What I’ve been up to for the past yearBy Philip Kaplan
I just launched DistroKid.
So like a year ago I had this idea that it should be easier for musicians to get their music into stores like iTunes and Amazon.
Currently, it’s impossible to get your music into stores unless you’re signed to a record label, or if you pay (usually $40 per album) distribution services like TuneCore and CD Baby.
Problem is, the concept of an “album” is outdated. Artists used to work all year, record 12 songs, then distribute it on CD. These days, musicians record stuff at home or in the studio — and should be able to release it whenever they want. Kind of like uploading a video to YouTube.
But the online music stores don’t work that way.
So I had this idea for a service where musicians can just upload songs whenever they want, all the time, to stores. Without having to worry about paying each time.
What I thought would be a 4-week project turned out taking me over a year. I had to do separate deals with Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Google. Then I built stuff for their really complex APIs. Then stuff to automatically convert audio & image files to the right formats. Then stuff to detect when music goes live in the stores so artists can be notified. Then stuff to make sense of the stores’ royalty reports. And about a million other little complexities that happen behind-the-scenes.
And I made it really simple to use.
I’m super psyched about the net result: Musicians can now upload 1 song to stores for free. Or pay $19.99 and upload unlimited songs and albums for a year — which, as a musician, I love. It’s super cheap, and really fun to see your music in stores.
Also, artists get 100% of their royalties. I don’t take a cut.
If you know any musicians, let them know about DistroKid. Hopefully they thank you and use it, and we’re all happy!
Thanks for reading.
Ps- Another thing that makes DistroKid different than alternatives is that DistroKid is way faster. Most of the time, DistroKid gets your music live on iTunes within 2-4 hours of uploading it. Compare this to days that the other services take. And of course DistroKid is a lot cheaper and (I think) simpler.
Pps- The founder of TuneCore (who’s no longer with that company) agrees. Check out his tweet where he said “DistroKid is simply the best distributor in the market.” (srsly? rad!)
Update: The founder of CD Baby, Derek Sivers, now recommends DistroKid. See his post at the top of this Hacker News thread!
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