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What Is Distrokid? (Eveything You Need to Know)


If you are involved in music creation, you need a distribution service to get your music out into the world.

There are several options out there, but one of the most popular music distribution services today is DistroKid.

Recent statistics reveal approximately 30 to 40% of all new music in the world is distributed by DistroKid, with the company processing over 35,000 new tracks daily.

This blog provides everything you need to know about DistroKid, including its history, how it works and why it is so popular.

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What is DistroKid?

DistroKid is a music distribution service that handles all the functions of a record label, including releasing music, distributing music, and collecting royalties.

The service is designed for independent artists who are not yet signed to any label. Independent artists with DistroKid membership can use the platform to upload audio files or album artwork and name their album or track.

Once DistroKid receives your track, it distributes it to digital stores and music streaming services such as Spotify and iTunes to achieve the much-needed traction with fans and generate income.

History of DistroKid

DistroKid was founded in 2012 by Philip J Kaplan and has since grown to become one of the leading music companies in the distribution space.

It started as a side feature of Kaplan’s music social network, popularly known as Fandalism.

However, in 2015, it split out into its own company and soon released a Jack & Jack musical act that went on to top iTunes worldwide charts.

This was explicitly a notable achievement, bearing in mind the platform doesn’t take a commission for royalties, meaning the artist kept 100 % of their earnings.

In 2016, DistroKid incorporated a new feature called “Teams” that allowed artists to send royalties to collaborators and shareholders automatically.

In 2021, the company launched an initiative that allowed record labels to mine data in search of new artists.

Under this arrangement, DistroKid earns a finder’s fee from record labels that find and sign an artist via its platform.


Today, DistroKid serves millions of artists who upload their tracks to services such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Spotify.

Some of the notable artists who have used the platform to distribute their music include Will Smith, 21 Savage, Tom Waits, and Ludacris.

Apart from distribution, Distrokid offers other services such as monetization, metadata customization, storage, and promotion.

Who operates DistroKid?

Distrokid is owned and operated by Philip J Kaplan’s parent company, DistroKid Inc., Spotify, and other shareholders.

In 2018, Spotify announced it had acquired a minority stake in DistroKid, although it didn’t disclose the investment size at the time.

This transaction enabled artists to upload to Spotify directly and distribute their music to other services.

However, in 2019, Spotify retreated from direct distribution and dropped the feature from its platform. Today, Spotify’s remaining stake in DistroKid is believed to be about 4% of the company.

In 2021, DistroKid announced it accepted a new investment round from Insight Partners.

How does DistroKid works?

how does distrokid work

Independent artists with DistroKid membership can use the platform to upload audio files or album artwork and name their album or track.

Once DistroKid receives your track, it distributes it to digital stores and music streaming services such as Spotify and iTunes to achieve the much-needed traction with fans and generate income.

Who can best benefit from DistroKid?

DistroKid is an excellent platform for musicians in need of publicity and exposure. Musicians who can best benefit from this service include:

  • Independent musicians: If you are an independent musician planning to release music regularly, DistroKid could be your ideal platform. Because it is a subscription-based service, the DistroKid payment plan allows you to save money long-term even when you release a song each month.
  • Musicians needing exposure: You can leverage DistroKid’s career development tools to record labels and get your song out there. The tools that you can maximize to make your music popular include a matchmaking feature that provides a comparison between labels and artists.

Why is DistroKid so popular?

DistroKid offers a la carte music business services that are priced reasonably. It also provides an easy and convenient way for musicians to get their tracks into streaming services and stores.


Its artist-friendly features, cost-effectiveness, and innovative service approach have endeared thousands of musicians and labels across the globe right from its inception.

The following are some of the things that make this platform such a hit with artists:

  • Unlimited uploads: DistroKid is the only music distribution platform that allows artists to upload unlimited music to the store for a one-off low price. Apart from saving money, many artists find this platform quite convenient. Besides, 100% royalties are channeled directly into the artist’s account.
  • Faster than competitors: Another huge plus is that Distrokid can get your music into streaming platforms faster than competitors. The platform claims they will get an artist’s music in stores 10-20x faster than any other service. According to DistroKid, it takes only 1-7 business days to get your music distributed to iTunes and Spotify. You can also access your daily stats using a simple interface.
  • Release dates: An integral component of releasing music is working on an aggressive promotion and marketing days before the release date. DistroKid’s platform allows you to custom set a specific date for releasing your music. Working with a specific release date in mind helps you build up anticipation. However, this feature is only available with the “Musician Plus” plan.
  • Monthly royalty payments: With DistroKid, artists get their monthly royalty payments. This helps you avoid long waits involving quarterly payments.
  • Payment splitting: DistroKid is among the few platforms that offer payment splitting. This is a helpful feature when you need to pay a revenue share to collaborators whom you worked with on your latest release. With DistroKid’s payment splitting feature, you avoid having to manually split payment as the platform does that automatically for you based on your preferred percentages.
  • Excellent customer service: DistroKid offers standby 24/7 customer service and support. If you need any help or support, you can reach the platform via email. They return messages within 24 hours. Generally, the platform enjoys a solid online reputation with few complaints.

