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Distribution / Aggregation / Aggravation
For years, my distributor of choice has been CDBaby. Pay one fee and whatever you release stays available with no further fees except 9% commission.
Last couple of years, though, I have been evaluating other distributors as I want to release much more music than I currently do. With CDBaby, it would rapidly get very expensive.
As an experiment, I released a couple of things via Amuse Distribution and that seemed to go ok. I did try the internet’s favourite: Distrokid. On the surface, it looks like a great deal but once you add in all the extras you definitely need (YouTube etc) the costs soon spiral out of control. Never mind the OUTRAGEOUS fee they charge PER RELEASE to ensure your music never gets taken down in the event of a lapse in subscription. As a result, I find it hard to even give them a serious look.
Tunecore was always recommended to me but they were hideously expensive. Until now. They have recently released 3 different plans on a subscription model like DistroKid (and Amuse Distribution – once you leave the free tier) and I have been looking at it in more detail. The pro plan gets you everything for £39.99 per year. Unlimited releases etc, record label and all the good stuff you really need if you are at all serious about your music.
I built a spreadsheet to model the profit versus cost of using CDBaby / DistroKid / Tunecore and the results are so mixed that I am even more confused than when I started!
Despite that, I settled for Tunecore as, apart from anything else, setting up publishing was super easy and was one charge for any and all releases.
As of now, all my works are distributed by Tunecore. The is one little exception, though.
Finally, 2023 will see us release two albums and 8 singles. As well as an assortment of videos! Please make sure you are signed up to the mailing list and stay tuned!