Currently, it is easy for independent musicians to release music to all of the major streaming platforms and stores. There are multiple music distribution services that will help artists put their music out there.
Two of the most popular are Amuse and DistroKid. Amuse has its focus on being the perfect solution for upcoming artists. They have their own record label and offer multiple career-growth opportunities. Similarly, DistroKid is one of the most cost-effective options among music distributors right now.
In this article, we are going to compare Amuse vs DistroKid and discuss some of the key features of each platform such as ease of use, pricing, delivery time, and how much of a commission they take from your releases.
After you’re done reading this comparison, we also recommend that you take a look at our Best Music Distribution article so you can learn about all of the options available when it comes to releasing music to streaming services and digital stores.
Amuse vs DistroKid – Quick Introduction
Amuse is a music distribution service founded in 2015 that strongly believes in the power of independent musicians. They have three major pillars: free music distribution, premium features, and artist services. The company also has its own record label where they sign a record deal to rising talents and upcoming artists and offer them great features such as marketing financing.
DistroKid is one of the leading platforms when it comes to music distribution. Its pricing is one of the best you will find in the music business. Starting at $19.99/year, you can release unlimited songs to places such as Spotify and Apple Music. Another strong point we’ve found with DistroKid is the ease of use and the streamlined process.
Amuse vs DistroKid – In-Depth Comparison
Table of Contents
- Which One is More User Friendly?
- Streaming Services and Stores
- Delivery Time
- Career-Growth Opportunities
- Additional Services
- Referral Programs
- Customer Service
Which One is More User Friendly?
While both options are very user-friendly, DistroKid is amazing when it comes to ease of use. The platform prefers to focus solely on music distribution so the process of releasing music is very streamlined.
Amuse is similar. The platform even makes it able for artists to release music from their smartphones using a dedicated app. There, you will be able to upload your song’s files, album art and fill in all the needed information for the release.
The Amuse music distributor has the good advantage of having a free plan. With the freemium version, you can release up to 12 songs per year while keeping 100% of your royalties. Zero distribution fees. If you opt for royalty splits, however, you will have to pay a 15% fee.
The Boost plan is the intermediary option. Compared to Start, it has a faster delivery time (2 weeks as opposed to 4 weeks in free), no royalty splits fee, fast forward eligibility, Youtube Content ID, and additional stores. The fast forward feature will let artists that earn a lot with their music collect their royalties in advance.
At the high end of the spectrum, the company offers the Amuse Pro plan. It has all the major features discussed before plus multiple artist profiles, team accounts, and the custom label option; As well as statements upon request.
DistroKid has one of the best distribution fees when it comes to paid music distribution services. Their most basic plan, called Musician, starts with an annual fee of $19.99. It will let one artist or band upload unlimited releases.
However, the most affordable plan lacks some important features that are only available with the most expensive ones. The Musician Plus plan, apart from giving you unlimited releases for $35.99/year, will let you see daily sale states, insert a custom label name, and set a custom release date.
For record labels, the label plan starts at $79.99/year and you can have from 5 up to 100 artists and bands on your account. The price will vary according to this number.
Tip: See how LANDR distribution compares to DistroKid in our LANDR vs DistroKid article.
Which One Is the Most Cost-Effective?
It depends on your priorities and needs. If you’re a beginner artist and you want to test the waters before making any major investment, the Amuse Start plan is free will suit you greatly. You can always upgrade it in the future.
However, for more established artists that need the extra features such as daily sale stats, customizable release date, and Youtube Content ID integration, we would recommend the DistroKid’s Musician Plus plan. This option proved to be the most cost-effective on many of our music distribution comparison articles.
Streaming Services and Stores
With the Amuse music distributor, the number of streaming services and stores will depend on the plan. The free option will release music to all of the major platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Starting with the Boost plan, however, you will gain access to platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
DistroKid states on their website that they distribute music to 31 major streaming platforms plus smaller outlets with their partnership with the company MediaNet. It seems like the music distribution service prefers to focus on tried-and-tested, quality outlets. This should suit most artists unless you’re looking to reach more niche or underground audiences.
It is important to know about the distribution speed before sticking with a music distribution service, so you can plan your release ahead and promote it on time.
Amuse’s free offering will put your music online in 4 weeks. With the Boost and Pro plans, this is reduced to 2 weeks plus you can set a custom release date.
DistroKid doesn’t specify any specific time frame, but the company states that it should take no longer than 2 weeks for your music to be on all platforms. It is important to notice, however, that the custom release date feature is only available for the Musician Plus and up plans. That’s why if you go with this distributor, we recommend paying extra for this option.
The commission is all about how much your music distributor will take from your streaming revenue and download earnings. Both Amuse and DistroKid take 0% off your royalties even on the free plans. These companies make their profit with their paid plans and additional services such as YouTube Content ID integration.
It is important for music distributors to offer frequent opportunities for artists to grow their music career. These range from pitching musicians to playlists to owning their own record label, which is the case of Amuse. We will discuss that further below.
