Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A New Way To Distribute Music Digitally

DistroKid logo image
If you want your music on iTunes, Spotify, and other digital services, most artists choose to use either Tunecore or CD Baby as a distribution method. Each have their upsides and downsides, with the downsides mostly being financial, with Tunecore charging a flat per year for each release and CD Baby taking a percentage of the sale. Now there may be a cheaper and easier way to do it, thanks to DistroKid.

DistroKid is an offshoot of Fandalism, the social network for musicians started by Philip Kaplan. What makes it different from most other distribution networks is that it costs only a subscription fee of $19.95 a year which allows unlimited uploads of your music. You can even upload one song for free before you enter any credit card information.

Kaplan started the service with an eye on democratizing music distribution even further than it currently is by making it a snap for anyone to release their music. While on the surface this seems like a noble idea, the big problem is that since there are really no record label gatekeepers to sift through the mediocre to find the brilliant, at least the service fees of Tunecore and CD Baby would make people think twice before they'd release something that might not be up to par.

The flip side of that coin is, who really knows what another person might like? Music history is filled with big hits that their writers, artists or record labels thought weren't very good and were later pleasantly surprised by the public's enthusiasm. The beauty of Music 3.0 is that if you look hard enough, you'll find at least a small audience for it somewhere. The downside is that it's hard for the consumer to sift through all the noise.

DistroKid is a boot-strap operation despite the earlier online successes of Kaplan (the ad network AdBrite and social shopping Blippy), so it's yet to be seen just how effective it will be in getting your music to all of the sites it claims. Plus, there's not a lot known about how the accounting is handled yet. That said, if you want to get your music on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Amazon in 2 to 4 hours (which is really fast), give it a try.

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