, I just composed a piano album and was looking for one of these. I think I'm going to sign up with CDbaby. Have no idea thought. From the looks of it, CDbaby seems like the better choice for a "nobody" like myself in the industry. One time fee plus it's there forever...I'm planning on doing so after this message. See what happens.
Old 11th July 2013
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikardomusic View Post
ahhhh, I just composed a piano album and was looking for one of these. I think I'm going to sign up with CDbaby. Have no idea thought. From the looks of it, CDbaby seems like the better choice for a "nobody" like myself in the industry. One time fee plus it's there forever...I'm planning on doing so after this message. See what happens.
One time fee and 9% of the amount paid from the stores; if you pay extra to use the CDBaby Pro tier to collect mechanicals, they also keep 15% of those royalties.

CD Baby Pricing | Music Distribution Costs
CD Baby Pro | Register Your Songs and Collect Publishing Royalties
Old 12th July 2013
  #23
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
One time fee and 9% of the amount paid from the stores; if you pay extra to use the CDBaby Pro tier to collect mechanicals, they also keep 15% of those royalties.

CD Baby Pricing | Music Distribution Costs
CD Baby Pro | Register Your Songs and Collect Publishing Royalties
Well it's sort of a test I guess. I don't expect my album to push many sales. Haha, I'd be surprise if it even breaks 5. So if that's the case then I'm not obligated to re-sign. However, my music can stay in those stores forever. Maybe for my next album I'll try another out. But for now, we'll see. Tricky business.
Old 12th July 2013
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikardomusic View Post
Well it's sort of a test I guess. I don't expect my album to push many sales. Haha, I'd be surprise if it even breaks 5. So if that's the case then I'm not obligated to re-sign. However, my music can stay in those stores forever. Maybe for my next album I'll try another out. But for now, we'll see. Tricky business.
Absolutely agreed!

A lot of folks like CD Baby for a lot of reasons. They have a lot of good will with their customers, it seems to me, from this perspective.
Old 18th July 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Is there a risk to signing up for CDBaby Pro? I know there is a year agreement...hypothetically, an artist self-releases an album via CDBaby and 4 months later, the album gets picked up by a label for "official release" and that label wants to use their publishing company to collect royalties. What happens then?
Old 19th July 2013
  #26
I've used catapult to release a single and am thinking about using route note to distribute a song that I purchased the publishing rights for, also I am about to release an album this fall and am seriously considering using mondotunes... With that said, I have had no issues with catapult and have been using them for the past three months at the recommendation of a friend... They offer a host of services, and I've never had to contact them for anything... They take a one time upfront fee and a small percentage of sales... Also my song was up on iTunes and google play within 48hours.
Old 21st July 2013
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
NAJ89's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Tell it, my brother.

That's where I am. I was just saying in the parallel thread currently in the Songwriting Forum that I'm definitely going to do the DistroKid first-ones-free offer. I've got a song that doesn't really fit into anything else I do I can play with. And I'll almost certainly do an $8 single at MondoTunes. That'll let me see how their system works. Or doesn't. As the case may be.


Like others, I've been curious about new services but most of the first hand experience around seems to be with TuneCore, since they've been around much longer.
I'd be interested to know how that goes. The free offer does sound tempting. I'm just worried there's something weird about it. I'm really just learning what to look out for and what to really start thinking about.

NAJ
Old 12th September 2013
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAJ89 View Post
I'd be interested to know how that goes. The free offer does sound tempting. I'm just worried there's something weird about it. I'm really just learning what to look out for and what to really start thinking about.

NAJ
I did try the free offer, my song was on itunes 4 hours later, they let me know by email right when the song was up. Promise. It was pretty impressive. No credit card or anything.
Old 30th January 2014
  #29
Lives for gear
 
El-Burrito's Avatar
New player from Finland: https://www.musickickup.com/
No signup fee and 100% royalties and rights to artists. Distribution to all main outlets Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Google Play…

They say that it takes 30min to get music to iTunes and 48h to others. So far it sounds better than the competition, but let's see how it goes.
Old 28th February 2014
  #30
Gear Head
 
stephane092's Avatar
Bandcamp for me.

Stéphane
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