If you’re an independent musician looking to jumpstart your career, choosing the right distribution platform is paramount. Recording artists are already swimming in a sea of choices, from editorial decisions to production costs, so it can be tempting to jump on board with the first distribution platform that promises you low-cost and ease of use. Still, with so many options available–and so many distribution companies aiming to take advantage of hopeful young artists– this is one arena where you’ll want to be discerning.
In this Octiive review, we’ll explore the ins and outs of the music distribution platform in order to help you make a well-informed decision: will Octiive suit your needs and fit your lifestyle? Or would you be better off with another distributor?
What is Octiive?
If the Octiive platform feels familiar to you, that’s because there’s a good chance you’ve seen it before. The company was formerly known as MondoTunes, but did some major rebranding in the spring of 2019, including a name change and the introduction of several new features. Under either name, the company has offered essentially the same primary service, though with varying price points and evolving extra features.
What Octiive Actually Does?
Octiive allows independent artists or music managers to upload their music and see their songs available for streaming or purchase on an overwhelming number of online music retailers and streaming platforms, such as Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube. Octiive also offers tools to help artists master their tracks for crisp, professional sound quality, and market themselves for increased visibility amongst potential fans.
Specialty Of Octiive
Octiive specializes in offering scalable service packages that address the needs of any artist with a growing following. It offers a low-risk introductory path to those who are just starting to learn the ropes of music distribution, as well as tools that more experienced artists and music managers can use to further their careers.
Key Features of Octiive
Octiive’s key features include:
- Distribution to over 600 online music stores and streaming platforms in more than 140 countries worldwide
- Flexible payment structures and membership options
- Easy royalty management (members keep 100% of royalty money, non-members keep 92%, paid out on a monthly basis)
- Unlimited uploads for members (yes, truly unlimited)
- Professional mastering services (one-time additional fee per track)
- Label registration, so your music is eligible to place on charts (one-time fee)
- Pre-planned releases and promotional tools
- Custom artist bio and marketing blasts (one-time fee for each service)
What to expect from Octiive?
Octiive’s tagline–“Become Major. Stay Independent”–offers a promise that many artists will find irresistible. But will this platform really help you to sell more without selling out?
Marketing Strategy & Tools of Octiive
Octiive’s marketing strategy is effective. It tells artists that they can combine their indie values and unique sounds with Octiive’s big industry tools and the CEO’s VIP connections and have an instant recipe for unbridled success. But it’s important to remember that they’re only selling tools–it’s up to each artist or manager to figure out how to leverage them effectively. Success is by no means guaranteed, even if you pay for all the extras, like artist profiles and PR blasts.
Limited Spreading Availability
When it comes to music distribution, widespread availability is only half the battle. It can lend you some credibility if your music can be found on any streaming service, but if it’s not getting played anywhere, what’s the point? So far, Octiive hasn’t gained a reputation for helping indie artists skyrocket to stardom, so it’s probably fair to say this platform won’t be the golden ticket that earns you a seat next to Childish Gambino at the Grammy’s next year.
Octiive is User-Friendly But Sometimes Misleading as Well
Octiive also markets itself as the most user-friendly distribution platform, enticing artists with the promise of a set-it-and-forget-it marketing release schedule. Unfortunately, this is one area where a number of users have felt misled, claiming that distribution dates for singles and albums planned weeks in advance were not honored in a timely manner. This is not a good look for an up-and-coming artist who may have invited fans and industry reps to get hyped for their release.
That being said, many users have found their customer service to be above-par, so if you have trouble with a release, you can at least expect a timely and reasonable response from their team.
How to upload your music using Octiive
Step 1: Create an account and verify your email address with Octiive.
Step 2: Once signed in, visit your Dashboard and click the “start” button next to the words “Distribute a New Project.”
Step 3: Select your payment plan (membership with unlimited uploads or pay per project).
Step 4: Select the length of your project (number of tracks).
Step 5: Assign the project a title, release date, genre, and copyright line. You can also add extra services at this stage, like a PR Blast, but it isn’t required. Note: New project release dates need to be at least 30 days from the date of the upload, unless you want to pay an additional $25 for expedited release.
Step 6: On the next screen, you’ll be required to add a cover art image before uploading your music file.
Step 7: Drag and drop audio files into the upload box to set your album files in the desired order.
Step 8: On the Summary page, make sure all the details look correct.
Pricing and plans
Octiive offers several pricing plans, so whether you’re an independent artist on the rise, a manager with lots of artists on your roster, or a band that’s just starting out, you’ll be able to find a package that works for you.
