How is Symphonic different from other Distributors?

Below is an outline of how we compare against DistroKid, CD Baby, Tunecore, and others.

DistroKid

A relative newcomer to the industry, we are asked from prospective clients about what makes us different from DistroKid. This article will aim to highlight some key differences to help you make a determination if we are a proper fit for you.

Some of the obvious differences between us and them is price. They do offer a $19.99 unlimited yearly plan which is great but has its limitations. We have one time fees and no annual fees per release. They do give 100% of royalties while we also do the same (this we like about them).

Every distribution company is different and while the DistroKid camp has opinions that are quite vocal about other distributors, we choose to go with a more civilized approach.

We respect any company that has the best interest in mind for their clients and hope that this isn’t taken out of context or wrong, particularly on the part of DistroKid.

If any of this has changed and/or is incorrect, we welcome DistroKid, anyone else that has knowledge of their offerings, or any DistroKid fan to feel free to create a ticket and we’ll ensure this list is updated so that we represent a fair list of differences between us and them.

This is quite lengthy so appreciate you taking the time to read.

  1. With Symphonic, you can create as many artists as you want without an additional fee. With DistroKid you are limited with the amount of individual artists you can have on your account and their max is 100 artists which will cost you around $1199.99 a year. With Symphonic, you can have 100 artists, for free.

  2. With DistroKid, you have to pay $49.00 per album to leave it up if you decide not to renew your membership. With us, there isn’t a recurring fee annually per release thus, you pay $0.00 to leave your album up.

  3. We do not charge for preorders or require you to upgrade or change your plan if you wish to have pre-orders for your release. With us, it is free. DistroKid requires you to upgrade to one of their plans in order for you to set pre-orders.

  4. We provide daily sales stats and more analytics without a monthly or yearly fee. With Distrokid, you have to join their Musician+ or the “Label” plan which is $35.99, and the latter starts at $79.99. You get 100% of royalties and can view basic analytics (daily sales) for $0.00 with Symphonic.

  5. Through DistroKid, you can customize your pricing for some platforms only if you upgrade your existing plan. With Symphonic, you aren’t required to upgrade and are able to set the custom pricing for the partners that accept it.

  6. Through DistroKid, if you produce Electronic Music there are additional fees to supply material to Electronic Dance shops and providers. With Symphonic, you are able to deliver to Electronic Dance shops without any extra fees or plans. Our beginning was in the Electronic Dance scene and we believe that the genre has been quite influential for Digital Distribution overall.

  7. We have additional services available for artists and creators. Publishing Administration being one of them. Not a problem for a distributor to not necessarily offer additional offerings but that is another differentiator if you are looking for an all in house solution. To be fully transparent, our Publishing Administration service is in partnership with Tunecore and is the same price as theirs but with some differences upon signing up.

  8. Under DistroKid, distribution to Shazam is .99c per song. Symphonic does not charge a fee to deliver to this important technology provider.

  9. Under DistroKid, if you have your own UPC or ISRC code, you have to upgrade to the Musician Plus or Label account in order to use it. Symphonic allows you to use your own codes or simply, use ones we provide for no additional fees per UPC or ISRC code. If you are not a digital distribution client, UPCs and ISRC codes are available for purchase for any external product you wish to deliver aside of Symphonic (IE: Physical)

  10. To our knowledge, DistroKid does not distribute ringtones. Symphonic is able to accept ringtones and further has a ringtone creator tool built into our system to enable you to create a ringtone off an existing release. Many people may not see this as vital however, the ringtone business is still lucrative for many content creators.

  11. DistroKid does not have a method for you to create compilations from past releases. For $10, Symphonic does have a built in tool to allow you to build compilations.

  12. For Electronic Dance Music creators, DistroKid is not accepting the new format created by Native Instruments, STEMS. While not applicable for everyone, Symphonic has adapted its system to accept this new and exciting revenue generating format.

  13. From what we’ve understood, DistroKid only allows you to set a release date if you upgrade your plan. Symphonic allows you to not only set your release date but, set your pre-order release date and further, allows you to select which partners you want to distribute your music to, for free.

  14. DistroKid appears to restrict your album to only 35 tracks. While we think that is pretty fair, our system has a limit of 99 tracks. In our honest perspective though, we have to say that anything above 35 tracks may not a proper strategy, nonetheless, we did want to state this differentiator as well.

  15. DistroKid does not accept Digital Booklets for iTunes deliveries. Symphonic can design and also deliver a digital booklet with your submission.

