Switch from distrokid to?

I’m from Denmark - as Digidi is.
I’ve never used it myself, but can tell that it is a legitimate company with a true “shareholder” spirit. I think it was started by support from the Danish Musicians Union. In the former years it might have been a bit too grassroot amateurish (?) but I think it has grown strong. Definitely not a scam.


I’ve just had all my music pulled from the streaming sites by DistroKid and all they have said is that ‘your releases has been rejected due to editorial discretion’. They have not given me anything else and this seems to have happened after a release at the end of last year started to get lots of plays and added to playlists. I have released under 4 different artist names and never paid for any promotion or streaming of the releases.

What other service would people recommend?


So three months later I actually got an automated “sorry our support has been so slow; does this ticket still need resolution?” message from Soundrop. I took the opportunity to briefly explain why I will no longer be using their services for future releases, even if I doubt anyone in a position to change things will read it.

I had been thinking about switching to one of the distributors with a subscription (as opposed to a one-time fee like Soundrop) on the theory that they might have better (or at least existent) customer service. Alas @Karhide’s experience would appear to poke a hole in that theory… Do any of these companies not suck?


I am not sure because I’ve heard bad things about most of them. Tunecore recently with what happened to Ben Jordan and others mentioning DistroKid.

With DistroKid it feels like they are not there to support the people paying for the service more the streaming services.

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Honestly at this point I’m just going to stick to self-releasing through Bandcamp. I didn’t even bother uploading my last album via Distrokid, because realistically nobody is going to listen anyway. It’s more convenient to share with friends that way, I guess, but I can count the number of people I know in real life who actually like my music on one hand.

If Bandcamp ever disappears or gets weird, I don’t know what I’ll do.


From what I know, it seems like these companies are all using the same technique :
They start by giving quality services at a decent price. Then quality drops. Then price increases.
Then you’re stuck with them.


I’m not sure if I’ll want to upload my music anywhere other than bandcamp, but if I were to do so I always thought for streaming services I’d use http://traxx.space, run by @traxx.space. But I just went to their website and see that they’re closing down.

I can guess that spotify’s limiting payment only above 1,000 plays probably had a part in this decision.

But I also always wonder if it’s worth the hassle for the two or three people who might listen to my tracks maybe once on Spotify. I think I’ll stick to bandcamp though.

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Yes this is true. I’m sad to report that we will be shutting down over the next 75-90 days.

Part of it is the change Spotify made to not paying for streams under 1,000 plays. When we first got our January sales report, it was down nearly 70%. Yes, seven-zero %. And February’s figures confirmed it wasn’t a fluke.

The other part is also based on Spotify. The new fining system is beyond outrageous. We are getting fined for users who had 9 out 10 fake streams according to Spotify. They don’t give us any more details than song, number of total plays and number of fake plays. If that ratio exceeds 90%, they issue a 10 euro fine each month. They do not remove the tracks or tracks. And they don’t give us enough notice to remove the tracks in question before they start sending the fines. Fines racks up for 3 months before we can even do anything about it. Sure we can deduct those fines from some users. But very many aren’t bringing in enough to deduct. So their accounts sit with negative balance and tracks removed from the platform.

It’s a tough spot for distributors. I can only imagine how much in fines are being sent to the likes of distrokid or tunecore.


damn, that’s a harsh turn, so basically without Spotify it’s not worth running a distribution company, are the other streaming platforms not really making money for making it worth? Tidal, Youtube, Apple?

crazy how quickly Spotify can brush aside small-ish contributors, going for the big players only…

I wonder if governments will intervene in the future in streaming platforms, it’s pretty bleak honestly, smells like monopoly if the competition not really on par with single company


Thanks for this detailed insight into what it looks like from the inside. I’m even more convinced to avoid spotify.

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If you look at Spotify earnings numbers, they always assume if an artist makes $X, they make four times as much combined across the platforms. So I am guessing Spotify believes they have 25% of total streams. Probably after the usual suspects like Apple and YouTube, there is not much left to others.

