TuneCore vs DistroKid
Updated: Jul 29, 2022
You've likely come this post because you want to see who is better.
Is it DistroKid or Tunecore?
We're going to give you an honest and impartial view of both so you can make your own opinion to see which one is better for you.
One our artists, Chares Cleyn, has also distributed his music on both platforms and has written and extensive post on TuneCore vs DistroKid. We recommend you check that you too.
There are a lot of things that come into play with choosing the right music distributor so let's structure this post:
2. Behind the Scenes
4. Pros and Cons
Let's first get on the same page.
What is a music distributor?
Basically, they get your music on streaming services. For example, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal. Pretty much all the services out there! They're the middleman you bring your song to and they're gonna upload it to a variety of streaming services of your choice. In return, they will pay you the music royalties that you earn from streaming. DistroKid and Tunecore both pay 100% of royalties.
If you're only looking at how to get your music uploaded to Spotify, then please check out this article.
How Much Do They Cost?
Let's start with Tunecore and then we'll get into DistroKid.
Tunecore charges you $10.00 to release 1 single. If you would like to release an album it is $30.00 for the 1st year and then $50.00 the following years.
Tunecore also has distribution credits. For example, you can purchase credits to get a small discount on bulk single releases. See the chart below.
Let's jump over to DistroKid.
DistroKid has three plans. The smallest plan costs $20.00/year for unlimited music releases. The next plan costs $36.00/year with unlimited releases and some extra features. The top plan costs $80.00/year and includes unlimited music releases. The top plan is mostly made for independent labels.
The biggest limitations on DistroKid's Musician plan at $20.00/year is the inability to customize your release date and customize your label name. This can be significant if you're an independent musician and you're running a marketing campaign you cannot customize your release date.
So if you're a serious musician then you'll likely jump to DistroKid's Musician plus plan at $36.00/month. Here is where you'll have more options to customize your release date, customize your label name. Add a pre-order. Have 2 artists. Plus more.
So, let's do a comparison.
What's cheaper? What's better?
Well, let's say on average, as an independent musician, you would likely purchase the musician plus plan on DistroKid since you'll want to customize your release name and label name. Okay so let's say you're spending $36.00/year.
On Tunecore, if you want to release one song then you''ll be paying $10.00/year.
Therefore, we can immediatley see that if you just want to release one song a year. Well, Tunecore is going to be less expensive. It's ten dollars for one song vs DistroKid where you will spend $20.00/year.
Now, you might be asking yourself, well, sure, but I want to release many songs per yera!
So, if you're likely wanting to release more than one song then you can still remain on the $36.00/year plan on DistroKid. On Tunecore, you could release an album which is 10 songs for a total of $30.00/year. However, after the first year it bumps up to $50.00 a year. The difficult piece is, who releases albums anymore? Most independent musicians are focused on releasing singles.
You can also dive into the Distribution credits on Tunecore that we discussed above to lower your cost even more.
So, it really depends on how much music you will release per year.
If you know for a fact that you want to releases 50 songs per year then the answer is obvious. DistroKid would be cheaper.
Decide how much music you want to release per year and this will help you choose what platform is right for you.
If you would like a more detailed look on DistroKid pricing then you can check out this super detailed article by Best Friends Club that dive deep into pricing. If you would like more information on Tunecore pricing, the team over at Music Distribution Guru has put together this great informational article.
Behind The Scenes Look
Let's get a bit of a behind the scenes look if you've never seen what it looks like behind the curtain on DistroKid and Tunecore.
Let's start with DistroKid.