  16. DistroKid does not allow a creator to select “Album Only”. “Album Only” means that an individual can only buy a particular song if they purchase the entire album. Symphonic’s system does enable you to selet a track that you wish to make available for “Album Only”

  17. Symphonic has creative and development services for artists and record labels. We can create release covers, logos, EPK’s and more. All of which are custom and unique to you. We can create a custom marketing plan and much more specifically tailored to every artist that is interest. These offerings are not free or included with distribution but add ons that are available for purchase. To our knowledge Distro Kid doesn’t have solutions available to all of their clients.

  18. To our knowledge, they do not have relationships with PR partners, Radio Airplay providers, and other ad based solutions. While not exactly a game changer, and something that likely can be looked at as not a big deal, the partnerships we have are there to give our clients more options to promote and market their product.

  19. Symphonic has the ability to distribute Music Videos, Sample Packs, and more various formats making us much more diverse than Distro Kid from a distribution perspective.

Tunecore

For Artist Distribution:
Let's say you wanted to put out a "Single". With us, we give you 100% of royalties, we charge a ONE TIME sign up fee of $25, and a per release fee starting at $10.99. That means your total cost is $35.99. With Tunecore, for the same exact "Single" you would have to pay $9.99 to start, then $9.99 every year to keep your album up (and if not, they take it down) + a fee of $1.98 per store or platform that you add. We don't charge any additional fees for iTunes Preorders (they charge $100). 

Total cost of Tunecore for 1 single with a Pre Order and all stores that take your genre:
$9.99 + $100 + $9.99 per year = $119.98
(Not counting additional stores or delivery points that they charge $1.98 for)

Total cost of Symphonic for 1 single with a Pre Order and all stores that take your genre:
$25 + $10.99 = $35.99

In addition, we're one of the only distributors (if not the only) to offer 100% of royalties for sites such as Beatport and get you into niche and boutique shops that help independents build a following such as Juno, Traxsource, and much more. That means we're one of the leading distributors of artist content for the Electronic and Hip Hop masses.

We also have the ability for you to send out copies of your release to your fans, the ability to protect your music with our anti piracy service Topple Track, delivering new audio formats such as the STEMS by Native Instruments audio format and much more.

Every musician and client has a choice and we too are a hard working business like Tunecore. Regardless of your choice, thank you for taking the time to consider us.

CD Baby

For Artist Distribution:
Let's say you wanted to put out a "Single". With us, we give you 100% of royalties, we charge a ONE TIME sign up fee of $25, and a per release fee starting at $10.99. That means your total cost is $35.99.

With CD Baby you would sign up for a rate of $9.95 to put out a single but, unlike us, they would keep 9% of any revenue that you make. That means that in essence, while they don't own the rights of your songs, they at least own the right to retain 9% as long as you use their service.

Total cost of CD Baby for 1 single that generates $2,000:
$9.95 + 9% of $2,000 = $189.95

Total cost of Symphonic for 1 single that generates $2,000:
$25 + $10.99 = $35.99 (You keep $2,000 because we don't keep any %).

In addition, we're one of the only distributors (if not the only) to offer 100% of royalties for sites such as Beatport and get you into niche and boutique shops that help independents build a following such as Juno, Traxsource, and much more. That means we're one of the leading distributors of artist content for the Electronic and Hip Hop masses.

We also have the ability for you to send out copies of your release to your fans, the ability to protect your music with our anti piracy service Topple Track, delivering new audio formats such as the STEMS by Native Instruments audio format and much more.

We have great respect and admiration for CD Baby. They have been instrumental for many careers in the music industry. Ultimately, we respect the decision of any and all record labels and artists and hope to see you become a client, if not, we thank you greatly for your time.

The Orchard, InGrooves, Label-Worx, Label-Engine

Every distribution company operates differently. We believe we're different because we have more in house offerings than what some of the companies mentioned in the post subject. Additionally, we cater to Record Labels and Artists individually thus enabling us to guide your career from an independent perspective all the way to an established record label.

Offerings such as:
-Anti Piracy Protection Service (Topple Track) - Owned by Symphonic
-Promotional outlet in Noiseporn.com (Available to all artists and labels)
-Creative Services (Lyric Video Production, Video Production for promo purposes)
-Free promo mailer
-Music Video Distribution to Apple, TIDAL, and more (Including Vevo)
-Tailor made marketing packages
-Public pages to promote your release
-Free release links of iTunes and Spotify (and more in the future)
-Neighboring Rights (directly done with PRO's)
-Publishing Administration for songwriters
-Sync Licensing
-Contracts services

These offerings above are either not covered at all nor directly covered by many of our competitors. Aside of this, we believe we distribute your music to the most important partners out there (of all types and genres) and further, let you pick a deal that works for you. Other partners have different percentage based deals or their deals will keep more depending on how you perform.

Thank you for your time and for considering Symphonic Distribution.

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