DistroKid ? ?

BroKen_H

Re-member
What happened?
DistroKid sent me an e-mail one day saying I could claim my artist profile on Spotify. I went and filled it out. Two days later they sent me an e-mail saying that Spotify had a problem with one of my releases and I should avoid using pay for play sites (which I never have). The next day they removed my music from ALL platforms and erased my bank history.
I sent them two requests to find out 1) Why they zeroed my account's history, and 2) Why, if Spotify had a problem with ONE of my THREE releases ALL of my music was pulled from EVERYWHERE. No response from them for two weeks, so I deleted my DistroKid account so at least they won't charge me the annual fee...
Trying to make sense, but they won't communicate with me, or even let me know what I actually did wrong.
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
Did you get a sudden, massive spike in listeners? If you have an unexplainably large uptick in listeners, it can look like bots.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
No, I was listening to my own music on several devices (4) on a set playlist. Apparently this is a problem for Spotify. But, rather than warn me, or suspend my artist account for a period of time, they simply remove it. But that's not the end. . .
If that were the sole problem, I'd just chalk it up to Ken did something bad and he has to pay for it...
DistroKid said in their e-mails that Spotify was taking down ONE of my albums...that they had nothing to do with it, they were sorry, etc. When I went the next day to DistroKid's site, they had removed all of my music from their own site, removed all my plays and streams and sales histories, and when I checked, they had removed all of my music from Spotify, and Amazon, and YouTube, and Deezer, and Apple Play, and Google Play...etc. Okay? These people are supposed to be on MY side. They are my distributor. Spotify had a problem with one release so all of my music everywhere must be taken down? That doesn't sound like a company I can go back to...
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
No, I was listening to my own music on several devices (4) on a set playlist. Apparently this is a problem for Spotify.
I don't think that's a violation of anyone's Terms of Service.

You pay Spotify for the right to stream music that's in their library. Which music that is, and how often you listen should be immaterial.

Unless you had 4 devices simultaneously looping your music 24 hours a day; that would look suspicious. (And also would not affect your listener statistics enough to make you any money)
 

TAE

All you have is now
Worrisome to hear this. I have an account with Distrokid but TBH only have two originals that are ho hum I think I've made $1 BUT dang I'd be really pissed off ifn I was you... The customer dis-service.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I'm afraid this is very common and there are many facebook groups devoted to Distrokid - and the feeling is that they blame the platforms, but the system wide takedowns are instigated by Distrokid. My music was doing OK - not making me any serious money but a few hundred streams a week and building. I was not doing any promotion at all, let alone paying anyone. Then, I noticed in the stats, a lot of hits from Tik Tok, more than three or four thousand, starting late in that week. I went to tiktok - not a platform I actually even had ever logged into and I discovered just one of my tracks on a large number of Russian teenage makeup videos - hair, nails, lips etc. I watched the numbers climb with each video having 500K to 4 or 5 million, and I started to get excited about the next accounting period when by my figures so far, there would be around twelve grand based on the money paid for the few thousand. Instead, I got a catalogue wide takedown, because Distrokid identified this as probably pay for click promotion. Absolutely nothing I can do about it, and they even zeroed the hundred dollars or so I'd not claimed. This is very common, but Distrokid do not care, and will not help you and provide stock, unhelpful responses to your pleas. I now use Songtradr and Ditto and I got tiktok to remove the videos with my music, because they confirmed they were still paying Distrokid!

Songtradr have a confirmation screen that as the last step warns you that you MUST avoid any form of paid promotion, because it will lead to full takedown. I never promoted my music on tiktok, although it was, and still is, submitted to them. I never found out what I did, but I guess a few hundred suddenly becoming a few million does look a bit suspicious?