Amuse Music Record Label
Amuse is unique in the fact that they’re one of the only music distribution services to run a record label of their own. By looking into various data information of the artists using their distribution platform such as music consumption and demographics, Amuse will spot and sign rising talents to their label.
The record label will then offer professional services such as career planning, marketing financing, branding, and even public relations consulting.
There’s another feature on the website called Amuse Selected. This is like a social media shout-out. The music distributor will pick songs they like and put them on their Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube playlists, as well as on their Instagram profile. You can send your music to Amuse Selected here.
DistroKid has a number of playlists on Spotify which they update weekly with fresh music from artists using the platform. They also have a section on their website called Wheel Of Playlists: a prize-wheel that will give you the chance of being featured on one of their playlists if you’re lucky enough.
Knowing how your music is doing across all streaming services and digital stores is important so you can plan the next steps for your music career.
Amuse has a very well-designed hub for that matter. There, you can track your progress both on your computer and the Amuse smartphone app.
On DistroKid, they will show artists their daily sales stats, but only if you’re on the Musician Plus and up plans. Whichever music distributor you choose, we always recommend registering with services such as Spotify and Apple Music for Artists to see every data about your releases.
Apart from music distribution, Amuse will offer artists YouTube Content ID administration. This means you can easily send your music to be monetized by the platform and find videos that are using your songs without permission. This service is only available to paid plans though and the company will charge 15% from your earnings in case you’re on the Boost option. DistroKid doesn’t specify any additional services on its platform.
Referral programs are a great way to earn some extra money and help fellow artists. At the moment, Amuse doesn’t offer any program of that kind. But, DistroKid will pay you $10 for every artist you invite using your link and give them 7% off their first year on any plan. The music distribution company has one of the best referral programs in the market.
It is important that we consider how good and supportive the customer service is when reviewing any service in the music business.
Amuse customer service seems to have lots of positive reviews. Most of them state that the company is very fast at solving issues when they occur. The Boost and Pro plans are guaranteed to receive support under 72h and 24h, respectively. There’s the added benefit that you can access Amuse’s customer service right from their smartphone app.
DistroKid, while offering a great support system, tends to be slow on response times according to some reviews. This is because the music distribution company has a very automated process, but it usually works like a charm.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Amuse Fast Forward?
Royalties usually take a few months to get processed and reach you after they’ve been generated. Amuse Fast Forward is a royalty advance service. The music distributor will analyze your streaming numbers and calculate if you’re eligible to receive your earnings in advance so you can invest them in your music career.
How Does Youtube Content ID Integration Work?
The service will help you register and monetize your songs with YouTube Content ID. The benefit is that with Amuse and DistroKid, you can do it all directly from the music distributor platform. An easier process, compared to doing it yourself.
Can I Distribute a Cover Song Through Amuse or DistroKid?
In the case of Amuse, you will need to hire a third-party company to help you acquire a mechanical license to distribute it. DistroKid has a simplified process for distributing cover songs. They will take care of all the licensing steps for a one time fee of $12 for each track.
Tip: Also check our DistroKid vs TuneCore guide to learn more features from each company.
- Completely free music distribution with the Amuse free plan.
- Very easy to use. You can upload music from your smartphone if you want.
- 0% commission taken over your royalties.
- Guaranteed delivery time. 4 weeks on the free plan and 2 weeks on the paid plans.
- Amuse has its own record label where they sign rising talents and upcoming artists from their platform.
- Same day support with the Amuse Pro plan.
- YouTube Content ID integration with the paid plans.
- Only 12 releases per year with the free plan. Not great if you plan to have multiple releases.
- For the free plan, there is a fee of 15% for split royalties.
- Best price in the market compared to the benefits. Only $19.99/year.
- Unlimited releases on any plan. Upload as many tracks as you want.
- 0% commission.
- Simplified licensing for cover songs.
- Ability to split the plan payment with your band members and fellow artists.
- YouTube monetization and managing directly from the platform.
- The best referral program among music distribution services. $10 for each artist you invite and 7% off their first year on any plan.
- Better rates for record labels.
- Many reviews state that the customer service is not so time-effective.
- Lack of additional features.
After reviewing these two popular, high-quality music distributors, we could observe a few points. DistroKid has proven to be one of the most cost-effective when we compare it against other paid companies. But, Amuse is a rare case of a platform that offers free music distribution. It is hard to top a feature like this if you’re on a budget.
It is worth noting though that the free version of Amuse has a few limitations. Artists will only be able to upload 12 songs per year – not great if you plan to release lots of music – and the number of streaming services, digital stores, and platforms is limited to the most popular ones such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.
If you’re on a budget right now though, Amuse is a great choice. You can always upgrade your plan later and test the waters before you make any investments. For established artists who need important additional features such as being able to set up a custom release date, we recommend the DistroKid’s Musician Plus option.We hope we helped you with the guide. Be sure to check our related articles about music distributors before making your decision. Feel free to comment if you have any more information you would like to share and contact us if you have any questions!
Ian Sniesko is an experienced music producer and musician who loves to share his knowledge about the best audio equipment for making and enjoying great music. For the past 6 years, Ian has written extensively about the audio equipment industry and has contributed to many of the top music magazines.