DistroKid key features

The following are some of the standout features of DistroKid:

HyperFollow Pre-Save Page

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The HyperFollow feature creates your own personalized page that allows fans to pre-save your upcoming music. It provides you with a landing page to send your fans to and engage further.

Once your fan pre-saves the music, the song will be saved automatically on the Spotify library upon release. The fans can also enter their email addresses to the pre-save track to be notified automatically upon the song’s release.

YouTube Money

YouTube Money is a paid opt-in feature that allows you to generate income whenever your music is used on YouTube. Whenever Youtube detects your song in a video, monetization tools will kick in for that specific video.

You will collect revenue if the viewer clicks on a text banner ad on the video with your music or if the viewer watches the video for up to 30 seconds.

Instant Spotify for Artists

The Spotify for Artists feature is a Spotify app providing artists with access to crucial stats, a Spotify support team, a blue verified checkmark on pages, and control over their profile.

Under normal conditions, getting access involves long waits and several rejections. However, DistroKid users are instantly verified and provided with immediate access to their Spotify for Artists.

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When you upload music, DistroKid gives you an option of paid add-ons. This means you can monetize your music on platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Cover Song Licensing.

DistroKid Upstream

If you are using DistroKid with the hope of signing a record label in the future, DistroKid Upstream can help you out. This feature matches artists to labels.

It is entirely free for DistroKid users, but record labels have to pay a finder’s fee to sign an artist from Upstream.

How to sign up and use DistroKid

The following are the steps to using DistroKid:

  1. Sign up for DistroKid and design your personal profile, including inputting your social media details.
  2. Categorize yourself by expertise, e.g., producer or songwriter.
  3. Select your genre and artist influences. Your update will automatically connect you to online communities with musicians in the same genre category.
  4. Navigate to the top panel of the DistroKid home page and click the Upload to release a single, album, or EP.
  5. Choose the number of tracks you plan to release and the distribution partners for that track.

DistroKid pricing and payment

how much DISTROKID cost

The following are DistroKid plans:

Musician Plan

The Musician Plan’s annual price is $19.99. For this price, you can upload as many songs as you wish without extra fees.

Other services typically require payments each time you upload music, which translates to huge costs if you plan to release it regularly. You can also keep 100% of your earnings.

Musician Plus

The Musician Plus plan will cost you $35.99 per year. While the Musician plan has unlimited song uploads for one artist, Musician Plus features unlimited uploads for two artists and the ability to set a release date.

Label Plan

The Label Plan costs $79.99 per year. The main distinction between Musician Plus and Label Plan is the number of artists you can release music for.

While Musician Plus has unlimited song uploads for one artist, Label Plus features unlimited uploads for three artists and the ability to preset a release date.

DistroKid pros and cons

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  • Monthly royalty payments: With DistroKid, artists get their monthly royalty payments. This helps you avoid long waits involving quarterly payments.
  • Unlimited uploads: DistroKid is the only tool that allows you to upload unlimited music to a store for a one-off low price. It is not only convenient, but it also saves you a lot of money.
  • Faster music processing: Compared to its competitors, DistroKid is faster in sending your music to streaming platforms. The service claims they will distribute your music to stores 10 to 20 times faster than any other service.
  • Comprehensive stats: This service allows you to see your daily stats to gain insights into how your music is performing


  • Unappealing interface: Compared to other services, the DistroKid interface is not the most visually appealing. It is too simplistic and uninspiring.
  • Limited offers: Although DistroKid offers some additional features for releases, including monetization and additional stores, other platforms offer more.

Will DistroKid review my release?

Unlike many competitors, DistroKid won’t review any release you upload.

This helps you avoid extended long wait times to upload your music. However, you won’t get any advice to avoid any legal issues with your release preemptively.

Which partners does DistroKid distribute to?


DistroKid distributes your music to all major streaming services and digital stores such as:

  • Amazon
  • Spotify
  • Apple Music
  • iTunes
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

What type of royalties does DistroKid collect?

DistroKid specifically collects reproduction royalties. This is a type of recording royalty generated by masters. The platform doesn’t collect any publishing royalties.

How will I get my money?

Once your song is available on streaming services, DistroKid receives your reproduction royalties. The platform can send the earnings directly to you via your PayPal account or Tipalti.

Tipalti is DistroKid’s payment processor that pays with eChecks/direct deposit, wire transfers, and physical checks.

How can I split the payout with my collaborators?

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DistroKid provides an option for artists to enter “splits” with others. Artists can fill a percentage split between themselves and a co-writer, co-performer, and others.

This tool can only split earnings with collaborators who are DistroKid members.

Finally, although DistroKid could be one of the newest services, it quickly climbed up the ladder to become the most preferred distribution service in the world.

It is an excellent platform for both new and seasoned artists to get their music known out there. Specifically, their streamlined and artist-friendly platform and simplified pricing system are very attractive to many artists.

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