The Unlimited Upload packages are the best financial deal you can get on this platform, but they do require you to shell out more cash upfront.
With a one-time annual fee of $27.99 for solo artists, $57.99 for 2-4 artists, or $87.99 for 5-20 artists, you can upload as many tracks as want and keep 100% of your royalties for the duration of the year.
Pay As You Go
If you’re not ready to commit to an Unlimited Upload package, you can also pay per single or per album.
A single, which can include up to 3 tracks, would cost you just $7.99, while an album with up to 17 tracks would cost $17.99 to release. $7.99 for a single is hard to beat, but if you’re even mildly prolific, this plan will cost you more in the long-run. Without a membership, you’ll keep only 92% of your royalties, and if you release more than one single and one album in a year, you’re basically already paying for the Unlimited Solo Artist package and getting less bang for your buck.
The plans listed above offer the basics: upload and distribute music to hundreds of online retailers, get free UPC and ISRC codes, get your royalties.
If you’re really looking to step up your game, though, Octiive offers additional services to give your music and your look the professional polish you need to win new fans and impress the VIPs of your genre.
For $39.99, you can get a label registration; for $49.99, you’ll get a custom artist bio; and for $99.99, you can buy a PR blast to ensure your music is getting some buzz as soon as it’s released. You can also have your music professionally mastered for $69.99 per track.
Pros of the Platform
Here are the areas where Octiive really delivers:
- Widespread international distribution. Offering distribution to over 600 online retailers in over 140 countries, Octiive blows its competitors out of the water here.
- Low-cost and low-risk options. Especially since they’re offering free initial uploads for new users, Octiive’s pricing options are ideal for those who aren’t yet sure about the platform, or the direction their musical career is heading in.
- User-friendly. Octiive makes all of its features, from royalty collection to pre-release marketing, as simple and easy as possible.
- No hidden fees. Octiive makes good on its promise to maintain transparency on what you’re paying for and how you get paid.
- No payout threshold. Even if you only earn a few bucks in royalties, you can get those few bucks transferred to your PayPal account every month. Every little bit counts!
- Custom marketing options. Every artist has a unique set of needs. Octiive allows you to tailor your promotional material and never buy more than you really need.
Cons of the Platform
And here are some areas where Octiive could use improvement:
- Lack of established reputation. Most of the information you’ll find about Octiive online is actually generated by the company itself, which is probably due to its recent rebranding efforts. There aren’t a whole lot of consumers online offering Octiive reviews, advice or troubleshooting tips.
- Questionably reliable. Some users have seen their planned releases fail to launch on the designated date. Others have claimed distribution doesn’t actually come anywhere near Octiive’s promise of 600+ online stores in 140+ countries, as the claim would be difficult and time-consuming to verify.
- No automated payment sharing option. This puts the account holder in charge of making sure bandmates or collaborators are getting paid adequately, which in some cases may mean losing small percentages of the amount in transfer or payment processing fees.
- No live support. Octiive offers good customer service, but only through email. This can be frustrating if you have a problem that needs to be handled ASAP, like a failed album release or mishandled royalties.
Overall, Octiive is a promising platform with a mission statement that, if accomplished, could make a lot of musicians’ lives much easier. CEO Mershad Javan is a musician himself, and he wants Octiive to help keep the culture of DIY music alive, ensuring that low-budget artists won’t get edged out of the industry. There is a real need for this kind of accessibility in the music community right now. But Octiive still has some kinks to work out, in terms of network reliability and live customer support, before they can truly live up to their promises.
Features and Pricing Systems
Octiive’s features and pricing systems seem to be geared towards burgeoning individual artists and managers rather than larger bands or experienced professionals. With its flexible pricing options, it’s an ideal starter platform for musicians who want to focus more on the artistry and less on the business side of their craft, as well as those who just need a safe and shallow pool in which to get their feet wet.
Octiive Has Highly Targeted Niche Markets
The platform is particularly effective at targeting niche markets, with its ultra-specific genre category options and global distribution presence–so if you’ve always dreamed of being able to say your music is “big in Japan,” this may be the right choice for you!
Octiive may fall short of expectations for those who have extensive experience with competing distributors like DistroKid or CD Baby. It will also likely disappoint the wide-eyed hopefuls who think a single $99 PR Blast will put them on the fast track to superstardom.
Nonetheless, right now, Octiive is offering the most extensive distribution package for low-cost and low-commitment, making it the best value on the market. If Octiive can work out its technical issues, gain a reputation for dependability, and offer real-time customer support, it could easily become the music distributor to beat.