On all the annoyed Distrokids complaint sites, not one got the decision reversed that I have ever found. That is how it works. Guilty until you can prove innocence, which you cannot, ever!
 

junplugged

Taking the slow road
I'm afraid this is very common and there are many facebook groups devoted to Distrokid - and the feeling is that they blame the platforms, but the system wide takedowns are instigated by Distrokid. My music was doing OK - not making me any serious money but a few hundred streams a week and building. I was not doing any promotion at all, let alone paying anyone. Then, I noticed in the stats, a lot of hits from Tik Tok, more than three or four thousand, starting late in that week. I went to tiktok - not a platform I actually even had ever logged into and I discovered just one of my tracks on a large number of Russian teenage makeup videos - hair, nails, lips etc. I watched the numbers climb with each video having 500K to 4 or 5 million, and I started to get excited about the next accounting period when by my figures so far, there would be around twelve grand based on the money paid for the few thousand. Instead, I got a catalogue wide takedown, because Distrokid identified this as probably pay for click promotion. Absolutely nothing I can do about it, and they even zeroed the hundred dollars or so I'd not claimed. This is very common, but Distrokid do not care, and will not help you and provide stock, unhelpful responses to your pleas. I now use Songtradr and Ditto and I got tiktok to remove the videos with my music, because they confirmed they were still paying Distrokid!

Songtradr have a confirmation screen that as the last step warns you that you MUST avoid any form of paid promotion, because it will lead to full takedown. I never promoted my music on tiktok, although it was, and still is, submitted to them. I never found out what I did, but I guess a few hundred suddenly becoming a few million does look a bit suspicious?

On all the annoyed Distrokids complaint sites, not one got the decision reversed that I have ever found. That is how it works. Guilty until you can prove innocence, which you cannot, ever!
Did you ask Ari Herstand about this? He claims that tiktok is one of the best ways to promote and many have had their stream counts rise from it. That's not supposed to be a bad thing, it's actually supposed to be one of the best sources of use of your music. Can you send screenshots of the research you did to them? Sounds like they owe you $.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Some of my music is still live, used on Tik Tok and Distrokid presumably are still collecting. Distrokid just ignore complaints, and you cannot have a conversation with Tik Tok so I gave up. Too much hassle and nothing practical you can do against companies in different countries. I cannot prove I did NOT do anything, despite not even knowing about it, but they are judge and jury. I suppose less than a thousand in a month up to millions in a few days triggers alarm bells.`Just means Distrokid is an excellent distributor - the best I have used, but when you have trouble, they simply dump you, take the money in your account, and while I can still access, I have no money, no songs and no stats. I assume Ari Herstand is well aware of the Distrokid users who feel totally shot down, every social media platform has them. Facebook is very vocal, but no solutions, ever.
 

markmann

Member
I hate to hear this because DK is my distributor. I haven't had any issues but I don't have big numbers. Interestingly, I attempted to sign up with Routenote but they declined me because they accused me of using bots... and this was before I EVER released any music!!! Nothing I could do. I have read negative stuff about all of the distributors so I've concluded that they are all flawed.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Sountradr who I use now, have very specific tick boxes - kind of like tick here to say you have not used any pay for promotion sites, because IF YOU HAVE ALL, YES ALL OF YOUR MUSIC WILL BE BANNED EVERYWHERE FOR ALL TIME - not exactly worded like that but pretty stern stuff. The problem is you have to prove you didn't do something, and that's hard or impossible to do. Distrokid are the worst, I'm in a few groups and the stories from them are the absolute worst. They basically just ignore any complaints. The problem is the system's are automated so takedowns are automated. Any spike rings the alarm bells. The strange thing with this lark is that you don't know what goes on - my weekly stats just showed 12 shazzams all of a sudden, from countries around the world, in places I have never heard of on a piece of synth Erik Satie music I recorded and arranged. Not exactly something people would Google - so 12 means nothing - but what caused it? If the 12 was suddenly 12,000 would that be enough to trigger something? Probably not but they won't tell you the rules? Your entire music collection could simply be banned and there is nothing you can do.

Distrokid collected a few thousand dollars on the music it took me 3 months to get out of their control - they blocked the account, but the royalties still were being collected on Youtube. However, they are in the US and I'm not, so I can't fund a court case, and that is why they remain safe!
 

Pinky

and The Brain...
I've been using Catapult for a few years without issue, but like many others I earn pennies /month in revenue (and no promotion on the material submitted).

www.catapultdistribution.com

It wouldn't surprise me to learn someday through a national news level story that companies like Distrokid were being run by record companies, and these takedowns were a way of eliminating the competition. But it could be less villainous... could also be a combination of incompetence and/or greed.
 

jamesperrett

Active member
If you are earning a few thousand pounds in a few months then you possibly ought to be looking at the sort of distributors that the larger indie labels use.
 
Top