Digital distribution

Hello, I’m new to digital distribution. I know it’s important to have a digital presence if there is to be any chance of being considered for jobs. I’m working on a website and have listed some songs with Songtradr. I only chose that service because someone I recorded for spoke of his successes with them.

What do you think of these services; songtradr, distrokid, cdbaby, etc? It seems they are the only way to get our music distributed but the returns are very low. and I was a little surprised by how small the music library payout could be.

Along these lines; have you heard anything about Kim dot com’s latest project - a distribution service where the owner of the intellectual property retains 100%.

Thanks, cheers,


I’m on distrokid and so far not made much, but then haven’t had many streams etc, it’s terms of getting it out there though its incredibly easy and straight forward

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I’ve used CD Baby for many years and can’t complain. I’ve mostly distributed my emotional piano music with them and have had success primarily on Pandora. Although, the success didn’t have anything to do with them. Distributors just get your music to the streaming providers.

I believe Soundtradr is different. I’ve not used them.

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First, forget Soundtradr! If you want to start right from the start, you need to look for a provider, where you pay only ONCE. I guess it’s CD Baby in first place. One of my students started to use another provider, where she needs to pay every year, and I was like: WHY??? If you have a fan-base of 100+ people, and you know they will buy your CD, so you will make more than 50$ a year, than it will cover the yearly costs. But if you do not have the fans, which will buy your music, you need to stay safe, where you just put 30$ into your music distribution once, and relax after that :wink:

How many streams do you need to make good money on the side? You need millions…the course is like: 0,0007$ per stream…I can give you the exact number if you want later. :slight_smile:

Happy distributing!


Hello Alexey,

Thank you. I looked at a few services, but not CD baby. I placed a few pieces on Songtradr to “test the water”. I wasn’t expecting to make anything from streaming, I’m interested in how it relates to licensing and having a digital presence. I agree completely (now, after the fact) the yearly subscription is not in my interest.

People I used to know in film suggested getting an agent, something impossible for an unknown. It seems today music supervision and libraries play a larger role in low/middle budget TV and independent film.

Thanks again,



I have published some of music years ago on “feiyr”, where you pay for your music release once. I never have advertised the music at all. Back then it was just a test, if this really works.

Here is the result:

You can see that Spotify pays you 0,002€ for one play.

Is it really worth it, it’s another question, but let’s scale this up:

Let’s say we want to have 300€ on side every month from Streaming, how many plays do we need to have?

1 play = 0,002€

150.000 play = 300€

As long as you not “TwoStepsFromHell”, it’s basically impossible to earn some money through these kind of Streaming-Services! These services are made for making money for the guys, who made this model and for your “Advertisement and Joy”, so you can say, “Hey, I am cool, because I have music featured on Spotify and Co.”…

What I do now, I went back to BandCamp and offer my music there. Yes, the guys get 15%, because they holding my music on their server, but 15% is not 50% like iTunes, where people can max. hear 30s of your music, if they are interested, plus you need to have in mind, that the distribution-sites will cost you another 15-20%. So like on my list, you sell one track for 1,29$, but at the end you will get only 36¢ back, is it fair? I don’t think so. You almost lose 1$. You make them rich, not yourself at all. But this is only my opinion.

But as I said: You decide if you want to have your music worldwide, so “fans” can find you, or you just have it on bandcamp on your own site.

Hope it’s more clear now, what’s going on in the Streaming-Business :slight_smile:

Best regards,

PS: Forgot to say, I think it’s ok, if you just stick with some streaming-services, but don’t offer it on iTunes and Co. If a fan will like your music, they will find your music exclusively on BandCamp. Or you can make your own shop on your site, where you get ALL the money.

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Hi, thanks a lot. It’s certainly not in the composers favor. I think Rick Beato broke it down as well on his youtube channel. I’m still working on my website and post production on an album. I definitely need a digital presence, but still a little unsure about sales. Right now, I think having a discography as a reference is more important than sales,… but sales are still important.

I’m interested to learn more about Kim dot com’s project. He stated the artist would retain 100% of the intellectual property.

be well

I’ve been using Distrokid for a year or two now and I’m really hapy with the service. You just pay a fee per year, they take no cut of your music sales. Its been easy to control which services have my music. For me I wanted to be on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Google Play.

I make my money from licensing and bespoke projects so the online distribution is just a promotional tool and helps to build an online presence. You have to shift some serious numbers to make anything from the streaming and online platforms.

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Oh how I wish we composers (making instrumental cinematic music) could make a living from the artist side! It’s basically impossible, with all the streams you need :stuck_out_tongue:

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Agreed. I think a lot of niche genres really struggle and now rely more on live and merchandise.

It cerainly doesnt help that payouts from Spotify etc are so low in comparison to physical media, another reasonn bands and even some composers are releasing on vinyl.

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Hi, Thanks. I looked at Distrokid before going with Songtradr. I went with Songtradr because two of the people I’ve recorded for talked about how well they’re doing and I’m new to the way people buy (or don’t buy) music in today’s market. I didn’t realize licensing returns with this provider were so low as with library music.

I’ll go with Distrokid next year. It’s more important in this case for me to develop an online presence and Distrokid appears to have the best price.

Your’re welcome, its important to note though that the digital distribution services like distrokid etc don’t do anything to promote or sell your music, they merely offer a means to appear on digital services like Spotify.

If someone manages to do well after using one of these distributers it wil be because they have an existing following, have promoted themseleves well or managed to get on a popular playlist.

Songtradr looks to be more of a traditonal publisher / library company, they will also put your music on streaming sites etc but the main purpose seems to be sync licensing where they take 20-40% of a license fee and you pay them a subscription fee.

So you’d need to decide what your aim is, making money from licensing or promoting yourself as an artist online and selling records / streams.


If Spotify is the “only” goal, I believe they opened up for free distribution now, right?

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I think they shut it down after the beta, currently they advise a 3rd party distributer.

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Hmm I see, I guess they were not prepared for the storm of crappy tracks eh? :joy:

Unless they had a proper reason to shutting it down?

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