CD Baby vs. DistroKid vs. Tunecore: Making music is a labor of love, and it takes time, patience, and money to put together an album. At the end of this long process, you want people to hear your music. If you’re ready to release your music to the world, you need distribution. You have three choices: CD Baby, DistroKid, or Tunecore.
Each service offers different perks for releasing your album. What do you want from a distributor? What are your needs? Weigh the pros and cons of each service before making a decision on who’s best for you.
The difference between CD Baby, DistroKid, and Tunecore
CD Baby, DistroKid, and Tunecore are all great distribution services. Each service has its own unique pros and cons.
- CD Baby is a well-known company that has been around since 1998. It was one of the first companies to offer digital distribution for independent musicians in 2000. Along with distribution, CD Baby provides free album art, videos, and ringtones for your album.
- DistroKid offers different plans for distributing your music to various platforms like Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Music Unlimited and more. They have many options for release formats including lossless ALAC files or MP3 at 320kbps bit rate. With DistroKid you can also distribute your music directly to social media platforms like Facebook Music or Twitter Music.
- Tunecore offers distribution to streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify as well as other popular sites like Pandora and SoundCloud. Tunecore also provides basic album art work as well as marketing materials like reviews and press releases.
What do you want from a distributor?
There are a few things to consider when looking at CD distribution services. Do you want physical CDs or digital downloads? Is your album already available on iTunes, Spotify, and other streaming services? What country do you live in? If you’re releasing an album in the United States, Tunecore is your only option.
Top 5 features of CD Baby
CD Baby is known for providing a high level of customer service, as well as good distribution. They also offer the lowest fees.
Top 5 features of DistroKid
DistroKid is a digital distribution service that provides an easy way to get your music onto iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, and more. The company offers the following features:
- Free unlimited CDs: DistroKid lets you send as many physical CDs as you want for free. You can also send albums in any form – vinyl included!
- No upload fees: DistroKid doesn’t charge distributors or artists when they upload their music.
- Unlimited bandwidth: You can upload an unlimited number of songs and albums to your account.
- Unlimited storage space: You can store as many songs and albums on your account as you want.
- Great customer service: DistroKid has a great reputation for excellent customer service. They offer 24/7 phone, email, and chat support.
Top 5 features of Tunecore
Tunecore is a relatively new company on the scene, but it’s quickly making a name for itself as a premiere distributor. The following are some of Tunecore’s top features:
• Fast – You can release your album in as little as 24 hours
• Discounts – Tunecore offers discounts on distribution and digital download pricing
• Social Media – Tunecore offers free distribution to Facebook, iTunes, Deezer, Rhapsody, Spotify, and more
• Easy to use interface- All you have to do is upload your album with Tunecore’s user-friendly interface
• Custom marketing strategy- Tunecore offers custom marketing packages designed to suit your needs
How to choose the best CD distribution service for your needs
CD Baby, DistroKid, and Tunecore are all distributors that offer unique features. You need to decide what you want before choosing the right service for you. For instance, if you have an album with a single artist and don’t need a website to sell your album digitally or physical CDs, CD Baby is the best option.
If you have more than one artist on your album and are looking for distribution in various countries, then DistroKid would work better. Tunecore is best if you have an album with only one artist that needs a website for digital and physical sales.
Now that you know what each distributor offers, it’s time to compare the services side by side.
- CD Baby has a higher annual fee than Tunecore but does not charge any monthly fees.
- Tunecore has a higher annual fee than CD Baby but does not charge any monthly fees.
- DistroKid charges $19 per year plus $9 per month plus a one-time set up fee of $20-$40 based on how many songs are released on the account.
- All three services offer unlimited music uploads per year for no additional cost after initial setup fees have been paid.
- All three services offer unlimited downloads of your music per year for no additional cost after initial setup fees have been paid.
CD Baby is the most well-known of the three distributors, but they have a very limited selection of services. You can’t control your album sales or pricing on CD Baby. They also don’t offer any other digital platforms for your music. Additionally, you can only sell physical copies of your album with CD Baby—no downloads or streaming.
DistroKid is a newcomer to the music distribution game. It’s not as established as CD Baby or Tunecore, but it has some unique features that make it worth considering. DistroKid offers unlimited music uploads (CD Baby charges $24.99 per year for each album), unlimited song downloads, and a free CD-R with every physical order of your CD.
Tunecore is a service that provides all-in-one distribution of your music, but you must also be willing to offer your album for free. For example, if you’re releasing a physical CD, you have to pay $24.99 per album and Tunecore takes a cut, which is usually 50% or more.
If you go with Tunecore, it also takes control of your metadata and marketing campaigns. Tunecore offers several packages for different services that vary in price.
Tunecore offers a variety of packages at different prices in order to meet the needs of the artist. The lowest offered package is just $9.99 per year and includes digital distribution only, where Tunecore will take care of submitting to iTunes or Google Play Music or any other digital service that might be required.
There are two other options as well: $14.99 per year for digital distribution plus physical CDs and $19.99 for everything–digital distribution, physical CDs, and merchandising services such as manufacturing t-shirts or posters if needed.
Comparison of CD Baby vs. DistroKid vs. Tunecore
CD Baby is a music distributor that offers distribution for physical products, digital products and more. One benefit of using CD Baby is that they offer marketing, promotion, and exposure to potential customers on the internet. They also provide blog links and social media linking for your website. This allows you to promote your music through their site if you choose.
DistroKid is a music distributor that specializes in distributing your music to all major streaming platforms as well as creating YouTube videos and even connecting you with a booking agent or booking manager.
One downside of DistroKid is that they have no marketing or promotion opportunities available, so this may not be the best choice if you’re looking for one-stop-shop marketing opportunities like CD Baby offers.
Tunecore is a music distributor that offers distribution for CDs, digital downloads, vinyls, and more. Tunecore has track record of success with musicians such as Madonna, Justin Bieber and Rihanna.
The downside of Tunecore is that they only have an annual fee instead of monthly payments like CD Baby or DistroKid do—so it’s important to weigh how much this will affect your budget before making a decision on which service to use.