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Why I Quit Using DistroKid To Distribute My Music

bearcole | June 11, 2024
1st Drop Music Why We Quit Using Distrokid

I’ve used almost all of the major distributors. CD Baby, Tunecore, Distrokid, Ditto, and more. I recently move 90% of my catalog from Distrokid to LANDR and I wanted to share why. Hopefully this helps others in the same boat.

As an independent musician, distributing your music is crucial to reaching a wider audience and making your mark in the industry. Music distribution involves getting your songs onto streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and other online stores, making it accessible to listeners worldwide. This process is essential because, without it, your music would be confined to local listeners or niche platforms, significantly limiting your reach and potential success.

For years, I used DistroKid to distribute my music. I was drawn in by their perks and various tools that promised to simplify the distribution process and offer additional benefits. However, over time, I realized that I was spending an exorbitant amount of money on their services, primarily due to recurring fees that seemed to accumulate endlessly. These fees, while not exactly hidden, were persistent and unavoidable, creating a snowball effect that became financially draining.

What is DistroKid?

DistroKid is a music distribution service that helps independent musicians get their music onto major streaming platforms and online stores. They offer a variety of plans, each with different features and pricing structures. The allure of DistroKid lies in its user-friendly interface, quick distribution process, and additional perks such as automated splits for royalties, instant monetization, and cover song licensing.

The Financial Drain of Recurring Fees

Initially, the idea of paying a yearly fee to distribute my music seemed reasonable. However, as I started releasing multiple singles every month through my company, 1st Drop Music, and for various artists, the costs began to add up significantly. DistroKid’s fees for additional services, such as placement in new stores and other features, became increasingly burdensome. What’s more, these fees were recurring, meaning that every year, I had to pay again for all my releases just to keep them online. This model might work well for artists who release music infrequently, but for someone like me, who releases music regularly, it became unsustainable.

Problems Reported by Other Users

I am not alone in my frustrations with DistroKid. Many users have reported similar issues with the platform. Common complaints include:

1. Hidden Costs: Although DistroKid is upfront about their base fee, the additional costs for various features can quickly add up, making the overall expense much higher than anticipated.

2. Customer Support: Numerous users have noted that DistroKid’s customer service feels impersonal and often unhelpful. Responses are quick but lack the depth needed to resolve more complex issues, leaving many feeling unsupported.

3. Lack of Flexibility: Once you’re locked into their fee structure, there’s little room to maneuver. Changing or canceling services doesn’t provide the flexibility that many independent artists need.

Why I Switched to LANDR

After years of dealing with these issues, I decided to switch to LANDR for my music distribution needs. I was already using their mastering and other services, so it made sense to consolidate my efforts under one platform. One of the biggest advantages of LANDR is that distributing music is essentially free, which is a game-changer for my business model. Even if you don’t already use LANDR it is very affordable and I love and recommend all of their tools. I distribute for more than 10 artists on an almost monthly basis so this is an amazing fix, I wish I would have discovered sooner.

The transition to LANDR wasn’t without its challenges, but their customer service was exceptional. Unlike DistroKid, LANDR’s support team provided thorough, humanistic assistance, helping me navigate the switch smoothly. This level of support was a refreshing change and made the move much more manageable.

Financial Benefits of LANDR

At LANDR, I can release music without incurring expenses on the day of release. This is a stark contrast to DistroKid, where I was constantly paying for various services. Additionally, LANDR guarantees that my catalog will remain online even if I cancel my subscription. This is a significant peace of mind, knowing that if something were to happen to me, my family or business partners wouldn’t be burdened with the task of paying to keep my music available for listeners.

DistroKid does offer a similar service, but at a steep price of $29.99 per single and $49.99 per album. For someone releasing multiple singles every month, this cost is prohibitive. LANDR provides the same service for free, making it a far more economical choice for me.

Conclusion

Switching from DistroKid to LANDR has been a financially prudent decision for my music distribution needs. While DistroKid may be suitable for artists who release music infrequently, it became clear that their fee structure was not sustainable for my business model. The peace of mind that comes with knowing my music will stay online, regardless of my subscription status, is invaluable.

I urge other independent musicians to thoroughly research distribution companies before committing. Understanding the fee structures and support services available is crucial in making an informed decision. Don’t fall into the trap of paying recurring fees that don’t genuinely benefit your music career. Make sure to choose a service that aligns with your needs and offers the most value for your investment.

In conclusion, my experience with DistroKid was a costly lesson, but moving to LANDR has provided a more sustainable and supportive solution for distributing my music. I hope my story can help other musicians avoid the same pitfalls and make better choices for their music distribution needs.

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