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DistroKid Review: It's about what I expected.


I was skeptical about DistroKid, the music distribution service that's quickly making a name for itself. The guy behind it likes to tout the fact that the founders of his main competitors have endorsed his service. Any kind of high profile recommendation makes me immediately suspicious. The fact that the website is nearly devoid of details did not help.

But...

It's okay. I signed up. Paid my $19.99. Found out the basic plan didn't include some things I wanted, like setting prices and release dates. You get a grace period where you can get a refund and upgrade, so it's not too bad, but I do wish they'd mention that up front.

Uploading your music for distribution to stores is pretty straightforward. You select how many tracks you want, upload to each slot and fill out details, add your cover, choose your stores, and send it on. This is where we hit the first problem.

Their uploader is...bad. It works, as long as your connection is reliable. Mine wasn't at the time. If your connection goes out during upload, it just stops and never retries. It doesn't save any of your information, so you have to put it all in again. Blech. What is this, 2004?

Aside from that, it's about what I expected. They have a referral program. I sold one subscription within 20 clicks, so either I got lucky or they've done a lot of work refining their sales copy. It's one of the few affiliate programs that won't make you feel like slime. It's not perfect, but it's good so far. They told me on Twitter it takes about 30 days for your $5 to show in the Bank page.

Spotify and Google Play were the first to get my music up. iTunes came next. Others are still working on it, but I don't anticipate much money from them anyway. All the publicly shared music sales reports I've found show a steep dropoff after iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify.

DistroKid does what it says it'll do on the sales page: sends your music to the stores, gets you paid. Simple. It's not perfect, but I do like it and see myself renewing next year. When you sign up, use my referral link and get a 7% discount.