DistroKid ? ?

rob aylestone

Well-known member
They don’t want you till it’s major money. The old fashioned record companies still exist, but are also very protective of their services.

it’s still a mess though, because the aggregators like distrokid and the others do provide you with very detailed breakdowns, yet if I go to the old agencies in the UK, PRS and PPL, the tracks I have out there, all registered with PRS and PPL show no use. I have evidence there is, yet my income from the old official sources are simply not accurate. It used to be venues and broadcasters declaring detailed use, but while broadcasters still do, live music doesn’t do that anymore, so I used to pop some of my tracks into these lists for venues I went to, and got a few quid, but now I don’t!
 

markmann

Active member
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.
I've heard that labels have influence over streaming services so it wouldn't surprise me to find out that they are strong arming distributors as well.
 

jamesperrett

Active member
Do any of you know of distributors that are more indie friendly than others?

If you are a serious label then a company like Plastichead might be appropriate though they are UK based so I don't know if they take on international clients.


If you are an artist with a serious following then something like AWAL might be worth approaching.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I think, without my own personal problem with them, that Distrokid did offer the best deal. They were totally friendly and efficient up to the point that they weren't, and being realistic, that could happen with anybody. You hear about things going viral, but there must be a natural and evidence trail way this happens. It's totally possible something did go wrong - I went from seeing a few hundred uses here, then a thousand somewhere else, then suddenly half a million via TikTok. I had to google to find what it was, and it was some vapid girl from Russia doing makeup and fashion videos - she was using one of my tracks. Next day it was over a million, the day after that her five videos were up to over ten million and rising - then I got shut down. It occurred to me only recently that maybe it was not the music that did it - possibly SHE had paid for this bot promotion, and it was dodgy activity, and my music got caught in it? I don't know, but her millions of views are now down to a few thousands, so maybe this is it?

Distrokids were the best if you do covers. They will sort licences for you, for worldwide release and the others don't do this - and dealing with US agencies from the UK is difficult. I don't put covers on apple or download sites because getting the paperwork they need is so tricky and often expensive. Distrokid are still probably the best, just don't mess with them. I have tried Ditto and they're OK, but songtradr do market your material themselves too, and I have had some small payments that way. I'm being crafty with my music. Most is produced for clients - so they want instantly forgettable music to put on their industrial washing machine factory tour - that kind of rewarding stuff, but it has a short lifespan. I don't sell them the music. It's theirs to use for ever, on any medium and it won't be heard anywhere else for a minimum of a year. When the year is up, I release them as new recordings, so they're all paid for before the internet get them. They're not remotely commercial, music wise - but were never meant to be. Music to fall asleep too is a good description.

If I were starting again, I'd still sign up with Distrokid. I would however, be more careful and monitor things properly. They all report slowly - especially TikTok who seem a minimum of 3 months behind. Looking at my data, I only had a few days of the big spike - so all of a sudden TikTok started showing up where it had not before. I saw the payments for just a few days, went online and checked how many were now being used. Did some maths in my head and started to mentally spend the dosh - which then got killed a few days later when they zapped the account. Distro kid have now deleted my account and access to data requires me to pay them!
 
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