I released my last track using SoundCloud instead of Distrokid as an experiment. I figured I am paying NextPro already, why not use it as a release platform as well…

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For us and our catalog of over 40k songs, Spotify was a much large piece of the pie. Closer to 50% most months. I always assumed because independent artists promoted the most popular platform the most.

The THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in fines each month was the final nail in the coffin though. It becomes impossible to police. You can’t tell who is going to pay for a shady service and ends up getting bots versus someone who will only get organic streams through paid promotions.

It’s my assumption that this fine system won’t be around forever. Once the larger distributors push back enough they will drop it. But that likely won’t be for a year or two. Maybe they are trying to weed out the smaller players to just focus on the major players. I don’t really know.


I am sorry for your business :pensive: That sucks.
I am not sure if the fines are even impactful but you are right…maybe it helps them eliminate smaller players.

I probably have a total of 20 streams on Spotify in 2023 so I don’t even know how this business works. But I can somewhat feel the pain. And then there are things like these

CD Baby is a good shout, they’re owned by Downtown who own FUGA and a lot of their functionality is ported across to the CD Baby platform which is really nice, and the analytics back end offers a lot of the same of FUGA’s. Can’t remember the list of CDB’s distro reach but if it matches FUGA’s you’ll get your music everywhere you want it.

Tunecore is a good option too, though there’s a few criticisms coming out about them essentially regarding them poorly handling cases of streaming fraud, though all distros are handling the struggle of streaming fraud pretty poorly right now particularly after Spotify have now put the pressure on distros to handle it and penalise them for not dealing with it. Tunecore is owned by Believe so another very reputable industry standard distro’s capability gets ported across. Believe are currently in a weird state looking for a buyout from a consortium but out of nowhere Warner now want to buy it, so who knows what deal is gonna be made there and what that could mean for Tunecore.


I mentioned it in another post up thread, but another positive experience with CD Baby here. No issues at all.


It sucks but it’s been a profitable run for the last 9+ years. I don’t have any regrets.

The fines are VERY impactful. Less than 1% of our catalog got flagged and fined. Distrokid has a catalog size of about 60m tracks. Even if Spotify flags and fines for .01% of their catalog, that’s roughly $660,000 in fines. Each month.

That story is interesting. I’m positive it’s happening and it’s very widespread. Major labels are using bots. Spotify only issues fines when they detect over 90% of the streams so it’s easy for a label, with financial backing, to bump their numbers 30-50% and still go under the radar. Spotfiy doesn’t pay for fake streams. So those 30-50% of streams won’t bring in any extra royalties but they make for great headlines like, ‘their new single hit 1m in streams in 24 hours!’


Based on the youtube videos I’ve seen, it appears that Tunecore was just pocketing the royalties when they detected streaming fraud. Keep in mind, they had the option to return it. And probably an obligation to do so based on their contract with the platform…I think this is just the tip of the iceburg with Tunecore.

CDBaby is a great alternative!


How did you get on with SoundCloud?

I have a pro account so for no additional cost I could use it.

Mine is NextPro so I don’t know if there’s any difference. Here’s how it goes. If you go to SoundCloud for artists page, you can upload your track/album and go through all the regular things you do like in Distrokid (release date, clearances, writers, composer etc.). Then decide which platforms you want it to be released on and scheduled it. That’s it. And then you can apply for “monetizing” so they keep track and pay you.

I must warn you if you are stuck or need help you will absolutely WILL NOT get any reply from SoundCloud so be aware 🤷. I did it for my last release and I will keep doing for my future ones. Why would I pay for Distrokid, when i got this via SoundCloud…

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Thanks for the feedback.

I am going to give it a try and I have just checked and I have a Next Pro account. Fingers crossed it works better than my experience with DistroKid whose support is nonexistent.

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