The Economics of DistroKid

The founder of DistroKid has written a blog about the service and the growth they’ve seen in the past four years. DistroKid is a new kind of music distributor:

That means we help musicians & record labels get their music into online stores & streaming services (iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Amazon, and more).

Then we collect the royalties and pay out. Payments go either to the artist, or to any group of collaborators that the artist specifies, in any percentage.

This paragraph really stuck out to me:

You’re a dummy if you give any percentage of your earnings to a distributor. For goodness sakes. If you don’t use DistroKid, that’s okay — but please don’t give a cut of your earnings to any distributor unless they’re also massively promoting you and helping with marketing; the only way they’d deserve it. If we took 9% of earnings (we take nothing) there are a handful of artists who’d owe us more than $100,000 each for moving a few files around. That ain’t right.

The whole thing is definitely worth a read.

Jason Tate
Jason Tate Jason Tate is the founder and editor-in-chief of He can also be found at @jason_tate on Twitter and on Facebook.