We're doing distributing our music independently, and so can you! Seriously.
Make a list of your must-haves
There are so, so many different online distributors out there. So far, we have worked with both CDBaby and Distrokid to release our music. They both have their pros and cons... So decide ahead of time what will be important to you! Will you be putting out a large amount of music? Will you need someone to make CD's for you?
look at more than one service
This may seem obvious, but even we missed this step... Check out your options, thoroughly. I'm going to talk about the two services we have used so far, but they are far from the only services available. Find other reviews to help you, and compare prices!
We started our journey with CDBaby. It was a great way to start, giving us the services we thought that we wanted. CDBaby offers the production of physical copies- which can be a make-or-break depending on your wants. We originally wanted the ability to get download cards and physical CDs, although anymore we have decided to stick to purely digital distribution.
Another notable thing about CDBaby is the pay-once system for their services. They offer competitive pricing for your releases, whether just a single or a full CD. If you are just starting your production and are not sure what kind of volume you will really be putting out every year, this is really handy as it is cheaper than most subscriptions. You just pay as you go!
As I mentioned, after using CDBaby our priorities shifted. In our own research and through our own marketing plans, we decided that sticking with digital copies is more than enough for our needs. Beyond that, we have plans for so many more releases! Between Fat Stallion and Jack Elliott's individual ventures (a song a week!), that price tag would climb pretty quickly this year. It was worth it to us to look for something with a yearly subscription!
Cue Distrokid: which has exactly those things listed. Distrokid has a few features that we are particularly excited about... one being access to our iTunes artist profile!
While CDBaby DID distribute our single Prospect to iTunes, we still had yet to hear back from Apple about claiming and editing our artist profile. With Distrokid, we had access as soon as the next song was up (which was a huge relief, I'll tell you).
Beyond better access to artist services, Distrokid also has a longer list of digital music platforms it delivers your music to than CDBaby. The only thing it lacks compared to CDBaby is the ability to order physical CDs and download cards... which we have decided are no longer a priority for us, being as our fanbase is mostly online now. Thanks for being a part of it!
Let me know in the comments if you have any specific questions about our experiences with these retailers! I hope you found this informative and interesting. Thank so much for being here!
Without you, we wouldn't have much! And we appreciate you more than you know. From all of us in Fat Stallion-