DistroKid vs Tunecore – Which One Should You Choose?

Are you ready to share your precious tunes with the world and make some money? Great! You’ll only have to decide which route you’re going to take. Thanks to digital distribution companies it has never been easier to distribute your music as an indie artist. You no longer have to find a label to record your music and to somehow get it sold. 

Simply record your music and upload it to a digital distribution platform. You automatically have a higher chance to reach fans. At present, DistroKid and Tunecore are two of the best two digital distribution companies. But which of those digital distribution companies is the best option for you? Get some additional professional advice and click here.

Tunecore Has Been Around the Longest

Founded in 2005, Tunecore has been around for quite a while. With CDBaby having its start in 1998, it is the second-oldest of all digital distribution companies. All these years have provided Tunecore with quite a bit of experience on the market. However, it used to have this cold corporate image which completely changed when its CEO stepped down in 2020. With a new lead, it’s returned to an artist-friendlier digital distribution company like it was at the beginning. However, with its long years of experience, Tunecore is quite a professional digital distribution company. Even big names like Keith Richards and Jay-Z use Tunecore to distribute their music digitally.

Tunecore Has Been Around the Longest

DistroKid Evolved Out of a Social Network

A couple of years ago, there was a social network platform for musicians. It failed but it brought DistroKid into the world which was officially founded in 2015. Though it already started as a fork from that musician’s platform in 2013. The founder of DistroKid was even praised by the CEO of Tunecore and CDBaby since he simply had a good idea that evolved out of a community. 

Even with the network platform, nothing in life is for naught. Spotify bought a share of DistroKid in 2018 which deepens their partnership. It shows how much Spotify wants DistroKid to succeed. Since it’s a bit newer on the scene, it doesn’t have a professional outfit like Tunecore. Hence, it’s more indie-based with fewer big-name artists on its list.

DistroKid Evolved Out of a Social Network

A Comparison in Fees

While there are some digital distribution companies out there who don’t charge any fees for the distribution, others do. Both DistroKid and Tunecore do charge a distribution fee. At the end of the day, you have to keep in mind they also have staff and expenses to pay. If a digital distribution company doesn’t charge distribution fees, it will get its revenue from other fees. 

Tunecore has a rather high fee of $ 9.99 for a single and $ 29.99 for a whole album. Unfortunately, those fees are only valid for one year, so it’s not a one-time distribution fee. It has to be renewed annually if you want them to keep your music on all the different streaming platforms.

DistroKid is slightly cheaper in that regard and only charges a distribution fee of $ 19.99 per artist/band per year with unlimited releases. The fee rises if you want to distribute for two artists/bands or more. You can simply release as much music as you want and it will be kept available on streaming platforms. 

A Question of Commission

DistroKid as well as Tunecore take 0 % commission from you. That means you will get 100 % of your royalties.

However, there’s a tiny hidden bit for which you’ll get less in royalties from DistroKid. Tunecore works directly with streaming platforms and thus collects 100 % of royalties directly from them. 

DistroKid uses a middleman company called Merlin to collect royalty payments. Of course, Merlin wants to be paid for its services and deducts a fee from all collected royalties. Therefore, you receive the royalties DistroKid is paid by Merlin.

Distribution Speeds Music

Distribution Speeds

As a general rule of thumb, it can take up to a fortnight until you can find your music on Spotify, Apple Music, and other music streaming services. DistroKid can be a little faster and takes between 2 – 7 days, whereas Tunecore may require 5 days. Of course, you can also set a distribution date with both of them. Your music will be distributed to streaming platforms, but not published before your set date.

Whoever is in a hurry to distribute his music should welcome the short delay. It provides you time to promote your song.

Special Features

DistroKid as well as Tunecore have some special features to offer for their clients. With both digital distribution companies, you can upload lyrics, a feature most appreciated by fans. DistroKid offers to get you a blue checkmark on Spotify within an instant which will help your profile as an indie artist. Should you ever lose your songs, DistroKid can work as a safeguard since you can download your own songs from their platform. 

Tunecore goes a little further and offers to secure opportunities for TV and movie productions. As a special icing on the cake, they have introduced a rewards program. It allows you to unlock VIP masterclasses to help you with your career as an indie artist. You can also take advantage of their free social media management tool. It makes it a lot easier to post and edit to any social media network you desire from just one place. That’s certainly a huge help to promote yourself.

The Bottom Line For Both Digital Distribution Companies

It depends a lot on what you’re looking for personally. Most people choose Tunecore as it’s more effective and has got some grand features to offer. DistroKid might be a little cheaper for its services, but it should also be mentioned their customer service is not the best. If you want to talk to an actual human being, it may take a while. You won’t have that problem with Tunecore, they set up professional customer service from the beginning. If you’re new to the scene, you want to go with DistroKid, though you probably get more out of Tunecore. 

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