Hi again just here to say that I am not an authority on this and spent a long time mainly being confused which I just want to share so that other people know it’s okay to be confused most of the time. If you can educate me that would be amazing so please do let me know if I’ve done anything drastic and ruined my life.
When it comes to releasing music there are so many different ways of going about it, it’s very overwhelming. I had done a year at college where we had gone through all of the different sites that do music distribution and I felt completely lost. There are so many options for distributing online to streaming and download services. I think it comes down to personal preference and what you want to focus on in terms of promotion.
I spent a lot of time researching which ones I liked. I have accounts with probably three or four different companies because a lot of their websites don’t show everything until you’ve signed up. I chose CD baby in the end because they have a partnership with Show.co which allows you to have Spotify pre-save links. I would recommend looking into each company because I believe that Distrokid now also offers Spotify pre-save but they didn’t when I was first looking to release music. Things change very quickly online so what I say now may not hold up in six months.
The best way I could find to make the decision was a spreadsheet type thing, I prefer to write it down on paper so I have it and can make notes, you may prefer an actual spreadsheet, it doesn’t really matter. But because you’re looking at so many sites all with different layouts it’s so hard to compare them so I wrote down how much each cost. Some charge by the year, some charge per release. CD baby is one charge per release that you don’t have to pay again, Distrokid is a yearly subscription which means if you ever stop paying your music gets taken down. Some sites are very expensive, CD baby offers two different packages one is about £30 the other about £10 (as of 2019), the more expensive one means they will go and chase money (royalties) down for you, the other one you’ll have to do it yourself. All of this factors in.
So, before you venture into this, decide what’s important to you. Price? Promotion? Adverts? Ease of use? And make sure you sit and read the terms and conditions before you sign anything, this is your legally binding contract which decides ownership.
The other thing you have to know is who wrote the song and if you wrote it with someone else how much of a percentage do they own and how much do you own?
But at the end of the day, this won’t kill you. It can be scary and intimidating but you just have to make the choice and go with it, it’ll be fine in the end.