This is for all the musicians out there who are trying to figure out who is the best distributor for their music. I looked into distrokid before I signed up, but didn’t find any reviews.

Having used distrokid for almost a year, here are the good and the bad of what I’ve experienced.

The good:

  • Inexpensive ($20, $35, or $80 per year depending on how many artists you have). This is great if you release often.
  • Easy to upload (they have a one page where you enter the info)
  • Keep most of royalties (after the initial fee, you keep what the retailers give you (itunes, amazon, etc). There is a $1 fee every time you withdraw your earnings.
  • Fairly quick releases (iTunes takes 1-3 days, Amazon about a week)

The bad:

  • Titling is awful.  They are very, very picky about titling.  This may be the retailers, but distrokid does not help the situation.  Distrokid gives you some guidelines but not nearly enough to avoid this.  When a title is rejected, it takes about a week to go through the whole process. It goes into “processing” for a few days, then you get an email that says it’s been rejected (by iTunes) and a vague reason. “Text formatting” for instance.  Then you need to resubmit and try to guess what they didn’t like and reword it.  I was trying to title two different meditation tracks.  They had similar sounds but different arrangements. I never got it to go through.
  • Support is very, very minimal.  They only have email support.  It takes 2-4 days to get a response when you email.  You can tell they don’t want you to send email because they ask you before you actually send the email if you really need to send it.
  • You can’t save unpublished albums if you are still editing or if it has 20 tracks.
  • Once you delete, it’s gone.  I accidentally deleted an album that I’d had up for several months.  I immediately emailed to see if they could stop if from being taken out of the stores.  They said no.  It didn’t matter that it actually hadn’t been taken out yet.  I had to wait for them to actually take it out before uploading and resubmitting the album.

So overall, they are fine.  I’ll probably give them another six months.  The main downside is that support is non existent.  Most of the negatives could be solved with more/some support.